I took a mid-week trip to Milan during an unusually stressful period of my second year of uni. (For those who don’t know, when you do a 4-year sandwich degree in the UK, your 3rd year is spent working for a company of your choice, as a paid internship. And I was neck deep in internship applications with my fantasized professional career seemingly slipping away with every rejection). So off Rhys and I went, staying at the most beautiful hostel we’ve had the pleasure of being guests at to date, Ostello Bello Grande. We were greeted with a glass of wine each and free food- Heaven is a place on earth, and quite possibly Italy.
We started our trip with a walking tour, which met in front of the Duomo di Milano. Now, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a minute and look it up. It’s beautiful. And walking up from the metro to see the grand cathedral in the hazy morning light was an experience I’ll never forget. It looked artificial. We spent the day touring a lot of famous churches and historic sites, but it all seemed lackluster in comparison to the Duomo. Later, we got to take the inside tour and even made the climb to the top of the cathedral (107 meters). An absolute must-do.
After the tour, we tried to go to a bar and have a few drinks before more exploring, but found very quickly this is not part of the culture of Milan. Instead we found numerous Espresso bars, and got hyped up on caffeine. We eventually did find a bar that was willing to serve us (before 3pm), and took advantage of it; before our scheduled viewing of Davinci’s The Last Supper. We admittedly were a little too tipsy to be serious art appreciators, which led to a hilarious and moderately offensive picture of me in front of Jesus mimicking his, “I know of one you will betray me” body language. A tip for future travelers- they don’t take too kindly to flash photography, or people who make fun of a historic art piece.
Back at the hostel, Rhys and I met some interesting characters including a Brazilian model named Bruno (We still follow each other on Instagram, and he is the biggest celeb I know to-date) who was just starting out his career in Italy, and a hilarious Scottish student named Ross who was traveling the world. We ended up going to an area of Milan with a canal down the center and bars on either side, and spent our last evening in a hookah bar, talking about life and the future over drinks and laughs.
I flew back to Nottingham with a weight lifted; a trip to Milan was just what I needed.
Borrowed clothes: For this trip I borrowed my mom’s knee high leather boots (circa 19??) to romp around Italy’s (or rather Europe’s) fashion capital in. Who knew the knee high look would come back in style? They even made it to the top of the Duomo.
Pro travel tips:
- Milan is a place for great coffee, fashion, and art- don’t go for anything else
- All 3 airports are over 30 minutes from the city- but you can get a bus from outside any terminal for usually less than a fiver
- The cigarette machines are tricky if you aren’t from Europe- go to a shop before they close
- If you go to a bar and get a drink, you generally also get snack food/tapas to accompany it- so remember this if you are on a budget or just genuinely appreciate free food
- If you want to see the painting of The Last Supper, book a month ahead of time