Five Must Do's in Milan
Before I visited Milan I had heard a number of folks who said that it wasn't their favorite Italian city. Too crowded with not enough attractions I was told.
When I visited, I was pleased to discover that I loved the city. From the Da Vinci designed waterways to the spectacular Duomo, not to mention the endless shopping opportunities (ok, so these didn't interest me quite so much!), this is a city with something for everyone.
If you visit, here are five experiences not to miss out on:
Climb The Roof of the Duomo
Milan's cathedral, or Duomo, is the centrepiece of the city. A massive gothic construction, it is well worth your time to explore. Entry to the main cathedral is free, but I would recommend spending the entry fee for access to the roof.
This has to be one of the best cathedral roofs I've ever explored. A windy maze of gothic protrusions leads you up to the very top, from where you get an excellent view of the surrounding city and main square. Well worth the admission price.
Visit The Church of Bones
Not for the faint hearted, the Ossuary Chapel in the San Bernardino alle Ossa church is worth a visit if you are interested in the unusual.
You see, this chapel, set to the side of the main church, is entirely decorated in human bones, filling every nook and cranny. It's a little bit creepy, but worth seeing.
Shop in one of the World's Oldest Malls
Milan is the fashion capital of Italy, and plays host to some of the most important fashion designers in the world. If shopping and fashion are your thing, you won't go far wrong in this city.
The best place to start your shopping experience is in the absolutely gorgeous Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II shopping mall, one of the world's oldest, and certainly one of the most spectacular shopping malls I've ever visited. It's just next to the Duomo, and is worth wandering through even if you don't intend on buying anything!
One last tip - don't miss the bull mosaic on the floor of the mall. Grinding your heel on a delicate part of this bull's anatomy is said to bring you luck!
Aperitivo on The Canals
Back in the days when water was a more viable way to transport goods and people around and between cities, Milan had five canals to be proud of.
Nowadays there are two canals, which can be found in the Naviglio region of the city, around a fifteen minute walk south from the Duomo.
This area is very popular in the evenings for a drink, accompanied by an Italian classic – the Aperitivio. These are usually light snacks like tomato-laden bruschetta or bowls of olives, served with your drinks. And there's no better place than the Naviglio to experience this Italian tradition!
If you'd like to experience a bit more culture, or learn about the history of the city, then head on over to Castello Sforzesco.
This massive (and I do mean massive!) 15th century castle houses eight museums (!), covering everything from art (Da Vinci and Michelangelo) through to musical instruments and weapons of war across the centuries. If it's a rainy day, you could easily spend it all in here without fear of running out of things to do!