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Milano is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city proper in Italy after Rome.
Milano. Billboards greet you from the moment you land, flaunting high-end fashion for all to see, taunting my Primarni specials (Primark to the uninitiated…). I felt slightly disappointed by the fact there wasn’t a stream of outlandishly fashionable creatures gracing my presence; instead, everyone sported somewhat subdued, albeit stylish, attire. I am not one for fashion, but I couldn’t deny its allure, from the glitzy airport boutiques to Milano Central itself, whispering enticingly about the finer things in life.
Passing by the crème de la crème, where security unlocked the doors to admit their esteemed clientele, I concluded that these shops were a little out of my price range so continued my stroll, merely gawping at such opulence.
Throughout Milano, you’ll come across numerous churches and ruins, each a testament to the city’s rich history and beauty. Some perch in the middle of roundabouts, while others nestle behind tower blocks, now part of sprawling neighbourhoods. Admiring from afar is one thing, but if the opportunity arises to venture inside, don’t hesitate! Many old churches boast exquisite murals, and some ruins still bear delicate features worthy of a closer look.
For a less touristy lunch that won’t break the bank, I recommend finding a traditional Osteria or Trattoria where you’ll encounter a traditional vibe and a satisfying pizza. A glass of Barbera usually pairs wonderfully!
If you’re in the mood for a slightly more upmarket dining experience at a reasonable price, consider San Lorenzo Osteria Bistrot Milano. The mixed grill was cooked to perfection, whilst the hearty wild boar tagliatelle offered bursts of flavour in a simple dish.
The Duomo, the must-see attraction when in Milano. It truly is a sight to behold, a vast structure which provides something different to see whenever you shift your gaze. Every angle is adorned with intricate details, even after walking round it 3 times, I still discovered details I hadn’t noticed before. Stepping inside, you’re welcomed into an elaborate space, brimming with meticulously executed carvings and paintings that complement the grandeur of the building itself. Regardless of your religious beliefs, this place commands respect. Humbled by such a feat, I stood in awe for a while, attempting to take it all in.
Unfortunately, force majeure struck, meaning my visit was restricted as the upper terraces were closed. I opted for the upgraded ticket to explore the archaeological site underneath, which provided insights into the site’s historical significance through the ages. A communal bath and multiple tombs attested to its enduring importance. Fragments of pottery and decorative tiles added colour to this snippet of history.
Be aware that August is the month that many Italians take their vacation. During my visit, several businesses (including Ducati) were closed. If you are keen on visiting specific shops or eateries, I’d recommend reaching out to them directly to confirm their opening times and dates to avoid disappointment. Nevertheless, there was still plenty to see and do; it simply meant that I took a more leisurely, exploratory approach to my trip rather than a focused one.