Well, today I’m going to share with you my time in our second stop on our Italian vacation – Milan.
Milan, if you are unaware, is located in north-western Italy. It is a beautiful city with a mix of modern and historical architecture. Milan was definitely my second favourite city on this trip (my favourite city will be featured in a future blog post). There is so much to do here!
We started Milan off COMPLETELY exhausted. Like, beyond exhausted. By the time we took a cab to our apartment is was about 11pm, and this was after a 12(ish) hour layover in Brussels. We met our lovely land-lady and we were escorted to a beautiful second-floor apartment that had THREE balconies! Three! We were blown away by the size of the apartment. Shortly after walking into the apartment we were fast asleep.
The next morning, we went off to Castello Sforzesco which was beautiful. Unfortunately, since it was a Monday, the museums inside the castle were closed but walking around the courtyard and the gardens was enough for us.
Our next stop was the Duomo di Milano. Words cannot explain the beauty of this cathedral. It is absolutely stunning and it is MASSIVE. We started by walking through the inside and marvelling at the architecture and art that is housed inside. I lit a candle for my Grampy who passed away earlier this year and it truly was a stilling moment. We then climbed the MANY stairs to the top of the Duomo. It starts by leading you up the side of the church so that you can look out and see the modern skyscrapers in the distance and capture images that include the significant pillars of the Duomo. We walked to the very top of the Duomo and saw the bronze Madonna and took in the views of the city. Winding back down the stairs was a challenge in itself as the turns are so sharp that you get dizzy very quickly.
After our adventure at the Duomo, we were STARVING. While we were on top of the Duomo, my friend pointed out a roof top restaurant across the street that she thought we should try. While on the ground though, finding it was a different story. We thankfully walked into the correct building on the first try, which ended up being La Rinascente, an up-scale department store carrying the likes of Prada, Alexander Wang, and Rebecca Minkoff. Let me tell you, after what felt like a million floors of designer items, I definitely felt out of place. However, at the top of the department store was a cute rooftop bar/ restaurant called Maio Restaurant. Maio Restaurant felt very up-scale, but not off-putting. The food and wine were both delicious and it was a lovely way to start off our Italian culinary adventure.
After eating a delicious lunch, we walked around Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and spun our heels on the bull’s balls (which is supposed to bring good luck). After that, we wandered around the city and made our way back to our apartment where we lounged on our balcony with a bottle of wine, some dried sausage and cheese. Dinner consisted of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant we found at 11pm when we realized we were starving. The food at this restaurant was delicious and I wish I would have written down the name!
The next day was a little bit more laid-back. We walked over to the Santa Maria delle Grazie hoping to find last-minute tickets to the Last Supper (no such luck) and instead looked at other less-famous pages of Leonardo DaVinci’s work.
We made the subway journey to Milan’s San Siro Stadium and took a few photos but unfortunately couldn’t get in due to a members-only event. After the stadium we made our way to the Expo Milano 2015 and let me tell you that was a whole world of it’s own. The architecture of the pavilions was stunning and there was so much to see and do! Unfortunately we had to speed our way through the whole thing as we only had about 2 hours until it shut-down for the night. We were able to see the lights and water show around the tree of life and took some stunning photographs of the storm approaching the city. When the park was shut-down, we made our way back to a pub in the city (which the server claimed was the original bar in Milan) and had amazing paninis.
The next morning we checked out of our apartment and made our way to the train station to embark on our journey to the next stop – Venice!