On our way back from Emilia Romanga exploring Modena, Parma and Bologna, we stopped in Milan to enjoy a day with my brother and friends that reside there. The train from Bologna to Milan is very easy – there are fast trains that really expedite traveling throughout Italy.
We use Milan as our entry point for all our Italy trips due to the cost savings so we have spent layouts in Milan before, even adding a few extra days dedicated to Milan. This was my brother’s first time in Milan so we had fun strategizing what to see in Milan with only a few hours.
First stop – lunch at Luini! Drooling over these panzerotti since the last time we were in Milan, these inside out pizza like snacks are just delicious. There are many different flavor combinations to choose from but do yourself a favor – just get two a person to avoid having to wait in line again – you are going to want another since they are not that big and are so yummy.
Next to Luini is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, packed with people shopping, gazing at the architecture, and hiding from the rain.
On the other end of the Galleria is the Duomo di Milano – a magnificent structure that sits smack in the middle of the city.
We had never had to get in line for tickets (we bought online the last time we visited) and the process was a bit messy. You have to go down past the Duomo to a building on the right where you are given a deli number and then wait to pay for your tickets. The room to wait was completely mobbed with no lines to be found. Eventually, we figured out there was a corral to pay on a self service ticket stand so we nudged our way to that. Then you walk back outside and into the line to get into the Duomo.
The inside was just as amazing as we remembered!
It was time to meet up with our friends from Milan! They gave us a great walking tour of the entire city. One of our favorite stops was at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery. First of all, it is located in one of the most beautiful buildings – definitely not a traditional Starbucks.
Starbucks coffee culture is different than Europe’s, and especially Italy. In Italy, you grab your espresso, take it down like a shot, and go about your day. You may be in the coffee shop for less than 5 minutes from start to finish. In the US, we sit in a coffee shop for hours and hours. It is not just a place to get a caffeine fix, but one for reading, work, conversation, relaxation, music, and more. The fact that there was a wait to get into the Starbucks Reserve Roastery was certainly a good sign of the acceptance of this coffee culture.
We completed our loop around Milan before heading to dinner at Il Mori, a Sicilian restaurant showcasing delicious seafood. What a treat!
While I wanted one last gelato, it was already very late and most places were closed. Not to mention we had an early rise to get on the plane back home. What a wonderful way to top of an already amazing trip through Emilia Romagna!