One hundred eighty-two kilometers of surface, five subway lines, more than a dozen parks and an extensive collection of galleries and museums: from these premises, it seems impossible to visit Milan in only one day.
But actually, it is not: to accomplish such a challenge, you have to wear comfy shoes, give up some coffee breaks and not complain too much!
09:00 Coffee and a piece of cake at Pavé
With the pillow sign still on your cheek, head to the Central Station. Check out the skaters performing in Piazza Duca d’Aosta and try to figure out the reason for that triangle hung at the station entrance.
Frustrated by the lack of answers, enter Via Vittorio Pisani and get to Piazza Repubblica. Some flowerbeds, a lot of traffic: find some peace in Via Cristoforo Colombo, at number 27.
We said no coffee breaks and, yet, here it is the first one! Pavé is one of the best bistros in Milan. Do not worry if the pillow left you a scar on your cheek: Pavé atmosphere is intimate and familiar, and even the presence of a client in slippers and briefcase wouldn’t surprise anyone. Order a coffee and a piece cake – we love the lemon one -, read the newspapers or take advantage of the free Wi-Fi.
10.30 – A green oasis and a silent one
Your next stop is at the Giardini Indro Montanelli: to get there, walk down Via Lecco and cross the Lazzaretto, the ancient Milanese hospital. The Bastions of Porta Venezia will take you to the Giardini: between one shadowy area and the other, look for the statue of journalist Indro Montanelli, who used to write his articles here.
Get to the Planetarium and get out from the Giardini. Across the street, you will see an arch opening into Piazza Eleonora Duse, the Quadrilateral of Silence entrance, one of most silent and richest with art nouveau architecture places of Milan. Stroll around Via Vivaio, Via Cappuccini and Via Mozart with your nose up.
12.30 – Madonnina and panzerotti
Now, it’s time to experience the symphony of car horns and insults typical of Milan: plunge into Corso Buenos Aires, and try to get safe to Piazza San Babila and Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Here, you have to worry only about the pigeons and the choice of the best street artist – you should not miss the group staging Shakespeare in 10 minutes, close to the Duomo. Yes, the Duomo, the Cathedral that makes people of Milan super proud. If the queue is not too long, get on the roof to pay homage to the Madonnina, the Virgin Mary statue, symbol of Milan.
At this point, your stomach should have begun to grumble loudly. No worries: two minutes away from Piazza Duomo, in Via Santa Radegonda 16, there is Luini, the most famous bakery of Milan. Order a couple of panzerotti – fried bread with ham or mozzarella – and head to the nearby Piazza San Fedele.
14.30 – Cultural break
Even if you had worn the most comfortable walking shoes you have, after such a morning, you’ll have to slow down a little. That’s why the first part of the afternoon is dedicated to one of our favorite museums, the Gallerie d’Italia. Do not forget to visit the bookshop at the exit and to take a moment to rest under the statue of Leonardo da Vinci, in Piazza della Scala.
16.00 – Discovering the Brera district
It’s time to start walking again. Be brave: do you remember that one of the requirements was not complain too much, don’t you?
Your efforts will soon be rewarded: you are going to get to the Brera district, the artsy, colorful and full of discoveries area. Go to Rigadritto, in via Brera 6, a stationery store full of pens, notebooks and trinkets that will test your savings resolutions.
After walking around the streets of Brera, go to Via Dei Fiori Scuri and get to the Botanical garden to enjoy a bit of silence and shadow.
18:30 It’s aperitivo time!
Make sure you get to the Hora Feliz, in San Vito, before the crowd of ties and high heels which rushes there immediately after 6 o’clock. To make this happen, take tram No. 2. Get off in Via Torino and go to the pub. Here, the best choice you have is to order a XXL cocktail and to make as many trips to the buffet as you can. Be careful not to miss the desert, served around 8:30!
21.00 – Visit the Navigli
Pay a visit to the Columns of San Lorenzo and improvise a dance to the beat of bongos. Then, head to the Darsena.
Please be careful: you have to say “it is soooo beautiful” at least a couple of times. The redevelopment works have recently finished and the result is outstanding. People from Milan are proud of it and they would accept also a less “o” variant.
Grab a take away beer and head to the canals. If you have no idea where to go, choose Rita, the best cocktail bar in town.
To get back to Stazione Centrale, you’ll have to Reach Porta Genova and to catch bus number 9. In thirty minutes you’ll be back to your hotel, all set to start again tomorrow!
Or maybe not.
Credits preview photo:Riccardo Romano https://flic.kr/p/2sUkcN