Ciao from my little balcony back home in Florence! If you’ve been following along on my travel diaries on Instagram, you’ll know I traveled a couple hours north of Florence this weekend for a quick trip to Milan!
As a fashion student & fashion blogger, it’s not difficult to see why Milan has always been a bucket list destination for me: the fashion, the scenery, the shopping; I was in my element! Because I was only in Milan for 36 hours, I really had to prioritize what I wanted to do and see. I was still pretty sick this weekend, so I didn’t get to everything on my list, but here is a list of my must-see places and attractions in Milan!
Duomo di Milano
The picture above was taken outside of the Duomo di Milano, one of the largest churches in the world. I highly recommend buying a ticket and going inside, because the inside is just as magnificent as the outside. WARNING: Outside the Duomo is extremely crowded, and because of the many distractions, it’s the perfect setting for people to snatch your belongings. Make sure you stay aware!
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The Galleria is not only Milan’s oldest shopping mall, but it is also a major landmark and home to the world’s only certified seven-star hotel. If you’re at the Duomo di Milano, you’re only a few steps away. The Galleria is home to multiple major fashion houses such as the first ever Prada store which opened in 1913, as well as the French label Louis Vuitton and Florence’s own Gucci.
If you stand in the center of the Galleria and look up, you’ll notice there are four paintings each representing a continent: America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
In addition to the Duomo and the Galleria, there are also a ton of great shopping destinations. Head down Corso Vittorio Emanuele II street and you’ll find Mango, Zara, H&M, Pull & Bear, & Other Stories, Bershka & many more.
We started out at Miss Sixty, an Italian fashion brand known for their ready-to-wear denim. This store was way out of my price range, but the decor was AMAZING! When you first walk in, it’s hard to miss the disco-like panels reflecting light and the chic cafe on the second level. After Miss Sixty, we walked around and popped into any stores that looked interesting. I have always wanted to go to a Mango store and the store in Milan did not disappoint!
We didn’t end up making it to la Rinascente, but if you have time I would highly recommend going! According to our tour guide, there is a rooftop restaurant and bar on the top floor. La Rinascente was home of the very first ready-to-wear store in Italy. Prior to this point, all that stores carried were bespoke garments (a.k.a made to measure).
Where to Stay
I’m not the best person to ask this question because our hotel was booked for us through our study abroad program. With that being said, we stayed at Hotel Windsor, next to Piazza Republica, and had a great experience. It was a great location to hop on the metro to go anywhere you wanted to go; the Duomo was only two stops and it took us less than 15 minutes.
The Windsor also had the BEST continental breakfast complete with various fruits, coffee, pastries & egg dishes. I’m not sure if this is just a European thing, but regardless, take note, America!
For gelato near the Duomo, shopping and the Galleria, you have to try Rinaldini. I got black cherry and panna cotta and it was absolutely delicious and the perfect way to escape the heat. Plus, they also have so many other treats to choose from including macarons.
Because I was feeling so sick, I’m not the best person to ask about dinner recommendations either. We did end up finding a good dinner spot along the canal called Bellariva, but online reviews said it is super hit or miss so I probably wouldn’t go back. I will say that the spaghetti with shrimp looked incredible and I’m mad I was too sick to order it and opted for spaghetti. With that being said, there were a TON of restaurants along Naviglio Grande to choose from.
Have you traveled to Milan before? What are some of your favorite places?
Comment below so future travelers know!