Honestly, this is my second trip to Milan, but it is just impossible not to come back. I’ll tell you why. When you go somewhere let’s say anywhere you have already set in mind places you want to go to, things you want to see. And you know how hard it is when the excitement of environment change takes over by surprise and you can’t stop this big urge to see everything, and by everything, I mean everything there is to see. It’s OK, happens to most of us.
So on the first day of Milan we were left on our own and by we I mean me and my husband, it is very hard for me to speak about myself if I am not traveling alone, but that’s just me or maybe most of us. So we were given a map of the city center, so probably taking the metro from San Donato station to Milano Centrale with a map in your hands and a big smile on your face was obviously screaming tourists. Oh and the other thing, as our trip took place in March it was quite warm, but again warm for us people from Baltic’s, but Italians still wear warm coats and boots when it’s +16°C outside. So where was I?! Oh yes… While sliding the tunnels, taking a metro to be more precise, we were checking out our map, which was already marked with markers so we knew what places we wanted to see and how could we get there.
Few words about metro in Milan, quite a many levels, turning points to pass before you see the light of day, so be careful following directions on the walls. It’s not like you are gonna lose yourself there, but if it’s important to come outside at the precise point better check twice. So what is very interesting is that if you go up from Milan Duomo station and proceed through every level you will come out just in front of one of the world’s biggest miracles – Duomo di Milano.
It is a very crowded place, especially the front of it. People sitting, walking, performing everywhere, not to mention the long lines of people waiting to get inside the Dome. But don’t be scared, you won’t stand long, but it will take some time. The entrance is pretty much and strictly guarded, don’t be too loud with some unnecessary words or dangerous actions. One thing I didn’t like, is that there are signs inside the Dome that forbid to take photos, but people still are taking them. Duomo is Italian cathedral church so why take pictures in there especially of an old sacred mummy. It is just my opinion don’t be offended. Some things are just meant to be captured with your eyes only.
My aunt advised us to take the metro to get to the places we chose to see, but her husband who’s Italian by the way said that it is unnecessary because it takes just 20 minutes by feet, and we would be more entertained seeing everything around us if we just walked through town. So we did and let me tell you, every step was worth it, besides I was quite intrigued to learn street names and follow the map as a real tourist. After seeing a part of Duomo we walked across town to Santa Maria Delle Grazie (“Holy Mary of Grace”) to see Leonardo’s mural The last Supper. Stunning may I say because art was always close to my heart and it is a great feeling being there and knowing that you are standing right in a place where history was written. Woah, so many words… So after a few sights, we needed something to eat, because again most of the people do eat. My sense of humour what can I say.
So in Milan, there are a lot of places to eat, pretty much on each corner, you can find a restaurant. What is really interesting is that true Italian restaurants are well hidden from the eyes of the tourist, they serve lunch from 12 am to 2.30 pm and then they are closed from 2.30 pm to 6.30 pm. You ask why? Well they don’t hate tourists this I can say, but they know well what and when to serve to their customers. And let me say they are very polite and they have a very high service quality. We didn’t get there on our first day because we did know about the time thing, but on a second day, we did enjoy a wonderful meal in one of those restaurants. And so on our first day, we ended up in a restaurant called Granaio Caffe e Cucina, and I guess we got lucky, service and quality were good, the pizza was great. And they were selling their own products as well for example pasta, bread, honey. It was lovely.
On the second day, my aunt was a guide to our tour. We used a car so we can get faster to the places we wanted to see. So we got to the Parco Sempione which is a large city park in Milan. And if you really wanna enjoy it to the fullest you’ll need at least 1 hour to walk just tough, not to mention the temptation to lie on the grass. So we just took a long stroll of appreciation, but still very enjoyable.
After lunch, we drove to the new side of Milan which they call Porta Nuova, because of the new and expensive buildings and many improved surroundings and some quite expensive shops. So we were led to one of the shops called WOMO long for What Original Men Own, there’s everything from men accessories to suits, they even have their own barber shop inside, it is a very elegant place for men.
Even In Porta Nuova, they have some hidden places which you can’t easily find, only if you are an Italian and you know where to look. Don’t be afraid to scoop around, because you might find something incredible as an open art gallery with a restaurant downstairs and beautiful terrace upstairs.
So this is why I fell in love with the city of Milan. And probably I will go there again and write about something new. I encourage you to make money and time, to see it at least once in your life or more. Open doors for yourself and experience life!
Tip #1: Dome
If you buy a ticket that allows you to see the entire Dome, it can be used the whole day. So my advice is that if you are not prepared to stand in each line, try to go somewhere else and then come back later.
Tip #2: Tips
There is no need for you to leave a tip in the restaurant as we do in most of the places, in Milan you pay service fee which is added to your check and it is about 3 to 3.5 euros per person. It includes the tip and the table.
Tip 3#: Ice cream place
If you get a chance to see the Porta Nuova, don’t pass by the place called GROM il gelato come Una volta. It is a place with very delicious ice cream “like it used to be made”. Of all the natural ingredients.