Do you have a plan in Milan? The A-list fashionistas definitely do as they buckle up for Milan’s fashion week- it’s all about what trends will define summer 2013, what did person X wear, who styled person Y, who is this season’s hottest designer or the best face? I am afraid that you are reading the wrong blog if you are searching for the answers to those questions- while I do enjoy wearing beautiful clothes, fashion is far away from defining me. What I would much rather discuss with you today is how to kill an afternoon in Milan, because let’s face it, if you are not into fashion there is very little you can do in Milan, especially on a Sunday afternoon!
Luckily recent developments have lead to the opening of some shops on Sundays in Milan. When I used visit the city regularly, Sunday was the equivalent of wild wild West’s ghost towns where one would consider a good day when you see a wheat parcel rolling across the dusty road. Milan was similar, but more depressing especially in the unfortunate event that you got sick after a night out, on a Sunday not even a train station pharmacy was open. Now things are different. First of all there is a massive queue in front of Abercrombie and Fitch, which makes me think of two things: is Abercrombie and Fitch paying people to stand in the queue? If everyone is standing in the Abercrombie and Fitch queue why does the fashion industry even bother hosting fashion week? Secondly, now days you can do things in Milan on Sunday that do not consist of watching an Italian League soccer game. Perfect.
I spent a wonderful non-fashion afternoon in Milan, and you can do the same.
- Enjoy the world’s creamiest cappuccino at Bastianello at Via Borgona for a great start of the day. If you are feeling hungry couple the cappuccino with a delicious homemade croissant (brioche in Italian) and a fresh orange juice (spremuta di arancia)
- Have a walk around Piazza San Babila near the Duomo, whose minor façade bits are still under renovation but the main gate is finally completed. You can also visit the interior part of the cathedral.
- Visit the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci in the Santa Maria delle Grazie Cathedral
- From the center walk down to the Brera, the home of both Milanese Artists and food lovers. Have lunch in one of the Osterias or a snack on a Princi pizza, (my favorite!) then walk down to Corso Como for some unique shopping and browsing
- Go back to the Center and visit Milan’s largest department store, Rinascente. They recently renovated it so if you are in a hurry and desire to do some speedy shopping, Rinascente is the right place!
- When you leave Rinascente, go to one of the nearby Gelaterias (ice cream shop) and enjoy an authentic Italian Gelato. Walk through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and enjoy the decadent Italian architecture converted fashion street, until you exit at La Scala- Italy’s most beautiful and reputable opera house (if you enjoy opera or ballet it is worth checking the schedule and booking a show in advance)
- Spend the last hours of the afternoon on via Spiga and via Manzoni for some more browsing and conclude your day with an Aperitif at Armani Café in Via Manzoni where you can also buy some gifts and artisanal chocolates. Milan’s top cocktails are either Spritz or Negroni, or like me, if you simply desire to refresh yourself go for the standard Coke toped up with ice and lime. Enjoy Milan!