As soon as our bus halted at Milan, the sudden change of crowd and surrounding hit me. If I have to be honest, compared to the south of France, Milan, seemed quite different. It had a crudeness to it. Maybe it was the many stories that I heard about the robbery around the area, I was slightly anxious and extra careful. We arrived in Milan after a three-hour journey in the bus. I then had to take a metro to reach to my Airbnb apartment. Now in Milan, you don’t have a counter to buy tickets. You can either buy the tickets from the newspaper stands or from the ticket machine. Even for the tram, it’s the same procedure. What I really liked about the place, is the day pass that you can take for a just 4.60 Euros (Around INR 300), this day pass allows you to travel anywhere in Milan for just that amount using any mode of transports i.e the metro, bus, and tram. Hence, our traveling in and around Milan turned out to be pretty cheap. Also, the Milan trams have a vintage touch to them with yellow chandeliers installed inside them and I absolutely enjoyed traveling in them. The apartment I was staying in also had a vintage touch to it with an antique elevator installed in the building premises, a bookshelf with hard paperback classics and a huge bathtub with chandelier. The apartment also had a small garden where I and my friend enjoyed our Maggi on the first night since we were too lazy and tired to venture out for food. Though we did venture out soon after we reached to check the surrounding marketplace and returned with a handful of bags of shopping just a few hours after reaching Milan!!
Okay, so basically a day is enough to move around Milan if your idea is sightseeing only. However, if you’re interested in visiting the factory outlets and buying luxury brands for a very cheap price than two days should be fine. We visited the Duomo area the next day, which is the main tourist’s attraction. The cathedral is the fifth largest Christian church in the world. The church was beautiful beyond words! The architecture and works on the mirror will spellbind you and the music playing inside is soothing to the ears. It’s also the church where one of the nails of Jesus’ crucifixion is allegedly placed and brought out once every year. The cathedral is surrounded by a museum, a chapel and you can also take a tour to Duomo rooftop for a top view of Milan. We took a ticket of around 18 Euros ( Approx INR 1400), that allowed us an access to all these four attractions. If you ask me, the only thing worth seeing was the Cathedral, rest only if you’re a museum buff! Also, the cathedral has a rule, your legs and hands need to covered before entering the premises. They provide you Kimono that you can buy for around 2 euros to cover yourself up. Opposite to Duomo, we have the Piazza Del Duomo. The Piazza del Duomo is Milan’s most beautiful square. You can browse the luxury Italian goods along with other famous luxury brands in this square. If you visit this place, do try the bubble tea at a small stall that only sells bubble teas and juices. It was the best bubble tea I ever had! Visiting Duomo will take up your entire day and leave you utterly tired by the end of the day. The place is always flooded with tourists( beware of pickpocketers around this area especially!) and the queue to enter the cathedral or buy the pass can take up some time. You could also book the passes online as well.
We all know that happiness is Pizza and believe me I had the best pizza in Milan. It’s just not a pizza, it’s a history in Milan. It’s a must try when you visiting this place. The pizza is loaded with the best cheese and I am still drooling as I write this :p It first started in the year 1953. If I am visiting Milan next, it would be for this pizza!
On our last day in Italy, we took a small one hour train ride to Como, the beautiful lake city overlooking the Swiss Alps. It’s also called the retired men town. But the city has most lively streets and a busy waterfront. With pine trees everywhere and the Swiss Alps, it almost felt that I am in Switzerland. Just around the lake, you have many cafes overlooking the lake and we had our lunch there. From a tourists attraction point, you have museums and cathedrals to visit. We had a good day lazying around in Como with no particular schedule. One of the things that we really enjoyed was a 7 minute Como–Brunate cable car (built in 1894) ride up to the quiet hilltop village of Brunate, revealing a memorable panorama of mountains and lakes. This was the most breath-taking view of my trip! We found a quaint little cafe above and sipped the red wine with a view that will stay with us forever.
Precaution Tip: Just around Italy, if you visit the tourist’s attractions, you will find young people dressed up in costumes. They will try to get your attention with humor or by mentioning dialogues of famous Hindi movies ( if you are an Indian) and try and put on some acts to grab your attention. Don’t approach them! If you do or try and click a picture with them, they won’t leave you until and unless you pay them some Euros.