Made in Italy
Known the world over as the city of fashion, Milan is nevertheless a lot more than shopping and glamour. Regarded by Leonardo Da Vinci as his adopted city, Milan is culture, art, history, pizza and pasta… It is genuine ‘Made in Italy’.
The sound of a tram greets us good morning as we step out of Room Mate Giulia. A succulent offer that we reject for now. Since we can hop on it anytime from 4 am to 2 am, we will do it later. Looking for a terrace to have some good Italian coffee, we stop over at Via Dante. Commerce in this city is just major!
At the end of a fifteen minute walk down Via Dante stands the Sforzesco castle. Its interior hosts a number of classic works, such as Piedad Rondanini, Miguel Angel’s last sculpture, and real gems like an automat robot of the seventeenth century that looks like it’s possessed. A five-minute walk away, you will find the Pinacoteca de Brera in the namesake neighbourhood. Make sure you visit all the little alleys with gorgeous design and clothes shops, as well as little cafes…
If you have come this far, no doubt you appreciate Italian Renaissance art. In such case, never say you’ve been to Milan without visiting the Santa Maria delle Grazie church, which boasts the most famous representation of The Last Supper, by Da Vinci. Quite a cultural icon, to be admired only if you book in advance.
It’s almost lunchtime, so we head back to the Duomo. If you don’t want to waste time, just have a slice of pizza(al taglio) or focaccia. If you prefer something a little more formal, we suggest any of the restaurants and bars on the last floor of the famous La Rinascente stores. Whatever you choose, you’re at the perfect place to explore one of the city’s gems: the beautiful gothic cathedral, offering spectacular views from the dome.
Travelling to Milan and not going shopping is unthinkable. That’s why Vittorio Emanuele II gallery is our next destination. Right next to the Duomo square, this nineteenth century architectural marvel offers a unique shopping experience. And if that’s not enough, head to Via Montenapoleone: Ferragamo, Versace, Armani… our eyes light up and the imagination flies high. We rapidly land on our pockets, but not all is lost. The solution, Il Salvagente, is on Via Fratelli Bronzetti: an outlet… of the good kind!
After dropping the bags at the hotel, we head to La Scala square, where you can enjoy the best shows in the famous opera theatre (get your tickets with at least two months in advance) and dine in any of the trendy restaurants in the city. One of them is Il Marchesino, led by 3 Michelin stars chef Gualtiero Marchesi, considered the father of Italian modern cuisine. A suggestion? Any vegetable dish!
The end of the trip is near. We are yet to go for a walk in the city’s most charming neighbourhood, Los Navigli. The name comes from the two canals that surround it. The Naviglio Grande, full of terraces and restaurants, as well as its main attractions, the San Cristoforo church and the laundresses alleyway. And the Naviglio Pavese, a smaller canal but, like its big brother, also a trendy nightlife spot. The night is young, have fun!
How many times have you thought about visiting Milan but could never find a hotel made to measure? It was either far from the centre, or too old, or had strict times… Forget about all the ‘buts’ because you won’t find them in the brand new Room Mate Giulia. Opened in April, it is located in the Vittorio Emanuele galleries, around the corner from the Duomo. A new concept of design hotel, created by famous interior designer Patricia Urquiola. A boutique hotel to be experienced with all your senses.