Milan is a major city, a sea of asphalt punctuated by breathtaking strips of green where the bustle of daily life sometimes overshadows la dolce far niente.
But beneath the industrial, fashion-focused lifestyle of Milan is a beautiful, historic district that can easily be overlooked. Whether it’s €2000 Gucci shoes or Da Vinci’s breathtaking Last Supper, here you will be intimidated. This city earns its cultural megatron status from the Renaissance works, awe-inspiring churches, and medieval castles. The Piazza del Duomo alone is built on the four great pillars of the Milanese lifestyle: the church (Duomo), art (Museo Novecento), commerce (La Rinascente), and rich Renaissance people (Palazzo Reale).
Milan is a city where all the women wear heels, where even the least fashion conscious can pick out the knock-off, where art is free and plentiful, and where it’s normal to save up for one €60 meal instead of several crappy ones. The Italian ideal of la bella figura, an aesthetically conscious lifestyle includes everything from food to fashion sense to social prowess, reigns supreme in this sophisticated city.
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The Milan Top 5
Listen to "Heart of Courage" by Invincible to pump you up and mentally prepare yourself for the largest collection of Leonardo’s drawings in the world.
Enjoy, but restrain from shooting pics unless you have some weird “church guard chasing you through a tranquil church” fetish.
The nearly vertical trip triggers cringes from the feint of heart, but provides brilliant views of Como and the lake’s southernmost leg.
Pincoteca di Brera
For a museum originally designed for art students’ studies, the collection is extremely impressive.
Da Vinci is far from the only heavy hitter highlighted in the castle.
Not exhaustive by any means, but as a professional tourist, I kinda know some shit about them. So in homage to my travels and my work (and because I finally remembered that I actually have a blog), the next three posts will be dedicated to the best Italy has to offer – from what I’ve seen anyway. To start things off, my top picks for budget food in Italy. Let’s go.
Best gelato: Gelateria del Teatro, Rome. Tucked away in the heart of Centro Storico, only the most worthy can wander the small streets long enough to find this. Try the […]
Here are the top five words to know if you want to order food and pretend you’re slightly Italian.
Prego: A versatile word, kinda meaning please. What the person taking your order will say. Respond with food.
Vorrei…: “I would like…”. Fill in the blank with what you’d like. Pizza, arancino, sexy Italian waiter. Up to you.
Questo.: “This.” When vorrei fails because you have no idea what the name of that pastry is. Just point and say *questo *and you’ll be golden.
Il conto?: “The check?” You’re gonna pay for that.
Grazie: “Thank you”. Self-explanatory. And then you can congratulate yourself on a job […]
According to a fellow hostel-mate, “there are only two ways to truly experience Lake Como: either from the water or from the mountains.” Since he had only arrived an hour earlier than me, I’m not quite sure why I took his advice so seriously, but after experiencing Como from both perspectives I certainly agree!
I woke up to uninviting weather—the crisp blue sky had been traded for a hazy, overcast sheet of clouds. The forecast for the next few days did not promise any relief as well. So I asked a staff member what there was to do in Menaggio in […]
I am not a huge fan of fashion. If you are like me and Pitti Uomo is not your thing, Milan is a city that can definitely be done in 1-3 days. After visiting museums and residential neighborhoods for 5 days, I was in desperate need of a break from city life. So a couple of hostel-mates and I spontaneously decided to head up to Lake Como for two nights. Though we didn’t find Clooney, karma was on our side for other reasons. Along the waterfront path flooded with tourists, a small paper bill on the sidewalk caught my eye. […]