What comes to your mind when somebody mentions Milan? For me the very first thing is definitely fashion. Milan is a well-known global Fashion Capital. Next my mind goes to sunshine, pizza and wine.
I can now reveal that if those were the things that popped into your mind as well, congratulations, you are correct! Those things are very much in the core of the beautiful, sunny city. But there’s a lot about the Fashion Capital that I, at least, didn’t know. For example:
- Milan is Italy’s second biggest city with a population of over 5 million
- Milan has is fifth most starred city in the world by the Michelin Guide
- Instead of Rome, Milan is the financial and industrial heart of the country
- Gorgonzola and mascarpone cheese come from Milan!
- The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci is in Milan. (Yeah, I didn’t know that)
I’ve got more specific Italy-related posts coming up in the coming weeks but here’s a little recap on our short but sweet trip with some photos. Enjoy ♥
Best Friend Weekend In Milan
I arrived in Milan at midnight, so my best friend, who traveled from Slovakia, was there hours before me. She checked in to our AirBnB. Well, she first checked into somebody else’s AirBnB but eventually found our apartment at the other end of the beautiful courtyard.
Since I arrived at such an inconvenient time, we had some wine and caught up with all the most major things in our lives, before going to bed around 3am.
Next morning we woke up at 9 and went to find some breakfast. Easier said than done; it was Italy’s National Day AND a Sunday, so most places were closed. We managed to find a place, though, so the day could start!
We decided to walk through the city to the Duomo di Milano, which was my ‘must-see’ for this trip. Walking 4 kilometers was no problem since the company was good and there were terraces serving wine everywhere.
We walked through the beautiful Parco Sempione and were greeted by a big mass of people clad in pink T-shirts running around in circles. We spotted a terrace and sat down for a glass of wine and were soon surrounded by people in pink ordering wine and snacks.
I was a little disturbed by an elderly man in the table next to us turning around to stare at us shamelessly every couple minutes. Turns out he was just interested in what we were talking about because I had mentioned Finland, and he had traveled through the massive country couple years back.
He sure wasn’t the only one asking us where we were from. I guess we looked somehow more touristy than everybody else, because we got asked about our origins left, right and center.
From the park we walked to the Santa Maria delle Grazie cathedral, where The Last Supper was in display. But we got there at exactly 12, and it being Sunday, there was a mass ongoing. So, we decided to move on and instead find us some pizza. And oh boy, we found some good pizza!
I had been a bit worried about Milan being as bad a tourist trap as Venice or Rome is. But the streets were quite calm and there was plenty of space to walk in peace. Until you arrive to the Duomo.
Despite seeing the queue snaking towards the cathedral doors, we decided to get tickets inside and up to the roof terraces (with a lift!). I was positively surprised how easy and fluent they had made getting tickets and into the cathedral;
Duomo di Milano is an impressive building. Gorgeous stained glass windows, extra high ceiling with thick, decorative columns holding it up, and beautiful art everywhere. I gotta say, though, that Notre Dame in Paris was even more impressive an experience. I’m so glad I got to see it many years ago!
We walked altogether 13 kilometers on the first day, and due to wearing flat shoes, my heels and caffs were screaming by 6 o’clock. So, we took a tram back to the AirBnB for some chill and to locate a restaurant.
We found one close to our AirBnB and the dinner quickly turned into an experience. The moment we sat down we were swarmed by waiters. One by one a (male) waiter would come up to our table bringing menus, water, wine, bread, every single one of them asking where we were from and if we were models.
They probably do this to all tourist girls, but in all honesty, I thought they were being way too pushy. It’s okay to ask where we’re from and joke about us being models, but not for 2 hours on end. The hinting and personal questions got more and more intrusive, the longer we sat there.
I’m sorry, but I don’t think it’s any waiter’s business whether I have a boyfriend or not. Yes, I know they probably think it’s all complimenting to us, and they mean well, but I felt uncomfortable.
Thankfully the food was excellent! And on top of that the whole restaurant burst into song all of a sudden. Everybody seemed like they were one big family, the atmosphere was beyond lovely, and I couldn’t help but feel at home.
And if that wasn’t enough, after finishing all the food we got a bucket filled with 3 small bottles with homemade liquors; limoncello + one that tasted like melon, and one that was definitely pistachios. Oh yes, and some little cakes as well, on the house. Talk about service!
Our plan had been to go for drinks after dinner but we had exceeded all our physical limits with that dinner, and all we could do was walk back to the AirBnB to sleep.
After the tough first day (walking and eating too much) we wanted to spend the second day just chilling. So, we took the tram to the Parco Sempione again and went to find some picnic food. There was a tiny shop that had everything we needed. Except wine with screw corks.
Thankfully there was a young man who was very eager to help us and he managed to find one bottle of rose wine with the correct cork. Then we needed plastic cups. The shop only had enormous packages and we were not up to wasting so much plastic.
We were just about to move on to the counter when he asked us to wait a bit, disappeared through the door into the shop’s back room, and came back with 2 plastic cups for us. Still brings a smile on my face thinking about his little gesture of generosity.
We found a nice spot in the park, I sitting straight in the sunshine, Janka in the shadow. One thing that’s quite noticeable in Milan, is that most people have a dog. If you see a person without a dog, it’s probably a tourist.
Me having the worst case of puppy fever was totally fine with this. Especially when an elderly gentleman walked by our little picnic with a super cute Papillon, who decided to take a detour to us for some pats and hugs. Turned out Miko the dog was a rescue dog from Romania. What a king’s life it’s living right now.
We had some more strolls through the city but it was getting so hot, that after a quick lunch of prosciutto and cheese we reverted back to the park and just lay on the grass with the rest of the city. It was siesta o’clock.
In the end it became so hot, that we simply couldn’t get up to much more. It was okay, though. It’s always good to have a lazy day here and there, and our second day was definitely lazy.
In the evening, when the temperature cooled down a bit, we went for our last supper and some of the strongest cocktails I have ever tasted. We couldn’t stay out for long though, since Janka had to wake up already at 4AM to make her flight home.
I still had an extra day in Milan on my own, which I spent sitting on a terrace, catching up with all things blog-related.
Thank goodness a heatwave decided to travel with me from Italy all the way up to Northern Europe, so returning home wasn’t as bad as it would often be. But I do already miss the Italian feeling of community, the smiley faces and friendly people.
Overall Milan was just as wonderful as I expected. But what surprised me was how much modern technology they had there; you can pay with card in most places and they have a super handy application for public transportation. And it wasn’t nearly as crowded as I had feared. Except around the Duomo.
I will definitely be returning to Milan! ♥
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