Last city on our awesome Italy itinerary after Florence was magnificent Milan Italy – capital of fashion! Our hotel was conveniently located right next to train station. After a long sleep and packing all our bags for return flight, we still had few hours to explore a bit of Milan. So here it is – quick guide to Milan’s best attractions!
Milan Italy has fantastic public transport – metro is fast and efficient. One way ticket cost 1,50€ and can be purchased at the metro stations.
Visiting Duomo is a must. Once you get off at metro station, you will find yourself in the middle of a beautiful square. On one end you will see magnificent Duomo – Milan Cathedral – Gothic style beautiful church that took nearly six centuries to complete. By the way – it is the world’s third-largest church building. If you have time – visit the roof of the cathedral for a fantastic view of Milan Italy.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Right next to the famous Duomo you will see the gates leading to one of the oldest shopping malls. This beautiful building has become one of the most popular tourist attractions. Peek through the tall windows of the world’s most expensive fashion brands or walk inside for a quick look. Window shopping is what most visitors do here these days. Look up – it almost looks like Michelangelo himself has created these beautiful paintings on the ceiling and walls.
Have a quick bite at Cafe Luini
Would you like to try something authentic and also very popular in Milan? Around the corner from Galleria, look for a small coffee shop called Cafe Luini. The place is tiny and serves take away. Try their famous panzerotti – small version of calzoni. They offer both salty and sweet versions and have many different flavors. even the simple ones with tomato and mozzarella are very delicious, fresh from the oven!
Tip – be there early, the place is so popular that later in the day you will probably have to queue for an hour to get served!
Teatro alla Scala
A great place to have a quick snack is a small park in front of the famous Teatro alla Scala – one of the most famous opera theaters in the world! In the middle of the park you can spot statue of Leonardo Da Vinci surrounded by his 4 students.
Follow Via Dante (modern shopping street) northwest and you will reach impressive castle built in 15th century by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan. Today, the castle houses museums and exhibitions. Walk through the gates and check out the castle grounds (no fee).
Did you know? Castello Sforzesco is somewhat similar to Moscow Kremlin. That is because the architects who built the Kremlin were originally from Northern Italy. It was common back then to invite foreign engineers to build castles and churches.
How to reach Bergamo airport?
Many visitors coming to Milan might be using nearby low cost airline airport called Milano-Bergamo. We also had our flight departing from Bergamo, so explored our options of getting there in time.
One option is to take a train from Milano Centrale to Bergamo train station and then take a local bus to the airport. Much better option is to take direct shuttle bus operated by Terravision (and other companies). The ticket cost 5€ and can be bought directly at the bus or from ticket agents near train station. The journey is 1 hour and you can use free Wifi onboard!
Milan – our impressions
Compared to the rest of Italy, Milan didn’t really impress us that much. The city is very modern and could be easily mistaken for any other European capital. It lacks that typical Italian charm. Even Rome – also a big city – has more of that. Instead of Italian cuisine you see a lot of Asian/Kebab joints. The city is very multinational. Everyone seems to be in the hurry and stressed out.
It is a city with busy business life, fast pace of living and rather small number of famous attractions. One of the reasons for that – it always seemed to be on the way when French were attacking Italy. Climate is also rather bad with chilly winters.
I wouldn’t spend more than one day here, unless you are on business, attending exhibition etc. For culture, I’d go to Venice, Verona, Florence or Rome.