Milan trip

When it comes to taking time off, I get 2 weeks in a year (most times I squeeze in a 3rd week to take advantage of 5 sick days that I never take) and I've always gone back home to visit the family. I've been to Toronto twice because of family and that's about it. So, I'm kinda excited to hit up Milan this September. Why Milan ... because return tickets were $350 and it was one of those things where you had to pick up the ticket the same day you saw the deal otherwise you wouldn't see it again. I’m more of a mountain/ beach/ outdoorsy/ the less the people the better kinda guy but an opportunity to explore any city I won’t shy from.

We fly out on the 20th and leave Milan the afternoon of the 27th. I’d love to spend more of my time in Milan itself but the group I’m going with are more seasoned in their travels, some already having been to Florence, and there’s their take of what the trip should look like. We’ll be booking our rooms together, so it’s one of those things where I’m going to go with the flow I guess (?) … but I’d love to check other things out if there’s other stuff worthy of checking out. Here’s the plan of the trip so far per a mock-up of the itinerary the group came up with. I have zero input on it thus far …

Thursday – we check out DaVinci’s last supper and a place called Duomo.
Friday – leave for Florence in the morning and stay all of Saturday.
Sunday – leave for Cinque Terre and stay all of Monday.
Tuesday – come back to Milan or Lake Como.
Wednesday afternoon, we fly back.

So I’m here for recommendations from any of you who’ve been to or around Milan! As a tourist, I wouldn’t know if a food-place is legit or one of those tourist traps featured on most “Top restaurants to eat at in Milan” websites. Do also recommend any places within an hour or two hours of travel distance that you think would be worth checking out.


Feel the funk blast
Sounds like a lot of fun, man! I hope you have a lovely trip! I don't know much about Milan, but for your time in Florence, I hope you have time to check out the Uffizi Gallery. It really is worth any time you can spend there.
That gallery looks amazing with its ceiling art, thanks for the recommendation Grail! I haven't seen anything like it before, in person so this'll be a treat. I'm gonna push for checking it out. One of the girls on the trip studied in Florence and suggested going there to relive her college years and there's a lake either there or somewhere close to there.


I'll be back.
Hey I'm back after being busy the last year with school and stuff. I hope you have a great trip. Share pucs when you get back .
Hi, I'm brand new to this board, and you have no reason to trust me, but I was in Milan last summer for a bit and there was a restaurant there that stood out for my girlfriend and I. Just wanted to share.

It's called Spazio. It's a little hard to find, but it's near the Duomo di Milan which is the central square of the city. The price point is a little above the average dinner, but the trick is, you are getting really high quality meals. Meals that would normally cost a lot more. It's all because the chefs working in this restaurant are finishing the last step for some famous cooking school, and so you're basically getting a discount because the chefs working there haven't graduated (despite having the skills).

It's a very nice restaurant besides that, as far as decor and whatnot.

As general advice goes, don't forget the sunscreen, and there's always room for gelato!

Hope you have fun!
Thanks Branded and Aaz! Cool recommendation CatBrains, I've added it to our list of spots to possibly check out, thank you.
NightCrawler said:
My advice is the less time you spend in Milan, the better. Enjoy :)
What's your favorite European cities?

Have fun on your trip, Incantation! I won't ask you to do it, but if you run into any fashion models in Milan I won't complain if you give them my number. :carcus:
Work has been crazy this year because we were and still are perpetually short staffed and so, this is a late update to something that happened end of September. And it was a bumpy ride in the beginning.

My first issue was getting a Schengen visa which was massively delayed because it required a ticket (bought in January) and a complete travel itinerary. One of the members of the group was assigned that task and it finally got done end of July. It took 6 months for whatever reason but I scrambled to the Italian Consulate's website to bag an interview and grabbed the earliest date - 09/10/2017 - I was still fine because I was going to travel in the 3rd week of September. When the day drew near I realized the date was in EU format aka dd/mm/yyyy and they'd given me a date after my entire trip was to be done! So I got some help with booking hotels and tickets to create a different itinerary that I then took to the Spanish consulate and got the visa a mere week before I was supposed to travel. Things were suddenly looking good till we landed in Milan.

NightCrawler said:
My advice is the less time you spend in Milan, the better. Enjoy :)
Nighty, you were right - Milan was a bit of a bore. One of the things that struck me as we taxied it from the airport to our AirBnb was how stylish everyone on the street looked. Men on bicycles in suits, on their way to work or lunch in the afternoon and women (old or young didn't matter) on motorcycles or bicycles in chic attire. Our apartment was a 25 minute walk from the Duomo, so that's the first thing we visited on Day 1.

Massive and long. The square across from it was filled with people - locals and tourists and reminded me of how crowded it is in Times Square. We walked a fair bit to get to a restaurant for dinner and ended the night that way. Both lunch and dinner were a bit of a let down. I was determined to have as much pasta or pizza I could.

Our next day, we took the train to Lake Como which was the best thing we did on our stay in Milan. The train ride was under an hour and it gave you access to a small town you could explore. There were other towns a 15/ 20 min walk away and you could get to it by a scenic path overlooking this not only massive but gorgeous lake.

Thinking about it for this post makes me want to go back. Every such town has access to boats and ferries that take you to certain towns. We took the ferry to a town called Bellagio and spent the rest of the day there, watched the sun go down and took the ferry back so we could hop on the train back to Milan. I wish we could've stayed someplace close to the lake and could've spent more time visiting small towns like Bellagio. Bellagio was extremely touristy, filled with local shops, narrow lanes and steep stairs/ paths, shops you could tell had been there for years.

The next day we tried to get inside the Duomo but there was a big queue for tickets and another queue with people waiting outside it to get access. Instead we hit up a McDonalds because heck, I needed to try and compare their breakfast sandwich with what we got here. What surprised me was their McCafe/ dessert selection - was this real?! It puts a US franchise to shame. We also took the subway which was a good experience and wish we'd used it more to travel within Milan. Cleaner, wider and peppier than a NY subway for sure.

We scrambled and almost didn't make the train to our next city - Florence. Travel tip - while in Milan, do not wait for cabs or use cab apps - use the public transport like trams or the subway instead or you're not going to make it in time wherever you're off to. We ran with our bags, up the stairs and what not, I thought it was funny.

I really liked Florence especially because, for the first time on the trip, we had food we were wow'd by and while Milan reminded me too much of New York city (big city life), Florence breathed history.

Grail said:
Sounds like a lot of fun, man! I hope you have a lovely trip! I don't know much about Milan, but for your time in Florence, I hope you have time to check out the Uffizi Gallery. It really is worth any time you can spend there.
Thanks for the tip cos I did make it to the gallery and it's huuuuuuuuge. Honestly it would take more than a day to filly appreciate it. Unfortunately there wasn't a lot of time because we were in a big group and there were things everyone wanted to do, so time management wasn't the most optimal. Another thing about traveling - try not to travel in bigger groups unless everyone is OK with doing their own thing. Being my first trip and not having cellular service, I stuck with the group I was with and we did everything mostly together.

Our AirBnb was a 20 min walk from the train station and about 40ish mins away from the center of the city. There's a leather market that's pretty decent and behind it, a food court with excellent food. It had such a cool industrial vibe to it. The main city is such a contrast - you see an old building, cathedral and across from it you see expensive shopping stores like Hugo Boss and so forth. Street were packed. We hit the Ufizi gallery, climbed up the tower that had 400+ steps to the top (boy were the steps and passages narrow, steep and bloody claustrophobic ... screw the view at the top *joking*). My pals were excited for the painting of Venus, while I was keen on checking out the more gruesome art.

2 days in Florence and we took the train to our last stop - Cinque Terre but we lived someplace else, I forgot what it was called. Cinque Terre was going to be a 10 min cab ride to a 30 min train ride away. Cabs were hard to get, so hard that you couldn't call them in advance, it had to be when you needed it and if there's a shortage, you leave a voice message and wait for them to call you back. Our AirBnb was the most impressive though because we somehow got to be at a 400 year old cottage that had a gorgeous view of the port/ ocean. Of course we weren't going to be home all day to enjoy the view, such a shame really.

The beds though ... lets just say we could really tell the house was 400 years old. Our first day we had there was half a day, so we walked around, grabbed some food and called it a night. We planned to spend all of the next day at Cinque Terre and again, that place needed more than just a day, maybe two at the very least. The local train takes you through the place and every train stop is a small town you can explore. We explored 2 towns and part of the group explored a 3rd town. Our final stop on the train was to a town by the beach and it was clear, beautiful water. Some were prepared with their swim suits and I had no idea anyone even planned on getting in the water. So tempted I was that I got in in just my boxer briefs. And I'm glad I did cos I spent the next hour and a half in the water - floating around and swimming. It was one of those surreal times you're in the water and you see lush green hills/ mountains in front of you with cute, colored homes/ cottages. At about 4, three of us decided to hike up to the next town. It was supposed to be a 2 hour hike and we'd meet the rest of the group who wanted to spend more time in the water at 6. We got a little off track and ended up going on a strenuous 3 hour one way, no path hike in dying light to a church that overlooked the ocean.

The next day we wouldn't have made our train if it wasn't delayed by 15 mins. Our last day was all travel. Cinque Terre -> Milan -> New York. I dove into work the next day and had two weeks of busy, stressful days till my next trip - a 3 week visit back home.

Skeleton said:
Have fun on your trip, Incantation! I won't ask you to do it, but if you run into any fashion models in Milan I won't complain if you give them my number. :carcus:
I didn't quite run into fashion models per say but I will say that the crowd were generally extremely good looking in Milan and Florence. For next time, we shall plan it in a way I won't need to give them you number because you'll be there ^_~
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