A good day in any city is composed of many moments and experiences – walking, shopping, seeing buildings and monuments, eating, drinking, visiting a place you dreamed about.
Honestly, I did not have any clear idea about enjoying a day in Milan before visiting the city. I knew that I could do some shopping, that restaurants and bars are a bit expensive and that I could visit some interesting museums, but the whole spirit was a bit unknown to me. But I was enthusiastic anyway, because, it’s Italy!
My first choice for that cold January morning was the Castle, so I got a Castle overdose, after visiting also the one of Verona. In the lunch time, I left the Castle in the way of the Brera Art Gallery. Not yet! Before getting another amount of museum and gallery time, I needed some – food! Hahaha.
Luckily I wasn’t alone at that moment. My friend, a Russian living in Milan, an excellent girl I met in the USA a year before visiting her in Milan, had a great idea – street food! On the way to the Brera Gallery, a network of tiny streets hides much authentic Italian (or Northern Italian) takeaways or even small restaurants but the point is – their tables and terraces are small, it’s so crowded, there are many students going around, it’s cute. I had a slice of pizza, but it has nothing to do with similar slices of pizza anywhere else. It’s Italian pizza! 😀 Thank you, Olga, for showing me this place!
Apparently, street food is a bit vague concept, since it might appear on many different concepts around the world. For instance, when I was in Philadelphia with a group of friends, we took street food on a street “vehicle” and sat down in a beautiful park to have “lunch”.
In the Academy
Stepping into the courtyard of the Brera Gallery is a stunning experience. The renaissance elegance of this building is impressive and most travelers just take their time to observe the monumental arches, columns, and staircases.
I got “lost” in this building. I entered on the building’s ground floor and there were just the Academy’s offices and classrooms over there, with many students walking around. It was interesting to see these spaces, and I did not even want to ask how to find the gallery. I just went back to the courtyard and went upstairs, quickly finding out that the gallery is one the upper floor. This is a classical art gallery, but no one I met stayed indifferent after visiting that. The main motivation to visit this gallery was the motivation of a Croatian friend, a guy who is not a huge museum fan and he traveled a lot to see football and handball games. If he said, for such a classical art gallery, to be something special, then I had to visit it.
This is not so big museum-gallery. I read a text saying Brera to be the “Italian Louvre”, but I would agree with such comparison only in terms of content not in terms of area or quantity or whatever we can call it. An average visitor will need about an hour for a visit, without any rush.
The gallery spaces are out of usual, sincerely. Beautiful large rooms, clear walls, and chairs for visitors to sit down that are also a part of the museum collection. Pieces of art that are subject to restoration works are also on display, behind the special glass wall, along with the whole equipment and restaurateur office. There is an indication for visitors that the gallery wants to show all their work to visitors, but visitors are asked to be polite and don’t take pictures of these spots. So, I know, you will visit the museum-gallery and see how it looks.
After visiting this beautiful place, the day was not over yet. There was still a lot of sunshine in Milan. The time for Duomo.
The Cathedral. In Italy, the usual name for the cathedral is “Duomo”, the way in Portugal it’s called “Se”. The Milan’s Duomo represents the most spectacular example of Gothic architecture in Italy. The entrance to the cathedral is paid and you can buy tickets online or wait about half an hour in lines.
While visiting Duomo, there is the funniest way ever to save a few euros – if you want to go up to the cathedral’s rooftop. There is an elevator, but… you can walk upstairs! It’s a cheaper option and for any young healthy person, it’s an easy walk! I did it, and it was a great feeling!
The rooftop experience is not great for anyone, though. People who are heavily afraid of heights should avoid it. The feeling of looking down might be scary, although the whole experience is very safe. Every traveler who loves gothic architecture will enjoy the views over beautiful wall supports that made this church rise so high in the middle ages.