Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What Milan is really like


Milano, Milano. It was never on my must-see list, but a cheap Easyjet flight later (and a 7 hour delay in the Malta airport, after a truck hit our plane's engine on the runway!) I found myself in Milan with my dear friend. 

Milan is clean, quiet and friendly. The pace of life is slow (seriously, sidewalks move at a snail's pace), but it feels very much like a cosmopolitan city. It's kind of like Paris meets Florence. There are shops everywhere, and in some areas you might be the odd one out if you aren't toting around a Prada bag. But overall Milan is certainly more down-to-earth than I thought it would be, and yes there were many well dressed people milling about, but just as many regular-Joe's (I was one of them, and I never felt out of place).  


Every city has one, and Milan's 'let's make tourists look silly!' myth is: If you put your heel on the bull's balls in this mosaic and spin around backwards three times you'll have good luck! Or at the very least, make passers-by smile.



There's more to Milan than shopping, and my favourite activity in the city was exploring the Duomo's roof, with its lacy spires and incredible views. Walking directly on top of the church's nave, you feel like you're getting exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to the cathedral's crowning jewel. Every sculpture at the roof level - where it would never normally be seen - was immaculately carved and preserved. It was beautiful (and hot). 







the tip-top of milan's cathedral


My second favourite activity in Milan was eating and drinking, of course. (Followed closely by finding a great sale at my new favourite Italian shop, COS). And we ate and drank well in Milan. What better way to beat the heat?






In the end, Milan is just like any other city (with a few extra Versace stores): Great food and drink if you're willing to look for it, and beautiful sights if you open your eyes and explore.

If you're ever in need of a bit of an indulgent weekend, or a short city break, do put Milan on your radar. I'm glad I did, and I managed to survive the weekend without packing on the pounds, or emptying my bank account. It is possible!

slept at: Starhotels Ritz
ate at: Mamma Rosa

7 comments :

  1. Good to know! I've actually spent last week and this week working in a town just outside Milan and I keep meaning to pop over in my free time (went back to Paris on the weekend though so just missed you!) - this is helpful, I need a push to finally go check it out!

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    1. Do let me know how you like it if you get there!

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  2. Never though of MIlan as a destination, but RyanAir flies there from close by. So maybe we should check it out! The cathedral looks amazing.

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    1. Yes, plenty of discount airlines fly to Milan these days. Beware: there are three airpots in Milan and it's easy to get confused while booking :) Bon voyage!

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  3. Milan looks spectacular! Just added to my list of places to see, great photos too! Just found your blog on bloglovin, new follower =]

    A Golden State of Mind

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  4. What a great post about Milano. We've moved here for a couple of years and I'm enjoying the food and fashion mix. One suggestion. Avoid coming towards the end of July or during August. Most of the Milanese leave and many shops, bars and restaurants are closed. Oh, and it's really toooooo hot for sightseeing. Ciao

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    1. Thanks for commenting Jenny! That's a great tip :)

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