Impressions of Milano

Milan, Italy. By Packing my Suitcase.

When you arrive in Italy you breathe excitement, you can’t help but notice the busy streets and all its noise, the incomparable architecture, the art, people laughing out loud and gesticulating with their hands, and how alive the cities are. Of course, Milan could not be different than any other major Italian city, and I liked that.

Having such a short time in the city, I decided to head to the Piazza del Duomo, where tourists and locals meet in what seems to be the city’s heart. Busy as it is, I couldn’t help but stop in the middle of the craziness to admire this phenomenal gothic Cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente, the Duomo di Milano.

107m high, the Duomo di Milano fills your eyes with architectural beauty, with detailed and hard work. From its terrace, you have probably one of the best views of the city, and for many, a nice spot to lie on the floor and stare at the sky.

Near the Duomo, you can have a little bit of luxury and more stunning architecture at one of the world’s oldest shopping malls, the Galleria Vitorio Emanuele II. Opened in 1877, here is where luxurious brands take over and fancy restaurants serve you in their Italian friendly way. Why miss it? You can at least window shop or stop by at Aperol Terrazza and have a Spritz contemplating the view.

Narrow and empty streets leading to busy and noisy ones, where modern meets the old, where parties go into the night, where tourists mix with the locals, where architecture and design dominate the scenario. Milan left me with the impression of contrasts, of expensive and luxury, of busy and vivid, of mixes, of hidden secrets, of different tastes, and with expectations of discovering more.

The Italian capital of fashion has its contrasts, while in the Centro Storico – old town – you will be amazed by the architecture and all the luxury stores, not so far from there you will be disappointed with what you will see. However, when you don’t expect much of a place, you get no surprises, and I didn’t, Milan is pretty much what I expected it to be.

Even though not my favorite Italian city so far, the expensive and charming Milano has called my attention and asked for more time to be explored, the impressions it gave me are enough to make me want to go back and discover what I missed this first time. Such a short time in Milan.

Milan Central Station, by Packing my Suitcase.

 Have you ever been to Milan? What are your impressions?

About Allane

A Brazilian living in Germany. Married to W. mommy to a baby girl and a Golden Retriever. Traveler, writer, aspiring photographer, diver, wine appreciator, Formula 1 fan, avid reader of historical and young adult fictions books. City girl, nature lover, believer of a better world, one little change at a time.

  • how exciting! I have never been overly interested in the city “of fashion” but the buildings sure look nice! 🙂

    • Hi Suze!! Yes, the architecture is really nice… but Milan is definitely not my favorite city of Italy… Rome is waaay better 😀

  • beautiful! <3 take me there!!! 😉

  • Amazing pictures! I’ve never been to Italy, but this will change next year, as I’m already planning a trip to Rome! I’m sure more trips will follow and Milan is at the top of the list 😉

    • Thank you Vlad!! Ohh you have to go to Italy…and I must say that my favorite city in Italy so far is Rome… you will need as many days as possible to explore this huge city, its wonderful! 😀

  • Sha

    I love italy…well, it’s mostly because I love italian food but this looks good too! 🙂

  • Oh waw, the buildings look really impressive ! We would like to go to Italy and Greece at one point 🙂

    • You should!! Im sure you will love it!! I haven’t been to Greece yet, but I have no doubt its amazing 😀

  • Why didn’t we get together?!!?!? I am 45 min. away from Milano…it is true it has been a crazy period for me…still…it would have been nice to try….next time for sure…or maybe in Munich for that donut! 🙂

    • Ohhh nooo are you serious?? I looked at your blog the other day trying to find out which city you live and couldnt find 🙁 if I knew we could have met somewhere for dinner 😀 and please do come, you will love the donut!! 😀

  • So beautiful!! Milan has never caught my attention but now I see I’ve been very wrong!

    • Hi Lucia!! Yes, there are many beautiful things to see in Milan! I also never expected so much, but I really enjoyed the architecture 🙂

  • I agree with you about Milan – it’s definitely not my favourite Italian city. I dropped in there 3 or 4 times for different transits, but haven’t even made it to the Duomo yet! Somehow other places in Italy beckon me out of Milan quickly, so I never explore. Rome is my favourite by far…we have family there so it feels like a second home now…but I also really liked Verona and Bologna…have you been to those cities?

    • Hi Shelley!! I agree with you too… I love Rome and Verona!! I haven’t been to Bologna yet, but it look beautiful and possibly more interesting than Milan! But you know, next time you go to Milan go up in the Duomo, this visit is worth it… apart from that I cant see anything else so interesting, on contrary to Rome! How lucky you are to have family there, must be very nice having a home there 😀 Rome is a wonderful city and I always like to come back there! 🙂

  • Lovely photos of Milan! They bring back pleasant memories of my day trip there! I wonder if you agree with me that Milan Cathedral looks so much more magnificent when you are actually there than in a photo? …

    • Thank you!! Im glad I brought you back good memories Helene!! I hope you weren’t there with your “lovely” tour guide! 😀
      And yes I do agree with you, in person the Cathedral looks even more beautiful, I honestly think its the most beautiful one I have ever seen, even more than Notre Dame, it was the highlight of my stay in Milan! 😀

      • Milan Cathedral is absolutely fabulous. I especially like the artwork and carvings on the outer walls and columns. After visiting quite a few Duomos in Italy, I must say that Notre Dame pales in comparison.

        My favourite tour guide left us at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, giving us a mere 1 hour 40 minutes which included finding our own lunch and exploring the vicinity. 🙂

        • I agree with you!! I was really impressed with the details, a lot of hard work put in the Cathedral, amazing!

          Ohhh thank God! You had almost 2 hours of freedom 😀

  • I have never been, but I would love to go! Looks amazing! 🙂

    • Hi Amanda 🙂 the architecture of Milan is really amazing! Maybe you can go there when you visit your hubby in Geneva, its not so far from there 😀 and you can do a little shopping 🙂

      • Sounds like a plan, I might just twist his arm. Looks like an amazing place to take lots of photos! The architecture looks just amaZing… Although probably even better in real life. 🙂

        Oh, and I look forward to reading more about your travels!

        • hahaha sounds great! I hope it works 😀
          Thank you, Im happy you liked them 🙂 Im always looking forward to reading yours too, they always makes me happy 🙂

  • I’ve never been to Milan – the architecture especially looks beautiful. I visited Venice and really loved it there but I seriously need to explore more of Italy. It’s such a beautiful place with so many lovely places to visit.

    • Venice is wonderful!! You are right, Italy has so many stunning places! I guess every city has its own charm, its always hard to decide where to go in Italy, the options are endless 😀 I hope you get to explore more of Italy, if you do, don’t miss Verona and Capri… and of course, Rome 😀

  • Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    I’ve never been to Milan but looking at these lovely photos, I’m getting a really good feel for what it must be like! Florence is probably my favourite Italian city that I have seen so far – which one is yours?

    • Hi Shikha 🙂 thank you, Im happy you liked the photos!
      You are right, Florence is indeed a wonderful city! Its very hard to decide my favorite Italian city, but I guess mine is Rome, have you ever been there? 🙂

  • I haven’t been to Milan, as I’ve always been put off by the image on an ‘industrial’ town. However, your photos show a different side! I love Italy, so will happily explore any part of it! And maybe I could get husband to buy me a new prada bag! 🙂

    • I also honestly never expected much of Milan either… but it’s not so industrial, though some parts of the city I didnt like so much! For a short stay I would say its worth it, especially the old town, when there you have to go up the Cathedral! And the Prada idea isnt bad, you can claim that its a Italian souvenir after all 😀

  • I was in Milan long time ago alone for a few days, cannot remember part of which trip.. maybe I went to Prague afterwards. I remember beautiful churches and very friendly people. I had some aperitif alone in a bar and met some nice people 🙂 Time to go back although I think I will revisit Rome first.

    • Hi Miia 🙂 you are right, the people are indeed very friendly indeed! And yes I agree with you, go to Rome first, that city is amazing, Im always happy to return!

      • I was in Rome such a ,long time ago (alone again, in fact!). In the past years we have been to Venice –so close to Paris and tickets are VERY cheap. Even with Air France, you can get 100€ return! I would like to return to Napoli too. I once combined Napoli with the nearby islands and it was so pretty. Amalfi coast is lovely but did not do much of that. Have you been around there?

        • Hi Miia!! I went to Napoli once very quick and a long time ago… I remember taking a boat from there to the Capri island, which is stunning and I would love to return to! The Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast are on my bucketlist, right now I was supposed to be traveling around Italy, buy hubby and me decided to change our plans and go diving in Turkey 🙂 I hope to make it there sometime soon!! And maybe its time for you to visit Rome again, that city is amazing 🙂

          • Go to the Med once the sea is still warm 🙂 I may not be able to go this year and it is sad. It is important to get some beach time before winter kicks in (well as a Brazilian you know this even better than I do!) 🙂

            Italy is a nice place even in winter. We were in Venice again this January and what a perfect time! Blue skis and very few tourists.

          • Ohh yes, I know!! I really do some beach time after a short German summer!!
            You are right, Italy is always good… and I actually prefer Venice during winter, less people and less bad smell 😀
            Hope you make it to Italy next year then, to enjoy some beach and sunny weather 😀

          • Well, I trust You Will enjoy the Turkish Mediterranaen on my behalf too 🙂
            Weather Is actually ok in Paris, am wearing shorts again! Should be around 25c all week! What about There?

          • I will, dont worry!! 😀
            Really? The weather is that good in Paris? Well, here in Munich right now is 13C can you believe that? 🙁 winter is on the corner!! Will be good to take a break from this grey sky next week 😀

          • Yes, even closer to 30c! Lovely!! Maybe the heat wave will move to your way from here 🙂

          • Ohhhh I wish!!! This year we had a very short summer!! Lucky you, enjoy it… I will enjoy the sun in Turkey meanwhile 😀

  • I haven’t been to Milan but the architecture is just stunning. I would love to visit one day. Great photos too 🙂

    • Thank you for the compliment Justine 🙂 I hope you make it there soon, the architecture is indeed stunning!

  • I’ve traveled quite a lot in Italy Allane, but have never made it to Milan. It has the reputation for being the business center for the country, and there are so many other cool places, Milan always fell to tier 2. But after reading your post, maybe I should move it up on the list. ~James

    • It was same for me here James.. I never actually planned a trip there, until I decided to go to the Formula 1 race in Monza. Milan isnt my favorite city in Italy, but the old town of the city its really worth a visit 😀 maybe you can stop by on your way to another Italian city like Genova 🙂 thank you for reading!

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  • Such gorgeous images!

  • You captured the city beautifully! Nice review, I haven’t had a chance to write about my visit in Milan..but yours is certainly awesome to read!

  • Yes, yes, yes to your first sentence! It is exactly like that!!! <3

  • Oh Milano, I heart you! I am living through you girl!
    Jessica, Turquoise Compass

  • Hi Elena! Thank you for your message, I definitely need to return and spend more time. When we went we were there mainly for the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monza, we spent most of our time on the track, so the rest of the time left we would go to the center of Milan to see what we could. I’m sure there is much more than that. We now have friends who live in the city and it would definitely be different to return and explore it with the locals 🙂