I freaking hate coffee. Actually, it’s probably not that serious, more just that i’ve never had a coffee that i’ve enjoyed drinking. Until now.
Yes, this is me enjoying a cappucino with my breakfast in the garden of the San Francisco Hotel in Milan.
There was nothing super special about this coffee but I enjoyed sipping on it in the cool morning air, fortifying me for the day of sightseeing ahead. My husband’s family is Italian and he took the opportunity to show me the true Italian way that some things are done. Like only drinking the milky, frothy cappucinos with breakfast. As a milk-and-cereal girl (something the Italians don’t really go in for) this was the best way to get my hit of milk for the day with a little bit of a kick to get me going. Don’t get too excited though, now that i’m not in holiday mode, i’m still thoroughly unimpressed with coffee in general. It must have just been the magic of Milan!
If you’re in Milan in the summer when it gets crazy hot and busy, it’s a good idea to hit the main sites early. As you can see by the long shadows, we made our way to the Duomo in the center of Milan early in the morning. It was fairly quiet and the line to take the lift to the roof was almost non-existent. Beware though, as it is a religious site there are dress restrictions and you will have to have your shoulders covered and pants or a skirt that reach below the knee to gain entry to the actual cathedral. If it’s too hot to contemplate this kind of dress, you can buy a disposable kimono from the ticket booth to wear while you are inside. They only cost a few euros. And yes, that is someone playing a baby grand piano in the middle of the piazza. As hubs’ grandpa says “in Italy, anything is possible!”
The Duomo itself is breathtaking but the roof is nothing short of spectacular. You can take a leisurely walk of the perimeter of the building and soak in the intricately carved marble accents.
In some places you are behind a wire fence for safety, but the sheer detail in the buttresses, gargoyles, carved saints and angels is utterly amazing, fence or no fence!
And on a clear summer day, you can see out to the alps.
You can go inside the Duomo as well which is something I highly recommend but I have no photos here because it is still a sacred church and they ask that no photos be taken. While most other tourists ignored the request, hubs and I didn’t think it was right to do so. You will just have to go and see it for yourselves!
The food options in the piazza are a bit uninspiring and pretty expensive, but if you walk just one or two streets back from the main drag, it’s not only quieter but cheaper and a little better quality. We stopped for a brunch (not so much dictated by the time of day but the desire hubs had for a sandwich while I was still craving something breakfast-y) at Panini Durini which was cool, friendly and had free wifi! The waitress promptly brought out an English menu which was helpful when my attempts to decipher the Italian menu came up short on some dishes.
I had a huge craving for fruit that day so I had a bowl of cereal with yoghurt and fresh fruit including pineapple, rockmelon and grapes. It was a good sized portion for the price and the fruit was fresh and juicy.
Hubs had some sort of panini. It’s a testament to how delicious it was that this was all that was left of it when I tried to take a picture! He inhaled this one. If you’re after a quick lunch or breakfast somewhere a little less crowded, Panini Durini on via Giuseppi Mengone is a great choice.
Don’t think that this is all I have to say about Milan. Much more to come!