Winter in Milan (Italy)

After all our exams at university were finally over, two fellow business administration students accompanied me on a trip to Milan. As none of us had been there before, we were excited to hop on a bus from Munich to Milan (Lampugnano bus station) on 26th of February. We arrived in the early afternoon and made our way directly to our apartment. Our first goal was to find a supermarket to get some snacks and drinks. To get the real “Milan feeling”, the cathedral or “Il Duomo” and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II were our next destination. Even at nightfall this whole area is full of life and the illumination of the cathedral was stunning. We wandered through the streets around the Piazza del Duomo until we didn´t feel safe exploring any further as three girls alone in the dark. Nearly frozen to death, we got to the Navigli district and ate dinner at “Al Coccio”. The canals are quite unspectacular, at least at this time of the year, but the welcoming and individual pub made up for that.

(Il Duomo & Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II)

(Navigli district)

Over the course of the next three mornings, we choreographed the perfect morning routine to fit everyone’s needs. I got up first, probably around 7am, and got ready. In the meanwhile, one of my friends rolled out of bed and went into the bathroom after me. While I was getting out the breakfast or doing stuff on my laptop, my other friends crawled out of bed and could get ready just when the other friend got out of the bathroom. That way, everyone was (kind of) satisfied. When we went to the “Gelateria Oasi” next door, I was confronted with “cioccolata calda”, which I had thought of as hot chocolate. However, it wasn´t chocolate flavoured milk, but a sort of chocolate pudding. Anyways…It was delicious.

We then went to Sant´Ambrogio Church and Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, which are both absolutely stunning! Not only the courtyards in the university were beautiful, you just have to look left and right in any of the streets. Of course, we had to do some shopping in Via Torino as well. This gave us the opportunity to visit the church Santa Maria presso San Satiro, which is famous for its tromp d´oeil/ optical illusion. 

(Sant´Ambrogio Church)

(Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

(Santa Maria presso San Satiro)

As it was sunny, we decided to buy the Duomo Pass B (12 Euro) and head up to the terrace of the cathedral. In my opinion, if the weather is good, the views are really worth the price of the ticket. The pass also includes a visit to the inside of the cathedral. As a snack, we went to Panzerotti, which sells a special kind of pastry. An Italian friend recommended it to us, and I definitely liked it. And because one break isn´t enough, we went to “Cuccis” for a coffee. The cakes looked amazing there, but it´s rather pricy,  and it´s frequented mostly by older ladies or business men. After relaxing for while, we bought a one-day public transport ticket (4,5 Euro) and took a tram to Castello Sforzesco. It was dark already, there were only few people there and it was just magical. From there, we went to “Nerino Dieci Trattoria”, a rather fancy but absolutely wonderful Italian restaurant. We were lucky enough to get in without a reservation, or maybe we were just too charming to say “no” to. The “three tiramisu” dessert was one of my Milan-highlights, and we weren´t even broke after this luxurious meal. Before heading back to our apartment, we had cocktails and fries at the “Wave Cocktail Bar”. Especially their non-alcoholic drinks are worth a try.

(Terrace on top of the cathedral)

(Castello Sforzesco)

To get the most out of our Duomo Pass, we visited the “Duomo Museum” and the Gottardo Church. I really enjoyed the statues in the museum, but I wouldn´t buy a ticket JUST to see this museum. We then took a random tram from Piazza del Duomo and had a snack at “Café Principe”. It´s a bakery/cafeteria serving pasta, pizza, cakes etc. and to our surprise, it was quite expensive for a self-service restaurant. Then, tram 1 took us through China Town and the suburbs, and afterwards, we took the bus 43 from P.Za Firenze back into the center. On our way, we visited Piazza Gae Aulenti, where we went for a coffee at “Red”. It´s a bookshop with a café inside, and our waiter was the most friendly, cute and positive person ever. That really brightend up our rainy day. The Brera district is beautiful as well, it´s filled with luxury boutiques and colourful, detailed facades. As we were already in the area, we looked at the courtyard of the Pinacoteca di Brera. Even without a visit of the museum itself, I´d recommend checking out this place. As a worthy conclusion to the trip, we decided to go eat “Risotto alla Milanese”, another delicious dinner. We just didn´t want the day to end, so we sat down in our loved “Gelateria Oasi” and had some late-night tea. How awesome is an ice cream shop with such opening hours? And we literally only had to walk five steps to our apartment.

(Piazza del Duomo with snow)

(Piazza Gae Aulenti)

(Brera district)

(Pinacoteca di Brera)

And just like that… our trip had come to an end.

We´ll be back some day for ice cream and shopping, but preferably during the summer months.

Some general information:

A single trip ticket for public transport is 1.5 Euros, whereas a 24 hour ticket (bus, tram, metro) is 4.5 Euros. Tickets can be bought in shops with a “T” sign all over town. You can drink the tap water, but if you´ve got a sensitive stomach, you´re better off buying bottled water. Big supermarkets are rare within the city centre, so plan your groceries ahead of time. At Lampugnano bus terminal, there´s some kind of a  travel center. It has some seats, a toilet and is heated.


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