ONE DAY IN MILAN
How convenient is travelling for work? You have to fit as much as you can in one day off but still – such a good opportunity to visit a city. We arrived in Milan on a Thursday night and I had to wait until Sunday to actually take a look at the beautiful Duomo. Fortunately Milan is easy to see in one day so you can leave the other days for shopping or visiting the nearby cities such as Bergamo and Como.
Start by having breakfast at Panini Durini. My friend advised me to try this place out because she knows how much I love avocado on toast. This place has Avocado and mango on toast with chia seeds, which is pure heaven. For under 10 Euros I ordered a matcha latte, a bottle of still water and the toast. It was such a perfect start to my day. Other available options are toasts with Parma ham, toast with salami, blue cheese and friarielli (Neapolitan speciality) and ham with parmizan, provola cheese, blue cheese and black pepper. If you fancy something sweet then you can always chose Chia seed pudding or one of their croissants or vegan brioches! For their menu take a look at their website: http://www.paninidurini.it
Other breakfasts: Fancy toast. This was in our initial plan however we only found out after five minutes of waiting outside that they did not open on Sundays. If you are here on any other day I would certainly advise giving this place a go as well. They serve various toasts such as jam and salty butter, pumpkin veggie toast and banana toast.
The first stop after breakfast is to go and have a look at Porta Garibaldi, just a five-minute walk from Panini Durini. This door is one of the six main gates to the city, built by the romans.
Next we walked down to Brera, the soho of Milan. Walking through this area is a must, not only for its beautiful churches but simply for the atmosphere. Cute little cafés, restaurants and boutiques along the side walk are the perfect combination for an enjoyable stroll in the city.
Walk down Corso Garibaldi and do not forget to look left and admire the Basilica di San Simpliciano in Piazza San Simpliciano. The beautiful red brick basilica is a hidden treasure.
Continuing down the road, Corso Garibaldi will become Via del Mercato and on the left hand side you will reach Piazza del Carmine where you will see the Basilica Santa Maria del Carmine. One reason as to why I love this square is for its controversy by having a restaurant in front of the church named "God Save the Food". Jokes aside though this church is a real beauty. First built in the thirteenth century by the Carmelite Fathers. Unfortunately a great fire destroyed the church completely and was later rebuilt in the end of the fourteenth century and was completed in 1446. The present façade however is the works of Francesco Maciachini, an Italian architect who completed this in 1880.
From here you walk down Via Ponte Vetero and turn right at Via Cusani. Follow the roundabout around until you are stood facing the fountain. This fountain marks the entry to the Parco Sempione which is perfect for a photo spot. You enter into the Castello Sforzersco, one of the most important historical symbols of the city. Built in the fifteenth century, it was used as an important military citadel in Europe. However today it is home to numerous cultural institutions such as a library, a few museums including the Michelangelo museum, Leonardo da Vinci museum and ancient art museum. If you stay longer than a day then I strongly recommend taking some time in these museums.
Walk down the park until you reach Piazza del cannone, here you will find a beautiful view over the park and you will see the Arco della Pace in the background .
Lunch: Obicà Mozzarella Bar
Finally it's time for lunch. There are two places I can recommend both based in Brera. In fact, you will exit the park from Via Giovanni Lanza. The first place I recommend is Obicà, a Napolitan restaurant known for it's Mozzarellas and Burratas. Located on Via Mercato 28 this is the perfect place for a light lunch option . Their menu is filled with delicious things to share for example in summer nothing beats Melon and Prosciutto Crudo. Furthermore, I tried zucchine alla scapece, which is a semi-sliced mozzarella with cooked courgettes and pine nuts sprinkled on top. Burrata e Fragole was another delicious plate we chose, which was made up of rocket, green beans, burrata and strawberries. If you fancy something heavier then you cannot go wrong with pizza.
More lunch Options: God save the food. This restaurant is a more authentic "Street Food" kind of place which I also highly recommend.
After lunch head over to Santa Maria delle Grazie. It is essential that you book a ticket to have a look at one of the most important works of art in the world: The last supper by Leonardo da Vinci. Unfortunately i was too late to get a ticket as you have to book around 3 weeks in advance due to its popularity so book here: http://www.vivaticket.it/index.php?nvpg[tour]&id=744&wms_op=cenacoloVinciano (Closed on Monday's) - Tickets cost 10 Euros for adults and 5 Euros for a reduced ticket for students and children.
To get to Santa Maria delle Grazie from Obicà it is quite simple, you basically walk back towards the Parco Sempione, around the Foro Bonaparte until you reach Via Giosué Carducci. You walk down this road and turn right into Corso Magenta. On your right hand side you will see Santa Maria dell Grazie.
Finally, time to go to the one and only Duomo di Milano. You go down Corso Magenta (same way you came) and then turn right into Via Santa Maria Fulcorina. Turn left up Via Bocchetto and then right down Via Orefici. You will find yourself facing this spectacular site. The Duomo di Milano started to be built in the fourteenth century. It is probably one of the few churches that took longer than 500 years to reach it's actual state, as it's façade was completed in the 1800's. The Duomo is one of the largest gothic sites in Italy and the third largest church in Europe after St. Peters and Sevilla's Cathedral.
You can visit the Duomo from Monday-Sunday from 8 AM- 7 PM. You can pay a single ticket depending on what you want to see (entrance to the Duomo is 3 Euros) however for the price of 16 Euros you have access to everything that can be seen in the Duomo including the museum and the areological site. For more information on pricing and tickets click here: http://www.duomomilano.it/it/infopage/orari-e-biglietti/cfc43a57-d3a3-4880-b8d7-37e75c6ea41e/
If you want to get an awesome view of the Duomo (and a perfect Instagram Shot) then go up to either the Aperol terrace or the Martini terrace on the left hand side of the Duomo. You can relax, have a refreshing drink and admire the cathedral from the side. I went to the Aperol Terrace and for only 12 Euros you have a drink and little things to eat.
Before you leave this area make sure you wonder through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and don’t forget to look up at Giuseppe Mengoni’s architectural masterpiece. Connecting Piazza della scala to Piazza Duomo, this Gallery really is one of Milan’s treasures.
After your little break, head over to the golden triangle. Or at least that is what they call the streets with luxury designer stores. Enjoy window-shopping (or actual shopping) down Via Alessandro Manzoni, Via Montenapoleone e via gesú. On Via Alessandro Manzoni you will also find the Poldi Pezzoli Museum which is filled with artistic masterpieces ranging from early ages until the 2000. There are paintings from Botticelli, Jewellery, tapestries, wood carvings and many other interesting pieces inherited from the Pezzoli Family who were given to the art foundation after Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli died.
If you are in the mood for one of the best ice creams of the city the wonder over to Bastianello in Via Borgogna 5. Open from 8 AM - 9 PM they have the best selection of flavours and the ice cream. I chose mango and blueberry but you can chose more interesting flavours such as Nutella, marron glacé, pistachio, biscuits, dark chocolate orange and so on.
Recommended by one of my friends Stelvio turned out to be my favourite restaurant in Milan. The restaurant is a perfect combination of traditional food with a modern touch. I shared Tortelli di Zucca alla Mantovana and a risotto alla Milanese con l’osso buco. Both were exquisite, but if you are only in Milan one night then it would be a sin to not have the risotto alla Milanese as you cannot get more traditional than that! Another delicious pasta dish is the Gnocchi with saffron and sausage crumble, certainly a fun twist to the usual saffron risotto! Another amazing thing is the pricing – the price per person is around 20 euros for a main course and a glass of wine.
For bookings: http://www.stelviomilano.i
La Briciola is probably one of the most beautiful restaurants I have been to, with fairy lights illuminating the dining room. However you have to be absolutely careful to not end up by spending a fortune like we did. If you come here you must try their Antipasto della casa – they make the best meatballs on earth – but be sure you specify the quantity. If you are in two then ask for one, and if you are in eight then make sure you specify you want around 4 or 5 or you will end up by paying more than 100 euros on a starter like we did. Also delicious here is Pasta alla Norma, which is a Sicilian traditional dish with aubergines and a special cheese called Cacio Ricotta. Finally at the end of the meal they bring gigantic vases filled with sweets and almond-paste biscuits so make sure you leave enough room for them!!
Al Coniglio Bianco.
In the navigli district you can find a delicious restaurant called Al Coniglio Bianco. Located on the side of the river, it serves delicious authentic Italian food in one of the most charming districts of the city. Make sure to try their risotto alla Milanese, an exquisite traditional dish; and if you are super hungry then add the osso buco on top.
For Bookings: http://www.alconigliobianco.it
In the Brera district however you will find Nabucco, a super authentic italian restaurant located in one of the districts most known alleys: Via Fiori Chiari. If you have the chance try and book a table outside so you can enjoy the warm Italian evening atmosphere. Something I will really recommend is that you order their tiramisu for desert, nobody does it better than they do in Milan.
For Bookings: http://www.nabucco.it/pres.html
Again in the Brera district this is not a traditional restaurant as such, however if you are a sushi lover then this place is for you. A fusion between Japanese and Brazilian cuisine temakinho never ceases to amaze me.
For Bookings: http://www.temakinho.com/milan-brera/