Since teaching, we’ve returned to Europe twice. Two years ago we visited Berlin and Madrid (couldn’t stay away), and this year we went to Italy! While in Italy, we visited three cities: Milan, Florence, and Lake Como. First up? MILANO!
Just like Madrid, I think Milan is an underrated city. Often taking a backseat to Florence, you don’t hear too many people singing Milan’s praises. But here I am, ready to belt out a freaking ballad for this city.
Some basic Milan info for you. Milan is known for it’s fashionable residents, apertivo hour (SNACKS!), and a few sights.
Where to eat
Like the rest of Italy, Milan is home to amazing pizza, pasta, and wine. BTW you should start
Apertivos are basically the same concept as tapas. For those who aren’t familiar, for the cost of a drink, you’ll often get some light snacks with your beverage (FOR FREE!). At a minimum, you’ll be given potato chips and olives. However, there are a lot of bars that have full-on app buffets!
Word to the wise, don’t use Yelp for restaurant recommendations in Italy. It’s not really a thing there. Below were the gems we visited and LOVED.
Merghewas a fancier pizza place. Filled with almost 100% locals, this was one of the only places we weren’t given an English menu. Order the basic Margherita pizza and the spicy sausage pizza. Napulegnais a more casual pizza place. Another good local restaurant where we were clearly the only tourists there. The people who worked at Napulegna were so nice and gave us a free dessert for literally no reason.
- La Bettola di Piero we didn’t actually get to eat here because of a reservation miscommunication, but what I saw and smelled looked INCREDIBLE.
- Trattoria la Vecchia Guardia had amazing risotto and good
pastas. Do yourself a favor and enjoy a liter of house wine as well.
- Paninoteca, we popped in here for a quick lunch after getting turned away from a different restaurant because they were closing (most restaurants close from 3-7). They had a robust sandwich menu and was very cheap.
- The Fonderie is one of the coolest places I’ve ever been to. It’s a bit hard to find. To enter, you have to ring their bell, like an apartment building, which makes it seem like a secret. Go for the
apertivobuffet and a delicious cocktail.
- Strainer Cocktail Bar has a pretty good cocktail list and high-quality
apertivos. It’s also nestled on a cute street by the canals.
- Monkey Cocktail Bar had great cocktails and high-quality
- B: free was another good cocktail bar with very delicious
apertivos. Can you sense a theme here?
What to do
- Duomo is clearly a no-brainer. I personally liked the outside more than the inside, but I also don’t really love looking at churches in general.
- The Prada Foundation is a really cool modern architecture museum. You can walk around the property for free. There’s a gold foiled building, which was my personal fave. They also have cool bags if you buy something from their gift shop.
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is the glass dome shopping center. You probably won’t be able to afford anything there… But it is very cool to simply stand inside. It’s also right next to the Duomo.
- Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is the street with all my favorite European stores. Visit Pull & Bear, Bershka, Mango, and Calzedonia if you can.