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Buongiorno, Italia! A September day in Milan

§ 9 AMMILAN – You wake up in your small but very charming apartment with high ceilings. Through the curtains, the sunlight invites you to get up.

You open the balcony door, and before you shine the beauty of the boulevard surrounded by browning trees. At the end of it, you can see the magnificent Porta Romana. You can feel the day waiting for you to go out and enjoy the fairytale that is Milan.

§ 10АМMILAN – Ready for adventures and new things to try, you start walking from Porta Romana. The walk is only 15 minutes to the center, and everything you pass by is worth seeing. Everything around you has a story, and you almost feel the tales that the cracks on the old buildings can tell you. Reaching the Duomo, there is no way you don’t stop and look at it for a while. I am sure that it is impossible not to appreciate it. The square is crawling with people. Everybody is taking pictures in an attempt to immortalize the view before their eyes. Watching the glory that is this cathedral makes you think about how trivial are all the problems worrying our busy heads.

§ 10.30АМMILAN – Leaving Piazza del Duomo, you start walking towards Brera-the oldest and most beautiful quarter of Milan. In the very beginning, you see a minimalistic-style café named Princi, and it is time for your morning coffee.

Around you, people are ordering espresso after espresso and drinking it in seconds before leaving off for the tasks awaiting them. YOU are in no rush. Sitting in the sun, drinking the wonderfully creamy cappuccino, and absorbing everything that Brera has to offer you. Tram 27 passes by, old and wooden, but very well maintained. People get off, come aboard, and the tramcar continues on its path.

§ 11АМMILAN – Drinking the last sips from your mini white cup, you realize that it’s time to leave for Santa Maria Delle Grazie, where you can see DaVinci’s Last Supper.

The walk from Princi to Santa Maria is just 10 minutes, and your reservation is at 11.30, so you have plenty of time to feed your architectural hunger with the Italian designs on the way.

§ 11.30АМMILAN – The entrance to DaVinci’s masterpiece is on the side, where a wonderfully chubby woman greets you. With a big smile and perfectly styled curls, she says, “The group for 11.30 is waiting in the corridor on your right. You were let the hall in just a few minutes”. Peeking into the corridor, you see a massive metal door in the end. Security opens it and gestures for you to come in. After passing the metal door and three glass ones (with scanners in them), you finally reach “The Last Supper.”  In just a moment, you realize that these are the security measures that this greatness deserves, if not more. The light is romantically dim, and all you can hear is the tourist murmur. Everybody is trying to be as close as possible to it. When to perceive the whole picture, there is a respectful distance to be kept. And so you are a little behind the group, almost as if it is only you and the story that DaVinci is telling. The 15 minutes you have inside pass for what you think is a moment, in kind of a trans you have to leave the room, through the beautiful garden of the church.

§ 12.30PМMILAN – DaVinci’s magic is fading away, so you are back to your normal functioning; hence you feel hunger. On that note, you leave for Obicà- again positioned in Brera, a very famous and excellent Italian restaurant. A ton of mozzarella and typical Italian dishes on the menu.

It is obligatory to order the “caponata” there-a Sicilian dish from eggplant, capers, almonds, olives, vinegar, olive oil, and tomatoes. To accompany it, you order mozzarella, not the ordinary, but burrata. A kind that once you cut through the coat, it just spreads all over your plate.  Your taste buds are at a peak, and you are leaning on your senses only, literally tasting the Italian culture. A warm breeze blows, which is perfect considering the hot September sun.

§ 14PМMILAN – After the fantastic lunch, there is a walk due. The best place – Montenapoleone, luxury dripping from all the cafes and stores around you. Very high class. There’s a little secret though you are immediately transferred into another world if you take a turn to either of the small blocks. Small but very colorful stoned streets filled with mini-boutiques of any kind. Restaurants – from the typical pizzeria to fish restaurants. When you look up, you can see old fashioned terraces with flowers hanging from them, and here and there may be a grandma watching over the street.

You walk and feel a sort of pride from being a part of the dynamic that is this colorful mini-world. While walking, you see “Amorino,” and your eyes light up – ICE CREAM. Inside a very nice girl suggest ‘l’inimitabile,’ which later you find out means – unforgettable! It is. It’s almost like it’s assembled to celebrate the alliance between chocolate and hazelnut, and it is hands down the best ice cream ever made (all natural).

§ 16.30PМ –MILAN – Continuing your walk, you reach the Duomo again. There aren’t as many people as before, so it is the perfect time to go to the top. Debating whether you should take the stairs or the lift, you decide that it should be the stairs. Your reason – it MAY count as fitness.  The stairs are tight, but two people can pass each other easily, so you climb and climb, and climb. In the end – it’s worth it! The view is magnificent.

You can see the square, where just minutes ago you were one of the ants, now walking beneath you. On your right, you have the gallery, Vittorio Emanuele.

Straight forward, you can see Via Dante and at the end of it the Castle Sforza. The feeling is as if you are on top of the world and nothing is impossible (you climbed the stairs to the top!)

§ 17.30PМMILAN –After conquering the Duomo, it is time for a bit of art. You are in luck. Just on the cathedral’s left, there is Museo del Novecento-Made to popularize XX century art and, from time to time, some seasonal exhibitions of modern art and audio-visual installations. You walk through it in a circular path for three floors. You are passing through Picasso Braque, Kandinskij, and Modigliani and their ideas of the world. You can see the change in the times with each painting you cross. Reaching the end of the exhibition (the last floor), you can visit Piazza del Duomo again.

Straight ahead, the gallery Vittorio Emanuele opens up, and you can see the beauty of the roofs, draped in gold. On your left, the unforgettable Duomo.

§ 7.30 PMMILAN – Quick shower and changing into appropriate attire – it’s time for DINNER!

§ 20.30РМMILAN –For dinner, your choice is a lovely nearby restaurant named “Casa Tua.” Very traditional and in a kind magical. In just seconds, you order ‘vino di casa,’ which is the wine produced by the restaurant owners: dimmed lighting, wooden chairs, and tables. Plants draped in little romantic lights that in a strange parallel send you to the old town of Sozopol in Bulgaria.

Flipping through the four-page menu, you finally pick “Panzanella maremanna,” which is a Tuscan bread salad with tomatoes, onions, basil, vinegar, and olive oil. The perfect appetizer – its quantity doesn’t allow for you to be full before the main course.

alluring-food-pappardelleIn your case, that is “pappardelle all’antica.” Fresh pasta with ragout from three types of meat, tomato sauce, and pecorino (Italian cheese). Everything is just so delicious. The staff is more than outstanding, the atmosphere – so romantic. You cannot deny it, Italy has your heart.

§ 10 PMMILAN – Once done with dinner, you head out for a walk towards Navigli.

The pulse of Milan. The beautifully lighted canals are full of people, small cafes on the streets, and bars in art basements. There are benches with people in love on the channels, enjoying life, and once again, you are in the center of amusement. You are a vital part of this evening’s dynamic. It’s already 10 o’clock, but the fun is just starting. Music is booming from everywhere. Different people try to sell you selfie sticks or something else you don’t need. The thirst for life is in the air, and you are off to your next stop!

§ 23.30РМMILAN – Martini Dolce&Gabbana Bistrot.

Based in the city center, it is the beginning of Milan nightlife. The place where you go to drink one, two (maybe THREE) cocktails. Black minimalistic tables, one next to the other one, laughter, and music. In the back, there is a DJ taking care of the mood behind an expensive console—glasses clicking, spicy stories, and many memorable experiences. Sitting there, you can peek into the reality of the Italian soul – smiles, tales spoke loudly and the obligatory drink used as fuel for more and more chatter.

 

You finish your last Manhattan for the night, and it’s time to go home. You did so many things today, and who knows where tomorrow will take you.

After all, it’s September in Milan.

Buonanotte!