When people think of Rome, this is what might come to mind:
I’d be the last person to say Milan is Florence or Rome, but that is not to say it doesn’t have its own charm.
The Duomo di Milano is impressive. But perhaps you’re a little like me and wonder whether what Dylan Thomas said of death also holds true of cathedrals. If so, one can still climb the many steps (think of it as that exercise you’ve been putting off), and you’ll be afforded a wonderful view of the city and the Italian Alps in the distance. Within the church, I found myself enthralled by the stainglass windows.
Here’s one by Paolo Uccello:
I had little expectations for The Last Supper, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. After passing through one hermetically sealed room after another, we arrived in the chapel:
We had 15 minutes. I could have spent hours.
If you like Italian opera as much as me, a visit to the very inconspicous (from the outside at least) Teatro alla Scala is a must. The likes of Maria Callas sang there.
Part of the enjoyment I find in travel is the unexpected.
Did you know they have a canal in Milan? And did you know it was designed by Leonardo da Vinci?
It is a wonderful spot, and there are places to eat and drink. We were lost (also a favorite activity of mine) and happened to stumble upon a restaurant where we had a wonderful meal with an excellent Gavi wine.
Gelato has a well-deserved reputation, and when I first tried it in Rome nearly thirty years back it was a revelation worthy of St. John the Divine. You will want to taste the ice-cream here as well.
On the subject of food, risotto is a must. But, of course, some risotto is more equal than others. As always the safest rule for eating while travelling is to avoid the restaurants tourists frequent and try to find a place locals visit. In Milan you will hear beautiful Italian cadences to which your taste buds will be eternally grateful.
Finally, I would be amiss not to mention that Milan is also the perfect spot to use as a base to travel to other locations nearby. Our excursions brought us to Lake Como, Lugano, and Verona.