Let me give you a bit of a background story: Milano and I share a special connection. I regard this city as a sort of…mentor :). I moved to Milano 12 years ago with a university scholarship and my life took an amazing turn and totally changed from that moment on. I come from this medium size – small town in the north of Romania (a.k.a. Transylvania) called Baia Mare (yes, you may have never heard about it), and before Milan I cannot say I had any clue of real style, fashion, design or anything related to these areas. But I was 19 and open, receptive, so I let Milan shape my education, sense of style, taste (including food) and life perspective. So I am forever grateful… and hooked for that matter! 🙂
I moved out 6 years ago, but somehow, years later, the roads keep on taking me to Milan, more often than not, and honestly, I rediscover it every time: new places, new feelings, new people. So here I am sharing the excitement!
This is meant to be just one article of a few I may write about Milan, pointing out some of my favorite places to go (even if you go there for the first time or you are a regular visitor). Be ready to eat, drink, socialize, walk, shop (of course) and enjoy life – this is in a nutshell what Milano is about. For history lessons, there are a dozen of other cities in Italy, but save this one for living beautifully the Italian way.
I have tried a share of hotels in Milan, but my personal favorite is Principe di Savoia: the service, the breakfast, the people, the building – ahhhhh! I simply feel like a princess every time I step foot in this hotel. Another amazing one is Palazzo Parigi, but more on the pricey side. If you look for a modern stay, close to the city center, Boscolo is also a good option. Fifty House Hotel is a another good option if you are into boutique hotels, close to Piazza Cinque Giornate. But… really try Principe, you will not regret it!
Below there are 10 places I decided to recommend in this blog post (others will come in future ones):
- Café Napoli: One of my favorite cafes, on Via Turati 40, at walking distance from the hotel, on your way to the city center, if you want to have your second coffee in the morning (and I am the kind of little monster that needs it ). My boyfriend found it, exploring the area and maybe ways of making me happy – he loves me particularly after I drink coffee, and even more at my second one :)). Café Napoli is a small place, but with exquisite coffee really, and the design of the place takes you directly to Napoli… you should really see it!
- Motta Bar – if you plan to take the city center shopping, and at some point in the hectic shop hopping you need a coffee, Motta Bar at the Vittorio Emmanuelle Galleries is the perfect choice: amazing coffee, great location, yummy snacks and you don’t pay over 5 euros for a coffee as in most of the tourist traps around. Save the rest for gelato or….and this takes me to the next place to MUST-GO….
- Luini Panzerotti – this is a must in Milano, it is very close to Duomo and the galleries, and you just cannot go to Milan and not eat a panzerotto. Order the tomato mozzarella one, and yes, the line you see in front of the place is totally worth it! Chill & Wait! Post some instaStories, leave your veganism or raw-veganism at the door in case you practice those and try one! Your body will greatly appreciated it…with a ridiculous smile after!
- Tre Gazzelle – while there are hundreds of gelaterias in Milan, this one is my personal favorite and it is right across of Zara in Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle. Don’t go necessarily for Grom or Ciocolatti Italiani – everyone does that! They became too commercial. Try this place and you will not regret. It’s something really!
- Nobu & the black code – while you may think this is such a cliché – it is not. Besides the fact that it is a very nice restaurant, do try the Black code! Nowhere in the world you will eat a better one than in Nobu. Just try it! My boyfriend still thinks he can replicate it. I tell him I believe him. This is love :). Also try the scallops and the spinach salad! Particularly tasty! Try to book a table 2-3 days before going there.
- Langosteria – a friend of mine recommended this place and it is one of my favorite restaurants in Milan now. Amazing fish restaurant, romantic atmosphere, high end service, the music is just wow and the best oysters I ate. Take anything on that menu, it’s just amazing. And of course you need to book in advance!
- Terazza Aperol – if you want great cocktails, a wonderful view of the Duomo, you must wait 10-15 min in line to get a spot on this terrace – it is in the Vittorio Emmanuelle Galleries and though it is overly touristic, it is worth it, especially towards the sunset. Go there, fall in love, and of course try the original Aperol Spritz!
- LuBar – this is a cosy breakfast or brunch place. It is perfect for a date with the girls, while its location is really particular and architecturally worth to see.
- Straf Bar – if you are around the central area and you want to have a fast drink, Italian way, most locals go to Straf, right next to Rinascente. You avoid touristic traps, you have great cocktails and you get to actually experiment the Italian way of socializing and drinking in the street or on small low stools.
- Rinascente – 7th floor: Go til the end of the floor, until you see a terrace and exit. You will have a small “awww” moment, then look for a table and have a coffee or a glass (or bottle) of prosecco and just enjoy life and a wonderful scenery of the Duomo from above. This is one of my favorite places since I was studying in Milan, So trust my subjectivity and drop by! Judge me afterwards!
So… provided that you already think this blog post is really long, I will stop here and use another post somewhere in the future (I will be in Milan end of October again) to recommend you more things to do and try in Milan. I have soooo many more! I could write pages about the city, but I am sure I already over did it :).