Sunday 30 October 2022

Milan in a day


When a friend on Instagram posted about hopping on a plane and running away to Italy for a day, it got my mind going thats for sure. I'd done it myself once before, 2018 maybe? A friend and I jumped on the first Eurostar to Lille in France and spent the day wandering the French streets. This time I was debating what to buy my very hard to buy for other half for his 25th, when Milan popped into my head and within 10 minutes he and I, and two of our other friends, were booked onto the cheapest flights we could find.

The flights were just over £50 each return from Gatwick, first flight out and last flight back. Timing wise we worried when our flight was delayed by an hour that we wouldn't have enough time for everything, but we didn't find this to be true in the end. After a delayed start we arrived in Milan and could not find the train station, or anywhere to buy a ticket. There are signs for busses and taxi's but no trains. If you are sticking to a budget then absolutely research this before you go. We jumped in a taxi from and to the airport, costing us around 240/260 euros for both trips, and something I really would not recommend if you can avoid this. Regardless, we were dropped off right in the centre of Milan, which was absolutely packed I must say. I've lived in London my whole life, and spent a solid chunk of the last 5 or 6 years heading up there each weekend like clockwork, and never have I experienced the level of tourists in one spot like I did in Milan. Getting the classic cathedral shot was near impossible, so the only other option was of course, finding food. 

As mentioned, we were in tourist central, and businesses know this. Prices were hiked for a simple pizza and everywhere was swarmed by midday, so finding anywhere was a challenge. Eventually we ended up in one of the many "Gino's" restaurants, ate our pizzas, and headed off. We'd seen the square and the Galleria, and if I'm honest, that's really where we realised that Milan maybe wasn't the place for us. We took a stroll and within a few minutes were met with unkept streets and feelings of "should we go back?". Don't get me wrong, I know that in London there really aren't that nice of areas, but you really have to walk for miles to get to the outskirts, whereas here they seemed to be immediate. 

We decided to visit the castle, north of central Milan. We sat and took in the sun, had an ice cream and witnessed what seemed to be an organic food festival in the grounds. After an hour or so here we decided to head back to the airport, where we could nap in shifts if needed and get some substantial food *A McDonalds*.  The problem was that we were so far from the centre of Milan that taxi's were non existent here, as were restaurants and supermarkets for that matter. It took us another 40 odd minutes of walking and Googling to finally download an app that requests a taxi. It seems that Milan caters for tourists or anyone really, directly in the centre of the city, and once out of there, you're literally on your own.

I know this post seems fairly negative, something I'm not usually partial to typing, but we love Italy, so found the city hard to digest. The centre is beautiful. The cathedral and Galleria are stunning pieces of art, and the castle is lovely, but that really is it..

Would I go back to Milan? No, it's something I've ticked off of my city list. Would I recommend for a day trip? Yes if you plan every minute out and potentially go on a less busy day, but no if you're looking for the feels you get in Rome for example, this is just not it.


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