Welcome to Milan, the shopping capital of Italy! If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the world of high end designers, this is the city to hit.
To be honest though, we enjoyed this city the least in Italy. And it’s not because of the spontaneous metro strike that occurred one key afternoon or the horrid hotel we stayed at for three nights. Largely it was due to the fact that, other than the Duomo di Milano, it seemed like any other metropolitan city in the world, and we hardly felt like we were traveling in Italy. Nevertheless, this is a very important stop to make for two main sites.
Santa Maria Della Grazia: This is where Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” is housed. They limit the viewings to 15-minute intervals for only 20-25 people at a time, so it’s very important to BOOK YOUR TICKETS IN ADVANCE! Once spots are gone, you won’t be able to see it. The Last Supper is absolutely breathtaking and far exceeded my expectations. I thought it was displayed in a small framed landscape painting as I’ve seen it in television, but little did I know it’s actually painted on a giant wall! I would recommend opting for the audio guide if you don’t know who’s who, or what’s what.
Duomo di Milano: This is a magnificent structure with countless detailed pinnacles, spires, and statues. It’s beautiful on the inside, but an amazing trek climbing up the Duomo (~170 stairs) to see the view from the top. If you’re not up for the climb, there’s also an elevator you can take that will drastically shorten the ride. Another breathtaking moment once you see the details of this structure up close. It’s possibly my favourite Duomo in all of Italy.
Shopping Galore: Explore the streets around the Duomo for both high-end and affordable shops. In the lovely Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, be sure not to miss turning your right heel at the bull mosaic’s genitals to bring yourself some good luck on the trip. It’s no wonder the bull’s all teary-eyed. Now that I think back, the beginning part of our Italy trip was a disaster in many ways, but after that twirl on the bull, the rest of our vacation became much smoother. Go figure!
Food Recommendation: Hands down “Osteria La Risacca 2” for a fresh seafood, Italian dinner. Our young taxi driver from the train station actually recommended it, but it was the first time we really enjoyed the quality of the food in Italy. Other places served uber salty dishes with a side of rude service. Osteria La Risacca 2 had the most courteous service – they gave each of us a metal purse/bag hanger at the table and also served us squid amuse bouche. The best dish we had there was their grilled sea bass – fresh catch, beautifully seasoned and full of flavour. Their tiramisu was also one of the few places that tasted like the tiramisu we knew back home, although it was served in a creme brulee ramekin as oppose to cake form. The only dish we didn’t like would be the seafood appetizer cold platter – it was just sour and odd, and not at all like ceviche (if that’s what you’re hoping for).
Interested in other cities?