Have you ever thought about visiting Milan? People often rave about Florence, Rome or the Amalfi Coast when talking about their Italian experience, which are not to be discounted, but I am thrilled to share my list of hot spots after living in the Porta Genova neighborhood, 2 summers ago while staying with a Milanese family.
Milan earns its title as the fashion capital of the world. Everyone living in this city sets the standards high with their dress and sophistication. For example, you would never see anyone in sweat pants at the supermarket, or anywhere in public for that matter! In Milan, everywhere you go people walk around to see and be seen.
This cosmopolitan city is full possibilities. It is the home of modern design and business at the center of the industrial triangle which contributes to the majority of the Italian economy.
Milan is a small city that feels like a very large one, and is the only place I have ever lived comparable to New York. The people are very attentive, cultured and the city shows itself off with incredible architecture, what’s not to love!?
I have highlighted my favorite places to see along with how to get around and really take in the city the way the Italians do. As a true Milanese would say “fare la bella figura” or make a good impression.
You will feel the history of this fashion capital when walking into the first department store in Italy. The top floor of the building is filled with restaurants that have a beautiful view of the city and this is the prime location to pick up authentic gifts to bring home.
This artsy neighborhood is tucked away just north of the Duomo. Strolling the cobblestone streets in the evening while hopping around street side bars and restaurants you will feel like a local. The area is also home to my favorite authentic restaurant, Nabucco, which makes the famous Milanese saffron risotto. The staff got to know my friends and I by name, this is one special spot!
Not in any other city will you find aperitivo like in Milan. The city is known for this chic, social dining experience. One hot spot where you will surely come across the most fashionable locals is Yguana. This spot near Porto Tincinese is packed around 18:30, which is the ideal time to mingle with the trendy scene.
Here you will roam up and down the “two rivers” and find some of the best nightlight and dance spots as the canals glow in the evening, it is quite the sight!
Other than housing a massive medieval castle, this park is very similar to Central Park and lies at the heart of the city. Pathways, ponds, arches and gardens give character to a beautiful park which is also filled with a few bumping clubs in the evening like Just Cavalli, or Old Fashioned, where you will find the most lively young, but chic scene.
*A note on the nightlife: the “college” bar scene would be impossible to find in Milan. Everyone’s idea of going out here is having a table at the clubs, or a wristband as you mingle with the crowd in Armani and sky high heels.
Let this awe inspiring architecture overwhelm you, if you are covered, go inside and take it all in.
Shopping on Corso di Porta Ticinese
Corso Como is famous for the designer stores and high end shopping, but in the Tincinese area you will find more variety and local boutiques which will be tough to resist.
The metro is very efficient and there is a stop to take you everywhere. The trams also run throughout the city which may require a little more patience but getting around in Milan is a breeze! There is even an express train to take you directly to and from the airport.
Woodstock 3 Porto Genova
So, we have to talk about the pizza! Each city tells a different story with their pies, but the specialties here would be impossible to forget. Delizioso!
Milano Centrale is a massive architectural wonder that makes you wish train travel had more of a presence in the U.S. At the station you will observe the glamour of ordering a cappuccino and cornetto as people stand at the bars before hopping on the train to anywhere from Germany to Lake Como. Some easy weekend trips outside of Milan are Torino, Verona, Cinque Terre or Lugano and St. Moritz Switzerland.
If you are still not convinced or want to know more about this incredible city, dimmi! "Ask me!"
City girl, traveler, foodie and film fanatic sharing stories on every day, attainable luxury. Passionate about speaking Italian, exploring, cooking, and crafting.