Sunday, 22 January 2017

A trip to Milano!!

When you think of Italy, what's the first thing that springs to mind? Tiny, winding cobbled streets with ineffable beauty catching your eye around every corner you turn? Great food and even better wine that will satisfies you beyond all your expectations? Well, you wouldn't be the slightest bit wrong! My recent trip to Milan had all of this to offer and so much more. We stayed in an amazing location, via Broletto which is just a stones throw away from the heart of the city, Piazza del Duomo. This absolutely magnificent cathedral is a vision I still can't get out of my mind. It's no wonder it took over a staggering 400 years to finish!! 

Renowned as one of the fashion capitals of the world, Milan did not disappoint for shopping and window shopping alike. If you've got expensive taste like myself, you just can't miss a stroll down via Montenapoleone. Included as one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world, you'll walk along side the shop windows with jaws dropped and eyes wide open. I can recall my heart skipping a beat or five, when we arrived at the Gucci Milano flagship store. Not to worry if you're not prepared to fork out a small fortune because the high street shopping district has just about everything to offer too. Well, all expect for Penney's. Sorry gals!! 

Part of such an incredibly historic country, it would be a sin not to immerse yourself into the fascinating culture. I would highly recommend going on a walking tour of Milan to do just that. At first, the thought of four hours walking around the city didn't have me overly excited, I'll admit. I had never really been one to do these sort of tours but my opinion about them has completely changed since. We roamed around the streets, listening and learning all about the city's enchanting tales, of all its trials and tribulations that has made it the magical place it is today. One of our stops brought us to marvellous Sforza Castle which dates back to the 15th century. Housed inside the museum here you'll find Michelangelo's last very last work of art, Rondanini Pietà, a remarkable marble sculpture.  

You'll be in food heaven and wine nirvana no matter where you decide to eat. My top spot for dinner and drinks has to be around the ever so bohemian, Brera district. Here is where you'll find those tiny cobbled streets laden with beautiful quaint restaurants. Of course you'll eat your own weight in pizza and pasta but make sure you try out some local cuisine such as risotto alla Milanese or their famous veal dish, Cotoletta alla Milanese. "Truly scrumptious"!! Another cool spot worth a trip is the Naviglio district, Milans canal area. A little insight as to what the city looked like many, many years ago. I bet you didn't know that at one point the city resembled Venice. There's plenty of buzzing bars and worthy restaurants along here to tickle your tastebuds. 

The pinochle of my trip had to be non other than getting to see the master piece that is 'The Last supper' in the flesh. Being a lover of art history and of course a huge fan of Leonardo da Vinci himself, I was in my element. It stirred up emotions that did in fact make me tear up. (Yep, I ain't ashamed to admit it) Every person in the room stood silently and gazed upon what can only be described as a sensational wonder. A stand still moment I won't ever be able to forget. If you visit Milan and just tick this off your list, your trip will still have been well worth it. Be sure that you book online before hand as there's only a strict number of people per day that are allowed to view the beautiful fresco which is housed in the Dominican Convent adjacent to the famous church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. 

Some other sights worth seeing include the contemporary work of art L.O.V.E. by Maurizio Cattelan. This giant middle finger situated in the very centre of Piazza Affari, the financial district of Milan is definitely a controversial piece that may just give you the giggles. Try and plan your trip around an Opera or Ballet in the world famous Teatro alla Scala. Although the outside of this building may not get you overly excited, it's a completely different story once you step foot inside. Lastly, don't leave without visiting Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. An extraordinary mall housed in a glass covered 19th-century arcade with luxury clothing brands & upscale dining. This place oozes elegance and style!

The next time I take a trip to this wonderful city I'll make sure to designate a day entirely to visiting Lake Como which is only an hours train ride away. If you've got the time to spare definitely plan this into your itinerary too. So there you have it! If you're looking for an enjoyable laid back long weekend away, Milan is most definitely the perfect city break destination that will not disappoint!!

Happy travels,

Ashley x 

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