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One day in Milan

“Only five days?” friends exclaimed, when we shared our next trip’s details. This proved to be a solid amount of time to dip our toes into three very beautiful Italian cities, beginning with one day in Milan.

duomo milan

Inside the Duomo di Milano

We landed at 9am, heading straight to Duomo station via metro to drop our backs at the hotel. Our official “Welcome to Italy” was a glimpse of the Duomo directly outside the station, and what impressive first sight it was.

duomo milan italy

The first view of the Duomo

We inched our way toward the hotel through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (the beautiful shopping plaza adjacent to the Duomo) oogling some luxury shop windows in the process. How were we to get anywhere if every step was more beautiful than the last?

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Luxurious shopping abound in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

We eventually found our new home, the Park Hyatt Milan. We were told that our room would not be ready until after 1:00 (it was only 11:00 at the time), so we dropped our bags and headed out to explore.

park hyatt

The Main entrance to Park Hyatt Milan

Since this was our first stop in Italy, our minds were decidedly in one place: our stomachs. Double espressos gave us the strength to explore Peck’s, one of the more formidable gastronomic hubs I have seen. Opened in 1883, this location has an impressive wine cellar, a pricey cafe/bar, and a gallery of ingredients and prepared foods so pretty, you should have to pay admission. They even carry vintage Chinese teas: price per kilo? 600 Euros.

Pecks lobsters milan

Take away options have never looked so good

Ready for a religious experience of a different kind, we explored the Duomo’s interior and terraces next. This architectural monolith is the fifth largest cathedral in the world, and took six  centuries to complete.

duomo milan

The interior of Duomo di Milano

Because it took so long to complete, the cathedral reflects many styles of architecture and art, to the scorn of some and to the thrill of others. I personally loved wandering among the spires and flying buttresses, and wished that we would have caught one of the many concerts and cultural events that occur on the terrace.

duomo milan terrace

A slightly slanty view from the Duomo di Milan’s terrace

Next stop: the Castella Sforzesco. Walking down via Dante brings you to this ancient citadel-turned-museum, housing works like Michelangelo’s Pietà Rondanini, and DaVinci’s Ala Delle Asse. When visiting, keep in mind that admission is free on Fridays from 2 p.m. to 5.30 p.m., and Tuesday-Thursday and on weekends from 4.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m., but many galleries close for 3 hours mid-day.

Castella Sforzesco Milan Italy

Tower of Castella Sforzesco

In dire need of a nap,we groggily stumbled back to the Hyatt . Though our room was “one of the largest standard rooms in Milan”, we flopped into bed, waiting to suss out our new digs for our one day in Milan until after some sleep.

Park Hyatt Milan room

Park Hyatt Milan standard room

Well rested and ready for more, we looped around high-end shopping street Via Montenapoleone to the travelling exhibition Il Mondo di Leonardo.  This showcase brought life to DaVinci’s original technical drawings through digital animations, allowing the visitor to interact with DaVinci’s groundbreaking machines.

DaVinci machines

A model of one of DaVinci’s flying machines

For dinner, our concierge recommended Nabucco on Via Fiori Chiari for a dinner like Nonna would make.  This would be our first official meal after many small bites, and it did not disappoint.

squash blossom antipasti milan italy

Stuffed Squash blossom Antipasti

and this….

truffle steak milan itlaly

Truffle porn

We took a taxi to the Navigli canal district after dinner, where wine bars, restaurants, and after hour clubs line the waterfront. The sun was just preparing to set, and drinks by the early evening light lasted long into the night.

milan canal italy

The myriad open-air entertainment options lining the canal

We set up shop at Il Vinaccio, a wine bar with over 20 options by the glass, a very helpful owner, and free drinking snacks to bring with you curbside (basket of hard boiled eggs, anyone?). I don’t know what it is, but everything tastes better a)When you can sit on the ground  outside b)When the price is reasonable (4 Euro a glass on the high end) and c)When your neighbors want you to have more fun they they are having.

il vinaccio milan canal rome

Good things really do come in small packages

With an additional bottle of Nuhar under our arm, we ate our first, and maybe the best gelato of the trip at Rinomata Gelateria. Bellies full of goodness, cheeks red with smiles and wine, our one day in Milan was complete.

Rinomata gelateria Milan Italy

Yummy spectrum of flavors from Rinomata Gelateria along Milan’s canal

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Andy Hough August 29, 2013, 10:33 pm

    I don’t have any Citi cards right now. I’ll keep this in mind if I get one and need to cancel it.

  • Rachael Z August 30, 2013, 4:50 am

    Were you an engineer at some point? You think like one…;)

    • Matt from Saverocity August 30, 2013, 11:36 am

      Not in this lifetime. I did study technology in college, so had some engineering in that sense of the word, but always worked in people related jobs.

  • Cpn Obvious August 31, 2013, 5:19 am

    What does No Risk after 9 Months of Card Opening mean?

    • Matt from Saverocity August 31, 2013, 2:53 pm

      If you cancel too soon, typically within 3 months of getting the bonus, there are stories of the bonus points being reversed out of your linked mileage account. As such I always recommend waiting for 9 months or more to be safe. There is no need to cancel a card before the 9-11 month mark as you aren’t getting the fee until month 12.

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