Italy by Rail (Part 3: Milan)

I’ll be honest from the start… I won’t be returning to Milan. I didn’t enjoy our stay (and not just because The Boy dragged me to the San Siro), but admittedly the experience would have improved if we’d done our research! It’s not rocket science, but I hope this *slightly ranty* post will help you to learn from our mistakes…

Firstly, it doesn’t just rain in Italy, it pours! And as you can’t control the weather, it’s worth having a rainy day back-up plan. A brightly-coloured tour bus might not be your thing, but it may be a good idea to get some bus tickets, even if just for 24 hours, so that you can hop on and off buses around the city and make the most of your stay.

This cosmopolitan hotspot has fewer historical and touristy sites than the other cities I’ve written about, so have a good think about what you want from your trip and whether Milan is for you. For me, it didn’t share the charm of Rome or Florence, and feels quite spread out, so I think it’s worth paying more to stay centrally so that you can get from A to B easily – We made the mistake of staying in a residential area that looked fairly central on the map, but where restaurants were few and far-between. The San Siro stadium (if this is your cup of tea) isn’t particularly central either – and if you’re planning to visit, check the museum isn’t undergoing refurbishment and the pitch isn’t covered for a tweenie pop concert. And while you’re at it, maybe check Milan Cathedral won’t be partially covered in scaffolding too (noticing the pattern?!).

Finally, budget for Milan!! If you love shopping, coffee and designer labels, it’s a fab luxury stopover, but you’ll need to budget accordingly. If you just want to mooch about, the cafes and bars cost more than their counterparts in Tuscany, so it’s worth being aware before you go.

Grumpy blog post over. Next stop… Venice! The perfect cure for the post-Milan blues.

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