Milan, Italy, is the perfect launching point for a tour of Northern Italy. This center for fashion and design, is the home of the Milan Duomo, a breathtaking cathedral that took six centuries to complete. Milan's public transit is easy to navigate with both above-ground rail and a subway system. Being unable to obtain tickets to see Da Vinci's the "Last Supper," we missed out on one of Milan's top attractions. That being said, it ended up being just fine as there are plenty of other things to see in this bustling City, including some of Da Vinci's other projects at the museum dedicated to him.
Milan Duomo: Our photographs of this Cathedral do not do it justice. It is truly awe-inspiring and hard to describe just how grandiose it is. Once inside, it is especially evidence why it took 600 years to build this Gothic Cathedral. With columns that dwarf you in size to stain glass windows filled with the brightest of colors, the Duomo is a "must see" while in Milan. Entrance and Museum combo tickets are 10 Euros each.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: We are not ones to shop much, but the Galleria is quite the sight to see. Opening in 1877, this indoor shopping mall was ahead of it's time. Filled with stores, restaurants and hotels, the Galleria is representative of Milan's reputation as a luxury shopping destination. Window shopping and people watching are free here, of course.
Sforza Castle. Built in the 15th Century under the initial directives of Francesco Sforza, this Castle has a long history of foreign rulers, destruction, and rehabilitation. Complete restoration began in 1893. Just outside the Castle is Ducal Park, a lovely spot for a picnic lunch. Castle admission is free; Museum entrance fees are 5 euros per person.
"Leonardo da Vinci" Museum Milan: Located within walking distance of Sforza Castle, this museum is particularly great for kids, though there are plenty of exhibits for adults as well. Exhibits are largely interactive, hands-on scientific experiences, all of which are a great tribute to Mr. da Vinci himself. Admission is 12 euros/adult, 6 euros/child, with kids 6 and under free.
Where We Stayed
Air BnB: This AirBnB is an apartment located within a converted 300 year old cheese factory. The apartment has a safe, interior courtyard entrance, as well as an open and spacious floor plan. It is slightly out of the way but public transportation is easily accessible and what you spend in time, you save in the reduced daily rate. Photo credit: Air BnB listing.
Where We Ate
Autogrill: Eating out in Milan can be expensive. Autogrill, a healthy and tasty fast food franchise, is located all over. They have a tasty panini's and are usually conveniently located, e.g. across from Duomo. Photo credit: Autogrill.
Gelato. Confession: we had Gelato basically every day while in Italy. Photo right is in Florence but basically Gelateria's like this are all over Italy. Especially if you travel in the summer, there's nothing better than eating Gelato while walking Italian streets.