Another classic Skyscanner deal strikes again, this time to Milan in Italy! I’d never been to Italy prior to this (shocking, I know), so, even though it was only going to be a night, I very much treated this trip as a dip in the water before fully submerging myself in Italian culture (looking at you, Rome!). And I was not disappointed.
I will take this opportunity to rant about Ryanair. I’m an Easyjet girl when it comes to cheap flights – even though the vast orange mass hurts the eyes a little, I’ve yet to have a bad experience with them (aside from a misunderstanding in Switzerland). Unfortunately, Ryanair have the cheap flights down to a tee, and for those on a budget, £25 return flights are hard to resist. Despite this, the seats were horrendous (I was basically cuddling up on one of my fellow traveller’s laps at one point, poor thing), the flight quality was pretty poor, and the whole interior was covered in a film of grime. Nice.
Anyway, shit flight aside, I landed in Milan Bergamo Airport at about 7pm and took a Terravision coach to the central train station (side note: Terravision were fantastic, €9 return if you book online and only took 45 mins to Centrale!). I chose a hotel very close to Centrale Station, thankfully – the Hotel Mennini on Via Napo Torriani, so walked the ten minutes to the hotel and checked in. The hotel itself was quite run-down (don’t let the website fool you!) – the lift was terrifyingly old and creaky, and the room reminded me of school trips of yesteryear when we were all crammed into one room in single beds. Still, the bed was comfortable and the breakfast in the morning was extensive, so *shrug*.
I woke up early the next day and set out to explore the beautiful city! The subway was unbelievably easy to navigate, especially by someone as dense as me (when it comes to public transport, I am most definitely not on it), and pretty darn cheap (something like €5 for all day access). Very impressed. I took the train to Cadorna FN on the M2 subway line from Centrale (destination Abbiategrasso) and hopped off there for the Santa Maria delle Grazie, the church where ‘The Last Supper’ by da Vinci is located.
The exterior of Santa Maria delle Grazie in the beautiful but cold Italian sunshine…
The interior of the church. Beautiful, non?
I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the Last Supper annoyingly (the guide mentioned something about light and damage, although I definitely saw some sneaky tourists take pictures when the guide wasn’t watching), but suffice it to say it was beautiful. If not a little wrecked after all this time, but really, what would you expect?
From there, I took the M1 subway towards Sesto FS, and stopped off at Duomo (where else?) in order to take in the sights of the beautiful Duomo di Milano and dodge pigeons…
The largest church in Italy, and the fifth largest in the world, but arguably the most beautiful.
More of the cathedral square.
The author piss-arsing around.
I was a little chilly and knackered by walking around an unfamiliar city at this point, so when I saw a terrace with an Aperol sign directly opposite the cathedral, I may or may not have taken advantage of it. I’m not going to lie, this was one of the highlights of the trip.
Came for the views, stayed for the alcohol.
After this, I decided to indulge in a little pasta, because I was in Italy and it would have been sacrilegious if I hadn’t. I’m gluten intolerant but decided to risk it with normal pasta. Well worth the stomach ache on the plane.
Fusilli pomodoro, whilst people watching. This was perfectly al dente, and absolutely delicious. Doy.
After all of this excitement, it was time to hop back to Centrale and get on the coach back to Bergamo, for yet another fun Ryanair flight back to the UK.
Milan was beautiful, surprisingly cheap, and charming. I’d recommend also trying to fit in trips to La Scala opera house and the National Museum of Science and Technology if you can – I didn’t manage either and regretted it somewhat (La Scala in particular is meant to be beautiful). Stay close to Centrale, take good walking shoes, and you won’t go far wrong. Bellissimo!
SAFETY OUT OF FIVE – 5/5. I walked a little by myself at night and felt perfectly safe – as I’ve said before, keep safe and be sensible, but you should be A-OK.
COST OUT OF FIVE – ££- I was really surprised at how inexpensive everything was, considering it’s one of the main cities in Italy. The bowl of pasta above cost me £5, and the subway ticket was about £4 for the day.
RECOMMENDATIONS – see above re La Scala and the National Museum of Science and Technology. The Duomo was wonderful, as was the Santa Maria delle Grazie, but make sure to book in advance for the latter or there won’t be any spaces left, and you’ll have to pay through the teeth for a tour like yours truly.
Until next time (Belfast!),