When I was landing in Milan I was amazed by the stunning view of the Alps which were welcoming me during the first sunny days of June. In fact, Milan is located in the north-western section of the Po Valley and the foothills of the Alps with the great lakes (Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano).
Before I arrived I associated Milan with European fashion and design hub. Indeed, I wasn’t wrong about that. Milan is also a major national and international centre of performing arts. What is more, it is a home to many cultural institutions, museums and art galleries. It has an ancient city centre with tall, interesting buildings and palazzos, which is why so many people from all over the world want to see the city of glamour.
However, not everyone knows that the capital of the Lombardy is the most populous city in Italy. The Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric area of 7 to 10 million! It’s funny, but when I was there I did not notice that. Perhaps this was the case because I was getting around by metro which is the best means of transport. Speaking of Milan, I must mention the fact that it is a city of churches and monuments. The most important church is the Cathedral which is the third largest church in the world and the most valued example of Gothic architecture in Italy and perhaps Europe. The Duomo Cathedral was built in 1386 and became the symbol of Milan. You can’t miss that when you are here.
However, the thing that you really can’t miss is wandering around Milan’s streets; abundant in bars and restaurants, serving local wine and coffee. It is good to lose yourself among those streets and experience the real adventure that is escaping from the hordes of tourists. Also, Milan is the second Italian city with the highest number of accredited stars from the Michelin Guide so you can spoil yourself a little bit and choose the restaurant which suits your taste. I recommend Navigli Canals – a vibrant and interesting area. Navigli has a great market and tons of good restaurants.
Other places worth seeing are the Sforza Castle and Royal Palace. The Castle was partly destroyed in 1447 because of a decision of the Ambrosia Republic and was rebuilt during Francesco Sforza’s period. After you finish sightseeing it is a good idea to refresh yourself in the park which is right next to the Castle. Royal Palace is one of the most beautiful examples of architecture of 18 th -century Milan. In 1965 the city of Milan purchased the palace to use it as offices and museums. It looks truly intriguing and if you find yourself with time on your hands it is a great idea to spend a few hours there.
Milan is a leading global city with strengths in the arts, design, education, entertainment, fashion, finance and tourism. Thanks to that, it is one of the most popular cities in Europe. It is easy to feel the international atmosphere and ancient history in the air. It is a smooth combination of modernism and the old age. If you are looking for a place to shop, relax or spend a romantic weekend you hit the bull’s eye.
Wojciech Jurojć In love in Asia since his first trip to India 7 years ago. Traveller, writer and blogger at RakiZimuja.pl, worked and lived abroad for 5 years, visited more than 30 countries in total.