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36 Hours in Milan

Updated: Mar 20

Milan is renowned worldwide as a fashion capital and a must-visit destination for shopping enthusiasts. At the very same time, however, it is a wonderful cultural centre, characterised by magnificent buildings, art galleries, and international exhibitions. And let's not forget its vibrant nightlife which, between trendy bars, clubs, and theatre performances, will delight everybody! 


DAY ONE

13:00 LUNCH AT 'PASTA D'AUTORE'

If you decide to travel to Italy, food cannot possibly take a back seat. My advice is to head to Pasta D'autore, an affordable restaurant in the centre of Milan (Corso di Porta Ticinese, 16) whose aim is to offer the typical flavours of Italian Sunday lunches. Here you can enjoy homemade pastas, gourmet pizzas, and a fabulous tiramisu. 


15:00 VISIT MILAN CATHEDRAL

The best way to digest this lunch is to walk 2km to Piazza del Duomo, the beating heart of Milan. Here, a visit to the wonderful Duomo (Milan Cathedral) is a must. My advice is to buy tickets online, which also includes a visit to the cathedral's terraces, where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city.

 

17:00 TWENTIETH-CENTURY MUSEUM

A stone's throw from the Duomo you will find the Museo del Novecento, a fabulous gallery of modern and contemporary art that houses works by central Italian artists such as Boccioni, Carrà, and de Chirico. Enjoy interactive works of art and immerse yourself in its overwhelming spiral of colours. 


19:00 DINNER AND DRINKS

If you want to savour traditional Milanese dishes like Cotoletta (a sort of schnitzel) or L'ossobuco without moving from the centre, head to the nearby Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and enter Ristorante Galleria. For an after-dinner drink, I recommend the cocktail bar Nottingham Forest (Viale Piave 1, book in advance or you won't find a seat), where you can enjoy very original fusion cocktails. 


DAY TWO 

9-12 BREAKFAST AND SFORZA CASTLE 

Head to one of the many cafés on the streets of Milan (in Italy they are called 'bar'!) to enjoy a classic Italian breakfast of Cappuccino and Brioche. Afterwards, head to the Castello Sforzesco (Piazza Castello), a large fortified complex with a museum on Milan's Renaissance history and even an Egyptian museum.


12-18 SHOPPING 

Shopping is a must in Milan. So head back to Piazza del Duomo and visit the Rinascente, seven floors with all the best Italian and international brands. If you still feel like shopping, head to Via della Spiga to admire all of Milan's chicest boutiques. 


21:00 NIGHT OUT

Feel like a night out with a little more excitement? Head to the Navigli, a system of picturesque navigable canals that, with their myriad of bars, form the centre of Milanese nightlife. If you're in the mood for a club, my recommendations are the deconsecrated church of Il Gattopardo (Via Piero della Francesca 47) or Alcatraz (Via Valtellina 25) for a cheaper option. 


DAY THREE

10:00 BRERA ART GALLERY

Finish your trip with an immersion in art with a visit to the Pinacoteca di Brera (Via Brera 28) to admire masterpieces by Caravaggio, Raphael, and Hayez. Then finish on a high note with a stroll through the picturesque streets of Milan's most artistic quarter, exploring its private galleries in search of art pieces. 


No more hesitation, Milan is waiting for you!


Photo by Carla Longo



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