I’ve been to Italy countless times but for some reason or another never stopped by the fashion capital. Honestly I think Milan often gets overlooked when the country is home to wonders like Rome, Venice & the Amalfi Coast. But much like my hometown, this is one of those cities that are well worth the visit, all you need is a little insider information to really do it right.
Thankfully my Italian man has spent several years living in the city and was able to provide a full lowdown that I wanted to share with you all! So here goes your perfect long weekend in Milano!
Thursday night: Netflix & Chill
No actual netflix taking place but as you arrive to the city, take your time settling in and don’t make too many plans for your first night – a nice dinner & bottle of wine will do. Head over to Fingers Garden for some mouth watering Japanese food. Be sure to ask for a table outside in the garden area when you book. There’s no better seat than al fresco. Note: You absolutely must try the fingers tartare.
Friday: let out your inner tourist
I’m always super eager to start off my city visits with the top of the bucket list. I’m like a child trying to check things off my to do list to get those gold stars (typical Asian overachiever mentality). The city is quite small so i suggest a walking tour, courtesy of yourself and google maps. It’s pretty hard to get lost so don’t bother with a guide. I always enjoy exploring on my own terms anyways. Stop by the sforza castle, newly renovated expo district and then make your way to the most instagramable of them all: the duomo. If you feel like working out, you can climb the 150 steps to the top or if you’re more like me, you’ll head over to Maio rooftop restaurant for lunch where you can take in the stunning views from next door while happily slurping spaghetti.
After lunch, take a stroll through the Brera district and when you get tired, make your way to the Bulgari hotel for the most relaxing afternoon spritz while getting your tan on in the outdoor lounge couches (these Italians really know how to live la dolce vita).
Now, this is going to sound weird, but I’m about to suggest a Chinese restaurant in Italy. For dinner, we met some friends at Bon Wei, arguably the most authentic Chinese food I’ve had in Europe so far. I’m also a huge fan of Asian dining in general for large groups because of the natural sharing style. If they have it on the menu when you go, definitely try the steamed clams!
Then for the optional night animals, hit up the newly renovated sleek Armani Prive club.
Does anyone else think I should do advertising for aperol spritz? LOL
Saturday: work out your wallet day
As Italy’s fashion capital, its only natural that you dedicate at least a day doing some good old shopping. Milan is known for its quadrilatero della moda (fashion quadrilateral) streets for luxury shops. If that’s too commercial for you, try 10 Corso Como, a hidden shop founded by the late editor in chief of Vogue Italia, with optional dining and cafe area. The store carries some unique designer pieces you won’t find anywhere else!
Then of course you’ll need to refuel. Hit up what was potentially my favorite spot: Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone. Reserve in advance and be sure to ask for a seat in the outdoor courtyard, it’s absolutely worth it! Try the fresh burrata and salami plate, you’ll thank me after.
Patiently waiting for me to take pics before eating – every man’s worst nightmare haha
This fried veal thing was absurdly delicious.
Spend some more time wandering the streets or taking in the sites at a nearby rooftop bar like Ceresio 7.
For dinner, take in the stunning duomo from this treasure of a place: Giacomo Arengario. While food at these prime real estate restaurants are usually huge tourist traps (think Tour Eiffel), I was so pleasantly surprised to find that the quality of food was as impressive as the view. Be sure to try the mixed fish crudo!
Sunday: cultural attempt day
Roll out of bed on a lazy Sunday for a nice slow breakfast/brunch at casual Princi where the locals go. Then head to Biblioteca Pinacoteca Ambrosiana to take in the masterful classical art gallery. If you’ve ever studied art history you’ll really appreciate this place, and if not, just try to read a few descriptions and you’d be surprised how much you can learn and how truly inspirational these artists are.
I forgot to take pics at the actual gallery…
All in all, the weekend & weather were perfect for my first ever visit. While it’s not home to the colosseum or disappearing canals, it can be just as enjoyable when you know where to go & what to do. Bonus: I also find it to be a very economically reasonable city.
Last but not least, here go a few useful italian words (just for kicks & also because I’m learning italian and never do my homework so this will act as review for the week)
Ciao – Hello/Bye (just say this to everyone to act like you fit in)
Grazie – Thank you (also use liberally)
Dove? – Where is…
Il conto per favore – Check please
Prendo – I will have…(for ordering food)
Quant’è – How much (“kuan-te”)
Una bottiglia di vino – Obviously the most important, and if you can’t guess what it means we definitely can’t be friends
So there you have it! Hopefully this can be of some use to some of you & happy travels!