Thanks to an impulse buy of an Alitalia buy-one-get-a-companion-ticket free promotion, my daughter and I were off to MILAN.
Since neither of us had been to Milan before, we wanted to stay close to the action and the Duomo area.
It was also ‘Fashion Week’ which made it a hair more challenging to find a hotel room, but we lucked out with a lovely boutique hotel tucked into a corner on the Via Moneta called the Hotel Gran Duca di York.
We had a full agenda in Milan, so we plowed through our jet lag on day one and walked as much as we could before collapsing.
We wandered through the beautiful Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II…
Stopping in the original PRADA that opened in 1913 and the Bar Camparino. That was it, we did not accomplish much on our first day!
We hit the Park Hyatt that night for a pick-me-up cocktail before dinner at Slow Sud on Via Delle Asole. Our spritz had a giant ball of frozen aperol that was not melting, so our kind waiter kept pouring prosecco over it to help it along. It took four rounds, but we were GAME.
We set out early the next morning to see the Castella Sforzesco and the beautiful Rondanini Pieta sculpture by Michelangelo.
This was the last sculpture he worked on before he died in 1564. Gorgeous.
We did a 3-hour walking tour of the Duomo, the Brera District (the Soho of Milan) and the ‘Last Supper’ with the tour company Viator. It was well worth it because it was very difficult to get tickets to the Last Supper. Our tour guide Conor was fantastic!
Did you know a door was installed through the ‘Last Supper’ and cut the feet off below? You can see (above) the painted feet of the apostles on either side of the door outline and then this random door in the middle. What? This room was a dining room and a stable at different points. Crazy!
On our own, we hit the little Pinacoteca Ambrosiana museum.
It has sketches Raffaello did for his paintings in the Vatican and some works of Caravaggio. A lovely museum.
Our three favorite restaurants in Milan were: Ceresio 7, Paper Moon and Spazio. All three were hopping during fashion week and you definitely need reservations.
Park your “no-carb” diet until you go home, the food and wine here are too good. For cocktails, hit the Park Hyatt, The Armani Lounge, Bar Camparino and Boscolo Milano. The other place we were dying to go, but didn’t have time, was the Straf Hotel and Bar.
We were lucky enough to be in Milan when a retrospective of Italian Fashion from 1971-2001 opened at the Palazzo Reale.
The Versace fashion show was going on in the next room, so we had a birds eye view of the models running through the hallway into the adjoining room to walk the runway.
And my own little fashionista, Emily ~
It was COLD in Milan. 25-30 degrees every day. All of the chic Italian ladies had their fur coats on. We still logged in our daily walks, but one day the wind did us in and we basically stopped for multiple cappuccinos and some fresh pasta to watch everyone walk by.
We did a little jaunt to Verona, Bologna and Parma for three nights too, which was fabulous and I will talk about soon. We did so little planning for this trip, I was nervous. Emily and I sat with side-by-side computers and picked all of our hotels in about an hour. Anything that looked good and was available, we booked! The sights we figured out on the plane, except for the Viator tour which I booked ahead for the Last Supper. We stayed in two hotels in Milan and the second one we did not like, so I won’t mention it. We found another one that was charming and would stay in next time ~ Hotel Spadori Al Duomo. We loved Milan and an added bonus was seeing my college friend Victoria for an aperitivo on our last night!
the wry home