Go shopping!!! Or at least...
Go shopping!!! Or at least window shop for the most part. Shopping in Milan is a full experience in itself. One of the main shopping areas to visit is Via Montenapoleone. The Rodeo Drive of Milan! Armani opened up his 4-story mega store on the Via Manzoni, which is around the corner from Montenapoleone. All the famous designer houses fall along this boulevard. Go there just to experience and smell the expensive leather goods! Then hop the metro and head out to the Milano stock houses outside the city where things are more affordable!
Milan is home to many, many factory outlets known as 'stock houses' where the designer goods that don't make it to the Boulevard Montenapoleone or the Via Spiga, are transferred and sold for much, much less! You can get the REAL Prada, Gucci, and Dolce and Gabbana goods here at much better prices than department stores.
A great link on the web for a list of these places is at:
Milan gives you a chance to 'look' like a supermodel without spending like one! One of my fondest memories was strolling down the via Montenapoleone, window shopping and daydreaming....then suddenly we were hit with a hail storm coming out of nowhere!
That didn't stop the shoppers though! The men and women just grabbed their Celine and Ferragamo shopping bags and used them as head covers!
If taking the train or riding small cars, take as little with you as possible. It was warmer in northern Italy compared to the south so the parka came in handy. These 3 things I never leave home without...ever! And they've saved the day while I was travelling more than once.
A.C. Milan or Inter Jersey??
More like a nook than an actual store is Algani's behind the Vittorio Emanuele Galleria, this cute little place has a friendly staff and variety of small and affordable souvenirs. I especially like it for its reasonably priced soccer jerseys. Many nice items such as small plates, stationery, postcards, T-shirts, small items and soccer jerseys to more expensive Italian glass items. Soccer jerseys made of good material were only about 13 Euros; a small plate of Italian scenes was 3 Euros; good paper stationery featuring a Da Vinci scene was about 6 Euros.
Calm bar in the perfect place
Bar Brera is situated on the flank of the Via Brera, naturally in the zone Brera. It’s a calm place, perfect for those who like to just sit down and take a beer with their friends.
If you prefer to stay outside that is… Inside the music is quite loud, and you’ll have problems talking normal – at least if you want that your friends should hear what you say…
Outside it’s much nicer, waitresses that helps you as soon as you want to order something new and a perfect spot if you want to look at a lot of people. For sure there are many people to look at…
Bar Brera should, among other things, be the perfect place to sit at when the police decides to do another razzia against the illegal street vendors at Via Brera. Those guys should compete in the next Olympics according to me, I’ve never seen anyone running so fast as they do, when the police is coming.
The beer is good, cheap (4,50 euro last time I was there) and they have Harp. So what could be better…?
Well, it should be if they also had that normal Tennents-beer too, and not that just extra strong…
There are also the possibility to get something to eat there. Have never checked if they also have aperitivo, but during the nights you can order some sandwiches and snacks.
EDIT September 2006: This place is still good, but they have changed their choices of beer. There are no longer either Harp or Tennents, but instead you can have London Pride, or my favourite, the Chezch beer "Pilsen". Very good... :) Come as you want.
Milan Transit System
Milan has an extensive and very good value for money transit system in the ATM. You can travel as far as you want on a single one euro ticket, as long as you end your journey within 75 minutes. Even better value are the tourist daily tickets, which give you unlimited travel within central Milan and covering pretty much everything you would want to see there, and only costs €3 for 24 hours and €5.50 for 48. The tourist cards can be bought from all over Milan, in tourist offices, bars, tobacconists, and in the central station. The system itself is a little complex, and the website doesn't help much. I was thankful to have a local to lead me. The underground system is clean, quick and not all that crowded.