I love Italy. It has the perfect balance of great food, friendly and passionate locals, as well as great architecture and scenery. Which is why I made Milan, my city of choice for a quick weekend break with my younger sister.
We have previously travelled together on winter and city breaks, including Vienna, Lisbon and New York, and tend to have a similar travelling style, that makes it easy.
In total, we spent two nights in Milan, so our time was short, but we got to cram in a lot of things.
If you happen to be in Milan over the Winter, don’t hibernate in the shops and warm spots; there is plenty to see outside.
What to see and do in Milan, Italy
Shop in the Christmas Markets
Milan is well known for its high end shops and being the birthplace of fashion. However, it isn’t somewhere you automatically think of, when you mention Christmas Markets, especially as many pf the bigger markers will be based in locations such as Germany. However, if you happen to be in Milan over the winter time, you can visit some of the cute markets, based all over the city. From the main square (Duomo di Milano) to smaller markets at the upmarket shopping area of the Piazza gae aulenti. You can pick up little trinkets, as well as yummy local food (so much amazing breads, biscuits and pastries!)
Wander around the Duomo
The Duomo is in the centre of Milan, and is very busy at weekends, with a number of shops, and markets. The Cathedral isn’t hard to miss, as it dominates the centre of the Duomo. It is an incredible building from the Gothic era, taking almost 6 centuries to complete it. It is possible to visit inside the Cathedral and museum for 2-3 Euros, but check out the website, for up to date opening times, as it is still a functioning place of worship.
Picture the San Carlo al Corso Church
The San Carlo al Corso is a neo-classic Church in the centre of Milan, and is just stunning to photograph, built within a small square, it is bright and beautiful. We were unable to visit at the time that we were there, as it was a Sunday, and I am unsure if it is a building you can access, as is a functioning church.
Have some Cat time at the Crazy Cat Cafe
Having already written about my time brunching at the crazy cat cafe, this is defiantly somewhere I’d recommend you spending some time. Even if you aren’t a cat person, it is just so different, and the food is seriously yummy, with some of the best coffee I’ve had in a while.
See some ‘alternative’ artwork
The officially entitled L.O.V.E statue has been installed in Milan, around the business district and stock exchange. Which created a lot of controversy since October 2010, has now become a permanent feature. It was created by Italy’s most famous living artist, Maurizio Cattelan, and although entitled L.O.V.E it appears to have subliminal message to the bankers of the city, with the statue having just a middle finger.
Visit the Sforzesco Castle
The Sforzesco Castle is a 15th Century Castle near to the Centre of Milan, but is more like a Palace than a Castle. However, its architecture is stunning.
You can get access in and around the Castle for just 5 Euros.
Eat great food
There are some really incredible Pizzerias in Milan, and you’ll not get sick of eating in them. Milan is also very famous for its coffees, and their hot chocolates are immense too, so if you get cold from being in Milan in the Winter, you can warm yourself up well.
Although a relatively short trip; I’d highly recommend visiting Milan in Italy, for a few days or more. You’ll come back a few kilos heavier from the food, but it is worth it.