Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Milan, Italy

Summer time!

After moderate sunshine but seriously stunning views I was finally headed to real good old summer. Italy and 30C+ degrees! 

First time in Milan, I had purposefully underprepared in my research in an effort to stumble over the gems of the city. 

Little tip though, coming in by train can be a bit intimidating for a solo traveller. As I was purchasing my tube tickets I had four different 'helpfuls' come up to assist, all of whom I very clearly turned down, but when the machine gave my change back one of them went as far as to push me aside and grab the coins. Not impressed!

Once you get central and have a chance to stroll around sans-luggage you quickly become aware of the beautiful architecture, buzzing vibe, and extensive shopping this city has to offer. 

A little note needed on the hostel Ostello Bello too which was recommended both by a local friend and Absolutely Fantastic! 

Literally. I have never stayed in a Hostel this well run and organised. Clean, cute, spacious (hotel feel despite the 8 bed dorm I stayed in). Incredibly friendly (but not intruding), sociable and knowledgable staff. Quirky and chic, modern and sweet, noisy (in the best ways) and local (it doubles as a local hang out cafe). 

There's also a buffet in the main lounge from 19-21 that's apparently a local tradition (buy any drink and you can eat however much you want from their pick'n'mix dishes. Absolutely great and it brings the travellers together in a comfortable space. 

All in all I cannot recommend this beautiful hostel enough. 

Onward then. The Duomo was perhaps the first thing that really caught my eye (hard to miss really). Stunning at day and night, but remember to cover up if you want a peak inside. The piazza opens up to a multitude of cafes and restaurants and flows out into shopping streets and the Da Vinci museum and statue. 

Again, I had come purposely un-prepared so decided to trial one of those dubbed-decker bus tours you find in every city. Verdict - great way to see a lot, but the guide tape could've used some work. 

It was another great few days and the pictures above barely scratch the surface of all the beautiful things I saw (not to mention all the lovely people I met). Upwards and onwards, with a 4:45am wake up call it was airport and Barcelona time!


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