I have just returned from my holiday in Italy with my boyfriend, and I had such an amazing trip! If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that we stayed mainly at the southern end of Lake Garda, while making day trips to the surrounding areas - and one of these was a whistle stop tour of Milan! I was so looking forward to going to Milan for the first time, as I always fall head over heels in love with Italian cities. Here's what I got up to in the fashion capital...
After stepping off the train and realising that my beloved CityMapper app works in Milan, my boyfriend and I quickly realised that the walk from Milan Centrale railway station to the Duomo was considerably longer than we had anticipated. We decided to brave the metro system and were pretty damn impressed with ourselves when we figured it out with ease! I guess living in London and navigating the underground on a daily basis gave me a bit of a head start but Milan have done a great job of making it as simple as possible for us tourists!
We headed straight for the Duomo and went for the most important meal of the day at a rooftop bar with a beautiful view of the cathedral. They were charging something ludicrous like €8 for a glass of orange juice - I felt like I'd never even left London at all! We may have blown a large chunk of our daily budget on two glasses of orange juice and two croissants, but it was a lovely treat and a nice relaxed way to see the stunning cathedral away from the crowds.
Next we climbed the narrow staircases to reach the terrace of the cathedral itself. We chose not to tour the inside of the church, since women have to dress to cover their shoulders and knees which was somewhat difficult in the 32 degree heat. Luckily you can pay just to go onto the terraces and the dress code is more relaxed. The outside of the building is just so stunning. I didn't realise the immaculate detail until I saw it for real. Living in London, I don't pay as much attention as I perhaps should to beautiful buildings, but Milan Cathedral just blew me away and remains one of my favourite memories of my whole holiday. If you find yourself in Milan, this is the one thing you can't miss!
Having done the main thing that we both wanted to do in Milan, the rest of the day was spent exploring. We went well out of the centre of Milan to find a very specific ice cream shop we had read about online. II Massimo Del Gelato is on a list of the best places in the whole of Italy to eat ice cream, and as self confessed addicts, we just could not miss out on a trip!
As someone who has been totally addicted to chocolate ice cream since childhood, this shop was a dream for me! There must have been at least ten different variations - and that was just for chocolate. Thankfully, the ice cream lived up to the reputation and I wish I could eat it all over again.
For our remaining few hours, we saw a few more sights in central Milan, including the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (a beautiful 1800's shopping arcade). We wandered around the posh shopping streets which were offering Italian linen for your "home, yacht, or jet" - needless to say we were window shopping only! Then it was time to hop back on the train to Lake Garda. Seeing a city for the first time when you only have one day to explore certainly forces you to pack in as much as possible. I'm sure Milan has so much more to offer, but I really enjoyed my whirlwind day trip.
Have you ever been to Milan?
What should I do next time I get to visit?