Known as the fashion capital of Italy, this beautiful city is a treasure chest of intricate architecture, world-famous art, inspiring fashion and mouth-watering food.  While this city has so much to offer, it is possible to visit most of its top attractions in a day. Follow me for a guide on how to make the most of a day in Milan.

Piazza del Duomo

The Piazza del Duomo, or the Duomo Square, is the heart of the city both literally and figuratively is a great place to start your day of sightseeing. The Square is easy to get to as the Duomo Subway stop is a short walkable distance away. The first thing you will see while entering the square is the breathtaking view of the magnificent Milan Cathedral, the landmark of the city. Head to the nearby department store Rinascente Milano for some expensive shopping or skip the shopping altogether and head to the rooftop restaurant for some fantastic views of the city and the nearby cathedral.

Milan Cathedral

Once you are done taking in the view of the Cathedral from afar, get up close and personal to truly appreciate this astounding edifice. Known for its incredible architecture and intricate marble façade, this stunning Gothic cathedral is the largest in the country and took 600 years to complete. The interiors are as impressive as the exterior decorated with large stained glass windows and magnificent pillars lining the pews. Head to the terrace for a closer look at the intricacies of the building as well as great views of the city as you peep through the many pinnacles that crown the Cathedral.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milano, Lombardy, Italy, a day in milan
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milano, Lombardy, Italy

Once you’re done ogling at the Cathedral, take a very short walk (VERY short- all of two minutes) the oldest shopping mall in the world, the Gallerie Vittorio Emmanuele. Named after the first King of Italy, this incredible domed structure connects the Piazza Del Duomo to another pedestrian square, the Piazza Della Scala. This incredible complex is covered by a glass and iron roof and looks as incredible in the day as it does at night. Enjoy a cup of coffee and a well-deserved meal at one of the many restaurants or indulge in some retail therapy at the high-end boutiques (including Prada and Versace- they don’t call it the fashion capital for nothing!)

Santa Marie Della Grazie
Dominican Convent and Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie were built under the order of the Duke of Milan Francesco I Sforza. In the refectory of the convent there is the famous mural painting by Leonardo Da Vinci called Cenacolo or L'Ultima Cena (the Last Supper), a day in milan
Dominican Convent and Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie were built under the order of the Duke of Milan Francesco I Sforza. In the refectory of the convent, there is the famous mural painting by Leonardo Da Vinci called Cenacolo or L’Ultima Cena (the Last Supper).

Now that you have had a chance to relax and refuel, head to your next stop – The Santa Marie Della Grazie. This small and unassuming church is home to one of the most recognizable pieces of art in the world- The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci. While entry to the church is free, you will have to pick up a ticket to view the mural located in the refectory and will, unfortunately, be given only 15 minutes to enjoy this artistic masterpiece. Pick up your tickets in advance or pay the price of long lines and expensive group tours.

As a day in Milan meets its end, your trip will be incomplete without a hearty, rustic Italian meal. While Milan is filled with restaurants popular among tourists, most tend to be overpriced and lacking authenticity. When you think of Italian food you think of crispy pizzas, rich meaty broths, al dente pasta and creamy risotto (salivating yet?) and what better way to eat like locals than to eat with locals? Head to the homes of local home cooks for an authentic home-cooked Italian meal or a short cooking class followed by a dinner party where you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Here are a few options you can check out: cookanddine and withlocals .

While your trip to Milan might be short, it is sure to be the memorable one. Your feet might be sore, and your wallet might be empty but your heart (and stomach) will be full and yearning for a second helping.

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  1. The duomo cathedral is a landmark not to be missed in Milan, you can walk to the Gallerie Vittorio Emmanuele nearby, I got to drink out of a roman water fountain beside it. Fascinating aquaduct system thats been around for centuries!

  2. I can’t believe you’ve written about Italy as well! Planning to go there for my honeymoon, cannot wait for it. I hope it’s as magical as you say it is. Thanks!

  3. What I loved about this post was the traveler-perspective as opposed to the tourist-perspective. This post made want to leave everything, gather a few friends and head off to a trip to Italy.

  4. This article! lovely. The Milan cathedral is something I’m set on visiting/performing in. Jovina you infected the travel bug in me! aaaaaah!!


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