Milan Day 1   14 comments

Leaving Zurich for or continuing journey south leaving behind the grey gloomy skies and a large chunk of the children’s inheritance. I mentioned how sometimes the weather on the southern side of the Alps can be radically different to the north. We entered the new Gotthard tunnel with the mountains smothered in cloud. We emerged on the other side to this.


And so to Milan. I’ve only ever been here to change trains so we decided that as we had to do so again we’d stay a couple of days for a look around. It was hot, very hot when we got there but we had a really nice and air-conditioned apartment to ease the burden. After settling in we headed out for a meal. Milan has canals in the Naviglio district and its been revamped into a an area bustling with crowds and restaurants. I loved it


We ate down here every night and had some superb food. Everyone talks about France as being the home to great cuisine, but for me its Italy all the way.


Our first full day the grey clouds cleared to a glorious blue sky. We went straight to Milan’s premier site, the Piazza del Duomo. This the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, shopping arcade full of designer brand stores and ludicrously expensive fashion.


The square is stunning, huge and less packed than the main squares of Rome or Venice.


Its dominated by the huge Duomo di Milano.


Its a gleaming white and huge building and breathtaking in its detail.


You can enter for free but the queue for security checks was in full sun and we couldn’t be bothered. The sun was in the wrong place so see it ints full glory so we’ll come back here later in the post.


A walk through the Galleria to see the eye popping prices – think four figures for a dress!


Small pleasant square with a statue of Leanardo da Vinci, a famous resident of the city


Onwards to the Castell Sforzesco. Not something I’d ever heard about before before but its massive and very impressive. It also has a mighty fine fountain outside which is always a winner for me.


There are various museums, galleries and the like inside but you can wander through the courtyards for free and I decided I liked Milan.


Behind the castle is the equally impressive Parco Sempione. Huge lawns interspersed with ponds of wildfowl and turtles.


After an excellent lunch the rest of the family needed some air-conditioned comfort so I took another stroll around the streets on my own. I went straight to the Piazza del Duomo to see if the sun was better placed and I caught it perfectly.


Its a truly stunning building now that its detailed facade was lit up by the afternoon sun.


Away from the crowds, Milan has some lovely streets and churches and other intriguing buildings.


The Basilica di San Lorenzo.


Porta Ticinese Antica.


I loved this church for its complex range of towers and features, the Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio.


The Arco di Porta Ticinese


And another stroll around the Naviglio Canal basin.


As the evening draws in, crowds of people line the banks, picnicking and drinking wine. It’s all rather fine.


And back to the street where we stayed.


Off out in the evening for another meal. Well, you have to when in Italy.


I’d read that Milan is more an industrial and finance capital than a tourist destination so I wasn’t sure what to expect. From a first day of wandering I really like it. Doesn’t have the charm of Rome or Venice but nor does it have the crowds. Well worth a visit and another day to come


14 responses to “Milan Day 1

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  1. Great photos of the Duomo!
    I’ve been to Milan – quite a few years ago for 4 days with work. I managed half a day to look round and we had a course dinner on a restaurant on the canal. Nice city. I have some interesting memories of that trip, mind!


    • I really enjoyed the city. Not sure it merits more than a long weekend but well worth seeing if you’ve never been.
      Interesting memories? Do tell 🙂


      • Well, as you’ve asked it would be rude not to tell.
        I was running a course over 4 days with a colleague for an Anglo-American company with an office in Milan. Participants were about 60% Italians plus various other nationalities. The course was held in the posh yacht club out near the football stadium.
        1. Every evening as we left the venue there were several young ladies selling their wares right outside the club with a line of cars queing up on the road. (My colleague, a woman, observing one of the vendors suddenly exclaimed “she’s not wearing any knickers!!”)
        2. One night we had a course meal in the city centre. One of the Italians, from Milan, drove us there and back. He, and other cars, kept driving on the tram tracks. At one point we had cars all around us. My colleague asked “what happens if a tram comes.” Answer was “ oh, we find a way”.
        3. Returning to our hotel from the meal we couldn’t help but notice more ladies selling their wares. Passing one group our driver exclaimed “they’re men”. (This was about 20 years ago so perhaps a little more unusual than now. In any case we don’t have anything like that in Wigan!)


  2. Now I had Milan on my bucket list for the Duomo and the San Siro. However they are knocking the San Siro down so I’m not sure I’d make a trip just for the Duomo. It does look great in your photos. And I like the fountains


    • We were going to head out to the San Siro just to say we’d seen it, wish I had now, didn’t know they were knocking it down. It was always the stadium to aspire to with the circular ramps. Mind you we have those at the Etihad and they are a complete pain to walk up and down, takes ages!
      Milan is still well worth a visit though especially for eating out – as is everywhere in Italy. No big ticket sites (other than the Duomo) but loads of interesting stuff if you go looking.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve enjoyed my brief, transit visits to Milan, but I wasn’t aware of the canals. Very poor googling on our part.


  4. Looks great – can’t help thinking that there’s a lot to be said for cities which are not so firmly on the tourist radar. In the UK I’m very fond of both Liverpool and Glasgow – although I suppose the former is fairly touristy what with the Cavern Club, the Docks and the Tate.
    Anyway, I like the look of Milan.
    Regarding cuisine – not that I’ve ever been to find out – but I like to think that Greece would give both France and Italy a run for their money. I hope to have a chance to see for myself someday!


    • Its well worth a visit. Doesn’t have the range of big ticket sights like other Italian cities but plenty to see and explore and We loved the canal area and all its restaurants. I’ve only ever been to tourist resorts in Greece so the food is nice id unspectacular but I do hear that if go to the cities, their food is as good as anything else in Europe. Actually I’ve just remembered how good the food in Barcelona was – luckily heading back in a couple of weeks to try some more!

      Liked by 1 person

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