Milan was the third and the last city we visited during our short Italy trip. Milan as we know is the financial and fashion capital of Italy. We spent only a day in Milan and kept very few places on our itinerary. As mentioned in my planning post, we took a train from Florence till Milan. We quickly checked in our hostel at Ostello Bello Grande which was quite close to the Milano Central Station.
Milano Central Station
Milano Central station is a central hub where regional and international trains arrive and depart from in Italy. It was built in 1930s and is a huge structure accommodating twenty four tracks. I included this one as we passed through it and was beautiful both from inside as well as outside. But don’t go searching for the station if you are nowhere close by.
Duomo di Milano
Fastest and easiest way of reaching from Milan Central Station to Duomo is by catching a metro train. It has a metro station with the same name and opens exactly in front of the Duomo.
Duomo di Milano or the Milan Cathedral’s construction started in 1300s and was officially declared to be completed in 1965. It is a massive structure! Impossible to ignore and take your eyes off once you reach the piazza in front of it. Almost intimidating as you walk towards the main gate. Front bronze door of Milan Cathedral was designed by Italian sculptor Ludovico Pogiliaghi in 1902 and completed in 1908. The door depicts the life events of Mary, mother of Jesus.
We spent about an hour admiring this Duomo. There are separate tours that one can take which will take you to the top of the Duomo. Duomo has an entry fee as well. Do you see the golden legs and hands on the door? (one near my right hand in the picture) It is said that it brings good luck when you touch these regions.. That is why they stand out and you will see many tourists rubbing or touching them.
We visited Duomo twice, once in the morning and later in the evening. I would say it looked beautiful during sunset in the evening. I have posted pictures from the evening in this section while the picture from the morning /afternoon is in the later section. Bring wide lens of you are carrying a DSLR for pictures.
In the evening, we also walked around v Duomo. It is surrounded with eateries, stalls and musicians. A very different vibe is created around the Duomo.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Next to Duomo is this Galleria. Please don’t miss it. We were visiting Italy during Easter holidays, I guess that was the reason that the shops were closed. But this galleria houses top brands from around the world.
Building itself looks inviting from Kristus but what is inside is spectacular. We took many pictures. We found symmetry in the iron and glass roof, while the ground is occupied is different mosaics. One of it contains a bull. A myth says that spinning three times with your heels on the bull’s genitals will bring you good luck. Of course I did this one. I think most tourist visit the mall for this particular reason.
After visiting the galleria, we walked till the Sforza Castle. Castle itself is from the 15th century but still stands strong and looks grand. We just walked around and inside the castle marveling at its construction and wondering how important it was in its time.
Next we reached Navigli. Navigli is a place where five canals are interconnected in Milan. One can walk along these canals and explore the small typical Italian restaurants and pizzerias. Two men walking through these canal waters is what I clearly remember from this day. The side roads are super crowded by tourists and locals exploring the shops, coffee shops and few bars. We had our lunch in one of the pizzerias, though I remember the rude servers of this restaurant and not so much the pizza!
Piazza del Duomo
As I said before we visited Milan Cathedral again in the evening after a grand lunch. Cathedral looked even more beautiful around sunset when the sunlight directly falls on its front facade. Piazza del Duomo in front is perfect for thousands of tourists and locals to hang around, meet and have fun. Also, once can find innumerable pigeons in the piazza acting as a constant distraction for tourists. Some feed them, some take pictures of them. Cutest are the kids running behind them. Also situated in the Piazza is the statue of the first King of United Italy. We went back to our hostel after spending relaxing time in front of Duomo.
We took flight back to Stockholm after a wonderful trip to Italy. Rome, Florence and Milan provided us a perfect picture of Italy. We will be definetly planning more trips as so much more needs to be seen in Italy specially the southern Italy and Venice and beaches. So much to explore. Hope you plan a small visit to these cities as well.