Milan, Lombardy – Exploring Italy 2018

Our second trip to Italy in 2018 continued from Florence to Milan. The capital of the Lombardy region and Italy’s second biggest city with a population of 1.3 million. Milan was our third city in three days, after Pisa and Florence.

Milano, Italy, Milan

Arriving from Florence

We took the morning train from Florence to Milan. A few hours later we arrived at the central station – the Stazione di Milano Centrale. We were not planning to spend to many hours in Milan, it was just a stop on out way to Bergamo. We arrived around a time that we usually call lunch time, but that a few other cultures still consider brunch or even breakfast. That being said, we were at once looking for somewhere to get a fast meal before starting the exploration of the city.

Walking from the central station towards the center we saw very few restaurants. We passed a few crowded places next to the big office blocks. None caught our attention. Instead, we finally ended up in the old part of Milan and were too hungry to look for anything anymore. Instead, we walked to the closest fast food restaurant for a hamburger. The need for pizza and pasta had been satisfied already in Florence. Fast food can sometimes be a quite convincing option when trying to save some time and save it for exploring. And they had coffee.

A Walk to Duomo di Milano

After lunch, we set off in the direction of the Duomo di Milano – the main cathedral. The Piazza del Duomo was crowded with tourists taking photos of the impressive structure ahead. The cathedral is huge and after some searching, on Wikipedia, we were told that it is the largest in Italy and 4th largest in the world. Only the cathedrals in the Vatican city, Aparecida in Brazil and Seville in Spain are bigger.

Its towers reach 108 meters above the square and it has an impressive 135 spires. We usually don’t fancy the churches in the cities that we visit, but we must admit that some of them are impressive and something that we at least have to get a look at from the outside.

Continuing to Castello Sforzesco

Following the via Dante we were soon heading towards our second spot on the map that we had located during our train ride to Milan. We had chosen two spots of interest. The Castello Sforzesco was the second place we wanted to see. We know that Milan has so much to offer in regards to sights and impressions. It eventually came down to choosing just a few that were within walking distance.

The via Dante led us all the way to the Piazza Castello, the square right in front of Sforzesco Castle. The castle dates back to the 15th century at the time of the Duchy of Milan and was in use until the year 1862. It was built by Francesco I Sforza, then the Duke of Milan. The founder also gave his name to the castle.

The castle might, nowadays, look quite small and the walls seem everything but impenetrable. It is, however, really well preserved and is nevertheless impressive with a large court in the center. The castle really looks medieval with its moat and heavy iron gates.

Right behind the castle we found the Parco Sempione – a large park. The park lies right in between the castle and the Arco della Pace. Here you get a great view of the other from each of them. The park made a perfect escape from the intense sunshine and we got some time to recover after carrying all of our luggage during the walk here.

Back to Milano Centrale Train Station

From the Castello Sforzesco and Parco Sempione, we were soon down in at a metro station close by. Our bags had taken their toll and we had not enough energy left to walk all the way back to the train station with them. Instead, we chose to try public transport and were more than happy to find our way onto a train that brought us all the way back to Milano Centrale.

Our short stop in Milan was coming to an end and the advanture was now entering its last phase – a revisit to the town of Bergamo.

All in all, we liked Milan. It’s a pity that we didn’t manage to see more of the city. Who knows, maybe we will return one day. Italy seems to have lured us in.

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