Buon giorno Milano! I landed on Malpensa airport with the first flight out of Bucharest at 7 A.M. The only thing on my mind was the Italian breakfast I was about to have! Bring me a cappuccino and a brioche (preferably with chocolate), pronto!
I had about half a day to wander around the city until my train for Verona was departing so I was in a bit of a rush. This was my second time in Milano and I knew I wanted to check at least two places I missed on my last trip. But like I said, first of all I needed some coffee to get my system going.
If you don’t really feel like having a coffee in the busy train station, I can recommend you Caffe Gorille. This adorable cafè about 15 minute walking distance from Centrale Station. The staff is super friendly, coffee is delicious and they are a dog friendly place.
First stop: Street art hunting in Navigli District
All hyped on caffeine I decided to head up to Navigli and Porta Ticinese. I knew from my last trip that this is the place to go for street art. You know how I feel about street art, and I can tell you I wasn’t disappointed.
If you have more than half a day to spend in Milano, you should definitely check out Navigli District. You can take a mini-cruise down Leonardo’s canals or enjoy some delicious Italian food in one of the many restaurants on the banks of Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese. This social hub is the ideal place to relax and have a chat with your friends over a cocktail or a glass of wine.
From street art to fine art
My second “mandatory” stop had to be Leonardo’s famous “Il Cenacolo”. I tried to get in 3 times before… First time it was closed (a Monday). The second and third time they had available entries only after I was well on my way out of Milano. I grabbed a risotto Milanese for a quick lunch and I headed up to Santa Maria delle Grazie in hopes of getting in.
Of course, you can only get in if you have a booking and that can be done only from Monday to Saturday… NOT Sundays! I think the massive disappointment on my face must have hit a sensible chord, because lo and behold someone offered me a ticket to go in with the group that was just starting the tour. I was totally speechless.
Finally I was getting the chance to see this beautiful work of art full of symbolism (and no.. it’s not because of The Da Vinci Code, even if I am a fan of Dan Brown).
Fair enough, the guide was speaking Italian, so I only got part of the story, since my Italian needs a little more improvement, but none the less it was an absolutely incredible experience!
The access is limited to small groups of 25-30 people and it is very strict in order to keep the painting as protected as possible. So, unlike me, I would advice you to book in advance a ticket. I guarantee that the experience is totally worth it. The tour takes about 15 minutes so I was able to be just in time for the afternoon train to Verona, my next destination!
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- Airport transfer: Milano Malpensa to Milano Centrale:
- 24h day pass: 4.50€ (valid from the moment of stamping; atm.it)
- Boat trips: check out naviglilombardi.it for the available tours and prices
- Save a seat at Leonardo’s “Last Supper”: check your options on vivaticket.it. That’s the official site.