We got into Milano from La Spezia via the intercity train. Milan is the beautiful city and is acclaimed to be the fashion capital of Italy. It is the headquarters of many of the top brands like Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Versace and Prada. While it is spoken to be like NY or Dubai from a shopping perspective, do remember that the city is not young. It’s buildings are centuries old and the blend of ancient and modern is quite fantastic. If you are planning to give the city a skip, don’t. It definitely is worth the visit.
Stay and Locality
We stayed a 100m from the Inganni metro station. It was a lovely neighbourhood with a supermarket, restaurants, shops and cafeterias. It was easy access to the metro. Getting around town from here is quite easy and is a quiet neighbourhood.
While there are busses, the best way to get around is the Metro. But as always, Italy doesn’t expect tourists to show up with bags. There are many stops that have no escalators or lifts. Get ready to lug your bags up stairs. Some stops have escalators but would end up being out of order. Information is not easy to get in metros, you need to find your way around by asking. The metro at central station has people for help.
Take the multi journey pass. There are 24hr or 48hr passes. These let you take multiple journeys during the validity period. It helps saving time buying tickets for each trip and it is cost effective. The city is well connected by metros.
- The food gets progressively more expensive and less tasty as you proceed from the south to the north.
- Pizzas have super fluffy and extra-chewy (not necessarily good chewy) base and this is what is served as the Napoli style pizza. Well they are not very Napoli style, it’s only their interpretation of Napoli style.
- Pastas stop tasting nice as you head to the north from the south too. While fresh ingredients are used they are simply not as tasty as what you get in the south. No matter where you eat in Milan, pastas are quite average.
City : Sights, Sounds and Safety
- The Duomo is extremely beautiful.
- While the central area (Duomo) is the shopping centre, the buildings are couple of centuries old. The combination of ancient architecture and modern stores makes it a great place to walk around and shop.
- Singers and other roadside performances form the sights and sounds as you walk past the streets.
- There are plenty of coffee shops to sit down, have a sip and take in the city.
- Fresco & Cimmino located near the Duomo is a good place to wine and dine. Desserts are good too, they are made inhouse.
- The city is filled with trams but we didn’t really take a ride. Couldn’t figure out where the tickets needed to be bought. Take the walk from Garibaldi to Duomo.
- The city has many “walk and cycle” only avenues.
- Shops Close by 7PM and 8PM
- This city has no graffiti.
- The city has a lot of tourist traps. There are people handing out random things. Just ignore them and they go away.
- Keep your wallets safe, there is a lot of pickpocketing. Keep your bags close.
- Venchi is originally a chocolate manufacturing company
- They now have gelato stores in many parts of Italy
- Their chocolate gelato is fantastic. Must have.
We decided to watch a movie to get an experience of the cinema in Italy. We’re movie buffs, this makes part of all our travel experience.
- While there was a theatre at Duomo, we decided to trek to another part of town for the sake of experience and lack of English shows.
- The films include 45min of trailers. If a showtime is 5:00PM, then the trailers for 45min is part of the show and the actual film starts at 5:45PM.
- All the trailers for Hollywood films are in Italian dubbing.
- In the middle of the film there is a 5 min intermission, just like there is in India. Hollywood movies are not expected to cut halfway in most other countries. The break is to hit the loo and more importantly – buy more popcorn.
- While the shows are expensive, the screens were great.
Train to Venice
- Intercity trains are on time.
- We picked up tickets online at https://www.italiarail.com/.
- This particular train doesn’t need for any stamping on the ticket. You can board and travel with the print of the internet ticket.
- There are many tunnels on the way so your ears will pop a lot. If you have sensitive ears, carry ear plugs.
- The view is lovely – scenic mountain view.
- Avoid the coffee on the train, it’s very ‘meh’. Grab a lovely cappuccino in the station if you have the time.
- There is paid wifi on the train, we didn’t try it out.
- Trains have charger ports on them.
- Italy In 15 Days
- Things To Do In Rome in Two and Half Days
- Things To Do In Naples in Three Days
- Things To Do In Florence in Three Days
- Things To Do In La Spezia in Two Days
Barry is a technologist who helps start-ups build successful products. His love for movies and production has led him to write his well-received film explanation and analysis articles to help everyone appreciate the films better. He’s regularly available for a chat conversation on his website and consults on storyboarding from time to time.
Click to browse all his film articles