But Milan is a Grand Milan

Milan l’è on gran Milan

It’s an old song that the true Milanese like to repeat: “let the world say, but Milan is a grand Milan!

And I think so too! I ❤️ Milano! Even if the weather is less than ideal. I love the glitz, the architecture, the old building, and the obvious sites. Even its traffic.

A Walk Towards Piazza del Duomo

Walking to Piazza del Duomo is rewarding, even on a day particularly humid, and foggy. I like the old buses still riding on tracks, noisy, but fascinating.  There are many beautiful palazzi along the way, eateries, and portals of elegant residencies.

The Fanciest Starbucks

If you want a fancy Starbucks coffe, then the Starbuck near Piazza del Duomo is for you. Forget about sports pants and sneakers, and plastic cups. Here you’ll find formal dress, real cups, and Italian atmospheres. Welcome to the Starbucks you do not expect; Starbucks most beautiful location. 

The place is the right one, a period building where once was the Post Office. To access the new coffee temple (that Italian is not), you have to go through an outdoor terrace furnished with gazebos and greenery. 

In the 2300 square meters of the building you will therefore find not a standard cafeteria, but the Reserve Roastery, which is a place designed for the Italian public, but that recalls the other two of the same format in Seattle and Shanghai. A convivial space where in the center there is a large roasting machine operating 24 hours a day that shoots, by means of copper pipes placed on the ceiling, Arabica coffee of the highest quality in the silos of the various bars. Lots of young employees are in attendance to help you find a seat and to respond to your every need, including an elegantly-clad fellow that indicates you the way to the toilets (fancy as well as the rest of the place, so not to disappoint anyone!)

There are corner for small pastry baked by Italian master craftsman, a bar for the freshly roasted coffee beans “TO GO,” and the exhibitors with the merchandising design.

On the first floor, at the top of a large staircase, the “Come” bar with panoramic sitting room perfect for an aperitif or after dinner where the classic Spritz and Negroni are served, a selection of wines from small producers, and a list with a hundreds of special cocktails.

Dòmm de Milan

The Basilica Metropolitan Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, better known as Milan Cathedral (Dòmm de Milan in Milanese dialect), is the cathedral symbol of Milan. 

It is the largest and most complex Gothic building in Italy, made of pink-veined white marble. It is 157 metres in length and covers an area of 11,700 m2. The highest spire measures 108.5 and, in October 1774, the golden 4,16 metre-high statue of the Madonna by the sculptor Giuseppe Perego was placed on its pinnacle.

The construction took over five centuries; local and European architects, sculptors, artists and workers all proceeded in turn to work in the Fabbrica del Duomo. The result of all their labour is a unique style of architecture, a fusion of European Gothic style and Lombard tradition.

The abundance of adornment is impressive: spires, pinnacles and an immense patrimony of statues (approximately 3,400, of which 1,100 on the inside and 2,300 outside), plus, sculptures in the frames and windows and decorations on the facade.

The complexity of the build was such that the final part completed was the façade in 1813. 

Milan Living Room

The Gallery earned the nickname of “living room of Milan” becoming the center of bourgeois city life that was delighted to attend the new elegant shops, but above all the restaurants and cafes: some, such as Caffè Camparino and Caffè Biffi, are still open today.

I’m talking of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II of Milan, a splendid nineteenth-century complex that dominates Piazza Duomo and ideally frames it, from the left side observing the Cathedral, facing the Palazzo dell’Arengario and the Museo del ‘900 beyond the large square.

According to the municipal regulation, all the exercises inside the Gallery must have the inscriptions of the gold signs on a black background: this obligation must also comply with McDonald’s in the years when he opened a fast food almost at the center of the octagon. And still today is a stop not to be missed for those who arrive in the city and a place of the heart for those who live in the city. The Galleria leads straight to the other square symbol of the Milanese center: Piazza della Scala.

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

7 thoughts on “But Milan is a Grand Milan

    1. In normal circumstances I would not go crazy about Starbuck too. But this one is a must see. At least once. The Starbucks made in Italy! It was worth the visit.
      Very crowded, but they say that it was a “quiet” day. Normally it is more crowded!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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