When in Italy — Don’t Discount Milan
While Italy vacations are perhaps our most popularly requested worldwide; when it comes to Italy’s cities, Rome, Florence and Venice are its champions. Poor Milan often gets short shrift. As a major gateway for international air traffic, however, it’s worth noting there is quite a bit to enjoy in Milan. Milan is also a jumping off point to visiting the Lake Como region, Turin, and many other areas in Italy.
When it comes to sightseeing do not miss visiting the Europe’s third largest cathedral, the Duomo. While you should go inside to get an idea of the grandeur of the space, you’ll not want to miss the rooftops, which are stunning — a series of staircases and terraces made of white marble, featuring hundreds of turrets topped by statues of saints and others. The best time to visit the rooftop is at 9:00 am, when it opens. Buy a rooftop visit ticket at the kiosk facing the south (back) of the cathedral, and go straight to the elevator entrance. As the day progresses, the line tends to get longer and longer, and the elevator only holds 7 passengers at a time. The views from the top of the cathedral are simply breathtaking.
The other star attraction is Da Vinci’s Last Supper, perhaps the most impressive work of art in Milan, on view at the Cenacolo at Santa Maria delle Grazie church. Ever since Dan Brown’s ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ demand for visits have overwhelmed this small church. Getting tickets in advance to see ‘The Last Supper’ is essential, as tickets are booked months in advance. We can arrange those for you when making your Italy travel arrangements.
When it comes to dining, Milan has many excellent restaurants. (This is Italy, after all.) Two informal places that are convenient and central for sightseers are the restaurant on the top floor of La Rinascente Department store (facing the Duomo), or if you want lighter fare stop at Peck ( Via Spadari #9 near the Duomo), Milan’s most famous deli and fine food store, which has a casual cafe on the 2nd floor.
Of course, if you’re going to visit Milan, you’ll need a place to stay, and we can’t think of a better location or better service than offered at the Park Hyatt Milano, one of our preferred hotels. You won’t be disappointed! And its location, next to Europe’s most beautiful covered shopping gallery, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle, is perfect.