Somehow, some way, I’ve seen way more of Italy than any other country in Europe. Despite having lived in the UK for a little more than a year, despite spending a summer in Paris and traveling to various places in the south of France, and despite having visited numerous countries throughout Europe, Italy is a country I just keep going back to again and again and again, for some reason or another.
I like Italy a lot, so it’s not like I’m complaining about going there, but I would honestly say it’s circumstances that has me going back there more than anything else; circumstances I gladly embrace. And there’s still SO much of Italy I want and need to see, like the Dolomites (number one on my list), Sardinia, Cinque Terre, so much more of Tuscany, and so on. Anyway, the reason for my most recent visit to Italy earlier this year: a business trip to Venice. But, before heading to Venice, I decided to swing by my favorite Italian city (thus far): Milan.
Yes, that’s right: Milan. Not Rome or Florence or Venice. It’s Milano. Which is baffling to some people because they usually say there isn’t anything to do there and perhaps it’s even a little boring, especially compared to the romantic beauty of Venice or the charm of Florence, etc. Well, here are my reasons why I think Milan is a city well worth visiting and why it’s my favorite in Italy:
1. It’s a very beautiful city
Not all parts of Milan are beautiful but I think there are some truly charming parts of the city that are so lovely to explore. For example, I could walk around (and live in) the gorgeous neighborhood of Brera very easily, and I’d be perfectly fine.
2. It’s also a very livable city
One thing that makes me feel like I could live somewhere is observing how daily life takes place in a city. One of the things I love about Milan is the fact that it has green spaces and people running in the morning, walking around with their dogs, jumping on their vespas in their fashionable outfits, enjoying their aperitivo with friends and loved ones... it’s what makes Milan a very livable and enjoyable city and part of what has me returning.
3. It’s close to some gorgeous places
One is the biggest appeals of Milan is not only the city itself but also its proximity to some truly stunning places. Lake Como anyone? Not even an hour train ride away from Milan. And then there’s one of my favorite hidden gems (or at least it was a hidden gem to me): Franciacorta, the beautiful sparkling wine region situated near Lake Iseo. There’s so much more worth exploring near Milan that makes Milan the perfect jumping off point.
4. It’s way less crowded than other popular Italian cities
This may be a controversial statement, but I just don’t love Rome or Venice that much, not because they’re not beautiful cities but because they’re just SO crowded! Every time I visit, I’m battling way too many people, and I hate it. It completely detracts from my experience. But in Milan, I actually think the crowds are way more manageable. There often isn’t a throng of people literally everywhere I go, and I have the opportunity to actually take the city in.
5. The fashion, of course
Milano is one of the fashion capitals of the world, and one visit to this city shows you why. This city and its inhabitants have style. I love shopping in Milan, I love visiting the Armani Silos museum and I love all the fashionable people I see coming and going on their way to or from one place to another. It’s such a chic place that makes me feel chic just by being there.
What’s your favorite city in Italy and why?