Sunday, November 1, 2009


The Milan metro area is home to over 7 million people, making it the largest metro area in Italy, and one of the largest in all of Europe. Over 6 times the size of my current home of Lyon it certainly feels like a much bigger city, and as the Italian center of finance, business, and fashion it offers many options for entertainment, museums, and most importantly, food!

I didn't know much about Milan before going there other than Leonardo da Vinci spent a lot of time there, and it is home to one of the largest cathedrals in the world--the Duomo di Milano.

George at the Duomo

I like French food, but I love Italian food. Growing up my mom used to cook me lasagna for every birthday, and Italian approximates of spaghetti-ohs and fast food pizza are a staple of every American diet. So as mentioned above, one of the things I was most looking forward to in traveling to Italy was Italian food. We ate nothing but Italian food while in Italy (although we were tempted by a Mexican place) and it was, with only one exception, amazing. One of the best things about Italian food is, unlike French food, the Italians do not think you have to put meat in every meal to make it good. Only one of the meals I ate in Italy had meat in it and you have plenty of vegetarian options at every restaurant.

One area of the culinary arts where the French definitely rule though is desserts. Desserts in Italy are kinda blah, and desserts in France are like heaven (or maybe hell, since they are so yummy and so not healthy :-)

Good advice

Although not super important as a tourist only in town for a few days, another cool thing about Milan is that it is super bike friendly. Bike lanes where everywhere, usually well separated from the main road to protect you from the insane, Evil Knievel-inspired scooter drivers, and like Lyon Milan has a city-wide bike rental system. Since we were only in town for 2 and a half days though, we skipped the bike and just hopped on the slightly confusing, but rather cheap and efficient metro system.

The man that made Dan Brown a millionaire

Leonardo di Vinci was born further south in Florence, but he spent much of his younger years in Milan almost inventing lots of things that almost worked and painting one of his most famous works, the Last Supper. We visited the science museum which housed many of his scientific works, but unfortunately there is a 2 month waiting list to see the Last Supper, so we settled for a post card of it from the pretty cool church next door.

The Last Supper is in the little yellow building next to this church

After getting my da Vinci fix, we headed over to the second coolest thing in Milan, the Duomo di Milano. By far the most impressive church I have ever been to, the building is absolutely amazing and contains an equally amazing art collection. Access to the roof gets you a close up view of the intricate details of the arches and spires, and one of the best views of the city of Milan.

The Catholics sure make some impressive churches

Milan was also a very green city (vegetation wise) with plenty of parks, and trees, bushes, and grass everywhere. One of my biggest complaints about Lyon is the lack of green, and in Milan it seems to be a very important aspect of city planning and judging by the age and height of many of the trees it has been for quite a while.


There are still many new places I want to visit in Europe, but I have to add Milan to my list of places definitely worth another visit. For all the pics we took in Milan, clicca qui


ErikC said...

Now I regret not having at least dropped by Italy

Anonymous said...

The "almost..almost" Leonardo da Vinci line made me laugh. :) Nice blog!