Milano è Magnifico

Milan is magnificent!  I want to share a few tips for visiting and more than a few photos from this most beautiful city. Alla and I have only been once but we definitely plan to return. First, if possible find a hotel near the Piazza del Duomo  or Cathedral Square.  The Duomo is close to many things you will want to see, close to public transportation, and of course the Duomo is a magnificent place in and of itself. Visit the piazza during the day and at night to see two very different views of the Duomo and two very different crowds of tourists.

If you face the Duomo, walk part way across the piazza, and turn left you will enter the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II  which is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. The shops are overpriced but the building is incredible. It is a four-story double arcade named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It was  designed in 1861 and built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877.  Look around, walk through the Galleria and before you leave, crush the bulls balls under the heel of your shoe for good luck.

As you leave the far end of the Galleria you will see a number of cafes and shops, these are just as good as anything you will find inside and at a much better price.

If you are in Milan then there is a good chance that you came to see Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper  in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.  If this is your only trip to Milan then buy tickets in advance. If you know you are returning, or if you like to gamble, then simply go to the ticket office at Santa Maria delle Grazie early in the morning to be there when it opens. A number of tickets are held back from the brokers and agents to be sold daily. You will probably get a ticket and save a good deal of money. By the way, do not skip a tour of the Convent, it is a beautiful building.

Our visit to Milan was too brief. We stopped on the way from London to Florence. The London to Paris to Milan train arrives late at night so we had the perfect excuse to stay over for two days. Of course, two days is not enough so we will be back to see more of Milan the magnificent.



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