36 Hours in Milan during Fashion Week, nonetheless. My non-caffeine dreaming boyfriend and I headed to Milan, which we tagged onto the end of our trip to Barcelona at the end of summer last year. In this post, I’m briefly listing places we visited and the restaurants along the way. Hopefully, you can find some inspiration if you’re heading to Milan.
We arrived into Malpensa Airport on a sunny afternoon and got the train directly to Bovisa. Transport from the airport was really straightforward – just remember to validate your ticket if you’re taking the train. And bear in mind, your tickets are only valid for three hours after validation. After making our way to our Air BnB and having a quick catch-up with our lovely host, we decided to venture out for some dinner.
Dinner: Corso Como
Our apartment was about a 45-minute walk into the more “central” area of Milan so we went off to explore. We got down to Corso Como where we stopped for a quick dinner. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the street for dining. It just happened to be the first area with a few restaurants we had come across, and food just had to be eaten. There is a big designer outlet here at 10 Corso Como though, for anyone hunting for a luxury bargain.
If you want to spoil yourself with some more dinner choices I would venture down Via Soferino. We took this route after dinner to find/visit the Duomo. After scooting around the square, finding our bearings and taking some snaps, we went in hunt of the tram home. We couldn’t quite figure out the ticket system but we jumped into the nearest metro station (at the Duomo) and eventually managed to grab a ticket. The tram was pretty rickety and old but got us home quickly and dropped us off right outside our apartment.
After a minor spider incident and a good nights’ rest, we got up early to make the most of our one full day in the city. We walked into town because the weather was beautiful – spotting a few fashion week goers on the way. Pavè was our first stop for a quick breakfast and coffee. I’d heard this was the place to go for a good coffee in the city and is popular with the locals, so we grabbed a pastry and a coffee before starting our day. The place was packed but we managed to get seated upstairs next to another couple – cosey.
We ventured through Indro Montanelli Public Garden, or “Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli” on our way down to the Duomo. A small but beautiful and historic city park. Following Via Alessandro Manzoni on the other side of the park led us straight down to the Piazza della Scalla, which is tucked behind the Galleria (Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II) and the famous Piazza del Duomo. It was lovely seeing it in the light of day! The Galleria and Piazza are obviously very tourist-heavy but are both a must-see.
Visit: Duomo Del Milano
We decided to visit the roof terrace of the famous Duomo del Milano and it was the thing of fairytales. SO DISNEY. I’ll let the photos do the talking here.
I think it was only around 9 euros or so for a ticket (we didn’t go inside the cathedral itself). I would highly recommend checking out the terrace if you are able to do so. We didn’t bother booking in advance and only waited in line for about twenty minutes before entering. TIP: For purchasing tickets for the terrace, you can purchase them from the free standing ticket office next to the little shop – the queue outside the Duomo is people who already have tickets and are waiting to go up. This was at least the case when we visited.
After running around on the rooftop for a while (I believe you can stay up there as long as you wish), we ventured back down to ground level in search of lunch. EATME&GO was today’s choice – a bustling lunch spot on Via Torino. There’s a pretty amazing description of the restaurant and their ethos on their website here. Lunch was a crazy cheese toastie with egg situation, followed by the biggest cannoli I have ever seen. The lady behind the counter recommended it to me and who was I to refuse. There may have also been an additional third dessert, involving gelato…
And the answer is yes – if you go to Milan, you really do have to try the gelato.
Visit: Museo del Novocento
Across from the Duomo sits the Museo del Novocento; a twentieth-century art museum that was high on my Milan bucket list. After appropriate refuelling, we went and got our art hats on. The Museum sits proudly within a pair of buildings on the Piazza, to the right of the cathedral. The Museum is the left building (the one nearest the Duomo) of the pair. Once you’re done meandering through the floors you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of the Duomo and Piazza from the top floor. The floor-to-ceiling windows and contrast of inside-out make for a beautiful snap.
Visit: Sforza Castle and Sempione Park
We were blessed with beautiful weather for the short time we were in Milan so we made the most of it by walking around. Next stop was a leisurely stroll along Via Dante (with the obligatory stop in Sephora), toward Castello Sforzesco. “Sforza Castle” was built in the 15th Century and within the grounds are various museums, some housing pieces by Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Lots of good stuff to see here if you want to get your history hat on. The grounds surrounding the Castle is Parco Sempione, which is beautiful to explore. We saw some turtles, some people playing basketball, and generally just chilled and did some people watching.
Coffee: Moleskine Cafe
In need of a little pick me up before heading for dinner, we circled the park and wandered around to the Moleskine Cafè. It’s situated on Corso Garibaldi, and they serve coffee from Milan-based coffee roasters Sevengrams. I think it turns into more of a bar in the evening, and I believe this is Moleskine’s first cafe of this kind. I liked how they describe the place in their own words, so here it is:
“A year-round program of talks, breakfast learning sessions and exhibitions animates the Café and a sales corner with a boutique-like display deck allows hands-on contact with the objects in Moleskine collections.
The new format is debuting in Milan, on Corso Garibaldi 65, at the heart of the Brera Design District and is ready to be replicated in global cities worldwide. Coffee and food take center stage.”
It’s beautifully designed and well worth a visit.
We went past Lentini’s on the way home on the tram the previous night and were attracted to it by its exterior. After a look at their menu when we got back to the apartment we were keen to check it out. It was just what we were after – a lovely, authentic Italian meal to enjoy on our last day in Milan. I didn’t get any snaps of our meal (pizza was beaut) but I did photograph the beautiful dessert.
We wrapped up the evening after dinner, headed back to the apartment and got packed for heading home the next day.
Departure & Breakfast at Mercado del Duomo
On our final morning, we got tickets for the bus to take us to Milano Centrale station where they have luggage storage. Tip: if you’re not near a station, you can buy travel tickets in the local newsagents/tobacco shops. We wanted to store our suitcase so we could make the most of our final few hours with dragging them around. It was only €6 for five hours which I thought was pretty decent. The luggage storage is called KiPoint, it’s a bit hard to find but it’s on the ground floor, and once you get there it’s a super straightforward process.
Our final breakfast was at Mercado del Duomo – which was a bit of a nightmare to actually find. But worth it. The Mercado includes a bunch of restaurants and food markets; the cafeteria is located on the 1st floor after the bakery. I would have loved to do a bit of shopping here but our schedule was tight, so we just grabbed some breakfast and were on our merry way.
We did a little more exploring but didn’t have time to travel to any other parts of the city so stayed quite central. And that pretty much wrapped up our 36-hour visit to Milan. After picking up our luggage, we got the bus back to Milan airport which was less enjoyable than the train, but more convenient for us. In terms of airport transfers, I’d recommend either – the bus is cheaper, the train slightly faster.
Thank you for reading, and please leave any Milan travel tips in the comments below.
Oh and here’s a picture of the Alps we flew over on the way home.