A Day in Milan

After our whirlwind 24 hours in Venice, we hopped on a train and arrived late at night in Milan.

hotel bernaWe checked into Hotel Berna and it was lovely. This hotel actually emailed me after I booked our room several months ago to let me know that they were looking forward to our stay and wanted to know what special requests we had. I got to go online and pick what the thermostat would be set at when we arrived not to mention what type of pillows and toilet paper we preferred (among other things – there were pages of options). I’m so not kidding. Maybe this is normal at swanky hotels, but I’ve never stayed at a place that wanted to know my every preference, haha! Anyway, it was just as delightful once we arrived. And their breakfast options were unbelievable! Best hotel breakfast we had! Unfortunately I have no pictures of it because I totally forgot to grab my camera when we walked out of our room that morning. But just trust me – 2 thumbs up to Hotel Berna!

Santa Maria Delle GrazieOur biggest reason for going to Milan was to see Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper at Santa Maria Delle Grazie. Just like every other “I’ve seen this my whole life and now it’s IN PERSON” thing… we had that surreal moment when we actually got to see it. No photos are allowed inside so my shot there is actually from the brochure, haha! Because the painting is so fragile, they only allow 25 people in at a time to see it for 15 minutes each. It was a lot to take in with only 15 minutes to see, but still very cool.

sforza castle collageWe also got to see the Sforza Castle and walk around the grounds. Built in the 15th century, it is one of the largest citadels in Europe! Today the grounds are used as a public park.

la scala collageThe La Scala Opera House! It opened in 1778 and since then many of the best singers in the World have performed here. We aren’t necessarily opera fans, but this place was beautiful!

la scala (5)Outside the La Scala stands a statue of Leonardo da Vinci sculpted by one of his students. The way that Florence is littered with Michelangelo’s influence is the way you can see da Vinci’s in Milan.

galleria collageWe walked over to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II which is just a huge mall full of classy stores. We enjoyed window shopping. It was really pretty to walk through. I definitely love Memphis, but our malls do not look like this, haha!

bull at galleriaIn the very center of the Galleria is a mosiac of this bull. There is a tradition that if you step on this poor bull’s more private parts and spin around on them that you will have good luck! We watched hoards of tourists and locals line up to do this and then decided we might as well join in too.

di gennaroLunch was at Di Gennaro. A classy place with reasonable prices (a nice change after Venice which seemed so expensive). I actually really enjoyed this marinara pizza and ranked it #4 of all the pizzas I had on the trip.

milan cathedral (2)Next up we went to see the Milan Cathedral! The fourth largest church in the World!

milan cathedral (1)This lion statue in front of the Cathedral was cracking us up. He looks SO serious and like he’s roaring, but all those pigeons were still sitting right on top of his head pooping away as if they couldn’t hear his roar. 😉

duomo insideInside the Cathedral was much darker than we anticipated just based on the white color outside. Very Gothic inspired. Not quite as dreary as St Mark’s in Venice, though. There was a lot inside this church to explore so we enjoyed walking around and seeing it all. Especially all the magnificent stained glass! And of course the statue of St Bartholomew carrying his own skin (middle right photo).

duomo on topOur favorite thing about the Milan Cathedral is that you can climb to the very top and literally walk among the spires! It was SO cool!

milan view from cathedralPlus we had a GREAT view of Milan from the top of the Cathedral! It was very cool!

Quadrilatero d'OroAfter the Cathedral we decided to walk over to the Quadrilatero d’Oro to explore the shopping streets. The window displays were beautiful!

milan scenes (1)Then over to Via Dante (a pedestrian only street filled with shops and restaurants) for dinner!

majestic cafeDinner was at the Majestic Cafe and it was WONDERFUL! The bruschetta was on the house thanks to our super friendly waiter, Mario. We asked him for his recommendations for dinner and he told us what people typically order there then he made a face and told us that he didn’t think it was all that good in truth. It made us laugh and we appreciated his honesty. So we took his advice and I ordered the bolognese and Christopher got the pasta carbonara. He said it was the best he’s ever had! So two thumbs up for the Majestic Cafe. Especially their service! In fact, after we left we had trouble finding the metro (the exit we had used earlier was closed by this point at night) so we walked back to the restaurant and asked one of the waiters. Instead of just telling us where it was, he personally walked us to the metro (probably a 5 minute walk). I couldn’t believe it! Very friendly and helpful service!

After dinner we went back to our hotel and packed everything up so we could  be ready to jet the next morning when our alarms went off at 5:15am (we were on a 6:10am train). It was a short night of sleep, but worth it to enjoy so much time exploring Milan! This city was by far the most like home that we visited. It was easy to forget that I was in Italy and not just another major US city. It reminded me of Chicago in that it was clean and had great architecture and a pretty skyline. 🙂 Up next… I will share about the wonderful Cinque Terre. Remember how much I loved my Bella Roma? I loved the Cinque Terre just as much! Stay tuned! 🙂

Love Rach

33 responses to “A Day in Milan

  1. So beautiful! I love that you had so many “two thumbs up” experiences!

  2. That hotel sounds amazing! That is crazy you got to specify the type of toilet paper, etc. you wanted. The Milan Cathedral is gorgeous! I can’t wait to see your next post. I am loving all of your pictures.

    • I know! I couldn’t believe it when they emailed me asking all of our preferences. It’s just crazy ’cause this place didn’t cost any more than any of the other places we stayed on the trip! They are just really heavy on the costumer service front! 🙂

  3. It’s so interesting that they regulate the viewings of The Last Supper to that extent – very cool that they’re looking out for the piece. I want to stay at Hotel Berna and eat at the Majestic Café. Both sound amazing! Also – ever since you posted the Cinque Terre photo on Instagram, I have been super excited for that post. So I can’t wait til it’s up!

  4. Hmmm, that hotel sounds amazing! And I totally would have spun on the bull too!! Ha, ha.

  5. seriously, the architecture is just astounding! beautiful!

  6. So many amazing buildings…and don’t get me started on the food. So fun! The Opera house looks amazing!!!!

  7. Everything looks amazing! Whenever I read these posts I want to eat, ha!

  8. Mlian looks fabulous! And the fancy hotel sounds really cool, I´ve been to many different types of hotel, but never a place like that!
    It´s lunch times over here in Norway, and for some reason I´m craving pasta AND pizza…hmmm…I wonder why??;-)

    • The hotel really was so nice! The crazy thing was that it didn’t cost any more than the other places we stayed on the trip. They just were really big on great costumer service. I loved them for that! 🙂 Sorry for instigating all the cravings, haha!

  9. Milan sounds amazing! That hotel sounds especially AWESOME! 🙂

  10. That is so nice that the hotel asked you for your preferences before you arrived! Looks like a nice hotel. 🙂 Oh your dinner looks amazing too.

  11. such a stunning trip, loving all the recaps! and the piiiiizzzzzaaaa, I bet it’s going to be tough to come back to the states and get sauce that good *le sigh*…. ! 😉

  12. Oh wow amazing that you were escorted to the metro!! How nice!! THAT CATHEDRAL oh my gosh, stunning! Also that hotel sounds marvelous with the accommodations!

  13. Eeeee, How beautiful!!! Love these pictures. Robby and I are tentatively planning a trip to Italy for 2014, so you’re giving me lots of good ideas. 😀

  14. That hotel sounds amazing!! Milan looked so pretty!

  15. When I was in Milan we only had a short afternoon, I wish I would have known you could go on top of the cathedral! Amazing!

  16. Wow, how awesome that your hotel was so accommodating! That must have been AMAZING!

  17. Pingback: Bringing Italy to our Christmas Tree |

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