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Emily Jablon: Daraius and I went to Europe in September to celebrate our 2nd anniversary for ~2 weeks. It was my first time in Italy so I was very excited! In Italy, we visited Varenna on Lake Como, Milan, Venice, and Rome.
Since we were in Europe, we visited a friend in Strasbourg, France and also spent a night in Zurich. We started our trip with a one day layover in Chicago to see friends!
Our Anniversary To Italy – Trip Report Index:
- Part 1 – Planning & Introduction
- Part 2 – Park Hyatt, Chicago
- Part 3 – One Day in Chicago
- Part 4 – Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
- Part 5 – Virgin Atlantic Revivals Lounge, London
- Part 6 – Under the Channel to Strasbourg
- Part 7 – Hotel Cathedrale, Strasbourg
- Part 8 – What did we do in Strasbourg
- Part 9 – Eating in Strasbourg
- Part 10 – Park Hyatt, Zurich
- Part 11 – 10 Hours in Zurich
- Part 12 – Hotel Eremo Gaudio in Varenna, Italy
- Part 13 – What to do in Varenna, Italy
- Part 14 – Eating in Varenna, Italy
- Part 15 – Park Hyatt, Milan
- Part 16 – What Did We Do in Milan
- Part 17 – Eating in Milan
- Part 18 – Hilton Molino Stucky, Venice
- Part 19 – Around the Hilton Molino Stucky & Free Shuttle Boat Details
- Part 20 – What we did in Venice
- Part 21 – Eating in Venice
- Part 22 – Waldorf-Astoria, Rome Cavalieri
- Part 23 – Eating in Rome, Part 1
- Part 24 – Emily’s Best Meal Was in Italy!
- Part 25 – Rome Cavalieri Imperial Floor
- Part 26 – Activities in Rome
- Part 27 – Activities in Rome – Where to Go, What to See, How to Save Time
- Part 28 – Virgin Atlantic Flight from Europe to US
- Part 29 – Conclusion & Blog Giveaway
This post will highlight various activities in Milan, which include:
Activities In Milan
1. Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral)
We climbed the stairs and took in the amazing view. The Duomo took ~600 years to complete and is the 5th largest church in the world.
The detailing of the Duomo was quite magnificent…
with the sculptures …
and Gothic detailing…
and gargoyles and fanciful creatures.
We climbed the 250 steps up to the roof.
If you plan on getting inside the church, it is important that women wear at least a t-shirt and shorts or a skirt that covers the knees, because the guards were turning away women who were dressed in less than that.
For some strange reason, men with shorts appeared to be allowed inside, but you may want to wear jeans or slacks to be 100% sure.
Inside the church, we went on the suggested tour in the Rick Steves’ Italy guidebook, and read about the history of the church.
We walked around the church…
and admired the exquisite details.
We also got to see the sculpture of St Bartholomew by one of Leonardo da Vinci’s students.
We also visited the church at night and it looked completely different with the lights.
2. The Last Supper
Daraius reserved a viewing of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous “The Last Supper” 2 months before our trip to Milan. You can reserve a ticket online at the Cenacolo Vinciano website.
Each ticket cost 8 euro or ~$11. This includes 3 euro for the base ticket, 3.5 euro extra for the guided tour and 1.5 euro for booking online.
Tours are given every 15 minutes, with only 15 people allowed in at a time. You are supposed to arrive at least 20 minutes before your viewing time to check in and wait for your group to be called.
There is a small sitting room where you can read in more detail about the history of the painting. Because the painting is in a church, there is a dress code.
You must reserve tickets ahead of time because they do sell out. There were no tickets available for immediate sale when we visited.
We signed up for the English guided tour.
The tour is only 15 minutes and the guide talked the entire time which did not give us time to focus on the painting and to admire its workmanship.
The painting itself is painted on an actual wall, rather than on a canvas. It wasn’t in the best of condition, but it’s still a fantastic mural. We were not allowed to take pictures inside, but there was a reproduction outside for folks to take pictures.
After our 15 minutes were up, we went to the Santa Maria delle Grazie church next door.
3. Walking at Night
The Park Hyatt Milan is near all the sites so we could see everything during the day as well as during the night. We loved walking down the streets by the hotel at night!
The Duomo di Milano is very dramatic at night and there are lots of people on the square outside.
Even the post office looked very grand and impressive at night.
4. Shopping in Milan
Milan is famous for shopping, and rightfully so. There are shops everywhere! From the Gap to Gucci and everything in between.
Right behind hotel is Galleria Victoria Emanuelle II. The Galleria Victoria Emanuelle II is the one of world’s oldest shopping malls.
There was a domed ceiling in the middle…
and a mosiac mural of a bull in the center of the Galleria Victoria Emanuelle II.
It’s good luck to put your right heel on the bull and spin backwards three times.
There were tunnel-shaped glass ceilings.
I liked seeing the over-the-top outfits at the Dolce & Gabbana store.
Daraius seemed more interested in the lingerie. We stopped at Agent Provocateur…
…and then went to Chantal Thomass.
But then he got bored.
We purchased a few things, and went to the Duty Free center for our tax refund.
We had our passports with us and got the forms to show at the customs officers at the Milan airport to get our tax refund.
We preferred the outdoor stopping. That’s because the shops had a larger selection of their clothes in the street shops than in the mall. And the prices were lower outside of the mall (unless you went into a high-end shop).
And Daraius got to see his dream cars on the streets.
I also liked window shopping, where I got to see such lavish accessories, like gold plated shoes!
Daraius really wanted to visit the famous La Scala opera house, but it was closed.
But he enjoyed visiting the Dumo and seeing the Last Supper mural, though he got bored shopping with me and stayed behind in the hotel rather than go out window shopping again!
I had fun (mostly window) shopping, though, and would happily go back to Milan!