I originally had no plan to visit Milan this summer. But then after searching forever, I realized that Milan was one of the only cities that had nonstop flights to Santorini, Greece. That being said, I was really amazed by the city, however brief it was! Milan has amazing shopping, tons of Italian fashion brands that I’ve never heard of, and a branch of every fashion brand. I would say that Milan is probably better than NYC for shopping! Not only that, the city was, green, clean, and felt pretty safe. The local Italians were very friendly too, probably because the city has many famous models and visitors (I saw a male model walking around in front of the cathedral so who knows who you will see when you go)!
When we first arrived me and my friend, took a taxi to our Airbnb. The Milan airport is far from the city. We had a conversation with our driver and he asked us how we felt about Trump. Milan has quite a few famous places to eat and shop, but the main square with the Milan Cathedral is right next to the famous mall or the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
We went shopping and nearby grabbed a treat at Cova. I would recommend for breakfast either Cova or Pave’, for dinner/lunch visit Carlo E Camilla or Tagiura Di Angeloti Rino Snc (they have a beautiful covered courtyard and delicious affordable food)or Da Michele I Condurro for pizza. I wanted to visit LuBar a place to eat inside of the GAM Museum but we just didn’t have the time. Uber exists in Milan. Milan has a good public transportation system and the city is walkable. It’s a good idea to have reservations for dinner. Most restaurants are closed on Monday and a lot of eateries have random hours or days that they are not open. So double check! Another option is to visit the Brera design district and walk around to see the sights.
On our second trip to Milan (after we returned from Santorini, Greece) the taxi driver couldn’t find our new Airbnb on google maps! Our Airbnb was in a newly build apartment complex not too far from the city. A lady (more like an angel) appeared out of nowhere. She said she’d help us find our Airbnb. She was with her daughter and spoke English. She was so kind and helpful. Without her help we would have been stuck outside or had to turn back. She invited us into her apartment and out of the heat. When we finally got in touch with our Airbnb host, I forgot my phone in her apartment and when I realized I forgot it, my friend called the lady. She had been waiting outside the apartment building trying to return it! She was a Godsend. It’s moments like these that make travel so special. To see the humanity and kindness of strangers.
While I was still in America, doing research about where to eat in Milan, there had been a place I wanted to eat, but felt it was too far away. It had amazing reviews and a beautiful courtyard. It was called da Kico, and amazingly, the restaurant was walking distance from our Airbnb! How things fall in place. After a long and stressful morning me and my friend enjoyed a lovely dinner there.
I hope you enjoyed this mini guide to Milan. I would totally visit again Thanks again!
For many years, I had wanted to travel to the Tuscan region of Italy. Florence, or Firenze, is one of the main cities in that region. With beautiful greenery, hills, famous sights, it’s also the home of famous fashion brands, (such as Gucci), and has delicious food.
I did a lot of my research about Florence, from an American girl who lives there: Girl in Florence. Thanks to her recommendations, me and my friend had delicious food, gelato, and brunch in our time there! Check out her blog for other recommendations!
Florence is a city for walking or riding the bus (there is no metro!). Bus tickets are sold at tobacco shops, (which there are many) or other convenience stores. Almost everything is closed on Sunday, except for some places to eat, so make sure you buy your bus ticket before Sunday (you can buy your ticket on the bus too, but need exact change, even so by Sunday afternoon the bus stops selling tickets, even if they still run). Most restaurants are closed on Monday in Italy, so double check if something is open. For dinner I recommend that you make a reservation. This is the rule of thumb I would apply for most cities in Europe (because some will turn you away). I would suggest you book a hotel or Airbnb close to the places you want to see, in Florence, because really walking is your best bet. Google maps can also tell you which bus to take to get to where you want to go or ask someone.
There are tons of tourists in Florence (rightfully so)! We went to the Bardini Gardens which I had read about on many blogs. I loved the views and the fact that no one was around! It’s not too big, and easy to see and walk around with panoramic views of the city! A great way to start your day (most parks are closed by sunset).
There are many famous museums to see, try to book online in advance to save time (you may have to pay a few Euros more), and don’t believe individuals standing around trying to sell you a ticket or telling you you will have to wait a long time before you can go in, unless you buy their ‘special’ ticket.
I would suggest that even if you are on vacation it’s a good idea to have one chill day out of the week. We actually used that day to go do laundry, lol. Coming from Atlanta, most people do not use a laundry mat unless theirs’s is broken. In other big cities it’s normal to use one and looking back for the long trip we had (or if you don’t like to travel with too much luggage), I’m so glad my friend pressured me into going. We went to a local grocery store called COOP, bought detergent packets, and zip laundry bags. I bought some things like, locally made coffee beans and soaps, that made such neat gifts! We got fruit to snack on and went to a café for coffee that was inside the grocery store. After a week of being on the go non-stop, I had such relief to do our laundry, be chill, and do as the locals do. It was a lot of fun to see all the cool ingredients for Italian food that they use in their home too and to see what American brands they use. The laundry mat’s in Europe can be super fancy: they have music playing, a coffee machine, and are pretty cheap (the one we went to had a machine that exchanges bills into coins).
To get to Florence you can ride a train into the city from most other cities. We flew from Berlin to Bologna, Italy then rode a 35 minute train into Florence ( so it is possible to make a day trip as that is also an amazing ancient city to see close to Florence). I bought my ticket online in America before arriving. I chose that route because it was difficult to find affordable flights straight into Florence from Berlin. Florence has a main train station the Santa Maria Novella train station (but no train stops throughout the city). Most of the famous sights are not too far from this train station. Also I suggest day trips into the Tuscan countryside, (check out the Girl in Florence’s blog I mentioned above). Actually at the time we were visiting, Obama and his family were visiting the Tuscan region as well.
For shopping: the blog I mentioned gives lots of suggestions. I love Italian bags so I suggest going to Mia Bag. They have a store right by the Duomo and they are so stylish and trendy. Most of the bags are in the $200~range or below, but I feel like for the price you are getting a beautiful bag that other more known brands would double if not triple the price. There’s also Liu Jo which sells beautiful clothes and bags that are little more affordable, and I saw many Italian ladies carrying pieces from them. Mia Bag also has a store in Milan.
Well I hope this guide helps in your next Italian adventure! Stay posted for my trip to Milan next (mA)! Thanks again!
Once when I was a child, I read a piece about Venice Italy in National Geographic. As I looked at the photos, one stood out to me: of a long-legged woman dressed in all black walking on a narrow path with both sides lined in water. A city on water. I also read that the city, because of global warming, was slowly sinking, and I imagined that woman running out of space to walk…the beautiful Italian architecture gone. That’s when I made a small wish to one day see that city.
Venice has huge appeal and is known to be a romantic spot, but one doesn’t have to wait till their honeymoon (or romantic interlude) to visit. Venice itself is very close to the mainland, and the Marco Polo airport (Marco Polo was from Venice!) is a short bus ride away. You can purchase your ticket to ride the bus without having to make reservations in advance. I’ve also heard of trains going into Venice from other cities. Once in Venice I would say just roam around and enjoy the views. It is hot in the summer, and cools down in the evening. There’s walkways and bridges everywhere so it’s easy to get around on foot. Try to get a hotel close to the entrance of Venice, that way you don’t have to lug your luggage around as there are no cars/roads in Venice! Me and my friend stayed at the Venice Hotel Arlecchino . It was right by where the bus’s drop off from the airport. You can see the famous sights in a day. Gondola rides are kind of expensive, almost 100$ but you can split the cost with up to 6 people.
Venice is known for some things, such as glass products, but what I love about Italy is: the cheap coffee, delicious food, desserts, and Gelato! You will see leather goods too, another thing I love that Italy is known for (if you buy from a local craftsman or lady, the prices are really good, some leather products being less than 100$). There were also some affordable clothing stores as well. The only thing I regret not doing is seeing the Bridge of Sighs and the Da Vinci Museum however there are other Da Vinci musuems such as the one in Florence. Here are some places I went to eat and try that I observed were less touristy (I’m not a snob! Lol what I mean is I observed Italian’s eating from these places):