My first time in Milano was after the Cannes festival and I only stayed a few days because I missed my train back to Paris. It was completely unexpected and ended up being an absolute blessing in disguise!
Milan offers a sublime mix of historical art, world-renowned architecture, modern high-rise skyscrapers, all mingled together with a dash of Italian charm.
I spent the day with friends walking around the city, taking the train and enjoyed the fascinating atmosphere of busy city life mixed with the pursuit of good taste. The city is particularly known for its abundance of high end fashion designers, well-curated art galleries, sublime cuisine and the beautiful Duomo Cathedral.
So scroll down to read my top 5 things to do in Milano!
1. The Gelato
This was undoubtedly my first stop! Headed out the train from Cannes and into this lovely ice cream shop called Venchi at the Milano Central train station.https://journeytolovely.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/img_1050.mov
Such a great spot and the array of flavors was so diverse and colorful.
Looked just like a delicious vision of gelato rainbow! I finally made my choice and went with one fine scoop of pistachio!
See video below:
They added a cute little cookie and I headed out on a patio with a view on the Milanese architecture with my friend and had a blast. Needless to say, the gelato was divine and in a way that only Milan could offer! Delicioso! *Cue the videos*
2. The Shopping
I just feel like the shops here have a more luxurious feel. They say Paris is the city of fashion but Milan is a serious contender because the street style alone is a feast for the eyes.
My favorite place to shop was at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
The place is absolutely striking with its spectacular glass ceilings and high end fashion stores. I had a fun time window shopping through the opulent hallways and luxurious displays. But my must-stop shop was the Versace store!
It was an absolutely treat to be in Milan, strolling through the Medusa-decorated items and trying on their iconic frames à la Lil Kim.
Milan also caters to more casual tastes and has more mainstream stores like Zara and H&M which carry more unique pieces than their European counterparts. As someone who lives in Paris, I could compare and could tell there were specific items only made for Italian taste.
Furthermore, the quaint areas around the city also offer a cute and authentic shopping experience. And we all know how iconic Italian leather is! Some of the best quality can be found in stores owned by local artisans passing down their family heirlooms and treasured savoir-faire in their unique work.
As I strolled through Milan with my group of friends, I had to switch to flats (heads up: definitely carry a pair if you have in heels). We wandered into a little area, covered in cobble stone streets, full of character and enriched by the numerous antique markets filled with time worn gems.
It was so exciting to embark on a Milanese treasure hunt! So how’s that for a memorable shopping spree?!
3. The Duomo cathedral
If Milan was an opera, the epic Duomo cathedral would be its Nessum Dorma!
The most iconic and even legendary landmark of the city is the stunning architectural gem of a cathedral.
The Piazza del Duomo is where the impressive cathedral is located.
Built in it stands as a testament to Italy’s phenomenal artistic heritage and architecture.
I loved it there and the building is even more impressive in person.
As I stood, in awe, taking in the sight of the epic landmark, my immobile stature attracted a group of pigeons who ended up surrounding me.
4. The Perfect Coffee
As you may already know, drinking coffee in Milan is a serious art. There is an etiquette to it and if you’re a coffee lover you’d admire the history behind it all.
So firstly, almost everywhere sells coffee and the custom in Milan is that Espresso is for any time! Yes, there is never a right or wrong time for an espresso here!
Now when it comes to cappuccino, that’s another story. It’s considered a breakfast drink and shouldn’t be consumed after noon-ish.
My favorite coffee spots are where you can sit down, even though most locals just stand around a bar-like area since sitting leads to prices being spiked. But if you’re already in Milan, why not go all out and enjoy a traditional coffee experience?
Exactly, so before you leave make sure you enjoy a good ol’ Milanese cappuccino or expresso.
Nothing like starting off your day with a good Italian coffee!
5. Milano cuisine
I definitely kept the best for last! There is such a wide variety of amazing dishes to choose from, that it feels like the city could just rely on its culinary tourism if nothing else!
From the Milanese risotto to the Parmesan Polenta, not forgetting the iconic Milanese pizza! I just could never chose my dish for the day. One of my favorite places were the tiny restaurants on the side of the quaint streets. I also enjoyed the variety of options at the huge shopping mall located Piazza Gae Aulenti. It was great to shop the classics and discover some unique Italian brands then enjoy the local food court which had a fantastic buffet and some tasty mozzarella.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have you ever been to Milan? What would you like to do or have on already ticked off your bucket list?