Again, I have been MIA for what feels like forever. Even Summer has past in the meantime.
We had an excruciatingly hot Summer in Taiwan, therefore I didn’t feel like cooking. Or rather like doing the dishes afterwards. Ergo, no food blogging for the past months. Sorry. Since I just got back from a trip to Europe and was able to spend a lovely weekend in Milan, I thought I just share all of the places that I thought were exciting and some that I thought were rather blah with you.
I love it when I can spend a whole weekend literally doing nothing. Meaning that I can even pass the taking photos part over to someone else. But since that also means that I will not be able to take any credit for that, I should mention at this point that the talented photographer Dave Lake took all of the photos. Don’t forget to check out more of his amazing artwork and follow him here: https://www.instagram.com/dayvlake/.
1) Where to stay in Milan:
As I went to Milan for work and play, I had the chance to stay at two different hotels in two different areas of the city. My company booked me into the Fashion & Design Hotel nhow which is located in Tortona.
Tortona is not super central when you consider the Duomo di Milano as the mark for the city center. From the hotel to the city center it will take you about 20 minutes by taxi. But Tortona has a charm of its own. In a way it reminded me of the area around Hackescher Markt in Berlin as it is very artsy and hipster. You see a lot of young, fashionable people, modern eateries and you find plenty of galleries, museums and boutiques and smaller stores. Also, Tortona is about a 15-minute-walk from Darsena, a scenic promenade by the water with lots of places for aperitivo, food or shopping especially at night time.
For the weekend, we decided to book the Uptown Palace Hotel in Via Santa Sofia which is a 10- to 15-minute-walk to the Duomo di Milano. The hotel is located on a big street with a supermarket, restaurants and coffee shops around. The area is much quieter than Tortona especially at night, which I personally prefer.
In the end it all comes down to personal preference, but if you are planning to see the most famous spots and don’t have a lot of time, stay closer to the city center.
2) What to do in Milan
When you have never been to Italy before, like me, you don’t know where to start because you just want to see and eat everything.
Here are my recommendations of places to visit:
- Duomo di Milano (I don’t think that is it absolutely necessary to go upstairs, but if you are planning to, please keep in mind to wear long-sleeves and a pair of long pants or a long skirt since it is a church.)
- Galerie Vittorio Emanuele II Parco Sempione (skip the Gucci Cafe for a coffee break but do buy some chocolates there as a great souvenir)
- Parco Sempione (don’t miss out on the Castello Sforzesco)
- Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (if you want to see the original “Last Supper”-fresco by Leonardo da Vinci book tickets at least a month in advance: Milan Museum)
- Darsena (go for a stroll by the water but beware of con artists and pickpockets)
Eat and drink:
- have aperitivo – the Italian Happy hour (starts at around 6pm or 7pm and usually ends at 9pm)
We had aperitivo at Bulgari Hotel where the cocktails are around 16 – 20 Euro. They constantly serve you étagères with crudités, canapés, nuts, potato chips, olives and buffalo mozzarella, as well as small plates of warm food, like little pasta dishes. All of the food is included in the price of your drink. There certainly are cheaper aperitivo options but since we were only going to be there for a weekend we wanted to splurge a bit. We quite enjoyed the fancier aperitivo and the atmosphere. Be prepared to share a table though. But don’t worry, you won’t have to share the food.
- have lunch at Osteria Zio Nino and order the linguine all’astice (you will get half a lobster that you have to shuck yourself with a pile of linguine on top for 18 Euro – can’t beat that!)
- eat gelato – and loads of it!
- have THE Milan trademark dish risotto alla milanese con ossobuco di vitello in cremolata di verdure (I recommend Bio Pizza – I know what you are thinking but trust me, it is much nicer than its name and its website.)
NOTE: When you go to Italy, keep in mind that most restaurants are closed on Sunday!
3) How to get from or to the airport
Milan is expensive and a cab ride from the city to Malpensa costs around 80 to 100 Euro. Take the metro to Milano Centrale Railway Station and the shuttle bus for 8 Euro to the airport from there instead.
Last but not least don’t forget to bring outfits you feel comfortable in.
And that’s it folks. Please do let me know if you have additional recommendations or any comments.
Shorts: Queen Shop
Shoes: Chuck Taylor All Star Lean by Converse
Watch*: Brown Leather Campina by Kapten & Son
(*product was gifted. Thanks to Kapten & Son!)
Linking up on Travel Photo Thursday.