Thank you to yet another flight bargain, I spent the first weekend of December strolling through the streets of Milan! Admittedly, not a city at the top of my hit list, but my passport had been stuck in my drawer for 6 months (shocking for me I know!!) and a return priority ticket was only £30, so a city break was definitely on the cards!!
I’m just going to jump right into it (I have got a travel tips blog planned so keep your eyes peeled!) . . . . . .
We downloaded our boarding passes onto our phones and had our Euro’s and passports at the ready – and that’s as far as our trip planning went! Our lovely Air B&B host sent us directions for public transport, from the airport to our little studio apartment, in the beautiful Navigli district fab-u-lous!
We landed Saturday evening and the only thing on both of our minds as we landed was of course FOOD! Italian restaurants in the UK are one of my favourites, so you can only imagine my excitement for authentic Italian deliciousness – The Navigli district is a beautiful neighbourhood of canals and authentic Milanese cuisine! There is something called Aperitivo (literal meaning alcoholic drink had before a meal to stimulate your appetite) – Italian version of happy hour! With Aperol on every corner, alongside Milanese Tapas for €10 followed by carbs upon carbs, does it get much better than pizza, pasta and risotto on rotation!!? (Of course always followed by yet more carbs for dessert to fix this sweet tooth!!)
After a quick google search of Milan’s tourist hotspots over our morning coffee, it became quickly obvious that the Duomo (Milan’s cathedral) was top of the hit list. One thing I did notice is the lack of brunching opportunities in the city – (FYI my all time favourite meal of the day – so if anyone ever wants brownie points you know what time to take me for food!). However, Italian coffee and gelato on the other hand was absolutely to die for and more than made up for my lacking of morning avocado toast!
The Duomo. As you walk up out of the metro steps the beautiful, Gothic architecture is almost breathtaking – perhaps also something to do with the freezing cold weather taking your breath away! The cathedral took nearly six centuries to build and the attention to detail in incredible (Even for this gal who knows zilch about construction or design!).
Oddly, as you can see from the video below, feeding pigeons in front of The Duomo for a pic is something of a tradition – after my first attempt resulted in me dropping the feed after 0.1 seconds, I was wonderfully peer pressured by my bff into going back and for take two! – It’s now safe to say I am scarred for life!! Check the video below of a very talented Italian man catching us in slow-mo! (tip – he then tried to charge us €20 for the pleasure, but as we’d seen him do the same thing for countless other tourists before us, we thanked him kindly and gave him our spare change!) Click below!https://jade-ramsey.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/IMG_4579.mov
In summary the rest of our trip….
I’ve put a few pictures together at the bottom of the blog to summarise the other places we visited- but check my instagram here for other photos (especially my travel highlights story!)
Note – we didn’t manage to go inside the Duomo or see The Last Supper painting due to them being so busy and fully booked, so I would recommend planning those if you so wish in advance!
- Aperol Spritz Bar – a much needed rest, Aperol in hand and a view over looking the Duomo and the piazza where the Christmas markets were being set up – does it get much better ? (although adding food to the equation is always a winner!)
- Bosco Verticale – (literal translation being vertical forest) – are some very cool looking residential apartments. They are not just there to take a cool pic with, but are a model for sustainable building in Milan as part of a project for urban biodiversity and metropolitan reforestation within the city!- Don’t say I never educate you in my blogs!
- Deus Ex Machine Cafe – very cute cafe and bike shop (found on IG location stories click here for a peak)
- Sforza Castle and fountains – another pretty hotspot
- Christmas Food Markets – chocolate filled pastries and drinking cups of chocolate (and I don’t mean hot chocolate, I mean an entire cup of warm melted delicious dark chocolateeeeee – wowwweeeee!)
- Porta Sempione (city gate of Milan)- we got city bikes and explored the area and nearby park – saves your achey feet for sure!!
- Central Station and Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle – the most beautiful Christmas tree and lights and of course some designer window shopping!
As I mentioned, we had no real plan or structure to our trip, so unfortunately I cannot provide you with a detailed itinerary. However, I can tell you that we explored the city (walking about 15,000-20,000 steps a day, we definitely kept up our #NEATUP24/7 and almost balanced out all the carbs we ate!). We enjoyed the beautiful Italian culture at our own pace and managed to stumble across most of the landmarks without even trying, all within two days.
So my personal advice is, visit Milan – you won’t regret it. Enjoy the beautiful setting, the incredible food, the amazing architecture, (hopefully) the great company and tick off another European city all at your own pace and don’t rush, immerse yourself in Italian culture!!
I know this has been a very flying tour –pun absolutely intended – but I’m going to attempt to get content out more regularly so see you on the flip side beautiessss
Love J xoxo