Usually, I have a lot more planned on a vacation, but this one, I just decided that we should go there, check into our apartment for the week, and just hang out. Of course, it is pretty easy to live in ANY city when you do not have to work or go to school, so just being on vacation makes it pretty good in the first place. . . and maybe that is what has made Milan pretty GREAT for us.
Arrived in the morning off an 8 hour flight and made it to the apartment in Milan’s Brera district by noon-ish. The apartment was lovely - bigger than our NYC place, and in an excellent location for walking, subway and restaurants.
Wandered over to the Castello Sforzesco http://www.milanocastello.it/en but did not go inside, instead kept moving around the neighborhood and got a bite to eat - meats, cheeses and our first aperitvio of the trip. Aperol Spritz for me, and a BOWL of Lambrusco for Matt. Boys went off to watch soccer match at San Siro stadium - InterMilan won 3-1 (Yay!) and Yamini and I wandered around some more, finding her new favorite dessert - dark chocolate gelato!
On our first full day, we let the kids sleep in while Matt and I picked up some groceries at the Carrefour, and then we all made it out to the Centro Storico district to see the Duomo of Milan and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle shopping center. Visited the small Museo Del Novecento, which has a great view of the central square and the Duomo, and did have some lovely art of its own. Spotted the Aperol Cafe from the museum windows and headed over there for some more drinks and snacks after some shopping at Zara and some yummy inside out pizza bread at Luigi Panzeroti where the long lines are definitely worth it! Did a trendy dinner later on above the DSquared2 offices at Ceresio 7, which despite the cool factor, stylish decor, swimming pool and sunset views, was super friendly with great food. Two thumbs up.
Monday, which was Italy’s Liberation Day holiday, celebrating the fall of Mussolini's Italy and the end of German occupation in 1945. We headed a bit further from “home” to the Fondazione Prada, funded by Miuccia Prada and her hubby before the Milan Expo on the industrial outskirts of central MIlan. Lunch was again trendy but reasonable (something we are growing to like about Milan) at the Wes Anderson designed Bar Luce - coffee and yummy sandwiches. Two great exhibits that we were able to check out were a group show called "L'image Volée" and a multi-room sculpture called "To the Son of Man Who Ate the Scroll" by Goshka Macuga.
Then we did a little more shopping at the D Magazine Outlet (like the designer floor of Century 21 with all Italian designers) and a little more wandering around the super-luxe fashion area until it was again time for an aperitivo (some Proseco), snacks and dinner. At Dongio, on a cute little street, the pasta and desserts were the standouts.
On Tuesday, Matt and I checked out one of the several EATALY locations in Italy (pretty nice looking, but same stuff as in NYC) and then rallied the troops for a visit to the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology - very cool! The museum had early to modern versions of telegraph / telephones, radios, and televisions, and entire buildings devoted to trains, airplanes and ships. Then we met up with our friend Eric’s Italian cousin, Barbara Nahmad, an artist, who is showing her work at the gallery in our Brera neighborhood. She took us on a walk through several gardens to the Porta Ticinese (a popular area with young people) and on to the Navigli canals, where she has her studio and where the nightlife is now booming. We also walked by Milan’s oldest synagogue, which was quite beautiful. Exhausted from our 23K steps that day, we returned to the neighborhood and had some delicious food (raw sausage, risotto cakes and mini raviioli to die for, desserts that vanished in 5 minutes) and a bottle of Pino Nero at Ravello 18, thanks to Morgan and Dudley’s rec from their trip to Milan. A pretty good three days in which to get to know Milano.