Milan city – out of the fashion week

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Last november I visited global capital of fashion and design, Milan. Beautiful metropolis is capital of Italy’s northern region, Lombardy. Yes, we often associate it mainly with Milan Fashion Week and I heard from few people that there is not much to see in Milan, but I definitely wouldn’t agree with that! Like city of arts, commerce, industry, design, education, entertainment, fashion, media, tourism it has a lot to offer. I stayed there for few days and didn’t have a chance to explore everything, but I will have more opportunity in the future. πŸ™‚ This was my first time in Milan, so I visited the most famous places in the city that are mostly recommended.

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When I arrived, my first thought of the city was that it did not look like other Italian places I visited. The mixture of historical, modern and contemporary buildings made me think that this is a place of magnificent architectural achievements. And first example of that is world famous:
1) Duomo cathedral
This cathedral left the biggest impression on me of all cathedral I saw. It’s is also the biggest cathedral in Italy (the larger one is in the State of Vatican City). Dedicated to St Mary of Nativity, it took about six centuries to finish it. Built in the Gothic style, today this extraordinary construction attracts tourists all over the world. Big square in front of the church is always filled with people who take pictures. πŸ™‚ So if you want to avoid it, you should come early in the morning. Also you can visit the interior of the church or the roof where you can enjoy the panorama of the city.

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Next place worth visiting and also unique architectural piece is shopping mall:
2) Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
It is located near Duomo cathedral. Built in 19th century, it was named after Vittorio Emanuele II (first king of Kingdom of Italy). With beautiful mosaics on the floor and glass domes on the roof I think this is the most elegant shopping mall. Here you can find nice restaurants, cafes, one of only two seven – star hotels in the world, luxury shops as Prada, Gucci, Luis Vuitton etc. If you’re are not on a budget for shopping here it’s pleasure to walk around and enjoy in this beautiful place. πŸ˜‰

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When I’m in Italy I can’t resist to try some good ice cream. πŸ™‚ This time I found amazing gelateria near this place. It’s the best ice cream I’ve tried so far. The name of gelateria is ‘Cioccolati Italiani’. If you are chocolate lover, try ‘chocolate temptation’. It totally worth 4,5 euro as you get two flavours of ice cream, white cream and nutela. So delicious!

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Next recommendation in sightseeing Milan is great:
3) Sforza Castle or Castello Sforcesco
Square plan castle with 200 meters long sides, four towers and thick red – brick walls looks very impressive. Built in 15th century was residence of powerful Sforza dynasty. Castle is decorated by many famous artist including Leonardo Da Vinci! Entrance is free, you can walk around and enjoy in sightseeing. Also there are several museums and tickets cost about 5 euro. For me it’s very interesting place for taking pics, especially big fountain in front of the castle.

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Walking through the largest public park in Milan, Parco Sempio we decided to visit:
4) Civic Aquarium of Milan
It’s located on the edge of this park and it’s the third oldest aquarium in Europe! If you are a fan of underwater world you will like this place. You can see and learn a lot about different species of aquatic animals. I wasn’t impressed with this place, because I visited similar place in Budapest which for me was much more interesting. You can find more about it here

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In this park we visited one more interesting place, city’s gate, Porta Sempione. It’s also known as Arco Della Pace or Arch of Piece. It represents triumphal arch of Napoleon’s victories.

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The last but not less important place on this list is beautiful:
5) Naviglio Grande
It is one of five canals. Today they are mostly used as irrigation system. This charming district has become a place for enjoying for both locals and tourists. On both sides of the canal you can see a lot of shops, restaurants, galleries, bars filled with people who enjoy their aperitifs.

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All these places are free. You can visit it in just one day, if you’re ambitious. πŸ™‚ But my advice is to take a time and enjoy in every location you decided to visit.
Exploring neighborhood near my hotel, founded one small but cute Sardinian restaurant, ‘Barilla’. They make delicious pizzas. So if you are near this place – my recommendation. πŸ™‚

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Photos taken around Milan:

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One more tip for visiting this city:
I was accommodated in a hotel very far from the center. Milan has a very well organized city transport so I mainly used the metro and streetcar to reach a certain location. In this way you get to know the other parts of the city but feel the way of life of its people better too. πŸ˜‰

Hope you enjoyed reading this. πŸ™‚

Did you visited Milan? What is your favourite place in the city?

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