The Best Way Of Spending A Few Spontaneous Hours In Milan

A few hours in Milan. I didn’t plan that. I planned the whole day in Lecco by Como lake. We were supposed to take a bus to Piani d’Erna cable car, just like for a hike to Monte Resegone. We were supposed to do a picturesque hike.

We were supposed to.

As much as I love Italy, Italians, Italian coffee and Italian food, I don’t like their (lack of) punctuality. The bus didn’t arrive. Next one an hour later didn’t either – I guess snow makes life stop in Italy. My fingers were numb from the cold. There was no point in waiting longer.

We made a quick, spontaneous decision. We’re going to Milan. With no plan, no map, no idea what we should see except for Duomo Cathedral, we took a train. Now I wonder that we could’ve taken a day trip to Cinque Terre. But that would require more planning. Next time! 🙂

The first challenge appeared at the train station already – ten seconds before our train left I realized I need to validate my ticket before boarding it! Check this guide to traveling in Italy by train not to be surprised too. But train travel in Europe is super fun I must say 🙂

I liked this kind of sightseeing a lot. A casual stroll with no rush, with no “faster, further, we still have 5 points to check off the must see list” kind of approach. Each place visited was a plus. I wasn’t supposed to be there at all… 😉


A few hours in Milan – what to see?

What have we seen during these spontaneous hours in Milan? We couldn’t squeeze as much as you can see in one full day in Milan and the only main point we knew about before was Duomo Cathedral. It is impressive and it deserves to be called one of the most beautiful churches in the world. After coming back home I read that it’s also one of the biggest!

a few hours in milan

a few hours in milan

Then we went to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. One of the world’s oldest shopping malls. And it is impressive! It starts right on Piazza del Duomo. Walk around and you may find the best souvenirs from Italy here. In the middle of the mall we noticed the mosaics of four coats of arms.

a few hours in milan

a few hours in milan

One of them got a particular interest from all the visitors…

Tradition has it that if you step on the genitals of the bull from Turin’s coat of arms and spin three times, it will bring you luck. We couldn’t miss this opportunity! By the way, it’s a very subtle way to express how much the two cities love each other… 😉

a few hours in milan

I found a tourist information in the shopping mall so I got a map 🙂 We got out of the mall right at the famous La Scala theatre. Shame on me but the building of one of the most famous operas in the world wasn’t impressive enough for me to deserve a picture… 😉

From there we headed towards Sforza Castle – Castello Sforzesco.

a few hours in milan

Near the castle itself there was a crowd of unpleasant people trying to get money from tourists. “Gift for you, my friend, gift from Africa, hakuna matata” which certainly leads to “money, my friend”. We got in the castle quickly to avoid all the gifts…

We crossed the castle and the park and got to the Arch of Peace –  Arco della Pace.

a few hours in milan

a few hours in milan

From there we walked back around Duomo Cathedral. We roamed the streets around there with no specific destination. The sun setting over the cathedral was a sign it’s time to go back… 🙂

a few hours in milan

During such a spontaneous and short trip we haven’t seen many important points in Milan. I haven’t seen Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, I didn’t climb the towers of the cathedral to see the city from above.

I will come back there. I want to come back to all the beautiful cities: Milan, Venice (check how to spend 3 days in Venice in November shared by fellow bloggers from Our Escape Clause!), Bologna and to see all the the best museums in Florence.

And I will do it. Unless I’ll be tempted with amazing mountain views again… 🙂 I do recommend you to take a trip to Como lake and depending on your physical condition do a demanding hike from Lecco to Monte Resegone or much easier and shorter hike to Monte Barro.

Not only I think lake Como it’s awesome – Ryazan included one of its cute towns in her post about 5 incredible places to visit in Italy!

If it’s going to be your first time in the mountains – check how to prepare. And if you want to see a smaller town, don’t miss picturesque Bergamo!

Remember. Do not stick to your travel plan very strictly. Sometimes you want one thing but the circumstances force you to do something completely different. And it is more than ok. With no plan, no map, no idea what I should see, I went to Milan. And despite a frustrating morning, my day was fantastic 🙂

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2 thoughts on “The Best Way Of Spending A Few Spontaneous Hours In Milan

  • Reply Michele November 11, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    I really appreciate your post. I’m going to Italy (Milan) next Sunday and because I have between 5 to 6 hours free before change my destination to Brescia. I would like to take advantage and visit Milan, I found your post very helpful, however I don’t know if 5 hours would be enough to at least “follow” the same route. I will try my best 🙂

    • Reply Dorota November 11, 2019 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Michele, I’m glad I could help 🙂 5 hours should be enough to do the same route. Enjoy your time in Italy, it’s an awesome country!

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