Milano: the highlights

A view from the Duomo

1. Duomo
Take the stairs & enjoy the roof terrace! If we look a little beat up, it’s because we hardly slept the night before. The short version of that story is that we will be very diligent about our Airbnb screening process next time.

Duomo in Milano

Duomo in centro Milano

roof terrace

roof terrace

roof terrace

2. Castello Sforzesco
An amazing castle close to the center…This was a surprise *free* entry museum visit—makes up for all the dining cover charge!

Castello Sforzesco

One of the most breathtaking walls in the castle's museum

3. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
A pretty impressive indoor shopping passage connecting the Duomo to the Piazza della Scala.

Vittorio Emmanuel II

Vittorio Emmanuel II inside

ceiling of Vittorio Emmanuel II

4. Corso Como 10
A little off the beaten trail simply because it lies beyond a giant gate and a bunch of construction, but well worth the trek. We missed the entrance the first time because the front isn’t the most inviting or well lit. Once you move past the ivy-covered panels, you moved through a lovely courtyard and into the boutique, gallery and bookstore. We would’ve loved to stay for dinner, but next time…

Corso Como 10

5. Shopping!!
Garibaldi, Montenapoleone, Via Sant’Andrea, the “design supermarket” in the Rinascente

via Sant'Andrea

Graeme examines the ties

Graeme examines the ties

Design SuperMarket

Design SuperMarket @ La Rinascente

6. Brera Gallery
The paintings are nice—I mean, they’re masterpieces—but the neighborhood, courtyard and gallery space were amazing. You get Renaissance overload around the 1.5hr mark, so at that time you move on to the shopping. The old Academy of Art is located in the complex—how cool would that be?

Brera Art Gallery

Brera Art Gallery

7. The food
Gelato (obviously), Chiacchieri and pasta! Chiacchieri are honey drenched balls of pasta dough fried and dusted with powdered sugar…AMAZING! Many of the grocery stores sell homemade ravioli, gnocchi, and tortellini. Peck was one such grocery store that is worth a visit even to smell the cheese!

eating gelato

who cares if it's 1°C outside!

Italian pastries

8. Paper Stores
Since coming across the myriad of paper stores in Florence three years ago, I vowed to collect paper each time I landed in Italy. Milan didn’t disappoint. There were several shops selling a range of stationery and paper products. I bought 7 sheets of various sizes and designs. I know, I know…I have too much paper already and what do I do with it. Collect it, of course. And one day I’ll frame it or maybe use it to make my own stationery pieces.

Graeme’s Extra Picks


Leonardo Museum of Science & Technology
Ok, so I’m definitely reading a biography of Leonardo Di Vinci as soon as I can. Dude’s super interesting! I guess I’ll start with The Di Vinci Code just to get a good realistic overview of his life.

Anyway, a lot of Leonardo’s sketches of war machines, or various engineering plans (pontoon bridges, mechanical saws, a freaking crane!) have actually been made (not to scale) and are here in the museum and they work just like Leo wanted them to. They are surrounded by his various artwork and sketches as well as stories talking about how he basically made everyone’s life easier by building dams and designing water causeways etc. I feel totally inadequate. But I so want to learn more!

Leonardo Museo of Science & Technology

hall of inventions & models


Giacomo Dining Experience
An amazing dinner at a place we were allowed to enter because of how early we were…6PM!!..we could sit as long as we were out by 8pm. In Italy, instead of eating dinner they just do this glorified tapas + drinks thing. We were usually the only people eating actual dinner food. Most other people were eating mini quiches and finger food while drinking. We decided to not go native on this one this trip.

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