Stop. Breathe. You’ve made it to the fashion capital of the world. #Bam
Step 1: Start your search for your next unique piece of boutique European fashion. Go immediately to the Corso Buenos Aires. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200 (ok, you may need that $200 for shopping). It boasts the highest concentration of clothing stores in Europe.
Step 2: Eat like royalty. Milan is a foodie heaven – stick with me and you will be able to spend those extra couple of extra Euro’s on that dress (there’s always one).
Step 3: Who am I kidding? There is no step 3.
In Italy, they add work and life on to food and wine. -Robin Leach
San Pietro Cafe
If there is one thing the Italian’s get right every time, it’s coffee. Traditionally, it’s served as a single or double espresso, except in the morning where it’s customary to serve it with milk (a la cappuccino). The Italians also prefer to stand while they eat their first meal of the day, so join them at the front of San Pietro with a fresh baked croissant and you’ll be mistaken as a local. #smooth
Late morning gelato
Even in May, expect temperatures of 24 degrees plus, so you’ll need to keep your fluids up. Gelato definitely counts, it’s just a little bit frozen and on a cone. Grom came highly recommended via friends of friends and I can guarantee it impressed. Fruit sorbets are the most refreshing and when you have a choice of Pink Grapefruit, how can you go wrong?! Luckily there’s one on the Corso Buenos Aries, so it’s only a little detour from the search for the perfect dress.
Having spent the first half of the day darting in and out of one or at most two shops (lol, yeah right) in the north-eastern quarter, let me take you for a 30 minute walk toward the Castello Sforzesco (which Becks tried to buy when she and David moved here back in 2009). Stop for lunch at Momus, where you will find the best pizza in Milan, assuming of course that you like fresh dough, thin crust and fresh ingredients accompanied by a EUR$3.50 Aperol Spritz! (Don’t worry, there are many options that don’t include egg).
Il Bar after Duomo Di Milan
Now that we’re further towards the centre, take your time to go up to the terraces of the Duomo di Milan– you literally walk on the roof of the cathedral and the view is definitely worth it. As well as encapsulating the grandeur of Italian architecture, the Duomo di Milan is a privileged place of prayer in the very centre of Milan. It is one of the world’s largest churches with a dazzling white facade that dominates the cathedral square, commissioned in 1385, its construction went on for centuries. It’s a ‘must visit’ during your time in Milan. Buy your tickets online and skip the queue (that goes on forever) and wear something that covers your shoulders/knees as it’s a church after all.
Climbing stairs takes a toll so what better place to put your feet up than a rooftop bar? You’ll find Il Bar Milano directly across from the Duomo, taking in the breath-taking architecture with table service delivering your cocktail order, so you can soak your surroundings in.
Vital Shopping Stop
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Before heading to dinner, make sure you check out Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II–it’s breathtaking architecture surrounds stores like Prada and Louis Vuitton. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. Housed within a four-story double arcade in central Milan, the Galleria is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king in the Kingdom of Italy. It was designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877. It is a common meeting and dining place for the Milanese and houses the worlds top designers, not to mention some of Milan’s finest shopping.
Fine Milanese dining
There’s that moment in every overseas holiday where you think to yourself, “this is the life.” Mine was in this little restaurant (20 mins walk away from the Duomo). It’s particularly understated exterior revealed little of the treasure trove that lay within. The menu was overflowing with traditional Milanese recipes, including their version of risotto, i.e. round, flat and crunchy! Follow with Osso Buco and finish with what is without a shadow of a doubt, the best tiramisu of my life. Il Verdi is particularly popular with the locals (and not a tourist in sight when we dined), it’s best to book ahead here. EUR€65 (ppn) gets you 2-courses including a glass or two of wine.
The icing on the cake
If you’re there for a second night and are looking for something a bit different, head south to Ripa di Porta Ticinese. Set alongside a picturesque canal, this pedestrian area is home to many bars and is popular with locals and tourists alike. Watch out for waiters giving tables away to their friends even if you’re waiting in line. Your best bet is to part with EUR €5 for takeaway cocktail and take in the sights on both sides of the canal. The area is particularly beautiful at dusk.
Day tickets on the Metro and trams cost EUR €4.50.
Getting there: Return flights from London approx. £60 from London Gatwick.
Staying overnight: you can find a reasonable place to rest your head for as low as EUR €30/night via AirBnB.