What do you get when you have a travel enthusiast, an obsessed writer, and an extreme lover of pizza? Well, the obvious – you have yourself a trip to Milan, Italy. A trip to (eat)aly?! We’re surprised we hadn’t thought of this earlier. With a city filled with gorgeous architecture, culture, and even more delicious food everywhere you turn, it seemed like the easiest decision we’ve made in a while. We wanted to see Milan through the eyes of a local, rather than a tourist, so we did our research before setting off – and yes, we take our gelato very seriously so we researched that too. Our mission was clear, so we packed our bags, charged our cameras, and we were off to see if Italians really do it better.
Call us cliché but the first thing we smelled when stepping out of the airport was Nutella – and that’s when we knew it was going to be a great trip. Exhausted but extremely excited we made our way to our hotel to drop off our luggage. With half of us starving and the other half eager to explore the city, we decided it was best to fuel up for our day ahead…and that obviously meant one thing: pizza. We mean, if you don’t eat pizza the second you land in Italy, were you even there? We thought so. So we made our way to Palermo Street where a small restaurant called Malastrana Rossa lies. When we got there the atmosphere was so lively and pizza pies filled the almost fully booked restaurant. With our luck, we had gotten the last small table available and we ordered what might have been the best pizza we’ve ever tasted. Ever. With our stomachs full and the sun getting ready to set we figured it was best to get some sightseeing done. As we mentioned earlier, we wanted to see Milan through the eyes of a local, but we knew there were some places we just couldn’t skip. So just in time for sunset, we made our way to the center of the city where the most beautiful church can be found – Duomo di Milano. Our eyes couldn’t exactly grasp the beauty of the church, it was as if we were staring at a magazine and what was in front of us was too perfect to be real. We took about a dozen million pictures, stared at the architecture for as long as we could and made our way to the last site of the day. We figured we would get all our touristic sights done in one day in order to grasp the full experience of Milan. Our second stop was the Sforzesco Castle. Sforzesco Castle is a castle built in the fifteenth century and is still beautiful today as it was back then. Many influencers have taken part in building and decorating the castle such as Leonardo da Vinci. We made our way through the furniture museum and the picture gallery and ended our night with a stroll around the beautiful park on the outskirts of the castle.
So much art and so little time! We woke up the next day wanting to get our art fix while discovering a non-touristic area and “Zona di Brera” was the place to go. With so many local shops and restaurants we finally found a true gem in Italian culture. With cobblestones paving the way for these streets we couldn’t help but gaze at the art galleries, the beautiful Church of the Santa Maria del Carmine, and the Via San Marco (local market) taking place! The beautiful and bright fruits and vegetables made us want to go back to the hotel and cook our own fresh Italian meals. (Believe us, we were very tempted to.) All that walking made us hungry, (no surprise) so we made our way to Fioraio Bianchi Cafe, a small café that used to be a flower shop. The restaurant welcomes you with fresh flowers placed on each table and a delicious variety of food. The first thing we ordered was the burrata. Yummy.
Since we had started our day in the Brera district we couldn’t say our goodbyes without a visit to Pinacoteca di Brera, the famous art gallery located in the district. Unlike the busy district it belongs too, the art gallery was so peaceful and quiet. It really is a spiritual place where there are rooms and rooms filled with religious paintings from eras you might have never even heard of. It took us a few hours to absorb the art; we started off with the XIII Century and made our way to Mantegna, Canaletto, Raffaello, and Caravaggio – talk about true masterpieces. Just as our inner peace and tranquility was fulfilled we needed a reason to get hyper again. GELATO! We knew only a few places can get the job done but we wanted THE best Italy has to offer. With that being said, we stormed straight to S. Raffaele Street and braved the very long line (but totally worth the wait) at Cioccolati Italiani. Not only is the gelato delicious but also watching the staff put together your masterpiece is even more exciting! We each got, chocolate (the creamiest we’ve ever had) vanilla, and pistachio (we obviously couldn’t resist that one.) We ended the night on an extremely sweet note.
On our last day we had one more district on our list, Navigli. The bohemian style type of neighborhood will instantly steal a place in your heart, especially at nighttime where all the buildings and lampposts on the side of the canal are lit up to perfection. With such a hectic vacation with a lot of walking around, Navigli seemed like the perfect place to relax and take in the last of Italy. We visited the local market Mercaton Metropolitano where locals were selling authentic Italian food and souvenirs that made you want to buy everything. As our time was slowly winding down there was one thing left to complete our trip. If you guessed Nutella then you are correct!
Already in the Navigli district, we headed to Ripa di Porta Ticinese where the most delicious Nutella crepes are made. EMPHASIS on the delicious. Behold Rinomata Gelateria, a small hidden place where deliciousness is constantly being made. We ordered two each and watched in amazement as our desserts were being made right in front of us. Not to mention the delicious espressos they have too. With our hearts filled with Nutella all and our minds filled with memories, we headed back to our hotel and said our final ciao to Milano.