It’s easy for me to forget, as a poor student, that I’ve explored and experienced a lot of what my city has to offer. In some moments, Milan frustrates and exhausts me, and I curse the stubbornness and antiquity of the way the city flows.
At other moments, though, it speaks to my senses in a way that makes me very happy. Molti posti mi piacciono. Here is a best spots guide Milano (a list of some of those places):
- Villa Necchi — a secluded respite from city chaos, a delight for architecture lovers
- 10 Corso Como — perhaps Milan’s most famous and most interesting fashion boutique
- Cinc — the first place I had aperitivo cocktails and still one of my favorite restaurants, for lunch, dinner, or drinks
- Excelsior Food Market — only recently discovered but instantly loved, a great place to enjoy food porn (everything is so fleshy and full of color)
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (Prada Uomo negozio) — Miuccia Prada epitomizes Milanese luxury shopping inside one of the first enclosed malls in the world. Pasticceria Marchesi is upstairs.
- Pizzeria COKE — next to my flat and painted like catwoman’s Gotham apartment. The pizza is excellent.
- Piazza Gae Aulenti — the most modern part of Milan, home to offices of UniCredit and boutiques of Christian Louboutin, Vivienne Westwood, and Martin Margiela
- Stazione Centrale — cozy it may not be, but its soaring ceilings never get old
- Hangar Bicocca — unique in this modern art city because of its vast spaces and large-scale installations
- Mp Massimo Piombo — my favorite brand and boutique for classic men’s tailoring crossed with modern colors and cuts
- Chic&Go — the perfect snack break for a frenetic, adrenaline-fueled shopping day
- Bottega Veneta Home — with an unlimited budget for subtle, luxurious furniture, come here
- La Taverna Gourmet — an upscale, modern pizzeria
- Lago di Como — a short distance from Milan with sophisticated restaurants, amazing views, and charming water-based life
- ATMosfera — the dinner on the tram! Kitschy yes, but the food is actually good and the complete tour of the city is unbeatable
- Cimitero Monumentale — another (somewhat) secret hideaway in the middle of the busy city
- Teatro alla Scala — theater-lover or not, this is the quintessential old-world live action experience, with velvet curtains to match
- Fontana Milano 1915 — Milan’s answer to Hermès. Gorgeous leather bags sold selectively throughout the world, like at Barney’s
- Armani/Silos — a temple dedicated to the mastery and unique style of fashion veteran Giorgio Armani
- Bivio — Milan’s first buy-sell resale boutique with an emphasis on contemporary fashion (vs. vintage)
There are of course many more spots I frequent. I haven’t spent much of my money on pricey dinners, and when I have I haven’t been wowed. I also omitted gelaterias, mainly because there are several I love (Helados in Porta Romana, Out of the Box in Porta Venezia, Gelateria della Musica in Carrobbio, Cioccolatialiani in Navigli, and Caldozero near Corso San Gottardo). It is pointless to specify places for coffee or pastry/bread too, since there are thousands and they’re all good. These are the staples of Italian life.
But this list is a good starting point if you’ll soon be visiting, or want to rediscover Milan as a city you already know.