I have been in Milan the last time surely 7 years ago, so I it was definetly time to go again. And, oh boy, I spent one of the best weekends of this season! Being one of Italy's biggest cities, Milan belongs automatically to the epicentre of happening. There's a lot of sightseeing and culture in here, but as we know, the time on a weekend can be quite limited. So if you're planning to be in North Italy you might be glad to have some tips for a big city like Milan. So let's start this mini survival guide: Milan in 36 hours.
1. Live Central
That doesn't exactly mean to live right next to the Dome, believe me, go local! One of the best spots you could live at is the lovely Zona Tortona. Located obviously in and around Via Tortona, next to the Metro Station Porta Genova. The former industrial and working class quarter left loads of space for little alternative boutiques, traditional and trendy Restaurants. The cute canal oasis Navigli is just 10 minutes away by walk and there's a good Connection through Metro line M2 from central station, Milano Linate is the closest airport from here.
We spent our night in Milan at the Hotel Mercure Milano Solari, in a two stories room with balcony, for a fair Price of EUR 74.
2. Celebrate Food <3
My arrival in Milan was around midday, perfect for brunch. I decided to make a reservation at God Save the Food, where you can get the very best of the american (Burgers, Eggs) or the italian (classic cornetto with coffee or other sweets like cake) breakfast. Ideally accompained by one of their delicious homemade smoothies, everything tastes delicious. The restaurant offers a sitting space outside and is very bright and friendly inside. Even if it's good sized, I would reccommend a reservation for brunch on weekends.
|Egg Benedict with smoked salmon|
We went to Milan because of a concert. The show start was communicated for 9 pm, basically no chance to have proper dinner. But lucky us, we were in the city that invented one of the best afterwork events ever: Aperitivo! Usually starting at 6 pm until 10pm at night, almost every bar offers a buffet of warm dishes and cold appetizers that are included in the price of the first drink you'll have (around 10 EUR). Being the perfect solution for us, I opted to visit the beautiful Navigli area and go to Spritz to have our aperitivo. Spritz Navigli is perfectly located on the water, which can be very suggestive on summer nights. In our case it was pouring outside, so we had to sit inside, which wasn't bad either. Spritz offers 20 different kinds of the italian classic "Aperol Spritz", besides different cocktails, or national liquors like Sambuca. They have a huge buffet and they serve good sized drinks; definetly a must!
|Navigli - photo by Metropolischt|
On our last day we decided to go more traditional and visited the very nice decorated Ristorante Boccino. Besides the nice interior, they have very attentive waiters. We were informed that they had fresh truffle avalaible, so it was clear that we were going to order dishes based on that. My friends had some beef sashimi and I had tagliatelle, both with truffle on top. They also serve mouthwatering desserts, homemade as well. We had lunch there, I would make a reservation for dinner, because of the romantic vibe of this place, I really can imagine it perfect as a packed dating spot.
|Photo by Metropolischt|
If you'll find yourself travelling through Milano Centrale, you totally should enjoy some coffee, aperitivo or buy some italian food at Bistrot Centrale. A very welcoming spot into the madness of the train station. Coffee is the best start you can have for your Italian trip and their focaccia was my delight on my way home.
|Photo by Metropolischt|
Admitted, in 36 hours (trip included), there's not a lot left for sightseeing. I just decided to bring my friends to the world famous Duomo, beautiful inside and outside. In Addition we had a walk with another ton of people throug Corso Vittorio Emanuele for some Shopping. If you have one more day to spend I'd reccomend for sure to visit the Scala Theatre and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele as well.
4. Spoil your Soul with Music
As I mentioned before, I went to Milan because of a concert. And yes, there I go again: Paolo Nutini. And I'm absolutely not ashamed of visiting Show #4 this year, because it's totally worth it. His voice might be one of the best of the past couple of years, and it's an everytime confirmation. Paolo's latest record, "Caustic Love", is for sure one of the most acclaimed ones of the year. Don't get me wrong, I am very pleased for this amazing Artist to be as successful as he is right now, but I miss him playing in small venues. His concert in Milan was Held at Mediolanum Forum, huge complex for approx. 15000 People, and the Show itself and the vibe in there were so great. I just hope that if he chooses Zurich as a tour destination, he'll Play in a smaller place, just to get the intimacy back that I had when I saw him in Munich in May. It gives a "smokey jazz bar athmosphere" to the whole thing, which I think fits so well to his music!
|Photo by Metropolischt|
With himself joking about the bad weather ("no pioggia, no arcobaleno" - "no rain, no rainbow") he wrapped the audience easily around his little finger, by speaking italian with that charming accent.
My personal Show Highlights were for sure his single "Iron Sky" played with Chaplin's movie "The great dictator" projected on a wide screen on the back. I still could see this song in a 007 movie. A big surprise was MGMT's cover "Time to Pretend": I think the last time I've heared him singing this song was a couple of years ago. It's one of my favourite tracks ever, talking about how good we are nowadays in faking and pretending to be who we aren't, forgetting about genuine things in life like family or real friends. Funny is, I think Paolo Nutini's version has much more substance and emotion than the original performance!
The italian crowd literally freaked out, and singed the most along the second cover of the evening, which was Fred Buscaglione's "Guarda che Luna", released in 1959, declared to be one of Paolo's favourite Songs. I won't stop telling you: go to one of his Shows! I promise that it won't be the last you wanna see. Confirmation is also the double sold out at SSE Hydro in Glasgow within a couple of hours.
Paolo Nutini just released his new single "One Day" today, watch the offical Video here:
Have a listen to his MGMT Cover "Time to Pretend", here live at Paleo Festival Nyon 2010:
Paolo Nutini will be live on stage between December and January in the UK and hitting his first Australian Tour in March 2015
If there's no Nutini avalaible, I'm pretty sure you'll find loads of other concerts to visit. As I said, Milan is one of the central events spot in Italy, keep yourself informed on Vivi Milano. Buon Divertimento :)
5. Bring a second pair of shoes
I already mentioned the bad weather on the first day. It was more than bad, it was apocalyptic. I had the pleasure to walk a whole day in my (poor) wet boots. So you won't make a mistake by taking a second pair of shoes with you during the autumn and winter months :)
|Thank you to these Darlings for sharing the madness|