Vacanze Italiane – part 1

As I mentioned in my previous post, we decided to travel south for Easter and spend some time with my family in Milan.

For our first day I planned to visit La Triennale, situated near Castello Sforzesco and Parco Sempione (or as my mom calls it, the Italian Central Park 😉).

La Triennale, established in Milan in the early 30s, is an exhibition space that always presents a fantastic selection of art shows, ranging from design to contemporary art. Unfortunately for us, there were very little to see in these days, since many rooms were closed for the setting up of new exhibitions (so typical!). We still managed to have a look around and to enjoy a tasty lunch at the bottom floor restaurant.

After lunch, since the sun was shining and the temperature blessed us with generous 15 degrees, we took a long walk through the city centre. (have a look to the map here below for an idea of our itinerary).

We started in the park, admiring the “Arco della Pace” on one side and the Castle on the other. In the park there was a spring like and relaxed atmosphere that I could have easily spent the whole afternoon there, sunbathing and caressing the grass.

Mom and I
When your mom is more stilysh than you are…

We continued towards the main central part of Milan, walking down Cairoli, Cordusio, to finally see the most famous cathedral of the city, the Duomo.

Duomo of Milan

What I really love of Italy, that makes it so unique, is that you can find hidden gems from the past in very unexpected spots. Like Santa Maria presso San Satiro. This little church located at the beginning of Via Torino and, trust me, if you don’t know about its existence you’ll probably miss it.

The church was erected towards the end of the 15th century and is notable for its trompe-l’œil planned and created by the Bramante.  This optical illusion provides a sense of depth to the apse (the area right behind the altar) that would be otherwise pretty shallow.

My pictures unfortunately are pretty bad but give an idea of the optical illusion. Have a look here and here for additional information and the history of the church. (Btw, this website is fantastic!)

After visiting the church, we strolled down Via Torino. This long avenue is a popular destination for shopping-lovers. Here you can find a lot of different boutiques: from high streets brands like Zara, H&M, Muji, to some more interesting boutiques. (A new discovery was Dixie, with all its colourful dresses! Have a look to the website here!)

Towards the end of Via Torino, there is another favourite area of the milanesi, le Colonne di San Lorenzo. The area, whose name is after the Saint to whom the church here located is dedicated to, is a popular destination for aperitivo, especially during warm summer evenings.

We continued our walk in Corso di porta Ticinese. This is one of the neighborhoods I love the most of Milan. When I was a teenager, trying hard to be a rebel girl, I used to browse all the second hand and alternative shops that inhabitated the area. Even though so many things have changed, the area still has a bohemian allure and the boutiques here usually are of independent designers. My must-go destination is Mauro Leone! There are two shops here in Corso di Porta Ticinese and if you are looking for artisanal, hand crafted, made in Italy shoes, at very competitive prices, this is where you want to go. 😊 (I didn’t take any pictures of the shops, but you can have a look to their website here).

Did I mention it was a long walk? 😉 We needed a gelato to recharge our energies!

After Corso di porta Ticinese, we headed to Porta Genova, walking nearby the Navigli, artificial canals, whose dams’ system was planned by Leonardo (if you want to know more about the projects and the history behind the Navigli, have a look here).

This area that becomes very populated by night, thanks to all its small bars and restaurants, is another popular destination for those who love aperitivo. It is also home of flea markets. Check here  and here for more information.

Towards the end of our long promenade, we walked down in the direction of  Porta Genova and checked some more boutiques. One of these is Tenoha, a brand new all-Japanese concept store located in Via Vigevano.

Bags, ceramics, paper goods and magazines! In this boutique you will find an impressive selection of products all designed and crafted in Japan. There’s also a restaurant that offers a selection of genuine Japanese cuisine!

Our first day in Milan, this little cosmopolitan city, terminated here. Hope you have enjoyed the reading! Soon a post dedicated to some art!

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If you would like to have more information about any of the locations above, or if you simply want to say CIAO!, contact me through the contact page or write a comment here below! 😊