It’s been a while since I last posted and I’m sorry about that. Truth is, I’ve been slacking off…and procrastinating non-stop. I caught a really bad cold a while back (even during my trips to Milan and Zermatt) and I felt super down and discouraged. But now I’m back to normal and ready to set new goals for this new year. Little bit too late for new year’s resolutions so I’m just gonna call it “goals”.
Anyways, I’ve decided to make this travel diary for those of you who want to read about my experience but also for those of you who are planning to travel to Milan any time soon. So I’m going to separate this blog post by places to eat, to stay, to see and to shop.
I planned this Milan trip literally 5 days before. And how did I manage to do it? My friend Jimmy is the answer. He was my Milan tour guide. Note: if I were to go to Milan again and get lost, I probably won’t find my way back to my hotel.
Milan, a fashion capital based in Italy. I’ve already been to Italy but honestly, Italy is like a country with so many different cities – where each, have their own unique identity and cultural background. The sad part is, I’ve been to Milan the fashion capital of Italy, Sicily the beautiful iconic beaches, but never Rome – its capital. So I guess for my next travel venture, it’ll be Rome.
Places to See
Let’s start with landmarks and attractions first – because that’s why we travel right? To see new places….or sometimes for the gram. *guilty.
The first place to visit in Milan is the Duomo di Milano. It’s basically the iconic and most popular landmark in Milan. It stands right in the central and is super close to the shopping district – so that’s a bonus for any of you trying to shop and see things at the same time. It’s known to be one of the biggest cathedrals in the world – so it’s definitely a must-see when going to Milan. I didn’t get to go inside but seeing the architecture outside is already so amazing! I went there on my last day in Milan and had my breakfast at the Prada Cafe nearby – more on that later.
The next place to see is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Okay it’s a mouthful to say but it’s near the Duomo. And guess what? It’s a shopping “mall”. I quoted mall because it’s not really a mall since it’s not actually closed like the renowned Paragon shopping mall. But let’s consider it as the shopping district near Duomo. The Galleria is a landmark itself AND it’s a shopping area – definitely killing 2 birds with one stone. The place is stunning and it’s considered to be one of the oldest active shopping area of Milan. If you guys are planning to do a short trip to Milan – definitely go to the Duomo and Galleria on the same day.
Another place to see, if you’re in the mood – because it’s not really essential, is the Milano Centrale Railway Station. I only went there on the first day because it was 2 minutes away from my hotel. The Men’s AW19 Ermenegildo Zegna show was hosted there for Milan Fashion Week. This was unplanned but I was in Milan during Men’s fashion week! It was so cool because I got to see a celebrity at the lobby of my hotel – more on that below.
And yes, those are the ONLY 3 places I went to see while being in Milan. There’s actually not that many landmarks to see in Milan like Rome or Venice. Milan is known to be a fashion capital, so let’s get into shopping.
Places to Shop
Okay so here we go. Let’s get into Milan’s shopping district.
Via Montenapoleone, is THE go-to place to shop for luxury items. All the iconic fashion brands such as Fendi, Valentino, and Prada are all in that area. Their boutiques are absolutely stunning and you can literally spend hours there and you’d find yourself coming out of a boutique with bags filled with stuff that you’ve impulsively bought. Note: this place is actually a short walk from the Duomo. Everything is super close to each other, and that’s probably why I went to Milan for only 2 nights.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, is another place where you can shop. As mentioned earlier, this place is a shopping area as well as a historic landmark. It’s beautiful there. And I recommend going there really early in the morning (10 am or so) to take beautiful pictures without having so many people in the background. My first time there, I went in the afternoon, which was also beautiful because when the sun was setting, you could see how beautiful the light reflecting the glass of the Galleria. Also, the Galleria has Prada’s flagship store, which was first opened 1913. The store is huge! So definitely a place to go see.
10 Corso Como, is another store which I went to on the last day. If any of you are familiar with Dover Street Market, then you will absolutely love Corso Como. This place is filled with brands from Balenciaga to Vetements, but also includes niche designer brands. When I went there, they had their sale and items that I bought from Balenciaga previously were on sale! Even Gucci items such as bags and shoes were on sale too. So it’s definitely a place to go. Bonus: there’s a really cute cafe located in the store so you can go shopping and grab a meal afterwards.
Places to Stay
Okay, I only stayed in ONE place but it’s definitely a hotel to stay at because the service is amazing, the room is amazing, and guess what? I saw a celebrity there.
Many of you probably know but I saw BamBam at the lobby of my hotel. Okay funny story, on the second night that I was there, I found out that BamBam and Mark was staying at my hotel. My friend Jimmy spotted them at the lobby of our hotel when they finished the Ermenegildo Zegna show, which was located 2 minutes from our hotel. He also overheard them talking about the floor they were staying at – and it was my floor! Jimmy quickly texted me and I legit ran in my pyjamas at 12am to the stairs/elevator area to “coincidently” bump into them and take a photo. I don’t know what I was thinking running out in my pyjamas with no makeup on BUT I didn’t see them…sadly.
The next day (my last day in Milan) when I came down really early to leave to go get breakfast, BamBam was at the Lobby 10 inches away from me talking to the concierge. At first, I didn’t recognise him because I only discovered who he is the day before but then I asked for a photo and he was so kind and said yes. And yep, that was the highlight of my last day. I looked like an idiot in the photo but it was definitely such an amazing experience.
ANYWAYS, back to the hotel. The hotel I stayed at was Excelsior Hotel Gallia. The hotel was modern, had great service and was very accommodating. After travelling for so many years in Europe, I’ve always came across hotels that had really small rooms – unlike the hotel rooms in Thailand or Singapore, which are hugeee. The room here was spacious and they offered in-bed breakfast service (around €40), which all you had to do was fill out a form and put it outside your door before 12am. They also offered transportation services which are free for use, subject to availability. They’d use one of their many Maserati cars to bring you to the city centre and pick you up where they dropped you off when you’re done. Super convenient and free too!
I also had the chance to do my first EVER spa session there, which was provided by Shiseido. I have never gone to a facial before or do any sort of spas – why you may ask? Because I’m SO SO ticklish. I went to a foot massage once and I think the lady who was doing the foot massage started to secretly hate me because I moved so much. But yep, Shiseido took my facial massage virginity. The experience was absolutely amazing. I trusted them because I’ve used Shiseido products before (I used it for my teenage years).
Places to Eat
There are so many places to eat in Milan…well Italy. Safe to say, Italy has some of the best food I’ve tasted. When I went to Sicily, EVERYTHING tasted like heaven. And in Milan, everything also tasted like heaven. So here’s a few restaurants that I went to.
Pizzeria Assaje Segrino, is the first pizza restaurant I went to in Milan. On the first day, we decided to go somewhere simple and they had wonderful pizza! Always ask what their special is, it’s always a good idea to try. Although they didn’t understand me and my friend’s English at the time, the food was amazing. It took them a while to understand what I was asking for – I asked for Tiramisu for dessert and it took them 4 times for me to repeat…I had to show them a picture… and the table next to us were rude too! They were talking about me and my friend, no idea what they were saying but after we asked for Tiramisu, they just kept repeating what I was saying and laughed. *rolling my eyes*
Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone, I went to this place on the second day for lunch without a reservation. And going without a reservation is definitely a bad idea. We had to sit outside…in the cold. I almost froze to death but the food was good. But the service was really bad. It took them 10 minutes to give us a table outside that was FREE (there was no line btw), and another 10 minutes for them to take my order, another 10 minutes to just order another bottle of water, and another 10 minutes for them to get my bill. So yep, the service was pretty slow, but the food was good though! They had a really nice courtyard, so if you guys are visiting during spring or summer, it’ll be perfect to sit outside and enjoy the sun.
Rosy e Gabriele 1, I went to this place on my last night in Milan and the food was great! There were seafood, pizza, and pasta. The perfect way to end my Milan trip. The atmosphere felt super home-y and comfortable. The waiters were also friendly! Their pizza and uni pasta is a must-try! The pizza comes in a heart shape, which is so cute!
Pasticerria Marchesi, the designer cafe – known to be the Prada café. The Prada group bought this 200 year old patisserie and made it fashion. The interior of this place is absolutely remarkable – EVERYTHING IS GREEN. Okay, I usually dislike green, but Prada has turned this café into green-chic. I suggest to go there for breakfast as it gets really busy in the afternoon and you won’t be able to get a good seat!
10 Corso Como Café, this café is located right at the 10 Cosro Como store I mentioned earlier. This earthy café offers a beautiful scenery of nature – literally. Birds were flying around inside the café while I was eating. If you’re dropping by the store, might as well have your lunch here.
Wow, that’s a lot to say. It was only a 3 day trip, but it was definitely memorable! I got to see so many things, ate so many good food, and shopped in the fashion capital of Italy.
I’ll be writing another blog post soon on how I packed for this trip under 15kg!