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FASHION MONDE & THE LAST SUPPER

The mere mention of Milan conjures montage of luxury clothing lines, expensive wares, and well groomed men and women. Milan is the second largest city in Italy after Rome and is the country's main industrial, financial center as well as the world's fashion capital with major international events such as Milan fashion week being held every autumn. Milan also has a strong historical and artistic significance which can be attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci's most important and influential works.

Getting there & around

From the Airport

There are 2 main airports in Milan; Malpensa (international arrivals) & Linate (mainly EU arrivals). We arrived at Linate airport which is nearer to the city centre.

The cheapest way to get to the city centre is by using the public bus. Milan's transport network is very extensive and organized, so you won't have much difficulty navigating the city. We used the X73 bus from Linate to San Babila square. It takes around 30 minutes from Linate to city centre and a single trip will cost 1.50 euros. From the Piazza, you can get on the Metro located nearby and move around the city.

Buy the 24 hr pass for 4.50 euros if you are going to be moving around extensively. A single ticket costs 1.50 euros.

Home Away from Home

Hotel Teco

Milan is an expensive city, so finding a central and affordable accommodation can be difficult. We stayed at Teco Hotel close to Lime metro, only 10 minutes away from the Duomo.

This 3 star hotel has got excellent facilities and room services, although the breakfast was less than satisfactory for my taste. The cost per night is RM 370. Avoid staying near the Duomo as accommodation rates are mostly inflated

The hotel is located at one of many Milan's popular shopping street and you can find almost all of your favorite brands along the street.

Places of Interests

Milan has got plenty of interesting places only if you are well versed in the city's long-standing history

1) Duomo (Milan Cathedral)

This would probably be the first place that comes to your mind when you think of Milan and also the first spot to start your trip. This iconic Gothic cathedral was built in 355 and dedicated to St Thecla. It is the 2nd largest church in Italy ( the first being the St Peter's Basilica).

Getting there: Stop at Duomo metro

2) Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

In this arcade you will find the hub of the fashion monde and the who's who of the fashion capital would parade their latest designs and accessories. The big guns of fashion such as Prada, Louis Vuitton and Versace can be found within this double arcade with its arching glass and cast iron roof as well as luxury restaurants, cafe and bars. This galleria connects the Duomo and Teatro Alla Scala.

Getting there: Turn left in front of the Duomo and you will see the bulding below.

3) Corso Vittorio Emanuele I

Window shop along this main shopping street while being flanked by top haute couture boutiques and other popular fashion brands such as H&M, Bershka, and Mango.

Getting there: Located right behind the Duomo.

4) Corso Buenos Aires

This is another busy shopping street so satisfy your craving for shopping, though not as chic and high end fashion as Vittorio Emanuele. We found ourselves doing most of our shopping here as there are plenty of good bargains and trendy fashion outlets which were affordable.

5) Santa Maria Della Grazie

This is the holy ground of Leonardo Da Vinci's famed painting and also the inspiration of Dan Brown's international hit Da Vinci's code. The magnificent Last Supper lies in this church and do not expect an easy access.

You have to book almost 1 year in advance to stand a chance to view this masterpiece and sadly, I was not that fortunate. Most of the online reservations are expensive and requires you to join the Milan city tour before viewing the fresco. Tickets are almost always not available and viewing is limited to only 15 minutes.

Getting there: Get off at Cadorna metro station, walk towards the popular chocolat gelateria and once you have reached a roundabout, take the second exit and head down along Via Caradosso until you come to main road (Corso Magenta). Turn right at the main road and the church will be on your right just in front of the Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie.

BOOKING FOR ENTRY INTO THE LAST SUPPER IS COMPULSORY!! ENTRANCE TO THE MUSEUM OF THE FIRST SUNDAY OF EACH MONTH ARE FREE. BOOKING OTHERWISE IS REQUIRED.

6) Piazza Castello Sforza Castle

This 15th century castle built by the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza now houses Milan's extensive art collections and several museums.

Getting there: Get off at Cairoli metro station or walk from Duomo along Piazza dei Mercanti and Via Dante (pedestrian street).

FOOD

Milan is generally an expensive city but you can always find cheap eateries around. We did have a tough time searching for an affordable place to eat around the Duomo, so most of the time we ended up at Corse Buenos Aires close to our hotel where there are a few cheap pizzerias and cafe.

Around the Duomo area we managed to find a rather popular pizzeria named Spontini at Via Giovanni Berchet, located at one of the ends of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Expect to find a queue at the pizzeria as it is affordable and popular with the locals. A slice of pizza with drinks ranges between 4 to 5 euros.

http://www.pizzeriaspontini.it/pizzeria/milan-duomo

Chocolat Gelateria close to Cadorna metro station is another popular gelato shop in Milan. We were struck by the long queue outside of the gelateria and, like many other curious passersby, we stopped in our tracks and joined the long queue. With many varieties of gelato flavors and cakes, you are guaranteed not to be disappointed and it is a perfect stop while walking towards Santa Maria della Grazie.

http://www.chocolatmilano.it/

Along the bustling Corso Buenos Aires, there is a cheap Turkish pizzeria serving the usual Italian as well as Turkish fast food. Laz 61 Ristorante is perfect for budget travelers looking to save some money in already expensive city and the establishment is open from 9am till 5am in the morning!!Now where can you find a restaurant that is open till the wee hours of the morning. Do try their delicious doner kebap and grill burgers but do not set a high expectation for their pizzas. Overall, it is a good place to grab a quick bite before exploring the city.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187849-d6625178-Reviews-Laz_61-Milan_Lombardy.html

On our last day at Milan, we decided to splurge just a little bit and so we found ourselves at Pizzeria Ristorante Salernitano located a few miles away from Milan central station. This family run restaurant is popular amongst locals and serves variety of seafood which is on display as you enter the restaurant. The pizza and pasta here is really delicious as well as priced moderately. Expect to pay around 20 euros per person for a good meal with dessert and wine. Portions are rather huge so you can share it another person.

https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Restaurant_Review-g187849-d1460454-Reviews-or10-Pizzeria_Ristorante_Salernitano-Milan_Lombardy.html#REVIEWS

 

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