I always come back to Milan with great pleasure. It is not only a beautiful city, but one of my favorite places on earth. Recently, I spent a few days there for the first time in a long time – after all, northern Italy was hit hard at the beginning of last year by Covid. I was curious if the coronavirus left a permanent mark here. Fortunately, my observations show that life here is slowly returning to normal.
Milan is the second largest city in Italy. Anyway, the whole of Lombardy – the region where Milan is located – is extremely densely populated, and statistics show that more and more people are coming here. According to recent estimates, there are approximately 9.5 million inhabitants in Lombardy.
Most of us associate Milan with the world of fashion and this association is absolutely justified. But Milan is not only a fashion, but above all a long history dating back to the 7th century BC and amazing monuments. It is a city that lives its life, in its own rhythm, and you can find everything here: modernity next to antiquity, beauty next to ugliness, poverty and wealth. This city is extremely interesting and full of contrasts: I really like drinking coffee in one of the many cafes and watching the inhabitants. Probably even more than visiting the local monuments.
Speaking of monuments, there are places in Milan that everyone must see. It is definitely the Cathedral of the Birth of St. Mary Magdalene, which is located in Piazza del Duomo. It is the third largest church in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It took 500 years to build and there are nearly 3,400 carved figures on the facade and inside! Both outside and inside, it made a huge impression on me, especially the amazing stained glass windows. From the roof of the cathedral there is a beautiful panorama of the city.
Piazza del Duomo itself is said to be one of the busiest in Europe – always full of tourists and locals. In the past it looked as though all of Milan decided to meet for a coffee here at the same time. Today, there are definitely fewer tourists, but you can see that the city is slowly returning to what it used to be. Interesting facts: the statue of Victor Emmanuel II on the square is always clean, despite the constant presence of pigeons. How it’s possible? Th3 monument is live which means every pigeon that gets too close receives a small electric discharge, which effectively scares off the birds.
The second place I always visit is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It is one of the oldest shopping centers in Europe, where the largest luxury brands have their stores. In numerous cafes and restaurants you can meet the Milanese high society. After all, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is called the “Salon of Milan” for a reason. It is worth paying special attention to the floor – the mosaic shows the symbols of the united Italian cities. Apparently, stepping on the testicles of a Turin bull guarantees good luck.
Finally, I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t mention the local cuisine and restaurants. You can eat well almost anywhere, but I especially recommend Seta by Antonio Guida (two ** Michelin) and Cracco (one * Michelin).