Welcome after a short break. ;) Another trip after me. I went, I saw, I was delighted. First things first.
I have heard conflicting opinions about Milan. Some were able to admire it, others said it was completely bored and it was a waste of time. I decided to check it and devoted to the city one and a half days. Was it worth it, you will see from this entry.
Most people who start or end their journey in this city reach the main communication point - Milano Centrale, one of the largest railway stations in Europe, which serves over 300,000(!) passengers a day. I do not think I need to add what conditions prevail there during the day. Despite the ubiquitous noise, the building itself makes an amazing impression. The main platform hall is modeled on majestic Roman architecture.
In a leisurely hurry, it is worth stopping for an instant to admire this architectural masterpiece.
Interestingly - the mere move around the city does not cause many problems, is very well connected, and thanks to several lines of the metro easily get to every corner of Milan. Worth noting is the fact that for a daily ticket entitling you to ride all means of public transport we will pay only 4.50 euros! This is definitely an option worth recommending for people who treat Milan only as a stop on their next journey, wanting to see as much as possible in the shortest possible time.
In the scorching sun, I started my first steps anywhere else than the most important point of visiting Milan - Duomo Cathedral, which I will devote a separate entry. The Gothic cathedral is the largest building of this type in Italy and one of the largest in the world. The impression he is doing is staggering due to the fact that he is standing by the big square and completely obscures it.
I recommend you get a Duomo Pass ticket, which entitles you to enter the center, visit the archaeological zone, the baptistery and terraces. It is worth to buy it just because of the opportunity to enter the terraces. The price depends on whether you want to get there by stairs or elevator (12 euro by stairs, 16 by lift). Personally, however, I do not see the point of paying extra for the elevator.
From above - the views are beautiful. We are shown a panorama of the city.
The roof of the cathedral is decorated with pinnacles and gargoyles that blend in perfectly with architecture.
More information will appear in a separate entry. Wait for it!
You do not have to walk far from the cathedral to admire another attraction - at the Piazza del Duomo there is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. If you have ever seen some pictures from Milan, there is a very high probability that the gallery was also in these pictures. Built for 12 years, it is one of the oldest and most famous shopping malls in the world.
It is a temple of glamor and luxury. Prada, LV or Versace stores are a standard. The standard is also the view of women with giant bags of the largest brands. You can leave your payment here in half an hour.
The Gallery itself is also an architectural marvel. Built on a cruciform plan with a giant dome, the floor is decorated with mosaics with the coats of arms of the three capitals of the United Italy - Rome, Florence and Turin.
At the exit from the Gallery there is a monument to the master, Leonardo da Vinci, and a bit further - one of the most famous opera stages - La Scala.
The next steps I directed to Castello Sforzesco - a brick castle with a huge courtyard in the middle, a symbol of Milanese force and power. From the beginning it had a defensive character, it is surrounded by a dry moat. Until the end of the 19th century, Castello Forzesco served military functions and only after the unification of Italy began to look for a different role for him.
Admission is free, you have to pay for the entrance to the museum, where you can admire the works of Michelangelo and Da Vinci.
Near the castle is the largest park in Milan - Sempione Park, covering an area of 47 hectares. Drowning in green, in the English style. The park has a vast central meadow from the perspective of which the castle looks beautiful on the one hand, and Arco della Pace on the other - the Arch of Peace.
The park is the perfect place to relax after the hardships of a hard day.
After a short rest you can go further - to the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Unfortunately, I did not go in, which I regret today. I recommend you, however! Why? In the middle is the fresco of Leonardo Da Vinci - the Last Supper. The church in the outside is quite inconspicuous, but inside it hides real treasures.
Being in the area, be sure to visit the Q.B. Gelato ice cream parlor, in which ice cream is a real heaven in the mouth. Be sure to try the pistachio flavor!
5 minutes on foot is one of the oldest churches in Milan -*** Basilica of Saint. Ambrose***. Erected between 379 and 386 by the will of Bishop of Milan, Saint. Ambrose, was built in the district where Christians were buried murdered during the Roman persecution. Dedicated to martyrs. Saint. Ambrose wanted to put there the relics of the saints: Satyr, Wiktor, Nabor, Witalis, Gerwaze and Protaze. He was buried in it and from that time changed its name to the present one.
The basilica looks majestic, it is a model of a Romanesque Lombard style. It inspires respect among visitors.
Outside the fence there is a "devil's column". The column has two holes, the object of the legend, according to which she was a witness to the struggle of Saint. Ambrose with the devil. The evil spirit, wanting to pierce the horns with the saint, made holes in the column. After long efforts, he managed to free himself and escape. The folk tradition says that the smell of sulfur is coming from the holes and that when you put your ear to the column, you can hear the voices of hell.
At the end of the day, take a trip to the Milan canals in the Navigli area. It is one of the most atmospheric places in Milan. It looks phenomenal just before sunset. At Naviglio Grande there are dozens of pubs where you can eat delicious food. There is also a lot of people there.
It is worth going a bit further to Navaglio Pavese - people are noticeably less, there is a more intimate atmosphere, and the views are still beautiful. A picture on a charming bridge in this area is an obligation!
I recommend you to join one of the many pizzerias in this area - a delight for the palate!
After a day of sightseeing, it's time to relax. A quick trip to the San Siro district, from where I went in the morning to the area of Giuseppe Mezazza (also known as San Siro), a stadium where two Milanese teams play their matches - A.C. Milan and Inter.
Return to Milano Centrale and time to continue the journey. The goal - Lake Garda! But you can read about it in the next entries.
To sum up and answering the question - is it worth going to Milan? Yes, of course! Do not be fooled by unflattering opinions and make your own. It is definitely worth coming here, but not for long. As part of a weekend getaway, this is a great place.
And you, were you already in Milan? Do you choose? Let me know!