A global hub for fashion and design, not to mention plating up some of the best food and wine you’ll ever have, Milan is the capital of one of the most northern regions in Italy, Lombardy. I recently visited this historic city and here’s how a recommend spending a weekend in Milan.
Friday night: Fly in & eat!
A taxi from Linate Airport to Milan Central is about €22-25 (and I recommend you get some cash out to pay the driver). My suggestions for accommodation are pretty simple, basically anyway in the city’s centre. Milan is a very walkable city so you’ll have no problem reaching all the major tourist destinations! We stayed in this beautiful Airbnb that was designed by Italian interior design brand, Lago. You can find it here.
As soon as I arrive in Italy, all I want to do is eat pasta and drink wine, so after checking into your hotel or Airbnb, that’s exactly what I recommend doing! Brera is basically the Soho of Milan and is becoming a very trendy destination for foodies. I recommend either Taverna Del Borgo Antico or Il Kaimano. Almost wherever you go in Italy and whatever you eat, is going to be good but a few tips I must share are: don’t overeat on bread (I say it but I still do every time!) and order the house wine whether it comes in a glass or a carafe, its Italian and is therefore delicious!
Saturday: Take a walk.
What better way to get your bearings in a new city than to go for a stroll? Head towards the Castello Sforzesco, a castle rebuilt in the 15th Century by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, as his primary residence. Bordering the castle is Parco Sempione, a beautiful park with winding paths and overhanging trees. On the opposite side of the park to the castle is Arco della Pace, a giant, Neoclassical arch and ‘gate’ built on the orders of Napoleon, and a great place for a selfie!
Once you’ve got the perfect shot for your Instagram feed, there’s a street behind Arco della Pace called Corso Sempione. This is where you can get the number 1 tram (going back in the direction you came), to Montenapoleone metro station. Not only is the experience of travelling on one of these historic trams a treat in itself, but this will take you through the middle of the city, so you’ll get even more of an insight of what Milan is all about!
Via Montenapoleone is a street in Milan famous for designer fashion and jewellery stores. From Valentino to Versace, lap up the luxury and if you dare, treat yourself! You deserve it!
Saturday night: Night out, Italian style.
Take a quick nap and prepare your appetite for a food-fuelled night out, Italian style! For this special evening in the delicious city of Milan, head to the Navigli District; a pair of canals in Milan’s south that are lined with bars and restaurants, and come to life in the evenings. Simply walk down Naviglio Grande to find a plethora of dining options and a bustling nightlife. If you get there around 7pm, head to a bar for an aperitivo (an Italian pre-dinner ritual which includes drinks, cold cuts and chat). My recommendation for dinner is a little restaurant called Luca e Andrea.
Sunday: Say your prayers.
After grabbing an espresso and croissant at Milan’s oldest patisserie, Patisseria Marchesi, head into the epicentre of the city where you’ll find the exquisite, Duomo di Milano and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
Duomo di Milano is a Gothic Cathedral in Milan that took six centuries to build, beginning in 1836 and completed by Kind Napoleon in 1965. The marble façade is absolutely exquisite and one of the most famous images of Milan tourism (aka, a must-capture selfie moment)! You can buy tickets on the cathedrals right hand side for as little as €3. However, I would highly recommend booking ahead and climbing the 160+ steps to the top of the Duomo where you can see its exquisite architecture up close and get an impeccable view of the city. Tickets to access the terraces are €9.
Right next to the cathedral is the just-as-extraordinary, Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II. One of the oldest shopping malls in the world, the galleria is named after the first king of Italy and is most well-known for its spectacular glass, domed roof and mosaic floors. The galleria connects the Duomo with Teatro alla Scala and houses designer brands such as Prada and Louis Vuitton.
Tourist tip: If you spot a few holes in the galleria floor or see some strangers spinning around in a circle three times on one heel, this is because the floor boasts the coat of arms of the capitals of Italy; Turin, Florence, Milan and Rome. The Turin coat of arms has an image of a bull; tradition says that it is good luck to spin around three times with a heel on the bulls’ testicles. Hence the holes in the floor!
Being a tourist is exhausting but before you head home, try catch a glimpse of Leonardo Da Vinci’s, The Last Supper at the Santa Maria delle Grazie, or browse the museum at the Teatro alla Scala before grabbing your last fix of Spaghetti Arrabiata and heading home.
Fabulous food and historic beauty will leave you full and fulfilled after this marvellous weekend in Milano!