Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A Weekend in Milan

Just got back from a weekend in Milan. I’ll admit Milan wasn’t ever on my list of places I wanted to visit. Rome and Venice would definitely have been higher up on my list of Italian cities to visit, but cheap flights (£44 return!) and the urge to have a weekend away called! Despite not really being that interested in going, it was an amazing few days and it may have made it as my top European city (I’ll have to give that some thought though, don’t want to be too hasty).

Here are my highlights from the weekend:

The Duomo – Not to be missed!
Wow. Just wow. I’d Googled it before leaving and thought it looked impressive, but boy it was so much more in real life! 

It really was breathtaking and just as impressive in the day as it was at night then even more so when you’re on the roof of it! We took the stairs up, as I was being stubborn about paying an extra 5 euros just to get the lift! Although I started to regret my stubbornness about half way up the 250 steps you have to climb up! 

The view from the top was amazing, luckily we had nice weather compared to the previous day and that night when we had really bad thunderstorms. 

Just resting against the Duomo...

Almost at the top

On the roof finally!

At night

Just as impressive inside

Tour of the San Siro
A must see for any football fans. As one of the only stadiums where two rival teams share the ground, it certainly doesn’t lack in history or character. The tour costs 13 euros, which is definitely worth paying. It starts in the museum, which is divided into a red and black and a blue and black side. Notably the AC Milan side was showcasing lots more memorabilia and trophies. 


Yup that's me in the stadium

 The Brazilian corner of the AC changing room

No explanation needed
The tour of the stadium was ruined a little as they were putting up a stage for Madonna playing there in a few weeks. Still, the ground was impressive. I’d love to go there for a game one day, the atmosphere would be immense. The tour of the changing rooms was my favorite part, pretty weird sitting in the changing rooms where so many football legends have sat over the years. 

After going to the Nou Camp for a tour and to watch a game I wasn’t as impressed as with the San Siro but it still beats Bradford City’s ground (yup, that’s who I support unfortunately!). 

Visiting One of the Oldest Shopping Mall
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the oldest and most impressive shopping malls in the world. Unfortunately I don’t have money (or style!) to be able to take advantage of the luxury shopping! I’ve never seen Louis Vuitton and McDonald’s so close to each other in the same mall before.

Not a bad shopping mall
If you’re prepared to pay a little over the odds for a nice meal it’s well worth eating at one of the restaurants inside. We ate there twice out of the three nights we were there and it was definitely worth it. 

Watching the Italy Game in the Pub
Italy were playing Spain in the Euros, so naturally wanted to experience the atmosphere of the Italians. We were all set to go find the big screen by the Duomo to watch the game on, but ended up losing two of my friends and confusion with the non English speaking taxi driver meant we missed the first bit of the game and just got dropped off in the middle of nowhere at a very local pub. But it was great, the atmosphere was amazing, especially when Italy scored early on.

Despite being the only English people in the pub and stranded in the middle of nowhere (we didn’t have a map or a clue where the nearest taxis/buses/trams were) it was a great night and probably turned out better than if we watched it with all the other tourists.  

The pub had every English clubs scarf 
apart from Bradford it would seem...

A Pretend Venice Experience
I didn’t realize there was a canal where you can take boat tours in Milan, now I’ve never been to Venice so can’t really compare and I’m sure it’s nothing alike at all, but it was really nice. We didn’t get to go on a boat trip as they fill up pretty quick, so think you’d need to book in advance. The surrounding area is really nice though, loads of shops, cafes and a market that runs along the top of the main street. We also visited an unexpected art gallery, which looked like it was just the entrance to some apartments. There were loads of really cool paintings (and even a wedding dress shop). If I hadn’t just had a small bag as hand luggage I’d definitely have bought a painting or two. 

Open Tour Bus
Okay, this is going to make me sound like a typical tourist right now, but the open bus tour was a great way to see all the sites (funny that…). It only costs 20 Euros and the ticket is valid for 48 hours, which is really good value compared to others. Once we figured out where everything was we used it more as a taxi service than a tour bus. 

One thing not on my list that might surprise people is the lack of references to shopping! Milan might be the fashion capital and all, but the city has so much more to offer in its history, art galleries and impressive buildings. Plus I was on a budget and not really a big shopper so site seeing, eating (lots of pizza and pasta) and drinking suited me down to the ground.

Well that's my highlights from Milan… ciao!

1 comment:

  1. Loving the blog McD! Will def follow your advice when I go in October :) #cheapflightsrule xx