After a 3 hour train journey from Modane, I’ve arrived in Milan! My first stop was to the Centrale station to pick up my Milano Card. Buy it online for €13 and you get a 48h travel card plus free or discounted access to many of the top attractions in the city and several restaurants.
After checking in at Hostel Colours in the Lambrate district (see review here) I set out back to the city centre to visit Castello Sforzesco, a medieval castle/palace. It’s free to enter the castle area and Parco Sempione around it, and there’s loads of info boards to help you find out about the turbulent history of Milan.
The small museums inside do charge an entrance fee. However, you can get free entry in the last hour of opening from 4.30 so this is what I did. I’m glad I did as the museums i went to were okay, not great- unfortunately the Sala della Asse (considered da Vinci’s second best work in Milan after the Last Supper) was closed for refurbishment but the other sculptures and paintings were good. You will need a euro to use the lockers, as no bags are allowed into the museum.
I then headed to San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, about a 20 minute walk and past the Duomo, to see the famous interior of this church. It’s free which is good as long as you are respectful. It’s split into two parts, the main church and the nun’s hall- both of which are stunning and worth the quick detour.
Getting hungry by now, I decided to follow Trip Advisor’s advice and visit Piz. It’s a small pizza restaurant that is clearly booming in business and its easy to see why they had ques waiting outside before they opened! On arrival I received a free glass of prosecco and a slice of pannini which was delicious. They only serve 3 kinds of pizza- margarita, bianco and marinara. I went for the marinara and was blown away by how garlicky it was! It was still very tasty and also great value at only €8! As I finished and paid, I was also treated to two free melon shots- a little like lemoncello but tasting so clearly of honeydew melons! Unfortunately it was made especially for Piz so cannot be bought but was amazing!
Heading back to the hostel, I spotted the Civica Orchestra di Fiati di Milano warming up for their summer concert in the Castello grounds so decided to stay, and I’m so glad I did! They played brilliantly and it was a fantastic way to relax and have a bit of fun and culture at the same time.
Stay tuned for more sightseeing and food in Milan tomorrow!