Backpacking Stop 3: Milan

After Barcelona, my friends and I were on our way to Milan for a quick 24-hour stop before heading to Venice. I didn’t really know what to expect from the city, but it was an enjoyable and sweaty stopover. We went from being on the coast with temperatures in the mid-70s to being in the middle of Northern Italy and temperatures hitting 90.

We mostly just used our Google Trips app like we did in the other cities to walk around Milan and see all the different buildings. We started at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. It was open with high ceilings and super ritzy-looking (keep in mind we’re in the fashion capital of the world).

Just outside the mall was the main square with the Duomo di Milan. This cathedral had a completely different façade than any of the other ones I’ve seen in Europe. It still had the same intricate detail, but was white and wide, rather than tall. We wanted to go inside but there’s a strict dress code where women must have their shoulders and knees covered and it was way too hot for us to think about putting pants on. I’ll save that for if I return with my family and maybe the weather will be cooler. There was a stage and chairs set up for a concert right in the middle of the square so it was hard to enjoy the full effect of being there and seeing the Duomo from farther away. Plus there were pigeons EVERYWHERE thanks to the men illegally selling feed to tourists (and the tourists who were dumb enough to want to feed flying rats). Otherwise, it was a beautiful part of town.

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Returning to Italy after my trip to Sardinia in April, I was most excited for the food. For dinner, we ended up at a place slightly out of town so a little less touristy. You could tell because there was no English menu, so we basically were translating everything using our phones and taking a gamble with what we ordered. We had beef tartare as an appetizer; it was my first time having it and basically it just tasted like what it was: raw beef. But my dinner was delicious. I thought I was just ordering truffle pasta but when it arrived it had clams on it as well and pasta with white clam sauce is probably my favorite dish ever. This was my first time having truffles in their natural, whole form (rather than truffle oil) and wow I didn’t know what I was missing out on! So I didn’t splurge on fashion in this ritzy city, but I did eat like a rich person. For lunch the next day, we had pizza at a restaurant close to the Duomo. It was surprisingly cheap and so delicious.

While our time in Milan was short, I was glad I got to see another Italian city and it ended up being a relaxing break after the hectic sightseeing we did in Barcelona.

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