Ciao bella – on a flying visit to Milan

Image: Getty / repistu

Milan, or Milano as it is known in Italian, has a lot to offer – even away from the exhibition centre. Mostra visitors should plan in a little extra time for Italy’s second-largest city

A comfortable 14 degrees Celsius – no need for cooling or air-conditioning technology – this is Milan’s average temperature in March. This is ideal for taking a tour to discover the Lombard metropolis after visiting the Mostra. Those looking to stroll or drive around Milan’s famous areas mustn’t forget to put its best-known landmark on their must-see list – the cathedral. The building is imposing both inside and out, and the Gothic architecture is impressive. Those visitors with a head for heights can also dare a climb up to the cathedral roof. There they will be rewarded with a unique view over the entire city; you can even see as far as the Alps in good weather. Other highlights include the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a magnificent arcade with numerous luxury shops, restaurants and bars, as well as a visit to the Dominican convent of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie to marvel at Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mural The Last Supper. Nature lovers will be in their element with a walk through the beautifully green Parco Sempione. The famous shopping street Via Monte Napoleone will cause fashion and shopping connoisseurs’ hearts to skip a beat. And anyone longing for a cool drink or gastronomic speciality after an exciting sightseeing tour can’t go wrong in one of the romantic cafes or bars along the Naviglio Grande waterway.

Those who don’t sample the exquisite gelato in Milan are missing out
Those who don’t sample the exquisite gelato in Milan are missing out (Image: Getty / jackmalipan)

Cioccolato, tutti frutti, deliciously creamy

Of course, a trip to bella Italia is not all about sightseeing. You have to taste Milan, too. And this can be delightfully accomplished with a delicious gelato in your hand. Exceptional scoops in a wafer cone can be found at ‘Il Massimo del Gelato’ , for example. The gelateria  ‘Marghera’ , located in the street of the same name, stands out not only with its enormous variety of fruit flavours; it even has six different kinds of chocolate ice cream. Only a few can keep pace. One of them is without doubt ‘Grom’ on Via Santa Margherita. The view of the cathedral can be enjoyed for free while you savour your ice cream.

Hardly anyone understands the art of preparing an espresso as well as Milan’s baristas
Hardly anyone understands the art of preparing an espresso as well as Milan’s baristas (Image: Getty / Goami)

Un espresso per favore

Those in the mood for a warm or caffeinated drink should stop in on Torrefazione Moka Hodeidah. Here, exquisite pastries and home-roasted coffee specialities wait to be sampled in a nostalgic setting. And a recommendation: Café Pavè, a feel-good location with rustic decor, a large selection of sandwiches, delicious pastries and, of course, aromatic coffee varieties. Those who trust the taste of the locals should note down the address of Pasticceria Viscontea. Here, the baristas revive the traditional Italian art of coffee.

In the magnificent Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II arcade, shopping connoisseurs’ hearts will skip a beat. Those with the necessary funds can accoutre themselves here
In the magnificent Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II arcade, shopping connoisseurs’ hearts will skip a beat. Those with the necessary funds can accoutre themselves here (Image: Getty / TommL)
Anyone longing for a cool drink or gastronomic speciality after an exciting sightseeing tour can’t go wrong in one of the romantic cafes or bars along the Naviglio Grande waterway
Anyone longing for a cool drink or gastronomic speciality after an exciting sightseeing tour can’t go wrong in one of the romantic cafes or bars along the Naviglio Grande waterway (Image: Getty / repistu)
Imposing: Milan cathedral captivates with its impressive architecture
Imposing: Milan cathedral captivates with its impressive architecture (Image: Getty / zxvisual)
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