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Milan: Your Passport to Adventures in the Fashion Capital of Italy

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

Milan Blog

I have been to Milan twice, and would definitely recommend it to anyone thinking of visiting. Milan has a charm where history, fashion, and mouth watering cuisine intertwine for a one-of-a-kind city. In this blog, I hope to provide a guide on what to do in this beautiful city, day trip ideas, shopping information, best times to visit and also my personal favourites.

What to do in Milan:

Duomo: When I think of Milan, the first thing that comes to mind. A visit to the Duomo is an absolute must. Admire the stunning Milan Cathedral which is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, and take in breath-taking rooftop views of the city. Entry to the cathedral is typically free, but if you wish to explore the rooftop for panoramic views, there is an admission fee.

Sforza Castle: Take a tour and step back in time at the historic Sforza Castle, home to museums and beautiful courtyards, showcasing Milan's rich heritage. The castle courtyards and gardens are generally open to the public free of charge. If you wish to visit the museums within the castle, you can purchase a combined ticket.

Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper: Witness the iconic masterpiece and its fascinating history at the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Entry to see The Last Supper is available by reservation only, you should book well in advance.

Brera District: Delve into Milan's artistic soul in the Brera district, a hub of galleries, boutiques, and cosy cafes in a charming, historic setting. Exploring the Brera district itself is free of charge and a wonderful experience. If you plan to visit the Pinacoteca di Brera, you will need to purchase a ticket.

Navigli Canals: Enjoy a leisurely walk along Navigli's picturesque canals at no cost, lined with unique shops, vibrant nightlife, and delectable Italian cuisine.

Day Trip Ideas:

Lake Como: A day trip to Lake Como is a perfect idea because it offers a serene escape from the bustling city of Milan. You'll have the chance to explore charming lakeside towns like Bellagio, renowned for its romantic cobbled streets, lush gardens, and the picturesque Villa Melzi. Whether you choose to take a leisurely boat tour on the lake, visit the stunning Villa del Balbianello, or simply relax by the water's edge, Lake Como provides a tranquil and visually stunning retreat.

Venice: A day trip to Venice is a must for its unique charm. It's a fantastic idea because you get to immerse yourself in a city unlike any other in the world. Stroll through the enchanting St. Mark's Square, experience the romantic allure of a gondola ride along the winding canals, and explore historical landmarks like the Doge's Palace and the iconic Rialto Bridge. Venice promises a day filled with unforgettable moments in a city built on water.

Bergamo: Exploring Bergamo on a day trip is an excellent choice because it allows you to step back in time. The focus on the Città Alta (Upper Town) presents a medieval setting with its cobblestone streets, centuries-old architecture, and charming piazzas. You can visit the historic Rocca di Bergamo, marvel at the stunning Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, and savour local cuisine in the cosy eateries. Bergamo offers a unique blend of history, culture, and gastronomy in a single day.

Lugano, Switzerland: A day trip to Lugano is a great idea for the wonderful blend of Swiss elegance and Italian charisma it offers. You can explore the picturesque lakeside town, admire its beautiful parks, wander through the charming old town, and ascend Monte Brè for breath-taking panoramic views. The Swiss chocolates and lakeside dining provide a perfect complement to the experience. This day trip offers the best of both worlds - Swiss sophistication and Italian allure in one memorable adventure.

These day trips provide a diverse range of experiences, from natural beauty to cultural heritage, making them fantastic additions to any Milan itinerary. I personally love adding day trips to any of my travels to explore another city closeby. The easiest way that works for me is booking through a tour company, that way I have transportation there and back, a tour guide and sometimes lunch is included depending on the tour and what is offered. Travel agents (shameless plug) are able to assist with this as well if ever interested.

Shopping - Outlet Shopping Near Milan:

Serravalle Designer Outlet: A shopper's paradise just an hour away from Milan! Picture yourself indulging in a treasure trove of designer brands, from the likes of Gucci to Prada, all at jaw-dropping discounts of up to 70% off. It's not just shopping; it's retail therapy at its finest. I have been to this outlet myself, and I had a time!

Vicolungo The Style Outlets: Less than an hour away from Milan, Vicolungo The Style Outlets beckons with irresistible deals on fashion, sportswear, and more. What sets it apart is the pleasant open-air shopping environment that turns a day of shopping into a delightful experience. Here, retail therapy is a breath of fresh air.

Getting There: Arriving at these shopping havens is a breeze! Direct shuttle buses whisk you away from Milan's city center to Serravalle, making the journey an effortless adventure, leaving you with more time to explore the endless shopping opportunities.

Best times to Visit:

Spring (April to June): Milan during spring is a delightful experience. The weather is mild, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). This is the season when the city comes alive with blooming gardens, especially in places like Sempione Park and the Botanical Garden of Brera. It's a perfect time for outdoor exploration, as you can enjoy pleasant walks and picnics. Spring also brings a burst of colour to Milan's streets with blossoms on display, creating a picturesque backdrop for your travel adventures.

Early Autumn (September to October): If you prefer to avoid the summer crowds, early autumn is an excellent choice. During this period, Milan enjoys mild temperatures ranging from 18°C to 24°C (64°F to 75°F), making it an ideal time for leisurely exploration. The city is less crowded, allowing you to enjoy its attractions at a more relaxed pace. It's also a great time for outdoor dining in Milan's many charming cafes and restaurants.

Milan Fashion Week (February and September): Step into the epicentre of global fashion during Milan Fashion Week. It's where the world's top designers unveil their latest collections, making it a must-see for fashion enthusiasts. Milan itself becomes a glamorous runway, showcasing not only couture but also its stylish inhabitants.

Design Week (usually in April): Milan's Design Week, is a design aficionado's paradise. The city metamorphoses into a creative wonderland with exhibitions, installations, and events, presenting the future of interior design and architecture. It's where innovation and aesthetics merge, making it a captivating experience for design enthusiasts.

Christmas Markets (December): Milan sparkles with holiday magic in December, as Christmas markets grace the city. Piazza Duomo and iconic locations transform into festive marketplaces, creating an enchanting way to immerse yourself in the Italian spirit of Christmas.

My Recommendations:

My favourite café - E L & N London

E L & N London cafes are so captivating, you are in a dreamlike setting with its enchanting floral décor, pastel hues, and charming bohemian vibes and Instagram-worthy aesthetics, love it!

My favourite restaurant - Maio Resturant

Maio Restaurant has an unreal view of Milan's cityscape. Picture yourself having a meal, a glass of wine/champagne with the Duomo as your view, and the food is also great, yeah, that's my vibe.

My favourite hotel - Crowne Plaza Milan City

I recently recommended my client to this hotel. This hotel has a rooftop pool at Crowne Plaza Milan City which offers a serene escape amidst the urban bustle, panoramic views of the city and has spa amenities for tranquil oasis for relaxation and rejuvenation.

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