Quality time, glorious food and catching up with friends. Do you need other reasons to head off somewhere? I most certainly don’t. In February (2018) my other half and I ate our way through Milan (+ a bit of sightseeing), and here is how that went:
Pre-departure-beers at the airport
You might be familiar with this ancient British tradition, but in case you aren’t let me explain:
- One makes his/her way over to the airport with some time to spare before the flight
- One finds the closest/biggest/most expensive bar at the airport
- One orders at least one beer per person, even if it’s 4AM
- One drinks the beer and ideally still makes it to the flight
- Tradition mastered
The best thing about studying and working abroad is having friends all over the world and being able to visit them. My friend Francesca lives in Milan with her husband and we were very lucky to be able to stay with them in their travel-inspired apartment. They also showed us around a bit and took us to a little gem of a restaurant (more about that one below).
Seeing Milan, the (street)food way
We started off our Saturday in Milan with breakfast out – coffee or tea and pastries at the local bakery around the corner. As a Belgian I LOVE bakeries, so I fully embraced this tradition and was introduced to pistachio croissants – yum!
Then off to the city centre by metro (the best way to get around). We checked out the Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and then went to search for our next snack: panzerotti!
Luini is a bit touristy and probably overhyped – but the panzerotti are cheap and tasty, so worth a try. One gelato stop later we made it to the Castello Sforzesco, and this is where things started to get interesting. We noticed a lot of police around and after a bit of research we found out that different political groups were marching through the city that day.
Time for more food, so we set off to Brera – the long way round, because most entrances to the castle park got sealed off for security reasons, and so we had to walk all the way back through it. On the Via Fiori Chiari we searched for La Fagotteria di Brera as recommended by The Internet, but no luck there. Fortunately we managed to console ourselves with some pizza slices and an arancini.
After that we needed some time and exercise to digest and wandered towards the Porta Garibaldi, while also trying to avoid angry political mobs – exciting! When we finally did make it there we needed a rest, and what better place to do so than at 10 Corso Como, a cafe-restaurant-bookshop-gallery combo. This place must be spectacular in summer with its amazing rooftop bar. Just a pity that the waiters downstairs in the café weren’t very eager to serve us.
In the evening we took the old tram to the Navigli area which gives you a nice view of the city. There we went to Pizzeria con Cucina da Teresa e Patrizia Milano where we had the most indulging food! The starter was a variety of fried veggies, and as a main I had the saffron risotto. So good, and felt so full afterwards!
On Sunday Milan showed itself from its prettiest side by really dropping the temperatures, with a little bit of snow even. Luckily we observed it all from a different angle: from the 39th floor of the Belvedere di Palazzo Lombardia, which we were able to visit for free.
We warmed up a bit in bookshop café RED Bistrot Libreria Feltrinelli afterwards, before heading off to Navigli for the Sunday flea market and lunch. The place we wanted to go to was completely full, so we ended up at Sabbia d’Oro for pizza, pasta and (how could I not?!) tiramisu.
Thanks Milan! You were very cold but super tasty, and always wonderful to catch-up with friends in their little corner of the world. Until next time!
For a more summery review of a weekend in Italy, head over to my blog post on Pisa. Alternatively I can also share some suggestions with you for a weekend away in:
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Milan is so amazing