24 Hours in Milan; Italy
I always get so excited when my travels lead me to Italy. Having Italian blood running through my veins, the country rest very close to my heart. Milan wasn't my final destination, but my travel itinerary lead me there with a stop of 24 hours.
Puzzling myself with the question: What can I possibly do in Milan with only few hours? I had been to Milan before in couple of occasions, however, my impression was always as a industrial city with no much of attractions except the Fashion Week. I was so wrong! This stop in Milan completely changed my mind, and maybe because of the amazing hotel we stay the Palazzo Parigi, our stay was nothing but extraordinary.
Marc and I landed in Milan on a rainy late Monday morning, and found our chauffeur waiting for us right outside immigration/customs to take us to our lovely hotel, the 5* Palazzo Parigi.We loved our hotel from the minute we landed our eyes, it was in the perfect location for exploring the city and had a real boutique luxury feel to it, with a certain contemporary grandeur. Also, obviously the high level of hospitality, kindness and first class service exhibited by the whole staff of the hotel made our arrival exceptional.
Milan is absolutely beautiful and certainly has made to my list of one of my favorite destinations. The city it's somewhat overshadowed by its prettier neighbors Florence, Venice and Verona. But this ancient, sophisticated city has some attractions that can't be beaten anywhere else in the country. From the sophisticated locals, upmarket restaurants, opulent museums and galleries, Milan is a city that is surprisingly cool despite it's industrial reputation.
With so little time to explore, our first stop was at the famous Vittorio Emanuele II. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the world's oldest shopping mall and contains the Town House Galleria, and a five-star hotel. Housed within a four-story double arcade in central Milan, the Galleriais named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It was designed in 1861 and built by architect Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877. As always when in Italy must stop at a caffe for a cappuccino, some shopping, the gallery has a deluge of luxury stores, and people watching.
We made a new friend that ask if we could share our table with him. After talking for awhile our new friend shared that he was from California, living in Italy and training wrestling in academies. As always say, one of the things I love the most about traveling, is the people we meet along the way.
From the Gallery we moved on to the Duomo, Milan's Duomo is glorious! The Duomo is situated just outside the Vittorio Emanuele Galleria, and is the second largest Catholic church in Italy after St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. A breathtaking building of Gothic architecture.
We bought the ticket to go up to the top of Duomo di Milano and it took about 200 something steps up. It was not too bad after all, not much traffic at it was already late evening and you can take one step at time with as many stop along the way you want. Alternatively, you can take the elevator which costs a little more, but the steps are more fun in my opinion. Just make sure you are not wearing any high heels to go up as the roof is on a slight incline and the steps are very small. It is well worth to get to the top as you can take a closer look at the architecture, and the city as well, both are quite impressive.
After the Duomo we walked back to our hotel for a lovely diner. Palazzo Parigi has one of the best restaurants in Milan. The extraordinary authentic Italian cuisine it's a guarantee for an unforgettable culinary experience, with wines to pair.
Our short stop in Milan changed our image on how we sensed the city, and definitely left us with a taste for more. However, if there is more time on your schedule and energy left in your body to explore, here are some tips of must do as well:
Walk across to the Terazza Aperol for an afternoon drink. The cafe and cocktail terrace dedicated to the traditional Italian aperitif, Aperol, is located right on the Piazza Duomo, and is easily accessible via an escalator that's inside a small supermarket type of shop. The view from the Terazza Aperol is one of the main appeals, but if you want to sit at a table right at the front overlooking the piazza and Duomo then you'll need to order food. It's worth as the views from up there is awesome.
Go to the D&G Bar and then the Cavalli Club, The D&G Martini bar is awesome. So sleek, so chic, and the Cavalli Club, Oh that's another story, but it is certainly an experience. Go early when its still not crowded and it is a little quieter, later in the night it can get super busy and the clientele is VERY young, so be prepared!
Next day we had our driver drop us atMilano Centrale to catch our train to Lake Gardaor Lago di Garda in Italian - Stay tune for our next adventure, until then Arrivederci!