Milan, an almost Perfect City Trip
Welcome to the city Milan, among the cities of Italy.
Milan is one of the underrated city is not popular as Rome, vacation spree as Capri nor lovers place like Venice. it has the most prestigious collection of Museums and landmarks. especially the
- Main Cathedral,
- Sforza Castle and the paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci including The Last Supper.
Milan in General
Milano or Milan is the capital of the Lombardy region it has the second most populous commune in Italy. Aside from that why do I love to discover this city? because of Filipinos residing and working here, as of year 2015.
It has more than 40,000 Filipino inhabitants moreover other immigrants like Egyptians, Chinese, Romanians, Moroccans are also dominating in terms of foreigner residents.
From an asian view or Filipino view rather Milan have made a history in my country way back year 2004 a film entitled Milan got a huge appraisal from the Filipino viewers.
It was relaying a story of a man who is searching for his wife in Italy and end up falling in love with another (Filipina) woman. It also shows how Filipino people struggles everyday to constantly work and earn money to be able to send to their love ones back in the Philippines.
The Doumo Di Milano (Milan Cathedral)
Arriving at the Milan’s Airport early in the morning was fast. we took up a bus to go to the central station went to check in for the hotel. It’s a 2 days and 1 night city trip so time is precious.
The plan is to enjoy the whole day and tomorrow visit some places as much a we could. and prepare for the flight in the afternoon and now yes it’s time to rumble and fumble in this city called Milan.
First place to visit is no other than its mostly known landmark the Piazza Doumo or the Cathedral Square. it is the main city square of Milan one of the busiest and visited place in the city.
Various monuments found here like:
- The Doumo Di Milano (Milan Cathedral),
- The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II,
- The Palazzo dell’Arengario, Carminati,
- The Palazzo dei Portici Settentrionali, dei Portici Meridionali,
- The Royal Palace of Milan, and
- The Monument to King Victor Emmanuel II.
Perfect Architectural Design
How to go here?
To find the this place all you need to avoid is to take taxi since this place at the old part of the city which is prone to traffic. but car parking space is available near Piazza Fontana a 400-500 meters away from the Main square.
By train From the Central Station, take the Yellow Underground (M3) line and get off at Duomo. From Cadorna Station, take the Red Underground (M1) line and get off at Duomo. From Garibaldi Station, take the Green Underground (M2) line, change at Cadorna to the red line (M1) and get off at Duomo.
By tram The lines that go to piazza Duomo are: Piazza Fontana stop, tram 15 , Via Torino stop, tram 2 and 14 , Via Mazzini stop, tram 16, 24 and 27.
For those who travels alone, be sure to be vigilant and careful of pickpockets around. There are some group trying to let you buy their stuffs and sometimes force you to but don’t get fooled and just ignore them.
Take note that if you want to enter the Cathedral Doumo you are not allowed to enter if you’re wearing inappropriate attire. short pants or shorts or mini skirts are not allowed.
Tickets are from 3,50 to 16,50 euros depending on what you want to avail (entrance+guide+lift)
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Is considered one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. the name itself derived from the name of the first king of Italy who is Victor Emanuel II.
The interior part of the mall is full of luxurious restaurants and shops. As I enter here I saw crystal clear architectural designs and plus the branded shops around which makes it more cozy, fancy and lux.
As we go further inside the gallery it actually makes me think of another gallery that is very similar to this one. It’s the Gallery de la Reine in Brussels it somewhat resembles a little on this one.
Legend of the Bull
If you get into Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II don’t ever forget to visit this most popular spot it’s actually a tradition. Stepping on the bull’s balls, it’s a tiled mosaic on the floor depicting a bull which reared up on his hind legs.
The tradition is that if a person puts their right heel on the bull’s testicular region. and “turn on himself three times,” which is to actually rotate backwards, or counterclockwise, this will bring good luck.
Strolling in the gallery we just bump into this models posing for their photo shoot. It was fascinating to see the team behind the camera on how the work professionally and very effective.
Apparently this place is very famous for movie/films shootings and magazine. we’ve heard that many popular actors and actresses locals or even internationals usually visit this particular gallery.
The Monument to King Victor Emmanuel II
Quick tip as you walk around the main square you’ll see a bunch of shops, coffeehouses, and restaurants. if you have some spare time try to grab one of the best pizza I’ve ever tasted called Marino Restaurant.
Situated at the alley behind Doumo Cathedral, my ordered vegetarian pizza is so delicious I could eat more.
Italy itself is known for its country’s speciality “gelato” you’ll find it everywhere and I assure you its the best ice cream in the world.
Moreover they are known to have prominent coffee too and really cheap, you could drink coffee all day without breaking a bill.
Gelato or Ice cream be found everywhere they are tasty to look and to eat. We’ve bought much in a day from different shops, I can tell every flavour is like icing on a cake.
Tram in Milan
Roaming around the main square you can actually walk from there to the other tourists spots, the one that I adored the most are the trams passing by every time.
As I go on to every other european cities. I always noticed this so-called “trams” well back in my country we don’t have this type of transportation. what we do have though are “Jeepneys” and “tricycles” “LRT” “MRT”.
I guess trams are similar to LRT but trams are more decorated and old-fashioned.
Heading towards the Sforza Castle the roads were busy at the same time I get to admire the buildings. if I think of it it’s almost alike in all european cities very prominent, clean, and in fix forms.
Weather on that day was weird the sky wasnt fully bright and sunny. I felt like It will rain on the next day the temperature though was 28 degrees it was very hot and dry.
We had to buy some water on our way cause the weather was unbearable without water.
Prices of a bottled water 300 ml is 1 euro in the street shops so better buy in the supermarket cause it’s more cheaper.
Finally after minutes of walking we arrived in Castello Sforzesco or Sforza Castle, pride of Milan.
Was built-in 15th century and after its completion, considered as one of Europe’s largest citadel. Later became the houses several of the city’s museums and art collections.
Inside of the Castelo complex is very huge there’s a lot of space and couple of museums that I can’t even count. it includes:
- Museum of Musical Instruments,
- Egyptian Museum,
- The Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco,
- The Museum of Rondanini Pietà which includes Michelangelo’s last sculpture, and many more.
Wow it really is the houses of museums and art collection. since we can’t visit all this museums on that day we contented on walking around the area and just passing through those museums.
The Arch of Peace
After the walk around the castle we found this special place. at first it was just a simple park, Simplon Park the largest park of the city.
Which designed with the explicit intent of providing panoramic views encompassing both the Arch and Sforza Castle. then in the end you’ll see this Porta Sempione or the Arch of Peace. They call it the city gate of Milan
Simplon Gate situated at the center of a wide round square known as “Piazza Sempione” (Simplon Square). It is next to the Simplon Park and the nearby Sforza Castle.
I just realized it up to now, that there’s a lot of similarities in terms of city’s features and certain sites is mostly alike to my city. The Gallery and now the park and this arch monument its like a copy paste of the Cinquantenaire Parc in Brussels.
This city is very accessible by walking to some hot spots you just need to walk and that’s it very simple. Below is the photo of the old Toll house Porta Sempione.
Toll house Porta Sempione
Walkathon was over it was extremely fun and exciting to discover the city in one day, well it wasnt enough of course. Tour buses are also available for sightseeing of the City is from 10,00 euros and above.
I’m sure you will say “yeah, why haven’t you take the bus instead? you’ll not be tired and you can visit a lot more places”.
I would just say honestly its more fun walking cause you’ll feel being a traveler.
You’re the one who’s holding the steering wheel and not some random people. you’re the one who’s deciding where to go next and what to do. Walking is good for your health though am I right?
On the other hand I would say if you prefer busses it’s really up to you. each traveller has his/her own identity and ways of planning what pleases him/her. as long as its makes the traveller happy that’s the essential part.
Tram under the rain
On the next day we got some spare time, so we checked out from the hotel. normally the flight is in the afternoon around 4:00 pm not that much time to visit every single place. however we will still make some adjustments and make sure to be at the airport on time.
It was raining hard so we didn’t insist and just walk around the perimeter and took some photos. since we don’t have time to visit every monuments or spots that we pass by only and take pictures as usual.
Basilica di San Lorenzo, Milano
Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio
Colonne di San Lorenzo
According to a lot of people Milan is a small city in Italy but actually it’s not. it’s really big and has several sites to visit, even though the weather wasnt on our side that day.
I don’t have any regrets and still feel bless to have discover this beautiful city. And yes I confirm its perfect city trip for lovers, travellers, explorers, backpackers and solo travellers if you have more time and if the weather is really good.
Other places to visit:
Santa Maria delle Grazie, Teatro alla Scala, Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio and If you are a fan of paintings a must visit are Pinacoteca di Brera, Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, Museo Poldi Pezzoli and Galleria d’Arte Moderna.
I will surely come back here for another tour and shopping absolutely for its cheap prices when it’s on sale. from 50% to 80% off on shops really crazy. yes it is the home of crazy shoppers.
Nevertheless this experience was great, even if not having more time to explore the whole city. I mean it’s not impossible to visit everything.
It will sure take more days but this tour is one of the precious ones. Please do read my next article, rooting for Rome this time. the City of churches and Cathedrals, the home of the Pope and christianity.