Piazza Del Duomo Catcher- My Milan Guide (Sort Of)

Happy New Year!! Although I need to be honest with you guys and admit this wasn't technically suppose to be my first post of 2018. In fact this post is about two weeks late which I can only apologies for! It seems that as I got closer and closer to the end of the year, I realised I'd taken too much on and didn't have enough hours in the day to do it all! Lesson learnt, I'm only one girl, let's move on and FINALLY discuss all things Milan...

So it seems like 2017 ended up being a great year for me in terms of travel which I so chuffed about! I felt super lucky that Milan was in fact the third Italian city I'd had the pleasure of visiting, I really didn't do too bad at all did I? Now Milan is in the region of Lombardy, right in the north of Italy which means weather is not TOO dissimilar from our own. Albeit a little more humid and touch warmer in summer, but aside from that we tend to have the same weather patterns which makes it a wonderful winter city to visit because it's super cold and cosy- exactly as you would expect it to be (I like my summers hot and my winters cold- no messing about)! Plus the main square, Piazza Del Duomo iso unbelievably pretty during winter with an abundance of twinkly lights, market stalls and quite possibly the largest Christmas Tree I've ever encountered!
I'm sure you know the drill by now but as with every city I love- I tend to go a little snap happy and I've got a ridiculous amount of photos to throw your way. As per usual I thought I'd let my pictures do most of the talking and I really hope you like them but just in case you'd like to know more of the specifics you can read some of my highlights below!

Ottagano Restaurant

Situated inside the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, this is most certainly an "up market" dining experience to say the least! The menu is set but if you love food than you shouldn't have a problem- I absolutely adored every plate that came out. That said even if you're not particularly a foodie, it's worth a visit for the experience alone. The atmosphere is super relaxed and it feels more like you're in someones very luxurious living room rather than a restaurant! BUT look out of the beautiful arched windows and you'll find you're smack big in the middle of the Galleria, looking down on the hustle and bustle below. Ten out of ten for location. 

Bar Luce

Milan generally speaking kind of looks like a Wes Anderson film set with its mustard trams and retro style, teak wood furnished cafes and so it comes as no surprise that this would be the city with a bar/THE only bar in the world actually designed by the man himself! I've been itching to pay Bar Luce a visit ever since I heard about it's opening nearly two years ago and it was definitely a priority on "my list of things to do today"! Sorry, I couldn't resist the Rushmore reference! I'm a nerd, I know.
Now a word of warning- Bar Luce is not exactly as you would expect. It's part of the Fondazione Prada exhibition space which is about a 15 minute taxi journey out of the city centre and the surrounding area doesn't have a great deal going on. The cafe itself is more a canteen space and unless you wanted to see all the building has to offer, it's probably not solely worth the visit. That said I'm a little bias and if you're a huge Wes Anderson fan like me than you'll probably adore it! It's everything you would ever want from a man painfully obsessed with aesthetics from it's pastel chairs, to it's shelves of perfectly lined desserts. Cue symmetrical shoot of your super happy, fangirl face.

Food Tour

With my time in Milan I was lucky enough to be invited on a food/drink tour of the city- exactly the kind of experience anyone would ever want in Italy right? And it really didn't disappoint! We visited some pretty amazing places and by the end of the tour I may have felt like I was fit to burst but I had zero regrets. My two favourites spots were funnily enough worlds apart from each other...
The first was a family run carpaccio restaurant aptly called Il Carpaccio (FYI the build itself is baby pink proving my point about the Wes Anderson style decor of the city). The food here was amazing! I had the most delicious seafood soup ever and all in all there was something really homely about the whole experience- mainly because it reminded me of my Nana's cooking when I was a little girl. If you're a fish fan and you're open to raw cuisine than this place is worth a visit!
The second was a fancy pants truffle restaurant called Sarini Tartufi which not only specialises in food but truffle cocktails. Ok so, categorically (and you can hold this bold statement against me, I promise) I had the best bowl of pasta I've had in a long time here! It was incredible and if I ever revisit Milan than I will definitely be going back here. Needless to say if you don't like truffles, than this place isn't for you.

Boat Tour 

A boat tour off Milan really showed me a side of the city I'd never seen before! You sail through the The Navigli- the city's own canal system- which is situated in the more "bohemian" (ie. hipster) area of Milan and is incredible pretty to see. I've got to admit, it does kind of feel like you're in a completely different city and there's a real "Amsterdam feel" to this area but never-the-less it was a pleasant surprise and a lovely way to learn about Milan's history. Please remember to wrap up if you decide to take this tour anytime soon as it was a little fresh to say the least.
Milan for me is miles apart (literally in some cases) from the other big Italian cities and it's unique character really does stands on it's own. It's cooking is richer and the atmosphere more cosmopolitan then say Florence or Rome. For me it's the ideal Italian get away for Winter or Spring months and the perfect trip to end my year!

Arrivederci 2017,

Sophia x

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