Iconic landmarks of the city
Milan: Duomo by night
Enjoy a night concert into the church (then go cycling with Critical Mass Milano!)
So now that evening has fallen, where does one go in Milan? Let’s visit the Duomo by night, to see a performance of Monteverdi’s Orpheus inside the church. So wonderful!
As we exit, Milan has another surprise in store for us: the night time gathering of cyclists who ride through the streets every Thursday! They are part of a group that’s known as Critical Mass Milano, promoting the use of bicycles.
Cover pic by Flickr User Fortherock
Video full text: Duomo by night
So now that evening has fallen, where does one go in Milan?
Of all the many things there are to do I’ve just thought of one…. the Duomo!
It’s true that the apse is its most beautiful part, a piece of embroidery, so wonderful by night.
I’m going to see a performance of Monteverdi’s Orpheus, inside the Duomo, lovely!
It has been organised by the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo (Venerable Factory of the Duomo),
with the baroque orchestra of the Claudio Abbado Municipal School of Music.
It’s called “Fabbrica”, or ‘factory’, because it’s never finished!
This is confirmed by Monsignor Borgonovo,
Archpriest of the Duomo and President of the Veneranda Fabbrica:
the Duomo will never be finished because that madman, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who began the building used this stone.
And whereas its fine for indoor use, outside it only lasts for a maximum of thirty years.
We’ve been promised that with the new protective paints it should last even sixty. We’ll see.
In any case what this means is that they need replacing approximately every 30 years.
The Duomo is undergoing restoration, the marble will be cleaned and will regain its whiteness.
I like that dark patina it has acquired over time.
When everything has been cleaned it will be whiter, brighter.
The marbles will reveal all their veins, as is the case with the counter-façade.
The remarkable thing is that it is never cold in here.
That’s because marble retains the summer temperatures and loses them very slowly.
So it only begins to turn cold in December.
This is the only Duomo of its kind.
As a Milanese I can confirm this, there is nowhere in the world with one as beautiful as this.
I can believe it, every time I come in here I’m left speechless.
A Stendhal Syndrome!
Tonight all of Milan is making an offer to the Duomo,
and naturally the lovers of Monteverdi.
And this is the opening of Orpheus.
It’s a really sad story, that of Orpheus and Eurydice who meet and fall in love.
But she dies and Orpheus travels as far as the underworld to find her and bring her back to the world of the living.
But when he turns around to look at her he loses her forever.
As we exit, Milan has another surprise in store for us:
the night time gathering of cyclists who ride through the streets every Thursday!
These mittens are used to tell others which way we’re turning, just like a car indicator.
We’re part of a group that’s known as Critical Mass Milano.
We promote the use of bicycles, taking to the streets, of course!
We need to persuade Mayors a little more to create cycle paths!
We’re leaving soon!
They meet here in an almost situationist way.
They’re here, everyone knows that, and those who want to come, turn up and then they’re off.
A type of peaceful movement that demonstrates how lovely it would be if there were even more mobility in favour of bicycles.
They are a tornado, it’s fantastic! Next time I’m going to take part as well!
Visit Milan: helpful hints
Italian name: Milano
Milan has got three airports:
- 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 €
- 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 €
- 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 €
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:
- Serravalle Designer Outlet – Shuttle departure from Milan Central Station or Cairoli square
- Fidenza Village Outlet Shopping – Shuttle departure from Piazza della Repubblica 5, at the corner with Turati st.
- Vicolungo The Style Outlets – Shuttle departure from Cairoli square
- Rodengo-Saiano Franciacorta Outlet Village – Shuttle departure from Cairoli square