Milan in 48 hours [part 1]
January 1, 1970
What if you are in Milan, the northen biggest city of Italy but not interest in fashion nor football? Don’t worry, there is plenty of architecture and art to see. Then, if you are not tired, you can go shopping also.
Let’s take a tour from the centre and around, I’ll guide you so that you don’t miss the most important spots in 48 hours. Why 48? Because I am sure you have not enough time and I bet you want to see other places too. Just to name one, don’t you want to stroll around Como Lake? If you answered no, you should replan your trip. Let’s start from day one.
1. Duomo and its Square – piazza Duomo
Let’s start from the city centre: the wide squared area filled with pidgeons let you take a nice sight of the Dome. Built in the New Gothic period, it is always under restauration. It is not your bad luck, it is just as it is: this church is so big that every time they finish a side they need to start a new one. But its white front and all its “Guglie” will still give you a stunning sight. You can get into and on it (the view on the city is nice and on the rooftop you can see some nice statues, ask for extra info if interested), but you’d better book in advance to avoid queues.
Info on the Dome
2. Piazza Mercanti – piazza Mercanti
Before going to the next stop, take a short walk to this small square: the covered area is where in the past people could sell anything. If you are at least two people, go to different corners, look at the wall and try to speak: can you hear each other? This is how merchants could share news and prices. Better than smartphones, right? No data needed!
Piazza Mercanti on Wikipedia
3. Chiesa di San Bernardino alle Ossa – via Brolo
This small Church has an hidden treasure that might scary some of you: “ossa” means bones. Guess why? Here, back in 13th century, the bones of the people who died of a big leprosy plague have been kept safe for remembering. It is impressive to think about the history behind this place. REad more about it before you get there.
Trip Advisor’s reviews on this spot
4. Chiesa di Santa Maria presso San Satiro – via Torino
On this crowded street you can find another hidden gem of the italian architecture. The famous (well, for us he is famous…) Bramante got a great idea from his mind to reality: get in, stand in the middle and look towards the other end. What is the shape of this church? I won’t spoil the answer. When you have made up your mind, walk around and find out yourself. You might be wrong. If you guessed right, well, you’ve got a very good eye!
[no link – no spoiler]
5. Shopping time! – via Torino
Via Torino is a very good walk to find cheap but fashionable clothes and other things. Yes, I know, this is mentioned to be a guide that doesn’t tell you about this stuff. But believe me: once you’ll there, you cannot just skip them all. You will likely enter in at least three shops if you are a man, and at least 6 if you are a woman. But don’t worry, you are not wasting time, this is where you need to be to go to the next step. Good tip is: don’t buy too much, or you’ll need to carry all the bags with you. Shopaholic tip: if you see two shops of the same brand, this does mean you have alreadt seen what they have.
6. Colonne di S. Lorenzo – Corso di Porta Ticinese
When you get to the end of via Torino, simply go on walking and keep the left. These 16 colums 7.5 meters high are one of the few examples of what is left of the Roman Imperial age. Here people come to relax, chill out, rest and have a good talk. Just opposite you will find the San Lorenzo’s Basilica, which is nice as well. A small garden will get you a further chance to relax should you need it. At the end of the coloums, you’ll step through the old gate that gives the name to the street (“porta” means gate, door). Just to clarify: the Gate has nothing to do with the rest, it is medieval. Once upon a time things were pretty different here.
7. Darsena and Navigli
This is your last stop for today. If you think you can handle ore than this, ask for more, there are plenty of things you can add to the list around this area.
The Darsena has been recenlty renewed thanks to the 2015 Expo: now it shining and very nice at sunset. Walk around, you just need to feel the atmosphere. The channel you see here were the spot where the two other channels got in and out. Now it is not exactly like this, but it is a very beautiful spot. It is not Venice, but…
A better idea of the area
8. The Famous Aperitivo
When you are enough tired and hungry, head to the Naviglio Grande or to Naviglio Pavese: they are similar in structure and can be bot very busy, depending on weather and period of the year. Choose the café that looks better to you and sit down, it’s time for a must-do: did you think that I would not telly ou to eat something at a certain point? I left lunch up to you, but dinner should really be dedicated to our famous Aperitivo. Here is a short description of what you should expect (this will help you choosing your café among all of them): you should sit down, read the beverages’ menu, choose and order one. Once you get it stand up, grab a dish and fill with any food you see available. Sit down again. Now drink, eat and repeat. Any times you want. Basically, with your first drink you’ll get to the open buffet and you will get the chance to eat as much as you can. You will just pay for the drinks. Yes, really. But beware: that food is filling. If you are not used to it, don’t overload you. This is a very good tip, believe me.
Night time: if you are a party surfer, there are plenty of pubs, discos and clubs. Interested? Look for the dedicated post [upcoming].
That’s all for the day one. Get a rest and see you tomorrow!