Rêveuse City Guide: Top 5 Places In Milan, Italy

Rêveuse City Guide: Top 5 Places In Milan, Italy

If you're looking to find some good deals for flight tickets to Milan, you can get them for as little as £40 during the spring and autumn months. It is a two hour flight, with spectacular routes that usually flys over the Alps and takes you into either one of Milans three main airports; Bergamo, Malpensa or Linate. Linate is closest to the city centre with a shuttle bus journey to Centrale station, costing as little as 5 EUR one way and in under half an hour. However both Malpensa and Bergamo both have easily accessible trains that takes you directly to the main train stations.

Milan is a great choice, not only for a weekend away, but also a week trip to really get into the heart of the city and explore the diverse and colourful culture. Mornings can start with a strongly brewed coffee with some apricot filled pastries, until the evening for a well deserved Italian dish, just what most likely you came to experience in Italy.

Having lived in Milan for nearly a year and going on trips together to experience the culture and food of Italy, we have rounded up a list of our favourite things to do.


5 PLACES TO EXPLORE IN MILAN

BRERA DISTRICT. The elegant and aesthetic Brera District is a trendy and upscale area that houses the cooler brands in fashion and design such as COS, Aesop and Acne. Also home to the Brera Art School and the Pinacoteca Di Brera, an art museum specialising in Italian art, you can see students with their large A2 portfolios in arm and others travelling speedily along on their bikes. If you enjoy practising art yourself, there are some great little art shops that sell Italian branded stationary that are hard to come by elsewhere, so it's well worth having a look if you're in the area. Likewise, the ambiance of the place is visually beautiful, with vibrant green plants hanging lazily off the balcony edge and cute little restaurants within neatly pruned alleyways. Getting lost within the Brera District is like heaven, every turn where you can find something as equally beguiling as the next.

CHINA TOWN, Via Paolo Sarpi. Milan has a high population of Chinese migrants and so I found their China Town to be home to some of the most delicious authentic Chinese food. Only a tram ride away from the Brera District, the entrance to the long cobbled road of China Town can be easy to miss. Tucked between the Italian style tall residential buildings and the shops filled with homeware and fashion goods imported from China, the restaurants and eat on the go style eateries will emerge beyond the narrow streets. One of my favourite eateries was Bao Zi (25 via Paolo Sarpi) a scallion pancake made fresh by old Chinese ladies which were delightful for warming the fingertips on a cold day. If you're perusing the area, check out the unique pyramid inspired architecture of the Microsoft offices which is located at the end of the street.

NAVIGLI AT NIGHT. If you fancy having a fun night out surrounded by great food and drinks, the best place to venture to is Navigli. A long stretch of canal that runs through Milan and connects with the outskirts of the Milanese canals, the pathways on either side are filled with invitingly cosy restaurants where aged hams and meats hang from the wooden beams. The lights and the chatter amongst the lively groups add the charm of the district. A perfect place for a romantic dinner date can end with a walk down the canal to the very end with a gelato in hand, until you get to the steps, where you can relax and watch the hazy light reflections on the waters surface.

10 CORSA COMO. 10 Corsa Como is a lively and hip emporium if you want to go shopping, sit down for a drink or just lust after some of the eye wateringly beautiful designs. The opulently coloured Moroccan woven rugs and the bejewelled homeware treasures against the tinted fuscia glass windows sets the scene of the goods and atmosphere you can expect to experience within the entire store. Overall a trendy place, 10 Corsa Como also holds exhibitions on their top floor related to the arts, photography and design, a great place if you enjoy visiting cultured places that wont take up the entire day. During the summer you can also enjoy their rooftop terrace filled with plants and a few seating areas, a dreamy spot for taking those afternoon sunset shots whilst viewing the UNICREDIT tower peaking over the Italian terracotta slated rooftops.

TRIENNALE/ SEMPIONE PARK. Sempione Park is like the equivalent of Hyde Park in London. It connects many of the tourist sites within the centre of Milan from the Sforzesco Castello all the way to the Acro Della Pace. During the summer, the granita vans come out which you can enjoy whilst you take a stroll across the long stretch of green grass. Tucked within the park is also the Triennale, a gallery specialising in modern art and design as well as nature and technology. They also have a beautiful garden where you can enjoy a peaceful apertivi in the evening amongst the live performances and golden coloured fairy lights.


OTHER MENTIONS

FONDAZIONE PRADA. Although we haven't yet visited Fondazione Prada, it will be for sure the top place to include in our travel itinerary the next time we go and visit. Opened in 1995 by the fashion afficionado herself, Miuccia Prada, the Fondazione Prada is a space dedicated to contemporary art.

VILLA INVERNIZZI. When you think of flamingoes, the last place you'd expect to find them is within the city of Milan. However, if you search hard enough you'll find them roaming around the gardens of Villa Invernezzi. We somehow stumbled across these magnificent sweetie pop coloured creatures covered by the gates and dense foliage in the outer parameters of the garden. However, after  curiousity and googling the place we read that the Villa itself is unfortunately not accessible to the public as written in the will of the villa owner but the flamingoes themselves can still be spotted on a lovely sunny day as you take a stroll through the area.

PLACES TO EAT

EATALY. Located near Garibaldi station and a short walk from 10 Corso Como, Eataly houses many restaurants inside with many different authentic Italian dishes to choose from. However, if you don't have time to sit down for delicious Italian food, the supermarket is a great alternative to bring home some authentic and delicious Italian treats. Our personal favourite is the deliciously light yet buttery, crumbly biscuits and of course the Italian pasta which just has a taste only the Italians can replicate.

PRINCI. One of my favourite bakeries in Milan is Princi. It produces freshly made bakery treats from morning to evening with aperitivi options also in the afternoon. It has a warm and friendly vibe and their warm pizzas are just to die for.

ZIA ESTERINA SORBILLO. Opened since 1935, this an eat on the go style pizza place and is as authentic as you can get in Milan. Just a few minutes walk away from the Duomo, you can watch your pizza being made, with its springy floury dough barely holding the richly fragrant overload of freshly made passata sauce and melted mozzarella on top of it. Well worth visiting even if its just as a snack to get to your next destination.

PAVE BAKERY. The welcoming atmosphere in Pave Bakery is just what you want when visiting any coffee shop and always a coffee shop I recommend when any friends are visiting. But the highlights are the fine patisserie bites that are beautifully decorated and the plush sofas that make you just want to curl up with a good book in hand. Although located a bit further away from the hustle and bustle of the city and by a residential area, the bakery should not be overlooked as the morsels are made from highly skilled pastry chefs.


TOP TIPS
  • As mentioned in our introduction, we recommend visiting during Milan Design Week when shops and galleries go an extra mile in celebrating everything new in design from around the world. A particularly memorable one was COS X STUDIO SWINE event where they showcased a bubble making machine which sprayed large melon sized bubbles from a contraption that gently sunk down onto your gloved hands before bursting into a puff of fragrant smoke. The experiences are endless with a roundup of events happening throughout the city.
  • Metro fares in Milan are generally cheaper in comparison to London so make full use of it when travelling. If you're planning to stay for the weekend you can get the 48hr ticket for 8.25EUR and lets you hop on and off any of the trams of metro trains once validated. 
  • If you don't plan on waiting in the queue to get inside the Duomo (which can be long in the summer months, pre-book in advance!) you can also enjoy the top view of the rooftops of the Duomo from the many bars that are lined on the sides of the Duomo. The rooftop bar at La Rinascente gives a fantastic view where you can also enjoy a glass of aperol spritz and aperitifs. The Martini Bar is another good spot which has a more face on view from above.
  • Most galleries are free of charge on the first Sunday of every month including at the Sforzesco Castello, so if you have a tight budget but love learning about Italian culture and whats new in Art and Design then this is a handy tip if you are able to book during this time of the month.

1 comment:

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