When I was planning out our trip in Italy, I had no intentions of visiting Milan. However, after the discovery of a certain video game that features architecture based off the Milan Duomo, my interest was piqued and I conducted some more research on the area. I decided to re-route our journey for a quick stopover with only one full day to explore. It ended up being one of our favourite places from the Italian leg of the trip despite our short stay.
Day 10 – Travel day and the Milan Duomo
We left Florence late in the morning, continuing our trip north for 2 hours before pulling into Milan Centrale. I instantly noticed how much more modern and cleaner it felt compared to our two previous destinations, particularly in and around the public transport network. Our hotel would continue this charm with a newly furbished, spacious room while also featuring a fantastically old wooden elevator with heavy double doors that required manual opening and closing on every use.
Dropping off our bags, we headed straight out to the Milan Duomo on the Metro while we still had daylight left. The cathedral stands proudly within a large plaza and is covered in such impressive ornate details that I think even compared to the Duomo in Florence, it was my favourite building we visited. What was equally impressive was the very short line to get inside, from buying the ticket to getting through security only took around 15 minutes. The interior was just as beautiful, featuring large pillars with meticulous stone carvings atop each one and a large and pristine stained glass window at the rear.
The best part of the Duomo is the option to actually walk on the roof of the building, though it does involve climbing a very long staircase to get there. From above you to see all the sculptures on top of each column and the motifs incorporated into the supporting beams, much of which can’t be seen from below.
Talk about going to the roof
Day 11 – Sfroza Castle, Shopping and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Setting out once again, we started our morning exploring the museum artifacts of Sfoza Castle. We happily strolled through the mostly free/low cost galleries which still offered up some great pieces from paintings to armor, frescos to furniture. The grounds were also home to an community of cats, happily sheltering themselves in the lower alcoves and under bridges throughout the old moat system.
Finishing up at the castle, we strolled back down to the centre of town and did some shopping while casually exploring the area, eventually finding ourselves back at the Duomo again. Off to one side you can wander through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, known for its luxury shops and architecture. It was nice way to end our time in Milan, just meandering through the streets with no real rush, enjoying just being present in the moment.
Our final leg of Italy would begin the next day, heading out to Venice.