Milan. The city that doesn't get nearly as much attention (outside of Milan Fashion Week and AC Milan / Inter) as other famous Italian cities. Does it deserve it though? Most certainly.
Despite being one of the main cities in the world for shopping, there is a lot more to Milan than meets the eye. When you are there, you don't feel like you are in a museum (the feeling you may get in some other cities), it becomes obvious it's a place where regular Italians work, live and play. To my surprise the suburbs reminded me of Russian cities - wide streets, old trams, lots of trees everywhere, graffiti on the walls.
We arrived to Milan on 30th of August, which meant the Italians were still on holidays. It took us over an hour to find a decent place for a dinner (outside the tourist zone), as most other 'local' places were shut. With lots of Googling/Yelping and so forth, we stumbled across Salsamenteria Di Parma, which is practically a deli-butchery with a little restaurant.
When we ordered two glasses of their house sparkling wine (they actually make it there), I expected to get something similar to prosecco, perhaps made from different grape or slightly different recipe. To my surprise we got two large bowls of red sparkling wine (it's half empty in the photo).
If you are into architecture / interior design - Milan is certainly your place. There are lots of shop outside the usual 'high street' circle with cool stuff and plenty to look at, i.e. Clan Upstairs (above) and 10 Corso Como (below).
When we were there, the Expo Milano 2015 was on (a six-month exhibition with 140 participating countries, that attracts over 20 million visitors). But we didn't go :). Given we only had 3 days to explore the city, it was more important to explore the actual city, food and fashion, rather than spending times walking between the pavilions.
If you wish to see Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral) from a different angle, I highly recommend to pop in to the rooftop bar at Hotel Boscolo. While St Mary of the Nativity, whom the cathedral is dedicated to, faces the wrong way, it's a perfect spot for a cocktail or prosecco as the sun goes down.
Since I always wake up early, on our last day in Milan I decided to take a walk around the neighbourhood (we stayed in Navigli) and see the 'residential' part of the city as it wakes up. Similar to what I've done in Paris, I found a random playlist with Italian music on Spotify, put the headphones щn and started exploring the area. One of the reasons why I love walking in the mornings or evenings is the light, you can really see and capture some magical colours.
Until next time Milan. We'll certainly be back.