Milan has been my favorite city in Italy ever since my first visit many years ago and a place I could imagine living. It’s a city of contrasts that finds a way of blending so many different things into a very livable fun city. While the Duomo might capture the most selfies, there are many more sights to see and every time I go back, I find something new to admire!
One of the things that captured my attention was how Milan seemed to strike a great balance between work and life when compared to Germany or Southern Italy. And this balance and “best of both worlds” combination seems to be a special kind of skill in this Northern Italian city:
You’ll find carefully restored historic buildings, like the Duomo at the heart of the city or the Castello Sforzsco – but you also find modern buildings not far from the center. I have seen the Duomo everytime I cross the plaza, I have watched it from the rooftop restaurant next door and climbed onto its roof, each time gaining a new perspective.
You can take modern high-speed trains to other cities across Italy – and you board them in one of the grandest train stations in Europe. Just seeing the Central Station lit up for Christmas or stopping inside to look up at the ceiling gives me new appreciation for the contrast!
You can buy one of the most expensive cappuccino in the world while watching the rich & famous stroll through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – or have a great value meal at one of the countless neighborhood restaurants where a bottle of red wine is not much more than that cup of coffee! The further away I go from the main tourist center, the friendlier the staff seems to be and the better the food and wine!
You can share the busy shopping streets with thousands of people or a quiet park with a handful, just a few minutes apart. The Parco Sempione sees plenty of visitors on a weekend day, but you don’t have to go far to find a quieter walkway or an empty park bench to rest and relax. Having both so close to each other creates a quality of life I truly admire!
You can watch a street performer or an outdoor art exhibit for free – or pay a princely sum to see an Opera in one of the most amazing theatres I’ve ever been to at the Scala.
When you visit Milan, you are able to experience all of this in a matter of days, and choose the experience just the way you want it to be! And if you decide to stay longer or return, there will be new discoveries every day of your stay. With different neighborhoods, different churches and museums, different theatres and performances, different restaurants and bars waiting for you to find your perfect balance of life in Milan!