Hi everyone 🙂
I got a chance to visit Milan for 2 days, so I decided to do a mini “Milan Travel Guide”
Milan (Milano) may not be the first city a tourist of when visiting Italy, but it has more than its share of attractions, not to mention history. Milan it’s a city with an influential past and a rich cultural heritage, home of Italy’s stock Exchange, an industrial powerhouse and the internationally accepted arbiter of taste in fashion and design. Consider that St. Augustine was baptized in a basilica that stood at what is now Piazza del Duomo; artists Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, the composer Verdi, the great tenor Enrico Caruso, and designer Giorgio Armani all lived and worked here; Toscanini conducted regularly at La Scala; Napoleon was crowned (actually, he crowned himself) inside the Duomo. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milan)
- Easy way to go around, Metro
- Taxis are white
- Restaurants hours: 12h30-14h and 19h30-23h
- If you want to save time, buy tickets online whenever you can
- If you wish to see “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci, you must book in advance (2 month)
- Orio al Serio International Airport (Bergamo): if you are arriving at this airport, as soon as you exit, you’ll find several bus that will take you to the Central Station (metro and train) in Milan (which by the way, it’s beautiful). Ticket price 5€.
- Metro ticket price 1.5€
Food: You must try, at least, the cappuccino (Best ever), the pasta (OMG), pizza and gelato. You should do an Aperitivo Crawl (more info ahead).
1st stop (1-4 Map)
Duomo is the heart of the city and where you can find one of the largest gothic churches in Italy, Milan Cathedral (1 Map). It was begun in the 14th century, but its facade was not completed until the early 1800s, under Napoleon. The roof is topped by 135 delicately carved stone pinnacles, and the exterior is decorated with 2,245 marble statute. You can visit the rooftop by lift or stairs.
Time spend: 1-2h Hours: 8am – 7pm Ticket price: 13€ (Cathedral + lift, adult)
- Remember to dress appropriately (covered legs and shoulders).
- Your bag will be check at the entrance
- The lift is on the left side close to the back of the cathedral
http://www.duomomilano.it/en/ (you can buy tickets online)
In the center of the Piazza del Duomo you can find the the statue of Vittorio Emanuelle II (2 Map)
I didn’t have the chance to visit, but The Royal Palace of Milan (Palazzo Reale di Milano in Italian) (3 Map) is a culture center and a home to many exhibitions and expositions. The palace is located to the right of the facade of the Milan Cathedral.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (4 Map) forms one side of the Piazza del Duomo and opens to Piazza della Scala. It was deisgned by Giuseppe Mengoni and build between 1865 and 1877. It was then the largest shopping arcade in Europe. It was one of my favorites places in Milan, it’s a beautiful and vibrant place, surrounded by elegant cafés and luxury shops.
Time spend: 30 -2h (depending if someone is shopping :p)
- free wifi
- In the center of the world’s prettiest mall is a tile image of a prancing bull who, if you look closely, is missing is private parts. Why? For some reason it’s believed that spinning on the bull’s balls would give the spinner good luck.
- I had a great grape gelato in Ristorante Savini (opposite side from the bull)
2nd Stop (5 map)
To the left side of Teatro alla Scala Opera House (8 Map), it’s the Brera neighborhood, where you can visit Pinoteca di Brera (5 Map), Milan’s main art gallery which houses beautiful paintings of the Lombard and Venetians schools. The most famous of these include Caravaggio’s “Supper at Emmaus”, “The Kiss” by Hayez (which was not exposed when I visited L) and ‘The Montefeltro Altarpiece’ by the Italian Renaissance artist, Piero della Francesca, among many others.
Time spend: 1-2h Ticket price: 10€
3rd Stop (6-7 Map)
The Castello Sforzesco (6 Map) is a castle that used to be the seat and residence of the Duchy of Milan and one of the biggest citadels in Europe. Now, it houses several museums and art collections. At it’s back it holds a beautiful garden that ends facing the Arco della Pace (7 Map). This 23-meter structure, at Piazza Sempione, it’s a triumphal arch that was order to celebrate Napoleon’s victories.
Time spend: 1-2h
4th Stop: Dinner and Have
Finish the day with an Aperitivo Crawl at the Porta Genevo (Navigli canals). The Aperitivo Crawl it’s a dining experience rather than a particular dish. Aperitivo, that practice of enjoying a drink or two with friends and colleagues between work and dinner, is found in multiple Italian cities, but it’s been perfected in Milan. The city’s best aperitivo bars overflow with people and a convivial atmosphere, which is due in part to the sometimes-extensive all-you-can-eat buffets that are laid out. The drinks may be a bit more expensive than they normally would be (beer 10€).
1st Stop (8 Map)
Next day, we started the day by visiting the beautiful Teatro alla Scala Opera House (8 Map). While the Opera House facade is not that impressive, the luxury interiors are breathtaking. If you like Opera and Ballet, this could also be a great opportunity to enjoy a performance. Otherwise, you can glimpse the auditorium from he boxes by taking a tour at the theater’s museum, as long as rehearsals are not taking place. In the museum you will find a collection of costumes from landmark performances and historical and personal mementos of the greats who performed and work at La Scala.
Time spend: 1-2h Ticket price: 7€ (adult)
2nd Stop (9 Map)
The Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio (9 Map) was founded in 386 by St. Ambrose, who was born in Milan and is the city’s patron saint. The present basilica is a masterpiece of the Romanesque architecture.
Time spend: 1-2h
Notes: Remember to dress appropriately (covered legs and shoulders).
3rd and Last Stop (10 Map)
The Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci (10 Map), founded in 1973, is dedicated to the Italian genius Leonardo da Vinci and where you can find several working models of many of his inventions and machinery, created from da Vinci’s drawings. It’s the largest museum of its kind in Italy and one of the largest in Europe. There are seven departments in the museum: Art & Science, Energy, Communications, Materials, New Frontiers, Transport and a section with interactive labs for children. You can visit an Italian submarine.
Time spend: 2-3h Ticket price: 10€ (adult, no extra visits)
- You can walk from the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio to the museum, it’s very close.
- There is an additional charge to visit the submarine, book in advance due to the high demand.
Hopefully this mini travel guide may help you with your travel. I loved Milan and I totally recommend visiting. Let me know your experiences in Milano.