Opinions about Milan?

Old Oct 30th, 2001, 09:16 AM
  #1  
Vita
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Opinions about Milan?

Just curious. I might actually be taking another trip to Italy some time next year with my sister. Woohoo! I think we're doing Rome, Florence and Venice, but was wondering if I should skip Rome and do something else in the north instead. Both of us have seen Rome and loved it. So what did everyone think of Milan and what did you like/dislike about it? I was thinking about going in either early April or late October/early November.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 09:22 AM
  #2  
Grasshopper
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Vita,

While I'm not sure I'd skip Rome for it, I thought Milan was fabulous. The Duomo is spectacular and hangs in the middle of the modern city like a gothic monolith. It's stained glass windows are amazing.

The Galleria is worth seeing but walking around the city and just taking in the sights and sounds was the most interesting part for me. People were incredibly well dressed and expensive cars were the rule rather than the exception. We definately felt out of place in our casual garb!

I would pass on the Last Supper although finding it tucked away in a small, unimposing church that was relatively hard to find was a surprise.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 09:46 AM
  #3  
Wendy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I certaily would not skip Rome for Milan but I do think Milan is a great place. My friend and I only stayed one night on the way to Venice because it's a bit more expensive due to it being much more of a business town vs. tourist. The Duomo is something we still talk about- it is incredible!! And who can say anything bad about the shopping (even if you just do window shopping)!! Wow!
 
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 11:01 AM
  #4  
Tina
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Vita:

Milan is Italy's most modern city as it was heavily destroyed during WWII--consequently it doesn't have as much antiquity or old world character as Rome/Florence/Venice. I've enjoyed two brief jaunts thru Milan, essentially staying over a night/day while either coming or going from Italy. There are a few good sites --- it certainly doesn't compare to what you'll find in Rome. A full day in Milan, maybe a day & 1/2 and that's enough.

Sites to see in Milan:
-- Duomo, which is unique in Italy as it's a Gothic styled church;
-- Galleria, THE original Galleria shopping area;
-- La Scala Opera House -- opera season runs Dec thru April, however it is used year round for other performances/concerts. Occassion that I tried to buy day of performance discount tickets; however, all sold out as the concert was for a charity;
-- Sforesco Castle -- a very eclectic collection of stuff. It's free to walk thru & on a pretty Sunday afternoon, you'll see alot of Milanese hanging outside & in courtyard area.

I've not explored any of the shopping areas, other than window shopping in Galleria. I'm under the impression Milan is not a great place if you're hunting bargains. Yet it is known as one of the great fashion spots and so, if that interests you & it's within your price range, then go for it.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 11:05 AM
  #5  
Tina
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
OH, and forget in my list of sights to include "The Last Supper" (duh!).

Milan is definitely more of a business-man's town than a tourist's city. If your trip to Italy is best served by flying in or out of Milan, then it's worth a look-see. I wouldn't suggest you have to go out of your way to see Milan.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 11:15 AM
  #6  
elvira
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I'm in a minority here (although I've met several other peole who feel the same way), but I did not like Milan. I liked seeing the Last Supper, I liked the Canal area, I like the da Vinci Museum, I liked going to La Scala for a concert. I thought the Duomo was ho-hum and the Galleria not anything special (Scottsdale Fashion or Biltmore Fashion are better). Montenapoleone is the big designer street, but I've been to Rodeo Drive and didn't see any difference.

The city is pretty grimy, and everything seems to be covered in graffiti. I can't recommend that you make a point to go to Milan; if you want to skip Rome, then maybe spend more time around the Florence countryside or visit some of the smaller towns near Venice.

 
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 11:15 AM
  #7  
Paul
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I too would not skip Rome for Milan - there is far less to "do" in Milan. However, we thoroughly enjoyed it. We were there during "Fashion Week", and I have never seen a city full of such well-dressed people - it looked like they stepped out of Vogue and GQ!

You can take the subway from downtown to see the Last Supper. It was very easy to do, and only 4 stops or so, as I remember.

You should also stop by Peck. There you will see the most beautiful (and expensive!) displays of food.

I imagine that Milan will be cold in late Oct/early Nov, as it's so far to the north.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 11:19 AM
  #8  
KT
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
While Milan is not my favorite city, I too enjoyed it. There are definitely sights there, although they take a bit more work to find than in some other places in Italy, so if you do go I'd advise finding a guidebook that treats the city in some detail. Museums: as well as the Castello Sforzesco, there's the Pinacoteca Brera (wonderful collection of northern Italian paintings), the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana (also has fine paintings), and the lovely little Museo Poldi-Pezzoli (Mantegna, Bellini, Piero della Francesco; also bronzes and jewellery; formerly one person's private collection). My favorite Milanese church is Sant'Ambrogio, and there are some other interesting churches. Also, the Navigli area comes alive at night with lots of restaurants and caffes. Milan overall is not quaint or picturesque, so it doesn't satisfy a lot of peoples' preconceptions of Italy but it is bustling and will give you a different view of Italy.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 11:54 AM
  #9  
rob
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I wouldn't go near Milan unless I had to. Big, loud, grimy, and charm-free. Hideously restored after WWII (as opposed to, say, Munich). Try a small town like Orvieto or Cortona as a break from the cities and to experience something really different. Assissi would be a fine stop. Or stop in Bologna. Or Verona. Or Siena. You have so many really great choices that it would be a shame to spend the time in Italy's least attractive city.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 12:22 PM
  #10  
Hulga
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Milan is not a city of beauty or art like Florence or Rome. It is the fashion capital of Italy. If you like fashion and people watching you will love Milan. I love to just sit at a cafe and watch all the interesting people go by. So, I think whether or not you like Milan depends on what kind of person you are.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 12:39 PM
  #11  
Julie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
You don't say how many days you have or how you're traveling from place to place, but if you have 4-5 days to spend in Rome and haven't seen Milan, I'd say go to Milan for a day, see the sights already listed by others (can be done in a day) and then head to Lake Como for the rest of othe time you'd otherwise have spent in Rome. If your Rome time is less, like only 3 days, skip Milan all together and go to Lake Como.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 01:35 PM
  #12  
Maribel
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Vita,
Can you stand yet another opinion?
I've been to Milan twice. We chose to fly in to Malpensa to begin 2 Northern Italy tours (leaving both times from Rome). Like others, I sure wouldn't suggest you go far out of your way to visit and wouldn't ever choose Milan over Rome, but I do have nice memories of both visits. What I loved was the following: attending a concert (missed the opera twice) at La Scala and taking their back stage tour, walking amidst the marble spires on the roof of the Duomo on a bright, sunny day, gazing at the Dolomites in the distance (a definite wow!), window shopping (no bargains, no purchases) in the too-chic-for-words Via Montenapoleone/Via Spiga area (for me, better people watching than Madison Ave, better even than Rome's Via Condotti, Florence's Tornabuoni), strolling through the flagship Armani store pretending I could actually afford one of those gorgeous suits, having tea amongst the ever so fashionably dressed Milanese ladies and elegant men in the Old World "A Cova" (Montenapoleanoe #8) and "Sant'Ambroeus" (Corso Mattteotti #7) tea salons (I'm a sucker for splurging at these places, like Paris' original Laduree), buying wonderful goodies (oils and cheeses-great gifts) from the truly amazing Peck gourmet shops on Via Spadari (a lengthy NY Times article sent me to those incredible food purveyors on first trip and couldn't wait to go back-ate there twice!) and seeing the Last Supper once in my life (missed it the second time-didn't get there early enough-looong lines/ restricted access).
What was so-so: The Galleria V. E. wasn't of great interest the second time around (not wild for Prada ), the talented gypsies hovering around the Duomo attempted to lift a friend's wallet, I wasn't sold on our hotel's location (Diana Majestic-would stay elsewhere, probably at Antica Locanda dei Mercanti), we had to fly through the Castello Sforzesco and managed to miss the Pinacoteca Brera both times, which I really wanted to see.
All in all, I could happily spend another night or two in Milan if we ever get to "do" the Lakes. My vote, yes.
 
Old Oct 30th, 2001, 01:53 PM
  #13  
Barb
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I must agree with Rob. I would not choose to go back there. I was there for one day 10/17 because I had to fly out early the next morning. The Duoma is incredible, Peck was wonderful, bought stuff to bring home, and it would have been nice to go to the opera, but the city, as I saw it, was pretty grim. It reminded me of old WWII films. I expected to see tanks come rolling down the streets. Of all the places I visited in Italy, this was the first time I felt the need to really watch my pockets and didn't really want to wander too far off the beaten path. I'm sure it's probably not fair to judge a place when you are only there for one day, but it certainly didn't beckon to me to return to explore it more. I would opt for either Varenna or Bellagio on Lake Como or definitely Roma.
 
Old Oct 31st, 2001, 05:18 AM
  #14  
Vita
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks, all. From your decriptions, I gather that Milan would not be my cup of tea.
 
Old Oct 31st, 2001, 10:22 AM
  #15  
Nancy
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Come on Fodorites, Milan is a big city with big city aura. I find it exciting, while it may not be quaint, but who needs quaint everywhere? The doumo is the most beautiful in Italy, the marble looks like it is lace, and the facade changes with the sunlight.
I have taken the tour of the church and it is very interesting too. The Galleria is wonderful because of the architecture, not the stores per se.
Look down at the marble floor and up to the skylights, not McDonalds. I love Milan for about 2 days each year.
 
Old Oct 31st, 2001, 12:29 PM
  #16  
Howard
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Here's another vote for Milan. No, it certainly can't match Rome, Venice or Florence, but it's definitely worth your time.
The Duomo is magnificent and certainly worth a visit, as is the LaScala Museum, the Galleria (as previously stated, for its architecture). Also, just strolling the fashion district is a real trip...even if you don't buy a thing!
We spent a glorious fall Sunday afternoon last year, sitting in an outdoor cafe near the Duomo observing the families strolling by.
 
Old Nov 1st, 2001, 04:59 PM
  #17  
isabel
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
where exactly is the fashion district? also, any great restaurant suggestions for one night in milan?
 
Old Nov 1st, 2001, 05:35 PM
  #18  
Howard
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
The fashion district is near the Duomo. If my memory serves me correctly, just walk thru the Galleria past La Scala and keep walking. You can't miss it.
 
Old Dec 6th, 2001, 10:32 AM
  #19  
Sue
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I and my husband spent a great weekend in Milan in October. Do not assume that it will be cold - we had dinner outdoors every evening. It is worth a day or so - could you take the train over from Venice as a side trip, maybe spent a night and attend LaScala? That said, I would not skip Rome for this.
 
Old Dec 6th, 2001, 01:54 PM
  #20  
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Vita, Why are you only considering big cities? IMHO the top ten attractions in Italy include 4 cities--that leaves 6 other venues to consider. Milan would not be in my top 30. If you stay north then you have to do either the Lakes or the Ligurian coast.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:04 PM.