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Best bets in Milan

By Tuesday, May 14, 2013 , ,

While we were only in Milan for a few days, I actually wish we'd arranged to spend three nights in Bergamo and two in Milan instead of the other way around. I'd heard Milan was very cold and grey and in many ways that's what I found. Usually we think of Milan as a fashion center, and I thought at least we'd be surrounded by beautiful, elegantly dressed people, but most were tourists in sweats. 

So what were the most memorable experiences?

The Duomo of course

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade

The shopping gallery was full of tourists (well, it was raining and it's right next to the Duomo) and the few restaurants inside are perilously expensive. Still, it's worth walking through for the architecture and looking at the window displays.

Castello Sforzesco

Like many monuments in Europe, the castle was damaged in WWII and had to be repaired. I think a brick castle doesn't look as sturdy as stone, so I'm not sure how much this resembles the original built in 1450.

Today it houses many museums which you can access on one ticket. In hindsight  I wish we'd gone in but at the time we weren't sure how long it would take to see everything we wanted to in Milan.

Moat Kitties! (Don't worry, they're not stuck there!)

Is that you, Brandenburger Tor?

Giardino della Villa Comunale
Such a lovely garden! Originally built in the 1790s for Count Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso, this romantic garden is now a public park. It was very quiet and relaxing in the middle of Milan.

When I have a permanent home, I'm building a tower!
I've seen these in Hamburg, but never plugged in!

Acquario Civico di Milano

This aquarium was really, really small, but it's free and I rather enjoyed it. It's right next to Castello Sforzesco and worth stopping by.

Finally, the Basilica of Sant Ambrogio. Parts of this church are old, as in first built in 379-386, although most of the current church is from the 12th century.

Before you see it, you should know there are three dead saints on display there. Not in the main part of the church, you have to go in crypt, but yep, they're there. Saints Gervasius and Protasius and interred along with St Ambrogio, skeletal and dressed in vestments.

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