Stories are always great to read. At least, that’s what I like to tell myself. Personally I like to read about someones experience in a city or country, which is more than the ‘ten places you want to visit’ post because it makes you feel like you were there with them. And hopefulIy in this case, it makes you feel like you were here with me. I went to Milan to visit a great friend that I met in London (long story short, I lived there for a few months). And I figured it would be nice to take you guys with me on a ‘Not all those who wander are lost’ travel story, Milan edition.
I always like to walk around and explore cities. But I’m lucky enough to have friends all across the globe, so therefore it is basically their job to show me around. Okay no. Actually I like to walk around without an actual direction. Cause the thing is, you bump into the most extraordinary and gorgeous places if you’re walking around a city without an actual direction in mind.
I must admit that it also helps if their parents know a lot about the city as well. Because, for instance, on Sunday (I believe, my memory isn’t the best as you probably figured that out by now) yeah I think it was Sunday, we took the tube from Cernusco to Moscova. Cernusco is the neighborhood of Milan where my friend lives with her family and cat named Afrika. Which I find something awesome as I love cats.
Okay, moving on. From Moscova we were walking to the city centre of Milan. That doesn’t sound that special, I understand that, but trust me when I’m saying this. The places are absolutely gorgeous over there. The streets are pure magic, everyone seems to be in their own kind of world until you look around the corner were streets and squares, piazzas, are filled with people chatting and drinking coffee. Remember guys, no cappuccino after noon. Luckily for me, I don’t even like coffee so I won’t embarrass myself either. Even more than I expected and got used to over the couple of days I spent there. You will see the more beautiful decorated houses, in the best pastel tints you’ve ever seen. The way that people present themselves, whether they are the young or old generation is astonishing. It feels like you’re in a whole other world.
As soon as we arrived at the tube station of Moscova, walked outside and started looking for the right direction to walk towards the city centre of Milan. Instead of being lazy and take the tube. So, my friend (who is from Milan) walked around with a map without actually knowing how to read one (kidding, you did great.. after a while) By the way, she could have been one of those friends that keeps the map upside down.
Anyway, she was so embarrassed to walk around with a map as a native Italian, that she actually refused to ask someone directions as they would notice the fact that she is Italian within a finger snap. And apparently as an Italian, you don’t ask for directions in your own country. It’s not done. Luckily we eventually found out that we went the wrong direction, as always, so we changed directions and headed towards the right one.
And that’s when I saw the most beautiful streets I’ve ever seen. Endless, gorgeous, colorful and quiet. I had no idea that actually existed in Milan. However, I feel I’m lucky to have experienced this since the city was even more beautiful than normal. When you’re walking around you come across some cute shops, which were closed on that day since it was Sunday (such a pity), cute streets and incredible old but stunning buildings with balconies that you wouldn’t mind a Romeo standing below singing you a serenade.
That is a things I love about walking into different directions than usual, you see and experience a lot more different places than the things you would, and that is therefore 100 times more special. That moment when you’re walking onto the square where the Duomo di Milano is located all of a sudden feels like you’re snapped back into reality. Crowds. Tourists. Selfiesticks (nothing against those though unless you’re hitting me with it). And it makes sense, because the Duomo is truly breathtaking. It is therefore also a must see on your Milan to-do-list, but thinking how peaceful it is if you walk a few streets away from the piazza is mind blowing. And that is where you will spot the real Milano.
Small children walking with their moms to the Gelateria, students that hang out together during their breaks and the hard workers from the kiosks to the tram drivers and from teachers to photographers. You will easily spot them all, but when you’re entering one of the many parks Milan has to offer it seems like everyone truly leaves everything behind. Now, of course, I don’t speak Italian, yet (I want to learn it), so I don’t know whether it’s true but the atmosphere of Milan changes as soon as you’re entering a park on a beautiful, sunny day.