Date of trip: October 2011
Post written by Laura
Still no travelling at present so another throw-back post, this time looking back on a short break spent in northern Italy with my daughter Zoe.
As Italy’s second largest city Milan conjures up images of high end fashion and designer labels, the perfect choice for a then aspiring fashion student! Zoe had just started A levels and was 16 when we did this trip together in the October half term of 2011.
We were based in Milan for 3 nights and during this time we had a day in Lake Como. Unfortunately the weather was completely rubbish for the duration of entire trip so the photos in this post look a little drab and don’t really do justice at all!
The Duomo (top pic) is probably one of the most iconic buildings in Milan and is the image that seems to have been most shown during Italian covid coverage and if you haven’t already guessed, Duomo is the Italian word for ‘cathedral’.
The Milan Duomo is the third largest church in the world and this impressive Gothic structure took over 400 years to build. Zoe and I took part in a roof top tour and apparently on clear days you can see across to the Alps – no chance for us! As we made our way through the spires and statues we did however have great views of the Plaza del Duomo and surrounding streets and rooftops.
Opposite the Duomo is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele which is Italy’s oldest shopping mall with its construction having begun in 1865. This is home to a range of designer shops including the likes of Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
With heavy rain throughout our short break, we did spend quite a bit of time wandering around the shopping malls sometimes just for the shelter!
And a venture outside the mall to a range of trendy fashion outlets…
We took the metro to Naviglio Grande an attractive canal neighbourhood of Milan which is lined with delightful bars and eateries. In the summer, you can get boat trips along the canal but things were fairly quiet on a rainy October day. We spent our time meandering along beside the canal and browsing amongst small art galleries and vintage shops off the little side streets.
Set in the foothills of the Alps, the lakeside town of Como is less than an hour by direct train from Milan. If you google ‘Lake Como’ you will see wonderful images of what this stunning little town would look like in the sunshine! Not quite the same in the rain…
We spent our time having a walk around the streets and the quaint cobbled squares whilst dodging the showers!
During the summer and in better weather you can take one of the many frequent ferries to other small towns dotted around the lake or enjoy an hour or two cruising around Lake Como by boat.
Our day trip to Como wasn’t quite as spectacular as it could have been. The weather in October is less predictable than it would be in the summer.
Even during our short visit we found plenty to do in Milan. If you check out a guide book you will find there are many highlights and ‘must see’s’. With this in mind, a long weekend in Milan is highly recommended. While you would more likely have sunshine in the summer months you would also experience more crowds particularly in and around Lake Como as it is a popular holiday destination. And it was lovely to spend precious time with my daughter come rain or shine!
You’ve brought back many fond memories of good times on Lake Como (in Varenna) and in Milan. We loved touring the cathedral as well as the galleria! Hopefully, more people can see these sights as Italy re-opens.
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Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed reading the post! And hopefully things will start to improve soon 🙂
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