Episode #030: Highlights of Milan

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Listen to “Take me to Milano! Highlights and must have experiences in Milan” on Spreaker.




Oh Milano! Italy’s second city is sometimes overlooked in favor of its smaller neighbors. But, Milan is packed with treasures – you just need to know where to look. In this episode of Untold Italy, we uncover Milan’s must-see sights and things to do and give you our best tips on how to explore them.

Show notes
Is Milan on your Italian itinerary? This fascinating city combines centuries of history with modern Italian design focus. Milan has several well-known attractions such as is impressive Duomo and neighboring Galleria but there are many more highlights visitors can explore – from fun districts famous for nightlife, a medieval castle where you can view artworks by masters including Michelangelo and of course one of the most famous paintings ever made – The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.

In this episode, we take you from the rooftop of the Duomo, to canalside in the Navigli canal district and then the fountains of modern Porta Nuova. You’ll learn why you need to prebook tickets for The Last Supper and where you can enjoy aperitivo at a bar with one of the best views in town. Milan is one of our favorite cities in Italy and we are so excited to share our favorite parts of the city.

What you’ll learn in this episode

  1. Our top must see sights in Milan
  2. The attractions you need to book in advance 
  3. How many steps you need to climb to the rooftop of the Duomo
  4. Where to go shopping in Milan
  5. Best place for aperitivo with a view of the Duomo
  6. Dishes to eat in Milan

Places mentioned in this episode

  • Milan Duomo – a gothic masterpiece in the center of the city
  • Galleria Emmanuele II – 19th century shopping arcade with glass domed roof
  • La Scala – iconic theater where Puccini’s opera Tosca was first performed
  • Santa Maria delle Grazie – church where you can view Da Vinci’s Last Supper painting
  • Castello Sfozesco – imposing castle in the city center with many museums
  • Navigli – a fun area of Milan with canals popular for bars and restaurants and a monthly antique market
  • Porta Nuova – modern area of Milan where you can see modern Italian architecture
  • Brera – area with cobbled streets popular for boutiques and shopping
  • Serravalle – designer outlet mall close to Milan
  • Terrazza Aperol – bar in the Galleria with amazing Duomo views


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Prefer to read along as you listen? Below is a full transcript of our episode conversation. Unfortunately it does not pick up our lovely Australian accents however!

Introduction (00:05):
Ciao and benvenuti to Untold Italy. I’m Josie and I’m Katy and we’re here to help you plan your trip to Italy. Between us, we have many years of travel experience and we want to help you uncover your own as yet untold stories and adventures in Italy. Each episode you’ll hear practical advice, tips and ideas to help you plan your own trips to the magical land of history, stunning landscapes and a whole lot of pasta. We’ll have interviews from experts and focus on local destinations and frequently asked questions about travel in Italy. Thanks for listening and make sure to subscribe to our show now. Let’s get started on your regular dose of Bella Italia.

[00:01:00.890] – Katy Clarke
Buon giorno and ciao to all our lovely listeners. We are so happy you joined us today. This is Katy and I’m excited to have my partner in podcasting, the wonderful Josie Armao back with me to chat about all things Italy. Today, we thought we’d take you to one of our favorite cities that is sometimes a little bit misunderstood, if I’m honest. And it’s the beautiful, wonderful Milan. Are you a fan of Milano Josie? [00:01:24.410] – Josie Armao
I love Milano. Katy, my best friend, lives in Milan, so I love going there. I love everything about it. So yeah, it is one of my favorite cities. [00:01:35.720] – Katy Clarke
Me too. I just love Milan. I think what people sometimes forget is that it was a city that was seriously damaged in the Second World War. And so it may not be as pretty as some of the other favorite places we have. And it’s had a lot of damage. And it’s a big rebuilding zone after World War Two. But I think it makes up for that in that it has a lot of personality and fun. And, of course, fashion, which we love. [00:02:01.950] – Josie Armao
I love the shopping and but it also has amazing history behind it. And if you do some of those amazing walking towards that you have Katy, which I’ve done one, you can find little things that you just didn’t know about this city. And I agree. I think the fashion, the architecture And, of course, Katy, the Duomo. [00:02:21.240] – Katy Clarke
Yeah, absolutely. I love the Duomo. And it’s the focal point of the city, isn’t it? So you get there and you go into the main Piazza del Duomo. And there you are at this magnificent Gothic cathedral that’s just dominating the city center. And it took, I think they started building it 600 years ago. And they’re still not quite finished, I think. But it’s just one of those really beautiful churches that Italy is famous for. And it’s a bit unique because it has the Gothic architecture, which stands it out from a lot of more classical churches that you see around Italy. [00:02:58.220] – Katy Clarke
And it’s made of this beautiful marble that’s, it’s a white marble, but it’s got a pinkish kind of tinge to it. And they actually got that from the area around the lake Maggiore, which is and it’s called the Condoglian marble. And one of the really interesting things that I think about this marble is that they couldn’t get it easily into the city by the usual methods, horse and cart or whatever they did back in those days. So what they did was they built these series of canals in Milan, which actually were designed by Leonardo da Vinci some of them. And they bought the marble to make the beautiful Duomo. So have you been inside the Duomo, Josie? [00:03:42.590] – Josie Armao
I’ve been twice, actually. And you need a lot of time. And I think when you arrive in that piazza and see that magnificent, magnificent building looking at you. Every time I go, I mean, I’m talking about I’m getting goose bumps. I’m just thinking about it, actually, Katy. So I’ve been twice and every time I go, I just get caught up in the whole architecture. And I think one of the things that we will talk about, obviously, is the rooftop. Every time I go, I have to buy my tickets to go up to the rooftop. And the amazing view from the top of the Duomo is something that is absolutely magnificent. Obviously, you would have done that too, Katy? [00:04:26.960] – Katy Clarke
Yeah, absolutely. And it’s one of those must do things because it’s not just a church. Well, it is a church. And it’s got some very interesting things inside. But I think one of the most incredible things about the Duomo in Milan are the statues and gargoyles that are all over the building. And there’s like, I think there’s three thousand four hundred statues and gargoyles and 700 figures all over the outside and the exterior of the church. And so it’s very ornate and very beautiful. And you get a really magnificent view of those from when you’re up in the rooftop. [00:05:01.250] – Josie Armao
Yeah. And it’s also walking through the last time we went, which was 2018. They were actually starting doing some renovations. And this is the thing across a lot of the churches in Italy that there is a lot of maintenance that happens. So there was, they were cleaning the Duomo up. It was beautiful and up the top, you got up there and everything was clean like that. You could see some of the marble. It’s like, I don’t know if you remember, like, the Spanish steps, they’ve that cleaned that up. So they were cleaning up the Duomo and it was sparkling enough to top you could see everything and all the gargoyles. And I think it’s the Gothic architecture. I mean, until you’re up there, until you see it from every point, I definitely recommend take your camera up there because from the architecture to the gargoyles to the statues to to then the view of Milan across everything. I think it’s absolutely amazing. [00:05:57.380] – Katy Clarke
It really is. When you go up to the rooftop, it’s it is a bit of a climb. There is about two hundred and fifty stairs to get up so you can take the elevator. But what you do need to know is that you do need to walk down, I believe, and I know I had to. So it’s unfortunately not one of those for people that have a few mobility issues. And also, when you get up to the top, there’s actually even though you had the elevator, there are some narrow stairways to navigate to when you actually get onto that rooftop. So just to be aware that because you wouldn’t want people to be disappointed or uncomfortable, I don’t think. [00:06:33.610] – Josie Armao
Yeah. And also, I think in some of the peak days, it gets really, really hot up there. So go in early, early morning or pick your day that you go. And also book your tickets, because I know that there’s been a couple of days that we’ve we’ve tried to get on and we just haven’t been able to. So be very, very aware that you need to be very mobile and you need your tickets and it can get hot up there. [00:06:57.140] – Katy Clarke
Yes, that’s true. But I think when you are on the rooftop there’s one thing you really have got to seek out. There is this little statue of the Madonna. The bronze Madonnina, which is up on the top that looks out over Milan. And it’s kind of like a symbol of the city. And it’s a really precious sort of tiny little statue. I don’t know how they got it up there, but it’s it’s one of those things that reminds you of Milan all the time, I think. [00:07:23.270] – Josie Armao
Yeah, I agree. And I don’t know if you saw the concert Andrea Bocelli did in front of the Duomo? It doesn’t matter when it is, or what it is, it’s just magnificent. And seeing the bronze, Madonnina is just an amazing piece as well I think that highlights that whole cathedral. [00:07:43.610] – Katy Clarke
Oh, that concert he did in the midst of Italy’s biggest part of the pandemic. Oh, gosh. That was just so emotional for me. Oh, I just could not stop crying the whole time. But I might go back and watch it again to remind myself of it. [00:07:59.810] – Josie Armao
But don’t you think it’s really interesting, Katy, when you look at that, you know, you look at him in front of that amazing Duomo. There’s sort of a metaphor in there somewhere about the building of this amazing cathedral, to the building back of a country in the middle of a pandemic. I just think it gave you the hope that the world was looking for. [00:08:23.220] – Josie Armao
And I just think that having the backdrop of the Duomo really resonates with me in how magnificent that cathedral is. But also the message behind that cathedral of, you know, how hard it was to build and how amazing it is. And, you know, there’s always hope in there. [00:08:42.470] – Katy Clarke
Absolutely. And it was one of the enduring symbols of Italy during the Second World War because it did actually survive, whereas a lot of Milan did not survive the bombings from both the Allies and the Nazis who’d had sort of occupied the city. So I really think, you’re right, it’s a beautiful metaphor of how the country can and is rebuilding after a crisis. Absolutely agree. Now, actually next door to another building that survived, which is absolutely magnificent, as well as the Galleria Emmanuele. [00:09:15.110] – Katy Clarke
And it’s just one of those very different buildings, actually. You’re not getting the ancient history. It was built in the 19th century, but it’s a very great area to go shopping and also to go have another different view of the Duomo. [00:09:31.080] – Josie Armao
Oh, it’s actually one of my favorites. I mean, I love shopping, but walking through there, I mean, there’s a gelateria. There’s an amazing cafe or restaurant that’s been there since the opening of the galleria. And just walking through, don’t you think it’s just. Sorry I didn’t know you sort of stand in the middle of that gallery and you look up and just the architecture of it and the feel of it and the people, it’s the hustle and bustle. [00:09:57.680] – Josie Armao
And then you’ve got the Milanese walking through and then you’ve got the tourists. And it’s just a really amazing, amazing place to be at. I love just standing there in that middle, you know? [00:10:10.670] – Katy Clarke
Looking up at the dome, the glass dome. And it’s it’s so huge. Look, I think it’s one of the biggest domes in the world, glass domes in the world. And it just soars above you. And then down below, you’ve got the mosaics on the floor. And I don’t know if you remember that Bull of Turin or you’ve done a little spin on that yourself?. [00:10:29.260] – Katy Clarke
And so for everyone who’s listening this is a mosaic of a bull and it’s the symbol of Turin and basically the Milanese, they like to do a spin on this bull to sort of make the point that Milan is better than Turin, I think. But it’s one of the things that you’ve got to do when you walk through this arcade shopping arcade. And that’s really fabulous. [00:10:55.790] – Josie Armao
I think one of the things, too. Can you believe. When you think about it. Can you believe the price, the Duomo and the Galleria Emmanuele, they survived World War Two bombing? Like really the actual space and the amount of land that is there for them to have missed that. Honestly, I’m a believer that, you know, it was looked after by God because that whole building and area is huge. When you stand there and you think about that, Katy, if you’re standing in standing in the middle of that, what do you see when you’re looking around? Tell me, how do how do you feel about that? [00:11:28.380] – Katy Clarke
Well, you don’t, they are so dominating of that area. And I think that’s why some people think, well, that’s all there is to Milan, which is not true. But it so dominates that area and they’re so massive and so impressive that you think, well, you know, you can imagine if they had of been hit by significant damage, then it would have had such an impact on the psyche of the people. [00:11:52.110] – Katy Clarke
So it’s a wonder that they survived. And that’s amazing. And one of the most fabulous things to do there is actually to go to the Aperol bar. I don’t know if you’ve been there? [00:12:03.560] – Josie Armao
Yes, I love an aperol anywhere. But there I do love. [00:12:08.530] – Katy Clarke
Well, I love that view you get because the terrace, the Aperol terrace, goes right out on to and looks out over the Piazza del Duomo and you can see the the Duomo and you can get pretty close and personal when you can have your aperitivo there on the true Aperol Terrazza. And it’s it’s a really great bar and it’s a little bit cliched. It’s a little bit touristy, but I really love that place. [00:12:33.540] – Josie Armao
But I think, you know, I think take away the touristy bit. I mean, this is an amazing place. And look, let’s be honest. There is a lot of tourists that go there. So I think you sometimes you just have to step that aside and just look at the beauty of this place. And your comment again. Not just about the Duomo and the Galleria when you’re in Milan. It’s about all the other things that you can do in Milan. So what else do you love to do Katy, when you’re in Milan? [00:13:02.400] – Katy Clarke
Well, of course, one of the major things that people want to do and this one you really have to get organized to do is to see Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper painting. And that is a massive fresco that was painted in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. And it takes about 20 minutes to get there by Metro from the Duomo. Andit’s obviously a very important painting, which again, survived the bombings of World War Two when a lot of buildings around there were destroyed. [00:13:35.680] – Katy Clarke
But still, this painting remained. And it’s an absolutely stunning painting of the Last Supper of Jesus with his twelve disciples around him. And obviously, it’s one of the most amazing paintings in the world and it’s been lovingly protected. Now, if you want to go see that painting, you need to book into a tour. And I need to tell everyone, all our listeners, that I know a lot of people that have been very disappointed in not being able to see it. Because you can’t actually just go and buy tickets on the day, unfortunately, in the usual circumstances. [00:14:10.120] – Katy Clarke
So tickets go on sale about 60 days in advance or 60 to 90 days on the official site. And then unfortunately, what happens is they get snapped up by tour companies. And so unless you’re very organized and you know when these tickets are going to be released. And let me tell you they don’t give you any warning for that, then you do need to buy a ticket through a tour company. And so you must buy them in advance. Otherwise you will miss out because there are only so many small groups allowed in to see the painting at any one time. [00:14:40.510] – Katy Clarke
And it’s fairly controlled from a humidity perspective and all this stuff to protect the painting. And only a handful of people are allowed to go in every day. So it’s really important that you do that. And let me tell you, it’s so worth it. It’s such a beautiful, beautiful piece of art. And I would go back again and again, actually. [00:15:02.910] – Josie Armao
Yeah, well, so I’m a rookie at this. Can you believe it? I know, we didn’t book, we didn’t do our homework. So listeners see, even though I’ve been many times, I always think that I can do something when I’m there. And this is one that I haven’t seen. So definitely going back to Milan once way we can. And this is my first thing that I’m going to do. Definitely. Thanks, Katy, for your recommendation.So I will book now for when I go. [00:15:29.900] – Katy Clarke
Yeah, definitely. You really have to book because as I said, it’s very limited and you’ll find out you have to do a tour. And it’s so worth doing it, because they’ll explain so much. So many things about the painting that you would never know about unless you went yourself. [00:15:45.760] – Katy Clarke
So an example is, where it’s actually been painted is actually not in the church itself. It’s in the refectory. And you understand why it’s sort of looks a bit strange when you see some of the paintings of it. I’m not going to explain why, because it’s one of the best stories that you’ll hear on the tour. But you will just sort of stop and say, well, “why did they actually do that?” So, you’ll know what I mean when you actually go. [00:16:11.060] – Katy Clarke
But it’s one of those things where you do need to get the stories behind it and understand more. Leonardo Da Vinci was an absolute genius. His patrons were the Sforza family in Milan, and they looked after him and sponsored these paintings. And it’s a real treasure of Milan. And there’s a actually there’s a statue of Leonardo that’s just out behind the Galleria. And it’s an amazing statue of him looking very brooding. And he’s a very important figure in Milan. [00:16:39.160] – Katy Clarke
And you can there’s lots of things you can do around Leonardo da Vinci in Milan. Actually, while I think of it opposite the church there, there’s a there’s a place where he actually had a vineyard and was given to him by the family in thanks for painting the Last Supper painting. And in the vineyard, they’re actually re-propagating vines that he’d had. Leonardo had had in his own vineyard and they were starting to grow the grapes again. That same types of grapes that he grew in his own vineyard. And you can visit that area and see what’s happening there. And eventually they will make wine, just as they did in from Leonardo da Vinci’s time. [00:17:19.060] – Josie Armao
Oh, that would be amazing. And when you how long would it take to do that, tour? [00:17:24.040] – Katy Clarke
Oh, I think it only last 20 minutes. It’s really short and it’s really short. But again, you just need to plan your time. And if you’ve only got a short amount of time, it might be worth doing a tour that encompasses that visit as well as a walking tour of Milan, because it’s worthwhile seeing all around that area. It’s a fairly interesting part of the city. [00:17:48.460] – Josie Armao
Yeah, I agree. It resonates with me doing tours. I think, you know, walking tours, because you do end up with more information and those beautiful stories that you can bring back over the years. I think that for me was really great. And I know that we did a walking tour and we actually walk past the next place, which we were going to talk about, which is La Scala, the theater where Puccini had his Tosca first performance. [00:18:15.330] – Josie Armao
And that was part of the walk. Look, I didn’t go with it, so I don’t know whether you’ve got in it, but definitely from the outside. Amazing, magnificent building. Did you actually go in? [00:18:25.430] – Katy Clarke
Yeah. It’s just it is really beautiful. And it’s a stunning example of the height of Milanese wealth, really. So you’ve got all these it’s like scarlet colored seats and they’re all covered in scarlet velvet and it’s a very beautiful, unique theater. And as you mentioned, some of the most incredible performances have taken place there, including Puccini’s first performance of Tosca, his opera. So it’s a historic theater and it’s really worth having a look inside. [00:18:53.340] – Katy Clarke
If you’re if you’re a fan of music and a fan of opera, definitely go there because you’ll hear lots of stories around what happened in that theater. And again, there’s some really interesting stories around its place in the war. And I read a novel recently, actually about how Milan recovered from the war and the importance that La Scala played in it. So there’s all these symbols of the city that are very, very important. And I think another one and I don’t know if you went there, you might’ve gone past on a walking tour, but I think it’s definitely worth it with a visit. [00:19:26.100] – Katy Clarke
It’s the castle in the central of Milan, and it’s called Castello Sforzesco. Well, it’s a mouthful, though! The Castello was owned by the Sforza family and the Sforza family are to Milan and like the Medici to Florence. And so they’re very important. But in there, there’s lots of different museums and historical artifacts. And there’s also another fresco by Da Vinci and Michelangelo’s Last Pieta, an unfinished Pieta, which is his statue of the Madonna holding Jesus. [00:19:59.460] – Katy Clarke
And it’s a pretty amazing thing to see, actually. So people sort of maybe rush through Milan and don’t see this castle. But let me tell you, they’ve got so many beautiful things there and you don’t have the crowds there that you do have in Florence or in Rome, actually. So there’s a lot of beautiful art that you can see right in that castle in the center of Milan. Have you been inside? [00:20:22.860] – Josie Armao
Yeah, we have. And you’re right. It’s beautiful. And as you walk around, you’re right. There’s just so much to see in Milan. I was surprised. I’ve got to be honest. We went to meet my girlfriend and I had gone before and had really only gone to the Duomo. And the Galleria. And this time we had a bit more time. And I have to be honest with you, we only spent three days in Milan. [00:20:43.020] – Josie Armao
But I could do longer because we did we did the Castello. We did a lot more museums. We did a lot of walking. And everywhere you walk there was something else that you could learn. We went down to the university as well. And there was really lots to do. Which really surprised me. So for our listeners who sort of think I’ll go to Milan for one or two days. Definitely you could do one or two days. But there is a lot to see, which really surprised me and a lot of museums that I wasn’t aware of. So definitely. I loved every part of this city. [00:21:16.770] – Katy Clarke
I really think it’s completely underrated and people kind of rush through and just, as you say, just go see the Duomo or the La Galleria and it’s one of those places we need to dig a little bit and tease out some of the amazing things to see. So another great area of Milan, which people may not know about. I mentioned earlier that they created a whole series of canals to get the marble through to build the Duomo. [00:21:44.280] – Katy Clarke
But the Navigli area, which is a canal district, is a really fun area to go for drinks and to restaurants and just hang out, really. I love that area. And if you’re lucky enough to be there on the first Sunday of every month, they’ve got a really great antiques market and it’s full of gold. This is not junk. This is like the high end antiques. [00:22:10.180] – Josie Armao
Milan. High end. [00:22:11.570] – Katy Clarke
Yeah, exactly. The Milanese. They are very exceptional on design and fashion and all things like that. So this was definitely a great thing to do. And actually, one of the times I went there was with a friend who makes handbags and we went to the leather show. And so this is like an exhibition or expo just for people that use leather in the making of goods. So furniture, handbags, whatever. Oh, my goodness. [00:22:42.750] – Katy Clarke
I have never been to an exhibition this big before in my life and I’ve been to a couple of big travel ones in London. And this just completely blew my mind. [00:22:53.300] – Josie Armao
Oh, wow. [00:22:54.770] – Katy Clarke
So Milan’s really known for that. And so if you’re going to Milan as well, it’s worthwhile checking what’s on it now. I don’t know, in these crazy covid times what’s happening. Obviously, a lot of these events are being canceled. But in a normal situation, Milan holds a lot of exhibitions. So it’s worthwhile checking out what’s on while you’re there, because accommodation can be quite hard to find if you’re arriving in Fashion Week or in one of these big exhibition times. [00:23:21.970] – Josie Armao
yeah, I agree with that. We had to bypass when we booked our last trip because there was obviously it was just exorbitant rates. So I agree. Make sure the listeners check that because they’ve got lots of different expos. But, you know, Milan Fashion Week, which is very famous as well. And you go without thinking, right? [00:23:41.560] – Katy Clarke
Yes. Sometimes even if you’ve been many, many times, you still make the mistake of not checking those dates. But it’s well worth doing that if you’re going to Milan, because it does get very busy. [00:23:50.550] – Josie Armao
So, Katy, you know, we’ve talked about the old. Now, what about the modern Milan? What do you love about that? [00:23:57.060] – Katy Clarke
I really think this is a fascinating part of the city. So Milan is Italy’s second biggest city, and it’s the center of business. It’s the center of fashion. It’s just the financial center as well. So part of the regeneration efforts around bits that were destroyed in the war and rejuvenating older areas of the city. Is this really commitment to design and architecture – modern architecture. And you can really see that in the Porta Nuova area where there’s lots of really cool skyscrapers and fountains, and more modern things about Milan. [00:24:32.640] – Katy Clarke
And one of the most Instagrammed buildings in the world is in this area. And it’s called the Bosco Verticale. And it’s a skyscraper or an apartment block that is covered in greenery, covered in trees. And it changes color throughout the seasons. It’s really amazing, actually. And it’s one of the, I guess, one of the symbols of modern Milan that’s really worth going to have a look at. And especially if you like photography, this area the Porta Nuova area, is really fun to go and have a look at too. [00:25:03.310] – Josie Armao
Yeah, it’s really it’s. I agree with you. We did the same and we felt it was really great. It was like you were in another city because you’ve got the old on one side and then new on the other. And the way they’ve incorporated both is amazing. So I definitely agree with you. I think that what they’ve done and how they’ve modernized Milan, it’s just beautiful. And you can see the old and the new blending beautifully together as well. [00:25:29.170] – Katy Clarke
I do think that. They’re very clever, aren’t they? And so we might as well, we should talk a bit about shopping, because frankly, if you get to go to Milan, you had better do some shopping. Even if you don’t like it, just to browse and just take in the atmosphere. There’s some really excellent areas to visit. So one of the main ones is the Galleria, which we mentioned before. But the main shopping area is Via Montenapoleone and it’s in the Quadrilatero d’Oro area. And that’s where you find all the big brands. And I know you love them, Josie. [00:26:02.360] – Josie Armao
Yeah, there is everything there. And I do like the walk around the Galleria area. But then actually walking outside of central Milan. And you mentioned it before, there’s a lot of craft art and stuff. So there is a lot of stores that you can see as you’re walking through. Andwhen you do the backstreet’s the best thing. And Katy will know. And my husband loves sweets. So actually looking at the cakes and the desserts and the gelati and then you’ve got the shopping and you’ve got the ceramics. [00:26:33.780] – Josie Armao
I mean, every city has amazing shopping, but Milan is very obviously they’ve got Milan Fashion Week and there is a lot of fashion through Milan. And even the people when you sit back and you’re having a coffee and you’re watching the people, just the Milanese, see how they actually carry themselves and and their fashion, forward thinking and how they are. I think it’s amazing. You know, I do love a shop. I can’t always afford it. Some of it is just too pricey. But I do think it’s a city that actually is very vibrant. [00:27:05.850] – Katy Clarke
It is. And I think, you know, a lot of Italian fashion could be quite conservative, actually. But when you go to Milan, you’ll see the really fashion forward and some pretty out there outfits. Which is really fun, I think. And if you go to the Brera district, they’ve got a lot of vintage stores and independent designers where you can go browse, I think, as well. But if you’re really, really into the shopping and you want to bargain, you can go out to the Serravalle outlet mall, which is not in Milan itself, but you can get a bus transfer out there, which is worth doing I think if you’re really into it. I’ve been there and it blew my mind. It was too much. [00:27:42.000] – Josie Armao
Yeah, I hadn’t gone, so I haven’t gone there. Blew your mind. That’s interesting. Another thing we do have to talk about is food, glorious food. And obviously Milan has a separate food culture you know. They come from a separate area and they’ve got separate different types of food that is traditional to them. So what is your favorite? [00:28:07.050] – Katy Clarke
Well, there’s one place that I went to at the end of one trip. That was my first trip there. And it was a big mistake because we should have gone there earlier. And it’s very well known. And it’s right near the Duomo and it’s called Luini panzerotti. And these are like deep fried doughnuts. It’s just unbelievably good. And they’ve got ham and cheese inside. They’re not the sweet sort of doughnut things. They’ve got ham, cheese, tomato. It’s really good. Dont buy one. You’ll regret it. Get two. [00:28:40.730] – Josie Armao
You know what I love, too? I love when I get the risotto Milanese. I just think I love the simplicity of it, and I always have to order that when we arrive. So that’s definitely something I would suggest that everyone try. It’s a beautiful risotto. [00:28:58.020] – Katy Clarke
Mmmm yummy. And I think Milanese food is a bit more rich. You’ve got more creamy dishes, more polenta, and you need to seek out these traditional restaurants to try them. But there’s also a lot of really fantastic modern Milanese cuisine. And it’s also the home of aperitivo. So you must indulge in aperitivo there – which is obviously your pre dinner drinks and snacks, which we know you love, Josie. [00:29:28.660] – Josie Armao
Yes, I do. And Milan is very, very much like that, Katy, don’t you think? They do. They work hard. They do that. Then they go home and then they do the appetitive all day. They all made out. You know, it’s their lifestyle that I love as well. I think just immersing yourself in the way they actually operate in their lives, I think it is amazing. So even doing the aperitivo and then obviously dinner, like most places in Europe, but very much in Milan, you eat later. [00:29:58.530] – Katy Clarke
Yes. And they’re all very stylish and they’re eating very like we can go and get traditional stuff, obviously. But you can also try very modern Italian dishes, if that’s what you’re into. And there’s a huge Eataly store in Milan, where you can go. And there’s lots of little restaurants in there and you can try all the different produce. But it’s definitely, as you mentioned earlier, it’s that modern and the traditional mixing and blending in Milan that I find really fascinating and that you don’t get in some of the other cities so much. [00:30:33.890] – Josie Armao
No. And I think it’s just it’s so multicultural as well. I think that it’s just going a little different feel it’s a different feel to any other major city, especially Rome. It has some sort of sophistication. And then it’s a little bit edgy and it’s got the old and the new. And then it mixes different cultures with different foods. And so you have this amazing, amazing blend of culture. And definitely, Milan is, is different to anywhere else, you’ll go in Italy, but definitely somewhere that you should go and experience. [00:31:07.770] – Katy Clarke
Absolutely. And so we’ve just covered the highlights here and there’s so many little museums and galleries and shops and experiences that you can have. And I haven’t even actually mentioned, or gone into any detail about the football, which is huge in Milan. You can go to the football stadiums there. But as you can see, this is not going to fit into one day. So a lot of people scoot through Milan, and they said Milan was okay. But if you going to Milan in one day, you’re probably not going to see or get the real feel for the city. [00:31:40.530] – Katy Clarke
And can’t recommend staying there longer enough. It’s really such a great place to stay. And I think we’ll probably need to do a separate episode on some of the lesser known things to do in Milan, because it really is such a fabulous city. [00:31:56.590] – Josie Armao
Yeah, it’s honestly amazing. So definitely I love it. And I want to go back. Can we go back tomorrow, Katy? Let’s go! [00:32:05.230] – Katy Clarke
I know! I really want to go back. As we’re recording this, Josie and I are in the middle of, we’ve just started a second round of lockdown. So it’s a little bit – it’s frustrating, isn’t it? I don’t think there’s any other way to to say it. But we’re going to get through it. We’re all going to get through it. And when we go back, it’s going to be all the more sweeter, I think. We hope you enjoyed the show today as much as we have. [00:32:27.660] – Katy Clarke
If you want the details of the places we mentioned, head on over to the Untold Italy website where we put all the details on episode 30. There’s a link to the show notes in your favorite podcast app, too. Now, if you have some time, we would absolutely love it if you gave us a rating or review. It does mean the world to us. And we really appreciate all your support and lovely messages. That’s all for this episode, ciao for now! [00:32:52.520] – Josie Armao
Ciao for now!
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