Friends. Fun. Italy
2017 being so full of beautiful events for us, by the end of the year we were pretty exhausted and with no idea on what to do on New Year’s Eve. Frankly speaking, we wished to have tranquil holidays, without any fancy paries, but at the same time we didn’t want to stay at home. After all, we are in our 20′ (yet!).
One thing led to another and somehow the travel bug activated itself and I had the most natural proposal…It’s time for a city break – in a gorgeous place, not far away from Romania and still a city where we’ve been before and where we’d know exactly which hot spots are to be seen again, in a good company this time.
I often find myself thinking “I’d rather be in Italy!”…so Italy it was! And what better place in Italy for a weekend getaway with your best friends than Milan – the city of elegance and sophistication?
Told the girls and right after I finished talking we got the tickets and are we were already planning our darling escape. Good things come to those who book flights and our journey together was meant to be legendary. Of course I am overreacting, but we were so exciiiiiited! One day we were whining about not having any plans and the next day we were checking the weather in Milan to see what outfits to take with us.
All of us had been to Milan before, several times actually, so we were not pressured to visit something in particular, just to enjoy this marvelous and vibrant city and return to all the places that stole our hearts from the first time. Being a control freak, I started immediately to plan our stay there because Italian cities have that power of overwhelming you with their beauty that you loose track of time and in the end you realize you missed some great experiences.
So, keep on reading and see what are the top things to do while in Milan with your friends:
1. Mandatory photos in the Piazza del Duomo
I could go 100 times to Milano and I’d still wish to go and see the majestic Duomo with all the fuss around it, maybe sit at one of the lovely cafes in the market and admire it’s beauty, the building and the people that pass by.
2. Start your day with coffee and sweets at Marchesi
Discover the everlasting sweet tradition and the unique flavor of an Italian coffee at the famous Pasticceria Marchesi. Steeped in tradition, Pasticceria Marchesi is one of Milan’s oldest and finest pastry shops and it is considered a benchmark for the quality of its fresh patisserie, its signature chocolates and its classic Milanese Panettone. This is the place to go at least once when in Milano, to savour a unique kind of magic that melts in your mouth. They have several locations, but the most special one is definitely the one above the Prada store in the Vittorio Emanuelle Gallery. Always crowded, you have to use your charms to get a window table. (Of course, we managed to succeed, twice even, in case you were wondering :)) ). That gorgeous view is worth every effort and all the calories…and they are quiet a lot.
3. Take a tour of the most iconic sights in Milan
An when I say iconic, I mean: Doumo, Sforza castle, Sempione park, Arco della Pace and Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle. If you’ve visited Milan before you know there are a lot of attractions across the city and you’ll need at least a week to visit them all. However, these 5 places are always a must see.
4. Explore the Navigli district
If you love Venice and that Italian feeling of”‘il dolce far niente”, than this charming district is the place to relax, enjoy an aperitivo Milanese and have a nice walk. There are two canals, which are called Naviglio Grande and the Naviglio Pavese, both of them are surrounded by different types of cafés, restaurants, bars, design shops and art galleries where you can have a pleasant time. Once you arrive at Porta Genova metro station you’ll think “Hmm we’re not in Milan anymore.” because everything is so different: cool colored building, bridges across the canal and vintage bikes everywhere, a great combo between Venice, Verona and Amsterdam.
5. A little shopping never killed nobody
Imagine 3 girls in Milan – the capital of fashion and style. What could they be doing??? Shopping, of course! We deserve a treat once in a while, don’t we? The freezing weather outside was the perfect reason we had to enter every shop…we just wanted to get warm but in fact, we left with many bags as “souvenirs”. We were mostly interrupted by the boys who were not that happy about our activities, but we managed pretty well in the end. Frankly, I do believe Milan is the perfect place for shopping! Been to many big cities including Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Vienna and Nice (which are all famous for their shopping quartiers), but Milan has that extra sparkle-hypnotizing vibe that makes you wanna buy all the clothes and all the shoes! If you plan a trip there, don’t forget to save some extra money because you’ll be very tempted to spend (and you will spend, trust me!).
6. Go on a carousel ride
Going around in circles isn’t always a bad thing, especially if you do it in a wonderful carousel that will bring back golden memories from your childhood. This is a thing I do in every place I visit: I see a carousel, I buy a ticket, I ride it and than I don’t want to get off. Couldn’t have missed the chance in Milan, so I convinced my best friend and had a great time together. We literally enjoyed the ride more than the children :))
7. Take the historic tram line no. 1
The tram was one of the first means of transport of Milan and it is still now an iconic symbol of the city. Since the early 1900’s, the trams have been transporting locals and visitors around the city and with this hop on hop off tour you can combine the experience of riding down the vintage tramway with a city sightseeing tour of Milan. The famous TraMilano is also characterized by wooden furniture, lamps with decorated glasses and the typical noise of iron wheels along the tracks. so, if you choose to take this historical ride, you will visit Milan on board a vehicle with over 100 years of history that has been used by various generations of citizens. Completely different from a modern tram, you will find on Tram n.1: wooden benches (instead of plastic chairs!) placed along the sides of the vehicle, wooden steps to get on board, an automatic special get off system (that was innovative at the beginning of the ‘900), typical folding doors and sash windows. I guarantee this Tram tour is going to be an unique experience and if you travel with friends, you’ll have a blast! Before getting off, admire the driver’s seat made of wood and brass, a great spectacle!
8. Wander the most beautiful street – Via Monte Napoleone
This upscale shopping street in Milan is famous for its ready-to-wear fashion and jewelry shops. It is the most important street of the Milan fashion district known as the Quadrilatero della moda, where many well-known fashion designers have high-end boutiques. The most exclusive Italian shoemakers maintain boutiques on this street too. Despite the most famous boutiques, Via Monte Napoleone is a wonderful example of elegance and street style: stunning facades, lovely details and impressive holiday lights during the winter, make it the perfect place for a pleasant walk in Milan.
9. Have dinner at Lentini’s
For the last night in Milan, we had a table at Lentini’s (booked with the help of my dearest Italian friends who also highly recommended this location) to celebrate together the New Year and the great time we had on our Italian getaway. Everything was so tasty and the stuff very helpful. But most of all, I remember the design: so retro, cool and friendly – with a New York vibe mixed with delicious Italian food and wines. We had such an amazing evening, chatting, laughing and enjoying every flavour. Lentini’s is an IT place, a must see during your stay in Milan. If you go around the winter holidays you will also find the most enchanting Christmas decorations ever…
10. Spritz up your night at the famous Terrazza Aperol
Looking out over Milan’s cathedral, Terrazza Aperol is the city’s new temple of aperitifs and not only. The mood is enjoyment, good cheer, conviviality, the stunning view and Aperol Spritz of course (and chips, don’t forget about the chips)! The location is trend-setting, a showcase for a public that’s lively, dynamic, eclectic and international, keen to experience the center of Lombardia’s capital in an exclusive way and a great company.
Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of you life and Milan is the perfect place to have fun! After all, life was meant for good friends and great adventures. And when you combine these two, you can not go wrong.