Milan, galleria Vittorio Emanuele
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How to Spend a Luxurious Day or Two in Milan

Have you thought about how to spend a day or two in luxury while visiting Milan?  If you, so you’ve come to the right place.  Milan is probably the most modern city in Italy.  The town is excellent for high-end shopping, Michelin Starred restaurants, nightlife, and ultramodern design.  Likewise, other than the usual attractions that everybody knows, The Duomo, The Galleria, etc. here are some of my favorite things to do in this lively city in Italy.

The Duomo in Milan

Milan Luxury Fashion District

The high-end shopping area is in what’s called “quadrilatero della mode” (the fashion district). Via Montenapoleone, Via Della Spiga, and Via Sant’Andrea surrounds this area, and “oozes luxury.”

The most prominent fashion designers have their boutiques here.  Further, in this area, you’ll also find some very high-end jewelry stores.  Here, you can stroll around and look at the most lavishing stores. Keep your eyes open!  For instance, you might catch a glimpse of models, TV and Movie stars shopping here.

The Galleria in Milan

The Galleria

The Galleria, also known as Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and runs from Piazza Duomo to Piazza Della Scala, is where you can visit Prada’s original store. Additionally, you can find many other luxury brands.  Plus, you will find Rinascente, a luxury department store that has 11 floors of shopping delight.  Also, it’s worth mentioning that on the top floor of the store, you can sit down outside and have a drink or grab some food with one of the most stunning views of the Duomo.  It’s also an area where many people love to take iconic photos! 

The Duomo in Milan
The Duomo from the top of the Rinascente Department Store

Notable Mentions

If you’re shopping for a particular designer or more contemporary stores, the area around Brea and the Porta Garibaldi Area are must see’s.  For example, in Porta Garibaldi, you can visit the ultra-modern area around Piazza Gae Aulenti and see the “Vertical Forest” the ultramodern building with plants growing from its sides.  This is an excellent area to fill up a day or two in Milan!

The Vertical Forest
The Vertical Forest

A new up and upcoming area is the old Fiera district (The place of the old convention center).  This area is very up and coming. You will now find modern buildings by famous Italian and international architects.  For example, one of the most significant events in Milan is the two-day event called Fiera del Mobile, the furniture trade show, and is world-famous.  During the trade show week, the city is incredibly alive with exposition and architectural exhibits all over the central area of the town.

Luxury Restaurants and Areas

The best area to eat is Brera, the downtown area near La Scala Opera House. For instance, you can find an incredible selection of fabulous restaurants and bars to grab a drink. In the summer, most restaurants have an outdoor patio.

The Navigli district is famous for restaurants and nightlife. The Navigli were canals built to bring goods from the sea to the city.  Canals were constructed during the dark ages and finally completed by Leonardo Da Vinci.  Nowadays, the area is known for the vast selection of restaurants and bars.

The busiest area for nightlife is the Naviglio Naviglio Grande from the Darsena to Porta Ticinese.

If you’re looking for “luxury” Michelin starred restaurants, you’ll have no problem finding them in Milan, especially after a day or two.  For example, in the Galleria, you can try Cracco (Italian chef and TV Chef).  Also, there some other notable restaurants are Andrea Aprea, Seta, and Felix Lo Basso.  These are all famous Michelin starred restaurants. Additionally, the Four Seasons has a beautiful restaurant – excellent for quiet functions, i.e., business meetings.

The Best Cafe’s & Deserts – One for Each of your Two days in Milan!

If you’re craving something sweet, Sant’Ambrous and Cova are two historic coffee and pastry shops in the Centro.  These shops have carried on the Austrian Coffee shop tradition.  Both are incredibly busy around Christmas time.  I would recommend visiting each, the first on day one, and the other on day two in Milan.  Undoubtedly, if you’re in town at Christmas, I highly recommend trying the traditional Christmas Milan Artisanal Panettone. Cova, at the corner of Via Montenapoleone and Via Sant’Andrea, is the perfect spot for Afternoon Tea. 

My favorite pastry shop is Marchesi 1824 – In the Galleria (Above Prada).  Anything made here with chocolate or pistachio is to-die-for.  Call ahead if you want a table.

Marchesi 1824 - In the Galleria
Marchesi 1824 - In the Galleria

If after a day or two in Milan and you’re looking to buy some authentic Italian specialties, you have to check out Peck – “The” luxury food store in Milan.  Of course, it’s certainly not the Italian food you find outside Italy. Peck is known as a super high-end grocery store specialized in meats, cheeses, and their famous pate.  In the fall, they often carry a magnificent selection of white truffles.

A historic visit for your Day at the Museums in Milan

The Pinacoteca Nazionale di Brera is a museum in the Brera district where you can enjoy paintings from Raphael, Mategna, Piero Della Francesca and others. If you’re looking for modern art, you can check out the Fondazione Prada.  Here, you will find many exhibits featuring contemporary designers and modern art.  Further, it’s also worth a visit to the Castello Sforzesco, the Medieval Castle.  It is located downtown and is often home to art exhibits.

Another notable mention is the Galleria Poldi Pezzoli, famous for its clock collection. Last but not least, the most renowned painting in Milan is The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, in the Cenacolo Vinciano. It’s mandatory to make a reservation as tickets are limited.

Opera – La Scala Theatre

Milan has the most famous opera theatre in the world, La Scala.  For example, artists such as Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, and Renata Tebaldi had some of their best performances there. To see an opera, you have to book the tickets online.

If you want to spoil yourself, consider the biggest opera night of the year.  La Prima, (the first) is always on December 7 for Sant. Ambrogio, the patron saint of Milan.  It’s the biggest event of the year and attracts A-list movie stars, politicians and CEOs.  Also, if you want to hob knob with the elites, you’ll need a ticket in the Platea or the Palco area.  Be sure to book your tickets well in advance. Lastly, the loggione area where the less wealthy can enjoy performances.  It has a separate entrance and a separate bar.  Think about this when booking!

Luxury, 5 Star Hotels

These hotels are the best for pampering, so go ahead and spoil yourself! Park Hyatt in the Galleria is my favorite luxury hotel in Milan.  I stayed here once during Milan Expo in 2015 – And Michelle Obama, her daughters, and entourage all remained at the same hotel.  Very upscale!

You may find an even more upscale experience at the Bulgari, with its famous private garden.  Additionally, if you are into modern minimalism, definitely take a look at the Armani Hotel

Last but not least, The Four Seasons, in the heart of the fashion district, is always an excellent choice for a night of indulgence!

How to Get Around the City

The city is effortless to explore using the subway or the excellent public transit system. The metro has three lines: Red, Green, and Yellow.  Here is the official website with a map.  Also, the subway offers daily passes and credit card gates as well.  Also, taxis are usually very easy to find in designated taxi areas.  Keep in mind that during peak hours, or after the theatre, they may have long lines. I hope you find this article informative.

Consider Milan for your Christmas shopping!

Milan has its best at Christmas time when all the stores have amazing decorations. You can check the Christmas market by the Duomo for gifts ideas or enjoy the typical Milan Panettone in one of the many coffee shops in the city. If you want a visit different from the usual Christmas time is the right time for you.

Milan Christmas Market

We hope that this article inspired you to visit this amazing city. Please let us know in the comment below.

-Rick and Andrea

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