When I travel, I LOVE making it a journey not only on the way to the destination, but on the way home as well :-) This means scheduling as many layovers as I possibly can... Most people would think this is crazy. Perhaps it is... lol... but seeing the world is on my agenda!
I have a friend from Milan that I always meet up with in NYC or Frankfurt but we never connect in his home city so when I saw it pop up as a layover I took it!
I am a free spirit as I am sure you can tell, so I didn't really plan or look at anything until I was on the tarmac landing in Milan. By the time we had made it to the gate I had googled and planned the day.
These are the things that I did and LOVED! If you ever have the chance to visit whether it be for a week or even a few hours I HIGHLY recommend it :-) Beautiful city filled with beautiful and welcoming people!
I started my day grabbing a cappuccino with a walk around the Duomo — the third-largest Gothic cathedral in the world — to admire the intricate architecture of statues, spires and gargoyles. I was told not to take pictures while inside... it was so hard not to and I held off for a while but when I saw the intricate tile floor I may or may not have shot just a few things to inspire me.
Inside, climb up to the terrace for an up-close view of the spires and statues, as well as a panoramic view of Milan. The majestic glass-roofed Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is right next to Piazza del Duomo; be sure to check out the shops and restaurants inside — they’re some of the oldest in Milan. Next, walk through to Piazza della Scala to see the world-famous opera house.
Afterward, head to the Brera neighborhood to stroll the picturesque streets lined with small boutiques and art galleries. While you’re there, visit the Pinacoteca di Brera gallery to see the impressive collection of masterpieces by Raphael, Piero della Francesca and Andrea Mantegna. Stop for lunch at one of the neighborhood restaurants.
From Brera, head to the imposing Castello Sforzesco, the castle built by the Duke of Milan, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, in 1358. You probably won’t have time to go inside, but walk through the courtyard to reach Parco Sempione just behind the castle.
Next, go to the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie to admire The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, but make sure you have a reservation in advance, or you won’t be able to get in.
If you’re not too tired, head to the Basilica of Sant’ambrogio, which holds the remains of the patron saint of Milan.
Then take the metro to Piazza San Babila. From there, it’s a short walk to the Fashion Quadrilateral for some high-end shopping. Top off your night with dinner and drinks in Navigli, one of Milan’s most popular nightlife areas.
Hope you get a chance to let this city win your heart like it did me!!