You’re going to Milan and you’re looking for unique experiences to live the city not only as a local but also as an expert. Milan is much more than just fashion and shopping. Milan is food, history and local nightlife!
These 5 things will give you unique experiences in the city. You can miss them!
Food and Drinks
1) Eat at Distreat Restaurant
Enjoy the best food experience you can find in the city booking a lunch or dinner at Distreat. You will not only taste incredible food combinations perfectly assorted, but also experience Italian hospitality and passion. Always ask for the chefs’ recommendations, sit back, and enjoy this unique food journey. You won’t be disappointed.
Our favorites? – Creamy codfish (baccalà mantecato) with fried polenta – fassona braised cheek, mashed potatoes and bay leaf sauce – any veggie dish on the menu! Last but not least, don’t miss their good selection of wine and cocktails.
Portions are generous and price is good. The monthly menu with prices is available on their website.
Also, remember to mention them you’ve read our blog! They are our great supporters!
2) Enjoy a beer at a local pub
Tipota is a vibrant local pub near Navigli area. You can enjoy a very Italian style aperitivo there whit no fuss, but tasty and real Italian product! You can also eat a sandwich or piadina while sipping a draft beer and enjoy some Italian chatting by local people. Want some fun? Challenge two Italians to a table football match (in Italian: calcetto or calcio balilla!). It’s for free and you’ll never forget the experience!!
History and Sightseeing
3) Explore the Italian Risorgimento
Milan is history. And history is everywhere around you. It’s in the names of streets, squares, statues, buildings, but if you don’t know it, you just walk around without truly appreciate the place you’re visiting.
Milan has been a key city in the process who led to the Italian Unification in 1861. This process in called Risorgimento and in the city there is an area called Zona Risorgimentale. This area is characterized by very peculiar street names which tell you stories that date back to 1848!
Here is a path you can follow: go to Piazza Cinque Giornate, which remember the 5-day uprising in the city against the Austrian invaders, and then take Corso 22 Marzo, the last day of those 5 revolutionary days. Then, take the third street on the left called Via Pietro Calvi – Pietro Calvi was an Italian patriot active in the armed resistance, linked to Giuseppe Mazzini, and one of the martyrs of Belfiore in 1855, who therefore died for the ideals of a united Italy. Finally, continue walking along Via Pietro Calvi, you will arrive directly in Piazza Risorgimento.
This is just an example of the Risorgimento paths that you can explore in the city. If you can understand Italian, you can also listen to our podcast episode dedicate to Milan and know more about this topic. Also, you can explore this website to find out more curious spot to visit.
Each road in Milan, and in all Italian cities, will tell you a story. So just be curious and google its name to find out more!
4) Look at a wall made of skulls
San Bernardino alle Ossa is one of the most surprising churches in the city. Not because of it’s paintings or frescos (for these you can’t miss the church of San Satiro in via Torino), but due to its unique internal decorations.
Just walk in the church and turn right following the sign to “ossario” (ossuary). The come back to us and share your thoughts!
5) Walk the secret routes of Castello Sforzesco
The Castle reveals its charm of Sforza’s residence not only in the sumptuous museum rooms, but also in two secret routes, which can be visited only if accompanied by a official guides: the Ghirlanda covered road and the battlements walkways.
- The Ghirlanda cover road will take you to an underground walkway that winds its way under the level of Sempione Park surrounding the Castle. It preserves the layout of the Ghirlanda walls, the first line of defense of the Sforza square. It is a unique and not-to-be-missed opportunity to observe tunnels, passages and towers that have now become almost completely underground. You can book your ticket here.
- The walkway on the battlements (merlate) allows you to look at the castle from an exclusive point of view and you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city, observing the skyline of Milan as you have never seen it. You can book your ticket here.
Well, we may have recommended 7 and not 5 things here, but we really hope you’ve got the vibe of a city that’s just more than fashion and shopping. Milan offers you unique experiences to enjoy your journey mixing history, food, and local nightlife!
We hope you’ll have a great time and let us know how was your time there in the comments!