Milan – more than a fashion capital

Hello travelers! Today I want to tell you about my very last trip that husband and I had in Milan, Italy’s fashion capital. But please don’t let its reputation for style distract you because underneath it all, Milan can be more than this! Although I have to be honest and tell you that we were quite reserved at the beginning and did not expect much when we decided to visit this city, but in the end, it really surprised us in a pleasant way!

P2092268.jpg

When we started traveling on our own, we also started chasing the best deals, meaning also the cheapest ones, of course. For this trip we booked our Ryanair flight, from Bucharest to Milan, with only 5 Euros. I am not kidding. Only 5 Euros, it’s true. And for the return flight, we booked Wizzair with 10 Euros. So this means no more and no less than 15 Euros each. AWEEESOME!

Ryanair and Wizzair both operate on Bergamo Airport. To get to Milano Centrale FS you should take one of the buses which are right in front of the airport. We bought our round-trip tickets online from Orio Shuttle and we paid 8 Euros each. It was a 60 minutes ride.

We stayed at Rezidenza Cenisio for 2 nights (rated as “Good 7.2” on Booking) and we paid 109 Euros for a double room. We also paid the city tax – 2 Euros per person per night. The room was really spacious, had a comfy bed and big windows that were letting in a lot of natural light. However, it had some downsides as well. Big ones, if you ask me. Well, it was kind of cold, the AC did not function properly during our stay, Wifi was really slow and our windows were 50 meters away from the trains so you can all imagine the noise. Therefore, I don’t think we would stay here again. It was not that bad, but it totally could have been better.

We’ve chosen this hotel because it is really close to Cenisio metro station, only 5 minutes walk. From there you can easily get to the city center in aprox. 15 minutes, which is very good. Interesting thing: on the purple line M5 the trains are driverless. The systems are controlled by a fully automated computer system, located at the control and maintenance center. Nice!

milan-metro-map-max

Public transportation makes getting around in Milan very easy and cheap. The metro operates roughly from 6 AM to midnight every day. Trams and buses start about an hour earlier and run until an hour or so later. Additionally, several night buses run on Friday and Saturday nights. Check www.atm.it for complete timetables. Tickets must be purchased in advance from newsstands or vending machines (exact change only).

Ticket Time Price
Standard Ticket 90 Minutes after validation 1,50€
Carnet 10 tickets Ten 90 Minutes tickets 13,80€
1 Day Ticket 24 Hours after validation 4,50€
2 Days Ticket 48 Hours after validation 8,25€

So, basically, here starts our DAY 1. After we checked in, we changed our clothes and went straight to the Duomo, Milan’s Cathedral. You all know it, for sure. It’s clearly the landmark of this city being the most impressive structure in Milan. The Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the largest church in Italy (the larger St. Peter’s Basilica is in the State of Vatican City) and the fifth largest in the world. The entire building is made up of this pink-hued white marble. Thousands of artists, sculptors and specialized workers were involved in the construction of the Cathedral of Milan.

p2071964

We paid 9 Euros each to visit the terrace of the Cathedral and we climbed to the top of the Duomo via a spiral stone staircase of 919 steps. More info about hours and admission here. Below you can see some photos I took up there. It was quite impressive!

P2072023.JPG

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One thing I didn’t like about the Duomo is the fact that on the outside of the building it had a huge advertising panel attached and it really ruined the Cathedral’s appearance. I know it’s all about the money in the end, but why not keep its beauty intact?

After that, we went inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II which is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. Housed within a four-story double arcade, the Galleria is named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It’s the place where all great fashion designers‘ shops are: Luis Vuitton, Gucci, Armani, Versace, Fendi, Dolce&Gabbana, Dior, Prada, Alexander McQueen etc. But to be honest, I was more impressed of the architecture, paintings and size of this building, rather than being impressed of the shops within. Maybe that’s because I wasn’t there for shopping… yep, this might be the answer haha.

p2071978

After all this walking, we were kind of thirsty so we bought some beers outside the shopping mall from a street vendor, 5 Euros each. Hmm a bit pricey though. Oh and do you remember I’ve told you about discovering Ceres beer when we were in Rome? Well we couldn’t wait to drink this beer again. And I am sorry Carlsberg, but Ceres is probably the best beer in the world. Funny thing is that it’s from Denmark, not from Italy. Oh well, we don’t care haha.

p2082261

Also, we couldn’t visit Italy again and not have their famous gelato. I really like how italians have their gelato no matter how the weather is outside. Cold, hot, warm, freezing, foggy, chilly… a gelato is always perfect!

p2072048

We tried to find a place to eat that night that wasn’t very central, because near the Duomo the prices are really high. So we wandered the area for like almost 2 hours, time in which I also bought some sneakers because my boots were not that comfortable (so I guess I did some shopping after all).

After 2 hours we realized we were still in the same area so we just sat down in the first restaurant that came in our way. We had one big shared pizza and 2 draught beers and we paid 32 Euros. Yep, pricey.

Afterwards, we walked to the hotel, and on our way back, we passed by Santa Maria delle Grazie (the church contains the mural of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, which is one of the world’s most famous paintings), Castello Sforzesco, Torre Branca (a steel panoramic tower where it’s possible to reach the top by elevator and admire the incomparable panoramic view over the city), Parco Sempione + Porta Sempione.

On DAY 2 we woke up early because we had a lot of things to do and visit that day. We planned on walking around Isola neighborhood and then take the train to Varenna + ferry to Bellagio. YAY^^

p2082070

p2082086

Isola means “island” in Italian. The Milan neighborhood that goes by the name of Isola is exactly that; an urban island. Hemmed in on two sides by Garibaldi station and the rail tracks, Isola is an island in the physical sense of the word. It’s cut off – a separate entity, from the busy surrounds of Garibaldi, Corso Como and the gleaming Porta Nuova skyscrapers.

p2082075

p2082076

Will you laugh if I tell you Milan has some great street art? Most of it is found around the Isola district, not far from Garibaldi station. But first, let’s take some selfies, right? Haha.

P2082067.jpg

At 12 PM we were in the Garibaldi FS station on our train to Varenna and Bellagio. But I will tell you more about this little trip in another blog post because I have so many wonderful photos to share with you guys. Just to maintain your interest, here’s one photo from Bellagio. Amazing right? So stay tuned for more^^

p2082249

Later that night, after we returned from this trip, we walked to the hotel through the Chinatown district. Since main drag Via Paolo Sarpi, was made pedestrian, the district has become a pleasant place to walk around, buy some Chinese-style knick knacks and have a tasty Chinese meal.

DAY 3 was our last day in Milan. We had our return flight at 15.15 PM so we had a little time to visit one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Milan, if you ask me. I am talking about Navigli and I’m so glad we had the time to see this part of the city.

The districts of Navigli and Porta Ticinese have been important places for trade and commerce since the Middle Ages. Today this area is the heart of Milan’s nightlife, with many bars and restaurants staying open late into the night to the delight of both locals and visitors.

I will just show you some photos to convince yourselves of Navigli’s beauty. Ready set GO!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So colorful and so… Italian, right? Oh, but there’s more ^^

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAp2092277OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Also, I loved Milan’s iconic orange trams. They are not used for sightseeing tours, they’re public transport! The oldest-running public transport vehicles in the world, to be precise, having been in service since 1928.

Elsewhere in the world, a ride on such a cool-looking tram will be rather expensive, but in Milan it will cost you nothing more than an ordinary ticket (€1.50).

p2092264

Unfortunately, we also had to return in Bucharest that day, so we took the metro until Milano Centrale FS and from there we took the Orio Shuttle back to the airport.

But we couldn’t leave just like that, not before eating some of their tasty paninis!

We managed to be on time at the airport, because we’ve learned our lessons from Berlin and Rome, but guess what, our return flight was delayed with one hour. So it was 1.20 PM when we were already at the airport and our flight was at 4.20 PM. Oh well, but is always better being safe than being sorry right?

These being said, later that evening we were back in our “not that weather-friendly” Bucharest where it was snowing and freezing. Brrrr

Until next time,

Andreea.

  • Our stay in Milan: 7.02.2017 – 9.02.2017
  • Bucharest – Milan and return flight: Ryanair + Wizzair 30 Euros
  • Shuttle from Bergamo airport and city center: Orio Shuttle 16 Euros
  • Accommodation: Rezidenza Cenisio 109 Euros
  • City tax: 8 Euros
  • Total: 163 Euros as a couple

4 thoughts on “Milan – more than a fashion capital

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s