Milan just wasn’t for us

By the time that we arrived in Italy we were basically already in love with the country, and as we travelled from Rome to the Amalfi Coast, to Tuscany and then on to Cinque Terre, we just fell in love with Italy even more. The beautiful natural and historical sights were amazing, but what truly captured us was the culture. The people and their laid back way of life, the old feel of the towns and cities and the way that good food and wine is such an important part of life.

View of Vernazza from above in Cinque terre, Italy

View of Vernazza in Cinque Terre

We had just spent several days exploring Cinque Terre, where tiny 13th century villages cling to the cliffs of some spectacular coastline, where we sat by the sea and ate paninis, hiked between villages with spectacular views and rewarding ourselves with delicious gelato, and at night eating the famous pesto pasta and drinking good wine. We really didn’t want to leave, but it was now time to visit Milan.

We caught the train from Monterosso al Mare which took around 3 hours to reach Milan. By the time that we had stepped out of the train station, we were already just not feeling the city at all. Our hotel was close to the train station as we were only staying for two days before moving on to Venice, and the neighbourhood around the area didn’t capture as at all.

Milano Centrale Milan train station in Milan, Italy

Milano Centrale Train Station

The main reason that we had come to Milan is because it is one of the fashion capitals of the world, meaning great shopping, which after all is my wife’s favourite hobby. As we ventured into the city we explored several shopping districts and couldn’t find much that we could really afford. The food that we sampled was expensive and nowhere near as good as what we had tried elsewhere.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

There was a few nice sights in the city including the huge Milan Cathedral, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the exquisite opera house, but the city seemed to be lacking the culture that we had come to love over the past couple of weeks. Although Milano is obviously an Italian city, it has a much more cosmopolitan feel to it, and so we just weren’t connecting with the city at all.

Milan Cathedral Duomo di Milano in Milan, Italy

Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral)

Since Milan is the fashion capital of Italy, Veronika ended up with a few great buys, and as a honeymoon present I bought her a real Louis Vuitton. So she still left the city with a big smile on her face, but as our train pulled away from the station bound for Venice, we found ourselves not wanting to return to Milan, which was a first so far in Italy. Milan just wasn’t for us.

Buying Louis Vuitton bag in Milan, Italy

Happy wife with her new Louis Vuitton

Have you been to Milan? What did you think of the city? Did I just visit the wrong places? Do you think that it deserves another go?


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11 comments… add one
  • Cheryl Howard Jan 18, 2013

    I think Milan is my least favorite place in Italy. The duomo is spectacular as is the opera house – I actually watched a performance there. But I certainly didn’t come away feeling inspired as I did when I was in other places.

    And at least your wife got the LV. 🙂
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  • I feel exactly the same way – I really disliked Milan and didn’t find much to do there that interested me. We did however visit La Scala and see an opera performance which was excellent though
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    • Dean Wickham Jan 31, 2013

      Hey Jade. Glad to here that it’s not just me. I visited La Scala during the day. I would have loved to have gone to a performance but it didn’t have the appropriate clothing. It is very beautiful!

  • Simon Jan 19, 2013

    I live in Milan and I find always interesting read about the impressions people have when visiting the city. Indeed, it does not have the landmarks and charm of Rome, Florence or Venice and unfortunately aver the past 20 years it lost a lot of its character becoming, as you point out, international and similar to many other cities in the world.
    Still, there are beautiful spots in Milan as well, but they are more difficult to find out. Should you ever come back, let me know so that I can show you a little bit around 🙂
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    • Dean Wickham Jan 31, 2013

      Hey Simon. I will try and keep that in mind, cheers! I’m sure that there are some hidden spots to check out and I would love to give Milan a second chance

  • Rob Jan 27, 2013

    I didn’t dislike Milan when I went there but as Simon pointed out, there are plenty of other wonderful cities in Italy and there will always be a comparison with them.
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    • Dean Wickham Jan 31, 2013

      Hey Rob. I guess it’s true, with the other great cities in Italy to compare it to, Milan probably isn’t really all that bad. It’s rivals are just too good!

  • Reena @ Wanderplex Mar 12, 2013

    I actually felt much the same about Milan. While I thoroughly loved the rest of Italy, Milan had less of the charm and character of the other cities. I did take the opportunity to enjoy some shopping though, so all was not lost 😛
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    • Dean Wickham Mar 30, 2013

      Hi Reena. If you like shopping then I don’t think Milan could ever be a total loss 😉

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