Milan is the second-most populous city in Italy and the capital of Lombardy. The population of the city is around 1.3 million while its urban area comprises an estimated 5 million people. Milan has the third largest economy among EU cities and the largest among European non-capital cities. Milan is the main industrial, commercial, and financial centre of Italy and a leading global city.
If you are in Milan, then you can feel, that there are more than 1.3 million people around you and everybody is a "big city" person. The streets were full of people, even on Sunday and everybody is shopping. Milan is one of the capitals of fashion, and you can touch it in the air.
We travelled in early April, and the weather was perfect for taking huge walks around the city and look into the life of Milan. People are fine in English, but in some places and situations, it is nice to have an Italian dictionary with you. Let me invite you to a one-day walk in the great Milan.
We are starting our day in the Central Railway Station of Milan. The building is huge considered to be one of the most beautiful European train stations. It was originally built in 1864 and is centrally located, not far away from many of Milan’s famous sites. Besides, the station is a great destination for high-end designer shopping.
After that, we take a short walk to Porta Nuova, Milan's new district. The Porta Nuova Project has been under construction since the late 2000s. It is like a little New York in Milan with high rise buildings, cultural centres, and a large city park. You can take gorgeous pictures here.
The next stop is Arco della Pace and Porta Sempione ("Simplon Gate"), where we enter the historic city centre, but before we continue, take a small break here and look around you, the square with the gate and with the little yellow trams rattling. Isn't it a beautiful place where you could take your breakfast every morning? - Yes I could, but we have to continue and see Arena Civica, which is one of the city’s leading examples of neoclassical architecture, today it is mainly the home of football and rugby union games, concerts and cultural events.
Before you feel hungry, take a small walk to the Sforzesco Castle, which was built in the 15th century by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan and today houses several of the city's museums. The castle has a gorgeous garden with many flowers.
Ok, ok we have to take some break and eat some Italian. Milan has several excellent restaurants and we have tried many of them without disappointment. Taverna del Borgo Antico is a good place to take some good wine with a dish of "Pasta a la Carbonara".
Our next stop is Teatro alla Scala, which is one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world. The theater was opened in 1778, and it is not a big deal from the outside, but if you have time and interest (what we didn't), the interior is gorgeous.
We take a short walk to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the most beautiful places I ever been and the Galleria is one of the oldest shopping malls on our planet. It is an excellent spot for taking good pictures.
After we crossed the Galleria, we are coming to Piazza del Duomo, and then you can see the big deal in Milan. Yes, I mean the huge church in the middle of the square. The Cathedral together with the Galleria and the whole square with thousands of people are incredible. The Duomo di Milano is the fifth largest church of the word. It took thousands of workers, a new canal system and over six century to complete the constructions. You have to go inside the building and do not miss a walk on the roof because the view is fantastic.
Our tour ends in Naviglio Grande. If you have more than one day, then I can recommend The Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, which has a great collection of Leonardo da Vinci's work.
Do you want to have a great cocktail? Good Luck Café is a top notch bar with a great selection of premium spirits and kind staff.
Do you want to eat a Cannoli? Of course, you want. Ammu has the best Cannoli in the city, and even Italian queue themselves on Sunday to get one.
Pro Tips If you want to get rid of the lines, then buy your tickets on the internet before you take to Milan. Especially to the Cathedral and if you want to see The Last Supply. If you like shopping but hate the huge crowd, then definitely avoid the fashion street on a Sunday afternoon. Being in the center of Lombardy, you can easily plan one-day trips to the most famous tourist destinations of Northen-Italy. Have a coffee next to the Lake Como, stand under the balcony of Juliet in Verona or explore the great Florence.
Milan is an excellent destination to stay, where culture, fashion, shopping, eating, and drinking comes together and makes a perfect combination and a great atmosphere. The city has a great public transport system, with several metro lines, trams and you can even rent a bike if you are not that walking type of person.