Italy’s second largest city is no slouch. Centuries of history, art, and culture underscore its reputation as a high fashion destination, design hub, and foodie paradise. Milan is also the nation’s financial and economic capital, drawing in business and design powerhouses from around the world. Whatever the reason you come to Milan, you’re sure to find yourself in close proximity of something to revere.
Milan, Italy | Barbara Fregonara, Italy Sotheby’s International Realty
Start your sacred Sunday in the fashion district among the haute couture boutiques in an on-trend contemporary penthouse. Take in the views of the Duomo from your lower private terrace or 360-degree views of the city from a second terrace upstairs before pouring over your options in the walk-in closet. Alternatively, you can rise nearby, in an exclusive two-story penthouse with concierge service, complete with 180-degree views of Viale Luigi Majno and sweeping city vistas.
Pasticceria Marchesi in Milan, photo courtesy of Pasticceria Marchesi
Wherever you start, it is sure to be close to a spot for “colazione all’italiana” (Italian breakfast), which consists mainly of three major coffee food groups: espresso, cappuccino, or latte macchiato. Pair your pick with an Italian cornetto—usually more petite and sweeter than the French croissant, and often filled with jam, cream, or chocolate spread. If you want to wander to a true breakfast institution, venture over to Via Montenapoleone and visit the 19th-century-built Cova or Marchesi cafés.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, photo courtesy of pcruciatti / Shutterstock Inc.
Hopping on a tram and getting lost in the city is a favourite Milanese pastime, so beyond the beautiful Duomo di Milano, you’ll find some hidden and entertaining treasures in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a glass arcade shopping center first designed in 1861, or the romantic Orto Botanico di Brera gardens in the art-laden district of Brera, where pathways of greenery and lush flora may convince you that you’ve suddenly stepped into the countryside.
Giardino Botanico of Brera, photo courtesy of pcruciatti/ Shutterstock Inc.
Even if you didn’t wake up next to it (possibly because you’re in Milan’s modern Porta Nuova district, where impressive new skyscrapers are changing the skyline of the city), the Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli is Milan’s oldest and most impressive park. Since 1784, the gardens have been repeatedly enlarged and enriched with educational attractions, including the Natural History Museum and Planetarium.
Japanese sushi restaurant in Tortona, photo courtesy of Paolo Bona/ Shutterstock Inc.
Head to the young and dynamic district of Tortona for lunch, where new and innovative restaurants serving Indian and Japanese dishes are mixing it up amongst the old Milanese osteria. A plate of traditional “cotoletta” (pan-fried veal) is sure to satisfy.
After your bite, you must shop. After all, Milan is an epicenter of global style. In Brera, Tortona and Naviglio, small boutiques with emerging luxury designers offer shoppers something fresh, while in the Via Montenapoleone fashion district, you can find the most famous labels within steps of each other.
Iyo restaurant in Milan, photo courtesy of Iyo
To visitors, Milan may be a pizza and pasta heaven, but to real foodies, it is a Michelin-star capital. Try Cracco in Galleria, Iyo, or Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia to start. More casual but equally delightful fare can be found at luxury Indian spot Cittamani, hipster hangout Dabass, or Potafiori, where you can eat amidst bold arrangements of the seasons latest blooms.
Post-dinner cocktails and aperitivos can be found along the Corso Garibaldi, which doubles as a fantastic pedestrian street, should you wish to walk off your meal. Or head back to Brera, where Bar Jamaica has hosted Italian artists and poets since 1911, including Gianni Dova, Roberto Crippa, and Erenesto Treccani.
“Milan is full of hidden treasures, from the Giardino Botanico in Brera to the old Milanese streets close to Corso Magenta,” agree Milan real estate experts Ilaria Pinto and Nerina Masini from Italy Sotheby’s International Realty.“You should hop on a tram and get lost in the city”.
Wherever you plan to shop, see, and eat the day away, your Sunday in Milan is sure to be full of serendipitous turns and surprises and wrapped in the city’s rich history.