Bel & Brio Abroad
Much of our inspiration for Bel & Brio has come from the great cities and food halls of Europe so this month we are visiting Milan, home to a number of our chefs here at Bel & Brio.
The perfect city for a family holiday or a stopover on your European travels, you will be pleasantly surprised at how diverse the city of Milan is. Many know that Milan is Italy’s fashion and design capital, but it also offers historic and artistic sights that rival Rome and Florence and bars and restaurant to satisfy food and wine enthusiasts. With it’s streets filled with cafes and street art, designer shops and craft markets Milan offers something for everyone.
Every Milan visit should begin with the Duomo – the best view in Milan can be enjoyed from the cathedral’s roof. On a fine day, the view stretches far beyond the city to the snow-capped Alps. Here, visitors can admire some of the 3,600 statues and 135 spires, many carved from pink Candoglia marble – and get a closer view of the famous gilded copper ‘Madonnina’ atop the tallest spire.
Enjoy a pleasant walk from the Duomo to Castello Sforzesco, which houses several museums, including the Rondanini Museum with Michelangelo’s unfinished masterpiece Piet Rondanini. Behind the Castello Sforzesco lies another real wonder Parco Sempione, Milan’s very own version of Central Park. Parco Sempione is the perfect place for a picnic on a sunny day. Milan was once a water city, crisscrossed by canals connected to Northern Italy’s major rivers – take a walk or cycle along the canals, hop on a sightseeing boat or do some shopping in this area that is famous for its vintage stores.
For something that is more off the tourist route you might dedicate your afternoon to an exploration of two neighborhoods, Porta Ticinese and the Navigli. These two bohemian areas are popular with locals, young and old especially Corso di Porta Ticinese, one of the city’s favorite young hangouts, with a collection of cafes, street art and independent bookshops.
For the best choice of nightlife in Milan visit the Navigli with it’s busy bars and restaurants that sit along the two canals and all around the Darsena, Milan’s former harbor. You cannot leave Milan without enjoying an aperitivo, one of the city’s oldest traditions. Bars all over town lay out huge buffets of cured meats and cheeses, various salads, bruschetta, and hot dishes.
This is just a brief snapshot of Milan, be sure to spend some time in this exciting city and enjoy all it has to offer.