Intro to Milan
Milan is easily overlooked by anyone interested in traveling to Italy. But Milan holds its own against any Italian city in the most important of Italian categories: food. Spend the morning sipping a cappuccino under the Doumo, eat a power lunch of fresh pasta with the city’s business elite, and end your day people watching with a famous Milanese veal chop in one of the city’s many charming bistros.
Unlike it’s more famous siblings Rome, Venice, Florence, Siena, (okay, there are a lot of great Italian cities), Milan has it’s own unique Art Deco style. The city’s streets are filled with these rickety old trams, whose bells and noisy wheels provide the perfect backdrop to any Italian vacation.
Milan is a business hub with many good direct international connections. It’s about 8hr direct from NYC. With so much to see in Italy, Milan isn’t really worth a special trip. If you’re considering a long weekend in Italy, look elsewhere. Even if you’ve been to Rome before, go again. Milan is worth a night if you’re doing a longer tour of Italy and its on your way.
We happened to go for presidents day, two nights, but it was mostly to meet up with friends who were living further away in Switzerland at the time.
When we went
February 2009. Our weekend trip to Milan was possibly the craziest itinerary we’ve ever attempted: flew into Milan, spent the night, woke up and went to Swizterland via train for a hike around Lake Lugano, took a train back to Milan, woke up the next morning and went home.
What we did
The Doumo, of course. But we also toured the Sforza castle and took a day trip to Lugano, Switzerland to meet with friends and visit my home during my study abroad.
We had many a delicious cappuccinos in Milan and there are many places to choose from near the main Duomo square. Expect to pay a premium for this location. I would bet that you are safe to choose a cafe on a side street for more relaxed pricing and equally delicious cappuccino.
The Duomo; Milan. This is the 4th largest church in Europe, made entirely out of pink marble. In 2008 it got a thorough cleaning which restored its original radiant color. Go to the roof for great views of the city and square below.
Sforza Castle; Milan. Originally built as a military fortress it became a renaissance palace and once hosted Leonardo da Vinci.
Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper is in Milan. If you want to see it, book far in advance for tickets.
Camparino in Galleria – cafe in the Galleria next to the Duomo. Prices are steep but people watching is top notch.
Ristorante da Bruno; Milano. Classy dinner, classy wine…order the veal chop.
Gran Duca di York; Milan. Located near to the Duomo, it was a centrally located and great home base for exploring the city. Bright, airy rooms, some with a balcony…breakfast was typical European (meats, cheeses, muslei, pastries and coffee).