48 Hours in Milan

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Milan was never on my lists of places to visit. All I’d ever heard about the universal capital of fashion was how ugly and industrial it was…I could survive without seeing Milan.

Even so, EasyJet offers amazing prices on flights from Madrid to Milan, and Milan happens to be very close to the Swiss border where I’d be visiting family in December. For convenience’s sake (and the temptation of a beautiful hotel we found on Jetsetter), my mom and I decided to meet in Milan for some Italian food and fashion before heading north for the holidays. Though Milan had never tempted me before, I was at least wise enough to know that Italy is never a bad idea.

I was welcomed to the city by chilly winds and Christmas spirit. My first impression was that everyone was right. This city was U.G.L.Y. My bus from the airport dropped me near the train station where some questionable folk loitered and trash spilled over bins. I was hungover, make-up-less and all I wanted to do was get to the hotel, hug my mama and soak in the tub for a bit.

As my cab headed towards our neighborhood, Milan went from dingy to charming, with ivy-covered houses and painfully fashionable men and women speeding by on Vespas engulfing the wide streets.

When I finally rolled up to my hotel, I felt like Alice in Wonderland. Not only was the place whimsical and a modern take on the rabbit hole from the story, but the people who filled with lobby were wonders in themselves. Women wrapped in incredible furs and tiny men in perfectly tailored suits and the most beautifully crafted leather and suede shoes I’d ever seen sipped bellinis and didn’t touch the food in front of them. I towered over all of them, even the women in their enviable 6 inch Miu Miu heels, and wondered why I couldn’t have been bothered to even slap on some mascara before heading to Barajas.

After a nice long bath and a catch up with my mom, we headed out for drinks and dinner and, of course, some people watching. We had a cozy dinner of pasta by the river complete with the best Italian wine I have ever had the pleasure of tasting, a Barolo from my mom’s favorite winery (she’s quite the traveler herself), and a view of the twinkling Christmas lights over the old town.

Our 48 hours in Milan were filled with delicious bites, luxury and eye-popping fashion. I loved browsing the Christmas markets by the insanely beautiful cathedral, wandering the design museum and ogling da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” The Milanese eye for fashion and their ability to dress themselves is truly mind-boggling, even for this New York gal. I now know the importance of a good tailor and quality materials, though my budget allows for neither. Someday dreams, I suppose.

 Though Milan in itself isn’t a stunner, its importance in the world of fashion has molded into a charming and impossibly cool spot to spend a few days eating, drinking and, of course, shopping.

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16 Comments on “48 Hours in Milan

  1. I’ve had similar assumptions about Milan—ugly, dirty, and industrial—but until I read this post I had never even considered visiting Milan simply to people watch (one of my favorite activities). I’ll bet some of the best-dressed people in the world made for a very satisfying people watching session with your mother!

    Btw that last photo though…wow

    • Absolutely! Although I felt pretttyyyy inadequate in my zara/h&m/thrift store wardrobe haha. I’d definitely say Milan isn’t a place you should go out of your way for unless you’re super into fashion, but with such cheap flights and its well-communicated transport system it’s not a bad place to spend a few days!

      Thanks! It’s one of my faves from the whole trip 🙂

  2. Those were my exact thoughts about Milan. The people were wonderfully dressed, but the city itself was not my favorite. However, it is still Italy, so you can’t go terribly wrong. As always, beautiful photos, Julia!

  3. I’ve always felt the same about Milan, it’s never really been at the top of my bucket list, but I probably wouldn’t turn down the chance to go. I’m sure I’d have more ganas to visit if I was more interested in the fashion industry. (But this is coming from a girl who has worn the same outfit 3 days in a row.) I bet Fashion Week there is ridiculous. Love the photos as always, chica!

    • Hahaha I’m on day two of my outfit…yikes. Yeah, it’s definitely not a place to turn your nose at as I previously thought. I’d love to experience it in the spring/summer time, too. I heard the level of chic increases ten fold when the temperature allows for more of a see and be seen culture.

  4. For a city you thought would disappoint, you came away with some gorgeous shots! I visited Milan a few years ago and although the industrial feel wouldn’t make it a place I’d want to live (especially since I stayed in a sketchy hostel a long way from the center), I definitely enjoyed my visit.The beautiful duomo, the graceful arcades, the aperitivo custom…like you say, it’s worth a go!

    • Thank you!! It’s definitely quite a photogenic spot once you get off the beaten path! Oh jeez, yeah everywhere outside the center seemed….unsavory. But the highlights absolutely override the lowlights 🙂

  5. I felt the same about Milan. I actually ended up going there for a concert when I studied abroad a few years ago. Even though I LOVE fashion, the city wasn’t my absolute favorite. But I agree, if you have the chance to go why not. The people watching was defintely my favorite part. I did not have much time otherwise to explore, so thats what stands out in my mind. Great post =)

    • Thanks, girl! I guess like fashion, the beauty of Milan is in the details 🙂

    • Glad you found me! Thanks for the kind words and for following xx

  6. I found your link from another blog and, having seen the title of your post, I didn’t hesitate to click on it. Like you, I had never considered visiting Milan because everyone I knew who’d been there hated it. But when I did go, I honestly couldn’t understand what everyone was complaining about. I loved it and I can’t wait to go back!

    • That’s wonderful! I’d love to go back in the spring time, too see the style and enjoy the food in the sunshine 🙂

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