Milan, the gateway to explore northern part of Italy…
Milan, the 1st largest city of Italy, is renowned as one of the world capitals of design and fashion. But what I wanted to share with you guys are not about the fashion and design la, friends are calling me ‘Ah Pek (old man)’ which means I’m not really into fashion. I just make use of whatever I got and then ‘mix and match’, that’s all. Just want to share my experience of Milan trip with all of you.
After the unhappy event that happened after our arrival in Milan, we still managed to keep up with our initial plan on the 1st day without delay. But we had to call the hotel where we stayed from time to time to make sure that my luggage would arrive on that day.
Traveling from airport to the city is very convenient, there’re 2 ways you can make it to the city, one is by bus that costs you 7 euro and you will reach Milan central station. And another is by aeroexpress which costs you 11 euro, the final stop is one of the metro stations, and from there, you can continue to the destination you want to go. The earliest bus from Milan central station to the airport (Malpensa) is 4.15am and the earliest aeroexpress to the airport is 6am.
So, in order to explore Milan, one needs to get a metro map at any tabacchi shop or newsstand. According to the locals, the Milan authority no longer provides the metro maps and city maps for free to tourists. So if you want to save money to get a map that costs around 3.50 euro, print it out yourself before depart. And just get the day pass that will cost you only 3 euro for 1 day for using all kinds of transportation in Milan including trolleybus, metro, tram, and bus.
So, where you can go in Milan?
Duomo, the city’s landmark. Commissioned in 1386 to a florid French-Gothic design and finished nearly 600 years later. It’s the 3rd largest cathedral in the world, hosting the world’s largest collection of marble statues. The entry to the cathedral is free, and if you want to explore the roof top of the cathedral, the only cathedral in Italy where you can go to the roof, will cost you about 5 euro for the stairs and 7 euro for the lift. The view from the roof is magnificent! (Remember, that International Student Identity Card, ISIC is useless along your trip throughout the whole Italy.)
Beware of the people around you when you are in the Duomo Square! There’re people who will approach you, put some dried corn in your hand for you to feed the pigeons! Don’t be tricked by them, they’ll ask for money after that, saying that the money is for their job!!! So funny, forcing people to feed the pigeons and then ask for the money, saying that this is their job!!!
After that, go have your window shopping at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It’s a big shopping center, with many of the world’s renowned shops here. For example: Prada, Gucci, Luis Vuitton (LV). And if you are lucky to meet the season’s sales here, you can get the items with a very reasonable price.
After that, go to the Sforzesco Castle located not far from Duomo Square. Actually, it’s not a very beautiful castle, in my opinion. But it played a very important role in development of Milan history, especially during the period of Renaissance. Admission to the castle is free, excluding the museums.
Go to Santa Maria Delle Grazie, one of Milan most suggestive churches, both architecture and history take on unusual tones of the grandeur. You can go here not only by metro, but tram also, just hop on tram number 16 from Duomo and you will reach within 20minutes. What’s interesting here? Beside this beautiful medieval church (free entrance), you might have the opportunity to have a closer look at the original masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci, ‘The Last Supper!’ in the Cenacolo Vinciano. We were lucky because we managed to buy the tickets on the spot! According to some travel guides and journals, before we depart, we actually need to book in advance at least a year to get the ticket just to see this painting. It will cost you about 6.50 euro and you are allowed to stay for only 30 minutes, no photographing is allowed! But the painting was amazing! The excitement when we saw that painting cannot be expressed by words, but only by feelings and senses. (My suggestions to you, if you happen to get there but you did not book the ticket in advance, don’t hesitate to ask from the reception desk, there might be cancellation and you might get the ticket on the spot! It depends on your luck lo..)
San Siro! The one cannot be missed by every football fan who pays a visit to Milan. This is the home of the two giant football teams of Italy, AC Milan and Inter Milan! The stadium can hold about 85000 people, and since 1980 the stadium has been dedicated to Giuseppe Meazza – still regarded as the best Italian football player ever! Continue your trip from Santa Maria Delle Grazie by taking the same tram no.16 and you will stop just in front of the stadium at the last stop! The complete tour including the stadium and the museum will cost you 12.50 euro and the tour just for the museum is only 7.50 euro. My advice is to take the complete tour, this is because you will have the opportunity to visit the stadium, the changing rooms for both teams and you will be given the chance to sit on the players’ seats! Like what I sat on the seat where Kaka used to sit!
Pinacoteca Di Brera, another museum that is worth to visit when you are in Milan. It’s the home of thousands of paintings. We didn’t go to the museum, hehe… At 1st we thought we could make it on the last day of our trip in Milan, but we decided to visit San Siro instead! And don’t forget to walk around the city to enjoy the city-life of Milan, it’s amazing! There’re lots of modern buildings and infrastructures that are worth for you to pay a visit too.
That’s what we managed to do during our 2-day stay in Milan, we continued our journey by heading to the Central part of the Italy, Florence… And stay with me for my coming posts… Ciao!