As the nature of times change travelling to the worlds iconic sites opens the eyes to new sights not usually experienced in our so called safe havens. Making the most of limited time Louis Gravelet shares his thoughts after a brief stopover in Milan:
Arriving late in the evening, I only had five hours in Milan the following day before my train left for Como. I organised a hotel near the Castello Sforzesco opposite Via Dante, which leads to the iconic Duomo.
First stop – Via Dante & Signorvino wine bar
The stroll down Via Dante is a window shoppers delight. Sprinkled amongst the many diverse shops and restaurants I revisited one on my return walk. A wine lovers discovery!
Signorvino wine bar www.signorvino.com
A few minutes from the wine stop you catch the first glimpse of the spires of Duomo.
Second stop – The Duomo
Said to be one of the most important Gothic buildings in the world having been constructed on and off for a period of 450 years ( commenced 1386).
Regrettably it was hard not to be aware of the heavy security surrounding the Cathedral. Heavily armed with machine guns and earnestly standing beside steel fencing and bollards security personnel stand out with their fixed untrusting gaze, their eyes wandering amongst the many tourists and others in the area. A necessary addition to the major tourist trails in this day and age. Crowds are the never ending nemesis of the traveller and gave me an easy out from taking a two hour tour of Duomo, after all, I had to be in the train station within four hours.
Third stop – Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle ll
This Gallery of shops and restaurants is located adjacent to Duomo. Dominated by a glass barrel vault and glass cupola it sometimes takes the eyes from the mosaic on the floor. The Galleria is home to over 50 cafés and designer label boutiques, however, save your culinary persuasion for some of the many cafés and ristorante’s outside and nearby as the fourth stop being near La Scala.
Fourth stop – Ristorante Papa Francesco
Around La Scala the home of some of Italy’s and the worlds most famous opera singers. No time for a performance however definitely time for a quick snack at Ristorante Papa Francesco
Ristorante Papa Francesco – www.papafrancesco.com
They compete head on and without compromise against their neighbour. The sign says it how it is.
Strolling back up Via Dante I found time for a subtle, possibly not the right word, Callabrian red at Signorvino, 100% Vini Italiani.
Fifth stop – Castello Sforszesco
Located at the end of Via Dante was Castello Sforszesco the ancient seat of the ruling Visconti and home of a number of interesting libraries. It’s an impressive walled castle with the remnants of a moat and a past era where many battles took place. Again security was evident with machine gun holding soldiers mingling amongst the throng.
In the distance you will see the Arco Della Pace, an imposing archway beyond a beautiful expanse of gardens.
Now back to collect the bags and head to the train station were I was told you can find one of the best Gellateria’s in Milan. A big call for such a competitive product, as seen in our piece on Bologna’s Gelato museum.
Five hours and five sites and I’m on my way to magical Lake Como.