My return trip to Italy (first trip being Rome & the Vatican City) was a little bit ambitious. That is, getting a taste of Milan, Lake Garda, Verona, Venice and then back to Milan again, all in under a week. Due to the fact writing about them all at once will result in a rather lengthy post, I’ve decided I’ll write a series of posts on this trip instead starting with a weekend in Milan.
Series 1: London – Milan:
We took the flight from London (Stansted) in the beginning of September arriving at Milan (Bergamo) for just over £25 with Ryanair.
From there, we took a pre-booked coach to Central Milan ( also via Ryanair) but you can purchase this just before boarding. Although, it does mean you’ll have to join the queue.
Upon arrival, we used public transport (specifically tram) to get to our place of stay. Again, I always recommend using Citymapper wherever it’s available because of how helpful and easy it is to use.
It was our first time using tram as a means of transport so we were figuring everything out as we went. The first hurdle was finding out how the system as a whole worked. For some time we were just going by observation but it seemed not very many people actually followed it so this wasn’t a helpful tactic in this instance. How very naughty of them 😛
Here’s what I know:
First, you have to purchase a ticket (biglietto) from an authorized outlet which can range from bars to stationers or newspaper stands. I believe a one way ticket cost us € 1.50 which was valid for 90 minutes throughout Milan’s Municipality area.
The rest we just followed through Citymapper.
That’s how we did it then but after a bit of research, I feel, by the sound of it, the official ATM Milano app would’ve come in more handy. More info here.
Above is the neighbourhood of Navigli where we stayed. It provided a pleasant base with tram stops nearby to see more of Milan during the day but especially good at night as it comes to life and buzz with one side being a social hub for locals sitting by the canal complete with alcohol vendors, a (day and night) market, benches and, if preferred, there’s also a bit of green space there somewhere.
And, on the other side, there are a whole lot of restaurants with outdoor seating as well as a boat restaurant in the middle of it all.
Yes, we had pizza and pasta…as you should.
We liked walking aimlessly and why not? Afterall, everywhere was new to us.
But, what trip to Milan is really complete without visiting Duomo di Milano i.e. Milan Cathedral?
It’s a sight not to be missed and it strikes you from afar and even more so up close.
We couldn’t pass on the opportunity to explore more of it so we went in, down and up.
The views at the top over Milan was amazing but getting a closer look at the details were even more breathtaking.
Try to divert your attention from my
gorgeous “grey” hair. Thanks to MACS London. Not. Out of topic but since I’m at it already, avoid them at all cost if they ever re-open again. Okay? Okay.
Of course, when you’ve convinced yourself to go back downstairs, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the natural route: shopping made even more enjoyable being within this impressive architecture.
- Just like Rome, Milan’s architecture game is strong…I’d say stronger somewhat actually especially with Duomo on their side.
- Duomo di Milano is a must and going to the rooftop adviseable.
There’s a rule on clothing though: You must have your shoulders covered and I believe skirts/shorts below the knee as well but they weren’t very strict on this when we went. (I saw a lot of visitors go in with short shorts and I myself had a skirt on which was just above the knee).
- A tip which a lot of visitors practised including myself to half the time spent queuing up (if you haven’t pre-purchased your tickets) is that one would queue up for the tickets while the other queue up for the entrance as to queue up to both would take quite some time: it’s always long!
- If not staying in Navigli, it’s still very much worth a visit.
- September is warm there which is a great opportunity to escape the cold.
Milan is also a great place to visit and if I went back in the future I can see myself staying in Navigli again. Next time, I’d want to take my mum with me; she’s mentioned wanting to a few times so we’ll see.
Up next is Milan – Lake Garda but for now,