Always leave something for the next visit! These are the things I didn't do in Milan so far and that I want to do when going back:
Museo Del Duomo - as the name says, this is a museum connected to the Duomo
Naviglio Grande - a quarter in the southern part of Milan with a big canal and many shops and cafés
Via Brera and surrounds - a very lively quarter with many cafés and antiquity shops
Palazzo Borromeo - the city residence of the House of Borromeo
Museums in Castello Sforzesco - there are three museums located in the castle, showing ancient arts, arts and furniture from the 15th to the 20th century, and applied arts.
Palazzo Isimbardi, Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Museo Bagatti Valsecchi - historical buildings that now present historical furniture and other items
Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della tecnica - a science museum that also has a Leonardo DaVinci gallery
Civiche Raccolte Storiche - several small museums about Milan's history (from the Middle Ages to the two world wars, maritime history and Italian history)
Museo Diocesano - a museum of religious art from the diocese of Milan
Civico Museo Archeologico - Milan's archeological museum (I only visited the entrance area)
Via Circo - a street where there are many Roman relics
Quadrilatero/Via Montenapoleone - the fashion district that also has interesting architecture
Corse di Porta Romana, Via Manzoni, Corso Venezia - boulevards with many elegant buildings
Ca' Granda - this was once the big hospital of Milan and is now part of the university
Palazzo Sormani Andreani - today, this palace is the city library
Guardino della Guastalla - the oldest garden in Milan
Largo Augusto - the location of Milan's plague column
Conservatorio di Musica Guiseppe Verdi - Milan's conservatorium, named after the famous composer although he was rejected here!
Pinacoteca di Brera - art from the 13th to the 20th century
Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte - this is now the Museo dell'Ottocentro, showing arts from the 19th century
Giardini Pubblici - the city park
...and many, many more churches, such as Santa Maria della Passione, Sant' Eustorgio, Abazzia di Chiaravalle, and countless more!
Corso Vittorio Emanuele is one of the bussiest streets of Milano, a real shopping paradise. Here you can see and being seen. If you are lucky enough, here you can meet the celebrities of Milano when walking or shopping in the most expensive shops of the town.
To those who can afford it, I suggest to seat in the street cafes (coffee is 2 and up euros, ice-cream 10 and more), and watching people passing by.
Catching an English language and/or Italian movie!
When I first arrived on Italian soil...er... in Milan, to be exact - I was really scared about speaking Italian. 'Tis easier for me to read the Italian newspapers (altho' I tend to take one whole day to finish reading the news for the day!). Sigh huh?
Well, fast forward... and many months later, I am more confident speaking Italian when I'm out with my Italian friends. As the Italians would proudly proclaim - con il mio ragazzo, con amici e con mama/ papa!
In Milan, there are 3 cinemas that regularly screen movies in their original language. Actually, many cinemas and multisalas are beginning to offer films in their original language. Ah, there is hope for English-speaking travelers and foreigners!
ARCOBALENO FILM CENTER
V.le Tunisia 11
Note: Cinema Arcobaleno from 2 July until 6 August will only have showings at 19:40 and 22:00
Sorry, I don't know the address of this place because I haven't been here yet. ;-(
** The above cinemas are managed by the Milan - Sound & Motion Pictures **
Fondest memory: My favorite Italian movies for 2003 were:
- "La Finestra Di Fronte". Raoul Bova is... what you would term - ridiculously handsome, as always. Yes, he's the Italian Renaissance dude who starred with Diane Lane in 'Under the Tuscan Sun'. Don't watch this movie with il mio ragazzo. He will definitely not understand what you see in Raoul Bova. Men! ;-) Oh... and about the movie - it speaks about a forbidden romance dating back to 1943 Rome (I won't tell you who are the lovers... but boy, will you be shocked! Big hint). The main storyline features the heroine, Giovanna and her fantasies about the man living across her apartment building. The thing is - Giovanna is married to a loving husband and has 2 beautiful kids. Her neighbor living across the street (whom she would secretly peek at through her window) is played by non other than the gorgeous Raoul Bova. Bellissimo! Italy's famous singing sensation - the one and only GIORGIA sang the hit song "Gocce di Memoria" in the movie. This was the song I played to death on my hi-fi set in 2003!
- "Io Non Ho Paura". In English, this movie is entitled "I'm Not Scared". And I'm not scared to tell you that this was Italy's entry for the 2003 Oscar Award under the "Best Foreign Film" category. ;-)
It's a story about a grop of innocent kids somewhere in Southern Italy. One of the kids (a boy) happened to chance upon a great secret one day in a remote broken down house... and this secret may even lead him to being killed. A movie with a shocking twist at the end. One big clue: The boy didn't die! I know some of my amici (friends) were so distraught thinking that the good boy died. Go watch this movie or rent the DVD if you have a chance! Worth watching. Bring me the Kleenex tissues please!
There were other Italian movies I managed to catch (namely Director's Paolo Virzi's movies - "Caterina va in citta" and "Baci e Abbracci") - but the aforementioned 2 never left my memory!
Milan is the financial hub in the whole of Italy. So, you'll definitely find lots of expats and foreigners working here.
I'll include a shortlist of places recommended by Milanese housing agents to foreigners settling down in Milan (see below):
If your company lavishes you with a huge expense account, you may wish to consider living in this district. Rentals here are exhorbitant! But then again, if you do have plenty of cash to play around with, then I must encourage you to stay here. Who wouldn't want to live right smack in the center of town?
A district that is quite near to the city center and not too bad a living alternative to the expensive Brera/ Solferino.
This district boasts of charming old canals and kewl cobbled-stone streets. I love it here. ;-) There is a lively café and pub culture, especially in the summer. The 'ringhiera' (buildings) are characterized by their long balconies connecting each apartment. Almost everyone living here seems very friendly. On weekends when the Sunday market 'comes to town', you may wish to hop onto your car and head somewhere else. It can get very noisy here with throngs and throngs of crowds, tourists et al.
Very central and equally charming. Besides, it's also close to the Parco Sempione - a haven for dog and sports/fitness lovers.
If you're a first time expat living in this city, BENVENUTO!
Well, the economy is not doing too hot at the moment so good jobs are hard to come by. Really. If you intend to move here, you must ensure that you possess a rare professional skill that is hard to find in Milan or anywhere else in Italy.
An easier way is to get an overseas posting from the Multi-National Company or Financial Institution you're currently with. Or you can come to Milan on a foreign exchange students program!
The second hurdle about living in Milan is learning the Italian language. Everyone speaks Italian here... and everything is in Italian. ;-) Yes, my company hired a private tutor from the Italian Cultural Institute to teach us the language before we even dare think of stepping foot in Milan!
If you're seriously interested to look for a job in Milan, you can try contacting the PWA Professional Women's Association. They have a job bank and will help you IF you join as a member.
Or you can put up an ad in EasyMilano at:
Or The British Chamber of Commerce (they have a placement service):
Or The American Chamber of Commerce (they can help you with your job search): Website: http://www.amcham.it/
Good luck to you in your job search! If you're lucky, you might just be hired to work in one of Italy's largest firms.
Favorite thing: All around Milan, even away from the popular tourist areas near the Duomo, the architecture in Milan was very impressive. Apart from the modern buildings, which are mostly a blight on the city, much of everything else is fantastic. Even ordinary, nameless buildings can be impressive, like the archway in the picture here, taken on Corso Venezia, opposite the Natural History Museum.
Walking all over Milan, you'll notice very big and coulored ad's posters.
Milan is the Italian fashion city, it's the heart of so many actvities and it has a glossy image.
Moreover, here all is bigger than in other italian cities also ads....
It's so different respect small towns in Milan hinterland!!!!!!!
Favorite thing: Not all of the art work in Milan is ancient. This giant rotating disc was sculpted by Amaldo Pomodoro in 1980. It actually rotates. It is within walking distance of the Duomo but is direct contract to historic scenes around the Duomo. It is located in Piazza Meda.
Fondest memory: I saw this inscription on a wall in the quartier of Crescenzago, in a suburb of Milano, where we stayed at Hotel Agape. It was fun because the author didn't know how to write Lenin correctly. Someone who saw the mistake (and who probably didn't agree with the content) wrote "Ignoranti!" ("Ignorant!") below. I don't know if you can see it.
Fondest memory: These posters are very funny and represent the will to prevent ignorant people from writing on the walls of Milan buildings. The big inscription in the first photo says "Moran, my heart is suffering" and below "The eyes of the Milanese, too" (white on green) - "Inscription deleting service". The big inscription in the second photo means "If you didn't love me, I wouldn't live", but it is written with a wrong tense; possible English equivalents could be "If you didn't love me, I didn't live" or "If you wouldn's love me, I wouldn't live". I didn't know such a useful service existed.
Before you plan to go for any event or concert, check from internet. Most of deal in Milan can be done via internet, There are some website quite useful for travellers.
1. www.milaninfotourist.com; you can check city sights, events, weather (its very important), transportation , accomodation etc.
2. www.ticketweb.prenofacile.it; to buy a tickets either for theatre, sports and exhibition. If you Inter fans, you can buy here. If you AC Milan fans, can get a ticket from fanshop, also from their website.
Difficult to think of a favourite thing as it's an incredibly dull place, unless you like shops. There's better places to visit in Italy.
Fondest memory: The only thing to brighten up your trip would be to make sure you're there when there's a football match at the San Siro stadium.
Piazza Fontana is round the corner from the Duomo, almost in its shadow. A bank here was the site of a bombing in December 1969, when 16 people were killed.
Many theories have been expounded on who was to blame; some believed extreme leftwing anarchists or terrorists; others suspected rightwing extremists who wanted to strengthen their political might by provoking an anti-leftwing backlash.
Later suggestions included the Russians and Americans, but in Italy these things are often obfuscated to the point that nobody can ever know "the Truth". In very recent years a patient Milanese judge does seem to have unravelled what led up to the bombings (see link below).
One consequence of the bombing was the arrest of Giuseppe Pinelli, an anarchist (soon proven to be innocent) who was "suicided" ("fell") from the fourth floor of the police station in a murky episode which formed the basis of Dario Fo's play "Accidental Death of an Anarchist".
I've studied the play, seen it twice and it's one of my favourite pieces of Italian theatre, which is why I'm creating a tip of the place which inspired it.
Also, whilst this episode is little known outside Italy (perhaps even amongst younger Italians), it was a crucial turning-point in Italian history.
For a more detailed and thought-provoking account of the bombing and its subsequent events, see www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1373/is_3_50/ai_60081463
Via Padova is a street near the place where Hotel Agape lies (in the neighbourhood of Crescenzago). My father drove along it on our way home and I photographed this beautiful aedicule dedicated to the Lady of Redemption, showing the Annunciation.
Today via Padova is one of the most multi-ethnic streets in Milan. Almost all its inhabitants are foreigners belonging to different communities.
ICE CREAM! Believe it or not I am not a major ice cream fan - can always resist it in favour of some Cadbury's chocolate but in Milan I did discover some very tasty ice cream shops. Two places I would reccommend would be a little Kiosk round the corner from central station - its at the end of the concourse where you get the bus to the airport. The guy is only open during the summer and is a Sicilian - the prices are very reasonable and the flavours are beautiful - his speciality is "nocciola" which is nut flavour with whole haszelnuts in it - v tasty,,,,
But my favourite ice cream place of all is on Corso Ticinese and is called Gelato Artigianale - they have a lovely flavour called Nocciolato (combine nut and chocolate) which allows you another flavour for the creamy Yoghurt....am I making you dribble yet?!