What a nice thing to enjoy the sun for a weekend! Especially as I spent the last 4 months under the British sky (since my stay in Morocco last January)
This weekend in Italy was the opportunity for a friend & I to spend sometime together before her wedding this summer. We deliberately skipped the visits to the museums and preferred enjoy the sun and walking around the city. Having some Italian background, I used to go to Italy regularly as a kid with my parents to visit our relatives living there, but I never went to Lombardy.
I loved hanging out in the Navigli area – where locals like to stop for an aperitivo: for €10 (sometimes less) you have a drink (a cocktail, a beer or whatever you choose) and unlimited access to a yummy buffet. I am generally very skeptical when it comes to “all you can eat” stuff but in this case the food is amazing: cold salads, ham, cheese, olives, gnocchi in creamy sauce, fruits, cakes. Most places that offer aperitivo (or “happy hours” as they call it ~ I still haven’t understand the difference) have a very rich buffet. It’s a great thing to try as you can pick different things from Italian cuisine (I personally didn’t discover anything but I always enjoy the Italian food). What is great about Italy, is you don’t need to pay a ridiculous amount to find tasty/quality food (unlike in London where good bread or olive oil is almost unaffordable)
Despite the fact that I’m not a shopping/fashion enthusiast, I was positively surprised by the shops of Milan: I really like the fact that apart luxury shops in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II you can find affordable shops with amazing fashion: not as eccentric as London, not as classic as Paris.I found the most amazing shoe shop nearby the San Lorenzo columns: Lolita Milano. You cannot miss it as it is packed with ballerinas with all the all the colors you could wish! The shoes are made of leather & made in Italy 🙂 Ca. €30-40 for a pair – perfect for shoe-addict!
Milan is a very pleasant discover as the historic centre is quite small. The underground is cheap (€1.5 for a 1-ride ticket), clean and efficient.
On our second day, my friend and I decided to go on a day trip to the Lake Como: the train ticket is pretty cheap you can get a return for less than €10. From Milan central station, the best option is to take the Malpensa Xpress to Saronno and change for another train to Como.
Como is fairly small but lovely for a day – the small street reminded me of Aix-en-Provence, South of France. The confusing thing was how to find a boat cruise as all the tourists rushed to take the boat on a pier but this looked like a water-taxi to take from point A to point B and not a cruise to show you around. We finally found a really interesting deal on the pier: €5 for a 30 minute cruise! The boat as fairly small but we just wanted to have a look on the lake and see the numerous villas (such as the Villa d’Este) Unfortunately, no George Clooney this day 😦