Milan is one of those places that has been on my “to do” list for ages but never got around to going. Until now. We flew from Bristol Airport and went for 4 days in June.
Known for its fashion industry, Milan is THE destination for shopping and style. Several designers have their HQ there including Prada, Valentino, Armani and Moschino, so you know it’s going to be fabulous!
Plus, there’s Milan Fashion Week, which is just as important to the industry as London, Paris and New York. It’s also known for the cuisine, design and innovation, art and landmarks so there would be plenty for us to see and do.
We arrived in the early hours of the morning and by the time we flagged a taxi down from the airport and got to our hotel, I couldn’t sleep. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I really struggle with insomnia! So, I just got up and went for a run while Sam got some rest. One of us needed energy for exploring! I enjoyed an espresso before going back to the hotel and getting ready for the day.
The weather was terrible, so we hid away in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, in Piazza del Duomo until the rain stopped. The mall is the heart of haute couture and has the most glorious architecture and intricate floor tiles. We ate at La Locanda del Gatto Rosso and I tried Risotto alla Milanese for the first time. Served in a parmesan crust, it was a heavy and rich dish but so tasty! The stuffed zucchini flowers were also a firm favourite!
When the storm eventually died down, we could appreciate Il Duomo in all its glory. It’s huge and such a magnificent building, it really does stop you in your tracks. It was beautiful!
Then, the sunshine made an appearance so we strolled to the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia, which as you might have gathered from the name is a science and technology museum, but it’s dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci who was not only a painter but a scientist aswell. I had no idea!
Next, we headed to Castello Sforzesco and Sempione Park for a wander and a gelato before making our way back to the hotel to get ready for the evening. Sam chose Bosco Verticale Restaurant, a quaint little place with great food and great staff. A perfect evening!
After a busy first day, we tried to have a slower morning and had a croissant and coffee breakfast in bed. Then, we headed to El&n’s European flagship café for brunch. Located in the Liberty Tower and near Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, it was pink perfection!
I chose a matcha latte and an açaí smoothie bowl while Sam had a full English breakfast and we shared French toast for dessert. Sam needed to work so he stayed at the café while I went shopping. It was so nice to browse Italian brands like Calzedonia, Kiko, iBlues (my favourite!) and Intimissimi. I also loved La Rinascente, a luxury department store with 7 floors, a full food hall and restaurants. It was heaven!
And I can’t wait to tell you about our afternoon! Sam booked the most incredible spa at QC Terme. I’m a bit of a spa connoisseur and this was the most unique experience EVER. It had several saunas and an underground lair with warm baths, cold baths, a jacuzzi waterfall and our personal favourite, the room which simulates a thunderstorm. There’s also a tearoom and three warm pools in the garden, surrounded by Roman ruins. We loved it all!
Being the foodie that I am, I must tell you about what we ate. I was expecting a drink and maybe a light bite but it a big spread with different breads, antipasti and pastries was included. There was Aperol, fruit infused water and plenty of herbal teas. The snack table was also incredible with meringues, crystallized ginger and physalis (yum!). I’m not ashamed to say I helped myself a few times. My robe pockets came in handy!
After a fabulous five hours in the spa, we showered and handed in our fluffy white robes (sigh). By the way ladies, the facilities were fantastic and toiletries are provided. Everything from shampoo to conditioner to make-up remover and moisturiser. Very impressive. We planned to go for dinner afterwards but didn’t need to! We were so full. Thanks QC Terme!
Our penultimate day started with a visit to San Siro, which was more for Sam but I have to admit, I don’t mind going to stadiums. In fact, I think they’re quite fun! Next, it was lunch at Maio Restaurant, in La Rinascente, which had gorgeous views of Duomo di Milano. I had the most gorgeous cherry soup for dessert with lemon balm and milk ice cream. Deliziosa!
We spent the rest of the day soaking up the sunshine and wandering around. Sometimes it’s good to go with the flow! And that’s coming from me, someone who loves to organise and plan everything. For dinner, we went to a great pizza restaurant. I was too hungry to make a note of the name but it was jam-packed and had a lovely outdoor seating area. And yes of course, we stopped at a bakery for a sfogliatella (Italian filled pastry) on the way back to the hotel.
Today was our last day and I didn’t want to leave without visiting the Armani Silos exhibition, which gives an overview of the Giorgio Armani’s career over 40 years. It includes 400 outfits and 200 accessories, which were a dream to see in real life. We also had a coffee there before going for lunch at Save the Food, which was really popular with surrounding offices. It had a great buzz to it!
Overall, Milan was every bit as glamorous and fascinating as I thought it would be. Italy is one of my favourite countries and it’s always a pleasure to visit. We can’t wait to go back! Next up, Paris in July.