Known for being a fashion and design capital, Milan is also Italy’s second largest city behind Rome. Trendy bars, independent boutiques scattered across the city, historical buildings and the metropolitan bustle : it is home to many settlers from all different parts of the world.
One of the hardest decisions you will be making in Italy, will be picking a place to eat because you are literally in food heaven. Every restaurant has its quirks and specialties; even if it is another pasta, pizza or risotto dish.–
Address: via Santa Radegonda, 16 20121 Milano – Tel: +39 02 8646 1917
For a snack, it is a perfect place to grab a quick bite, particularly when you are just round the corner of the famous Duomo. For a few euros, you can get a taste of all kinds of pasties and sweets.
Parma & Co
Address: via Dello Tessa, 2 ang. Corso Garibaldi Milano – Tel: +39 02 8909 6720
Great restaurant for a lunch, with lighter and heavier options consisting of freshly made pasta, as well as matured hams and cheese. It is a perfect place to sit down on a sunny afternoon, for a break, after strolling through the artsy bits of Brera.
Address: Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 2, 20144 Milano – Tel: +39 80 0926 002
Tucked away amongst all the other food and bar places along the Navigli, it is a great restaurant to enjoy the Italian pizzas and calzones for dinner (while seated on the second floor terrace overlooking the canals). The Crema Catalana is definitely recommended!
The first impression of shopping in Italy might be about all its designer creations in areas such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, since after all, it is the capital of fashion. However, besides that, there are also plenty of independent boutiques from vintage clothes and leather bags, to second-hand designer items, scattered all across the city. It is just the matter of knowing where to go. Here are some of our favorites!
Address: via Gian Giacomo Mora, 4, 20123 Milano – Tel: +39 02 5810 8691
A fantastic store tucked away in one of the side streets, just past ‘La Colonna’. Stocking many designer pieces such as Hermès shirts and Gucci jackets for bargain prices, it’s difficult not to walk out without anything!
Fiera di Sinigaglia
Address: ripa di Porta Ticinese, 20144 Milano – Nearest metro: Porta Genova
A great weekend market running from 9am till 5 pm every Saturday. Everything is sold here and there are plenty of good finds from antiques, to shoes, odd bits and bobs – and if you are patient enough to dig, even clothes starting from one euro!
Another thing to look out for are the flea markets. Usually, there is one everyday of the week, each in a different location.
TO GO OUT:
Other than being a tourist favourite in the day, the city also offers up amazing night life. For the entrée, there are bars along the Navigli perfect for pre drinks, before heading to the main course – of drinking – at Isola/Garibaldi where one can find all the famous nightclubs in the city.
If the clubs and bars at Garibaldi are too loud, or you happen to be on a budget, you could always go for a more mellow option. A great spot, slightly hidden away from the historical city centre, is in the South of the city: La Colonna (or what english speakers call “The Columns”). An empty square in between vintage fashion boutiques and restaurants; always filled with people, beers and lots of chatter till the dawn.
TO DO AND SEE:
The Navigli is one place that cannot be missed when you are in Milan. Once a system of interconnected canals, this urban area is now well known for its bars, restaurants and place to be after work for a drink. It is home to the ‘aperitivo’: one drink of your choice, and an all you can eat buffet for a bargain.
The chic Brera district is another great place to visit. Known for being an artist neighbourhood, it also offers up great museums, restaurants and bars if you feel like taking a short break in between the walks.
Must-see: the famous Duomo, situated right in the heart of Milan, with other places of interest and parks just around the corner. From this gothic cathedral, it is a short walk to other stops such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, La Scala and Milan’s largest city park, Parco Sempione.
This is just a tiny list of the many things that Milan can offer. Like any other city, over time, you will discover more, whether it is being a lone wanderer through the city, or through meeting other friends and locals in the area!
Cassandra Tang is a real travelling-nomad: born in Sydney, she spent most of her life moving around Asia and hopes to settle somewhere in Europe soon. Her motto is to take each day as it goes; for the future she would love to end up in a quaint little city near by the river (with plenty of sunshine) and have her own studio. Instagram: @cassandratang Website: www.cassandratang.co.uk