It’s day two of C+T Winter Break and Alissa is back! Hooray! You remember her from here, here, and here, and now that she is living in London, she gets to travel in Europe. One of her first trips after landing this fall, was Milan. We haven’t spent much time there, but after this rundown, we might have to. Thank you, Alissa!
Within one week of moving from Phnom Penh to London, I decided to test out the rumored cheap flights of Europe (the rumors are true) and pay a visit to Milan. Before heading there, someone told me that Milan was considered the ‘ugly duckling’ of Italy, known for being unattractive and overly industrialized relative to other Italian cities. Whoever bestowed this reputation on Milan clearly didn’t have eyeballs, because this gem of a city is a stunner and completely stole my heart. Two fantastic friends from Phnom Penh – Laetitia and Aldo (who was born-and-raised in the city) – served as my tour guides this trip, and can vouch for the constant stream of ‘Ooooo!’s and ‘Ahhhhh!’s and ‘Mmmmmmm!’s that emanated from me.
DO – Art and architecture is the name of the game in Milano. Stroll around and soak in the masterpieces… you’ll need to build up an appetite anyway for all the eating you’re bound to do.
- Il Duomo
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
- Pinacoteca di Brera
Gelateria della Musica: There are an overwhelming number of flavors, but trust me – order the roasted salted pistachio flavor… you’ll be back the next night to sample the others anyway.
Pave: A stylish yet quaint pastry shop in an up-and-coming neighborhood, conveniently located 2 blocks from where we were staying. Sip a cappuccino with the pretty-young-things in town for Fashion Week, and eat an extra pastry for them. Try anything and everything on offer, the pastries are all made fresh on the premises and jams prepared by Pave as well.
Obica: Come here for one thing and one thing only, the mozzerella. We ordered a sampling of 5 to share – burata, stracciatella, delicate, intense and smoked. While we questioned whether we could actually finish it all, there was nothing left but an empty plate and us in a lactose-coma by the end.
Salvia fritta: Aldo introduced me to this Italian treat – deep fried sage leaves. A crazy combination of rich and savory meets fresh and pungent, this is definitely worth a try.
Apertivi @ Mom Cafe: Every evening bars across Milano throw down a spread of appetizers, which are free for patrons to devour as you imbibe an Aperol Spritz or two. Aldo took us to his old university haunt, Mom Café, for this tradition. We filled our bellies to capacity…. well, capacity plus room for gelato.
Luca e Andrea: a cozy, crowded spot right in the heart of it all. Ask the bartender for a Moscow Mule.
Old Fox Pub: Squeezing in as much as possible, we headed to this English Pub owned by a school-friend of Aldo’s for Sunday brunch before I caught my flight back to London. Eating up shepherd’s pie and sausages, cooked by an Italian, was the perfect way to transition from the delights of Milan back to London. This fantastic pub serves up its own delicious microbrews, one of just a handful of brewers in the burgeoning beer scene of Milan.