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On top of the Duomo of Milano

As slow as my grandpa can go!

I love Milano, and I love her tiny courtyards and corners where nobody will ever find you, neither disturb you; nevertheless, most of all, I love the marvelous and gigantic masterpiece located in the very heart of the city; I love the Duomo.

On the second morning of my short vacation, I woke up still too early cause of the jet lag but the sun and the blue sky immediately put me in the right mood to go back on top of Milan roof (once upon a time the tallest). How to enjoy it, if not slowly? How to walk slower then choosing as a trip companion your own grandpa?

So I got my mom and my grandpa involved and we took a short ride to reach the main piazza. We chose the elevator to access the first level on top of the sides of the church for obvious reasons. After a few pictures and a few minutes spent getting used to the height and the amazing view, nobody could have stopped us from climbing those last steps keeping us from reaching the top of the central navata.

Each step was a better view that we conquered and we were so willing to reach the top (and get the rest we deserved), as much as afraid of reaching it too fast. We wanted to be sure that we were getting every breeze, every corner of each view. Every step was as important as the last one we would climb. The magnitude and the power of this jewel on your emotions is impressive, even when you climbed it several times already and I could read in my grandpa’s eyes that it is going to be the same for the next times to come.

Grampa on the top of Duomo

Grandpa on the top of Duomo

I am sure that the sun of that morning and the vibrations of the history and the lives entrapped in the white marble -so hard to keep polished and so much admired all around the world- were certainly making everything perfect.

We stopped to touch, we stopped to look, we stopped to shoot; we stopped to simply stop and let it last a bit longer.

 

Tommaso Zanella

an Italian living abroad

 

Visit Milan: helpful hints

Italian name: Milano

Arrival

Milan has got three airports:

  1. Malpensa Airport is the largest international & intecontinental Airport in Northern Italy. 30 miles Northwest from the city centre. Connections:
    Train Malpensa Express: trains leaves every 30 minutes in each direction, connecting the Airport to Milan Grand Central Station or Cadorna Railway Station. Terminals 1 and 2. It takes 45 min, price: 14 €
    Shuttle Bus: Malpensa Shuttle and Malpensa Bus Express connect the airport to Milan Grand Central Railway Station and Milan’s Underground Network. Terminals 1 and 2. It takes 60/70 min, price: 8 €
  2. City Airport Linate is an international airport connecting Milan with main European cities, located just 4 miles from the city centre. Connections by shuttle: Atm Bus n. 73 from Milano Duomo M1 – M3 (Piazza Diaz, direction: San Babila), first ride at 5.35 am, last one at 00.35. Frequency: every 10 min, price 1,5 €
  3. Milan Bergamo Airport Orio al Serio is mainly low cost flights Airport, located 30 miles Northwest from Milan. Connections only by Shuttle: There are 4 different bus companies,  pricing changes from 5 up to 8 €

Transports

ATM is Milan public transport service both for bus, tram and subway. Single ticket costs 1.50€ for 90-min ride. Consider daily/weekly subscriptions. You can buy tickets also texting to 48444. Milan Subway is the longest in Italy, covering 95 km: Donwload and check the map.

Moving in town can be nice also by bike: Milan has got a powerfull bike sharing service providing both regular and e-bikes. Here is the experience of our Ambassador Kim Harding with BikeMi service and a useful video of our Ambassador Roxana explaining how does it work. Car Sharing is also good with many different companies to choose.

Try also the local urban railway train, called Passante Ferroviario, check the experience of our Ambassador Roxana Iacoban travelling by local train in town.

What to do in Milan

Milan is the Italian financial center and one of the European capitals of Fashion. Known for its nightlife as well.

Some tips on Italia Slow Tour: watch our web serie about Leonardo da Vinci’s places, climb on top of the Duomo, visit Prada Foundation, Museums and Art Galleries, taste some fine gelato and try the local Aperitivo and – not joking – enjoy a sailing trip (!!) or some time deep in the nature close to some actual farms and fields.

Where to sleep

Accomodations are quite expensive in Milan, fares rise up and hotels get full according to the rich event calendar of the city (see: Fashion Week, Salone del mobile, Big concerts, Theatre and Sport events, etc.). If you are not specifically interested in any of those, try to travel during other periods to save some money.

Italia Slow Tour recommends:

  • Hotel Cervo in Garibaldi District if you want to stay close to city centre and enjoy the nightlife
  • Hotel Concorde located on the Green Way Milan-Lecco to Lake Como, if you want to move around adn travel by bike

Shopping in Milan

The famous Fashion District involves the following streets/areas: Via Montenapoleone, via Manzoni, via della Spiga and Corso Venezia. The so called “Quadrilateral of Fashion”. Here you can find all kind of brands and shops. Easy to reach by Subway (stop at Montenapoleone station).

Don’t miss the Street Markets! Almost every day you can find one: best are the ones in Viale Papiniano (on Tuesday) and Via Fauchè (on Saturday). More on the official website of weekly street markets. If you are into sustainable local products, Milan has got 8 actual farms in town and a green Earth Market.

If you are interested in Outlet Shopping, in the outskirt of Milan you can find 4 different Fashion Outlets, in a radius of 62 miles. Here you can find everyday a lot of famous high quality Italian brands on sale, with prices cut off up to 50%. All the outlets are connected to the center of Milan by Shuttle Bus:

  1. Serravalle Designer Outlet – Shuttle departure from Milan Central Station or Cairoli square
  2. Fidenza Village Outlet Shopping – Shuttle departure from Piazza della Repubblica 5, at the corner with Turati st.
  3. Vicolungo The Style Outlets – Shuttle departure from Cairoli square
  4. Rodengo-Saiano Franciacorta Outlet Village – Shuttle departure from Cairoli square

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