For the love of Milano

The excitement of our location wakes me up early. Oh Milan, I love you already. Feels like we have left our best leg to last. We have breakfast at the hotel, I swear it feels like we are sitting in an ethnic mansion, picture the ones with the lions and pillars at the entrance and the gold trimmed furniture throughout the living and kitchen area, maybe even couches with the plastic still covering them ~ well that’s us sitting there at the table eating breakfast. Seriously loving the experience of this place.

We venture to Corso Buenos Aires, it’s the main strip of shops and is similar to Melbourne’s Chapel Street, a few clothing purchases are made and we admire the quality, soft leather that is in all of the shop fronts. We continue to dodge beggars and lap up the amount of people watching that can take place in this strip.. Ah this place is perfect for that!

Walking onto the designer end of town hitting Via della Spiga, one of Milan’s most prestigious streets.

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Admiring the rows of luxury labels from the cobbled alleyways. We completely spoil ourselves with birthday presents whilst shopping at the homeland of some of the best designers in the world. I’m having so much fun right now!!

We head to Cova Confetteria, Bar & Pasticceria on Via Monte Napoleone, this eloquently designed bar is what I have been waiting for! We watch locals pop in for a quick espresso or a spritz at the bar on their work break, maybe even a little nibble on the complimentary snacks, olives and breads, club sandwiches, nuts and chips are spread across the bar. I have a spritz before midday, it’s becoming a bit of a daily routine for me.

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With a toilet stop and a recharge we make our way to Via Carducci, it’s on the opposite side of the city so we get to take in the busy Saturday of Via Dante. Arriving at our meeting point for a tour of Corso Magenta and surroundings before viewing the famous Last Supper painting by Leonardo da Vinci- that’s going to be A-mazing!!

We weren’t as organised as we should have been with these tickets as they had sold out when we tried to book them a few days back. The mission was on to get some and luckily we secured two through tickItaly, the reviews for this company aren’t great but in times of desperation we took the risk.

It turned out to be a bit of a ball breaker but in the end we had a tour of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore‬, so perfectly decorated and like all the other churches such a story to tell of its time in history.

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Our final stop is The Last Supper; it is quite a special moment to see this fresco painting on the wall of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

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This painting is one of the most famous in the world representing Jesus with his disciples at The Last Supper; it has been studied for many years and has become an institution of its own.

This original painting initially showed Jesus’ feet as of they were crucified under the table. However, our tour guide advised us this section of the painting is no longer visible because it was painted over a door way which was broken.

Luckily da Vinci painted this on the wall, preventing Napoleon from taking this to Paris for display at the Louvre, like many other priceless artworks from across Europe, particularly Italy.

It was fascinating to hear about the intricacies and technique that da Vinci used to put this artwork together. The Last Supper masterpiece reportedly commenced in 1495 and was completed in the late 15th century.

On a high we headed to the Duomo di Milano, we past this on our way to the tour and made a note to go back.

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It’s hard to avoid the largest gothic cathedral in the world that is situated in the centre of Palazzo Reale, what a beauty!

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I had feared we’d get sick of seeing another church but that fear was soon squashed when we saw the Duomo.

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In my opinion, the Duomo and Sagrada Familia are of equal stature, both so well carved and created.

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The Duomo was built in the 15th century and the Sagrada Familia in 1882, it could be said that if the Duomo was built at the same time as the Sagrada Familia the inside would be equally as impressive.

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The Duomo is home to the tomb of St. Charles Borromeo, the remains of his body is visible and confronting to see the hands and head.

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I felt the same overwhelming emotion in this church as I did at the Sagrada Familia and Notre Dame.

We leave the church and walk the surrounding streets. Milano is such a beautiful city, even the roses petals grace the foot path.

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Before long we arrive back at the magical Quadrilatero d’Oro, the name of this fashion district derives from four adjourning streets north of the Duomo.

This shopping square is full of designer boutiques and is recognised as one of the most luxurious areas in the world. I am living an absolute dream here and shop every last well earned cent that I have made working in the lead up to this trip (money is only well spent on shopping, right?).

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It’s nearing 8pm and for the last couple of days Anton had been organising to catch up with his cousins in Milan for dinner, they are living in Torino about 2.5 hours west of the Milano city.

We had thought at one stage we could spend a night with them but time wasn’t going to permit. There has been a bit of miscommunication and as we get back to the hotel, a note from Anton’s cousin Guisi and her husband and their two children outlining they’d been waiting one and a half hours for us and had not long left for the train station to head home.

Anton immediately called them and they hadn’t left Milan so we were able to meet up with them. We got to know each other as we drove them back to their home in Torino.

It was an opportunity for Anton to see where his grandmother lived and to also meet his Aunty Gina and Uncle Paulo who also lived in Torino. It was a massive round trip for us, we got back to our hotel in Milan at about 5am.

It isn’t the Saturday night we had planned in Milan but we were able to see the town in which Anton’s nonna lived before her passing, which is pretty special for him. We still have a list of bars that need to be conquered here, so we will be back Milan #bucketlist.

Too tired to even think right now – I’m off to sleep.. X

Anna Owens is the founder of ownsit! A mama working in Community Development and Partnerships Education. Anna is a colour crazy, creativity enthusiast who loves to design, collect shoes, eat & travel.. x

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