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20 Things Women Should Know About Milan

 

Travel addict and social media enthusiast, Simon Falvo is an Italian travel writer sharing her wild journeys on her blog Wild About Travel . She is a lover of remote places, nature and wilderness, as well as art and architecture. When she's not traveling this Journeywoman enjoys spending time in her birthplace, Milan. We asked Simon to tell us about Milan from a woman's point of view. Here are her 20 tips...


Is Milan safe for a solo women?
Traveling alone as a woman in Milan is not a problem at all. However, Journey Women must practice 'big city smarts' as they would do in any big city. It's good to keep your eyes open, especially to avoid pickpockets. Don't let suspicious characters get too close (they're very good at diverting your attention and extremely quick at emptying your purse) and always hold your bag in front of you when you are on public transportation.

 

Best to use public transportation...
Milan offers an extensive network of public transportation that will bring you to all major attractions. The fastest way to move is the Metro (3 lines), with stops in almost all the most important spots. There are also buses and trams which are however slower as traffic in the city can sometimes be very heavy. The best option if you plan to extensively use public transportation is to buy a daily ticket (Euro 4.50) or a 2-day ticket (Euro 8.25). Taxis are very expensive and apply night surcharges. Furthermore, when the city is crowded due to important trade fairs, finding a taxi at peak hours could be something close to 'mission impossible'. In this case, your best bet is to rely on the hotel concierge and to book a taxi well in advance.

 

Lodging...
Milan offers a large amount of luxury hotels but they're very expensive, especially when the city hosts important trade fairs. Staying at a bed & breakfast is a good option for cheaper accommodation and an excellent way to get lots of insider tips from your local hosts. If you're a solo traveler and on a budget, the trendy Ostello Bello is a good choice. Centrally located, this hostel also offers private en-suite rooms, meaning that you can have a good level of comfort at a reasonable price in an environment where you can meet other travelers.

Take advantage of bike sharing...
Meandering around the city by bike is a nice alternative way to discover Milan, and bike-sharing has become rather popular even with Milan locals. There are now many stations throughout the city where you can take or leave your bike. The system is not the most user-friendly, though, especially for tourists. You must subscribe to the BikeMi service online and only afterwards will you be able to help yourself at one of the 128 bike stations. Beware, however, that there are still only a limited number of bicycle lanes so you may have to 'throw yourself' into Milan traffic.

 

Exclusive fashionista paradise...
Milan is often known as the 'Fashion Capital' and the city offers everything a fashion victim can desire. The best area to spot the most famous brands is the so-called ‘Quadrilatero della Moda', comprising Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga and Via S. Andrea. Even if you don't plan any shopping (everything is hugely expensive), the streets are lovely and the shops beautiful, especially around Christmas time when the shop-windows display the best of Italian creativity. For a special treat, make a stop at Pasticceria Cova for a coffee or a drink at one of the most exclusive café's in Milan where it's not unusual to spot celebrities.

 

Moderately priced shopping...
There's nothing like Corso Buenos Aires for affordable shopping. Along the street you'll find any kind of retail chains and smaller shops and boutiques able to satisfy every need. Clothes at Zara and H&M, bags and other leather accessories at Furla, shoes at Marilena and Geox, perfumery and make-up at Limoni and Douglas, and lots more.

 

Moderately priced lingerie...
In Milan, you don't need to spend a fortune to treat yourself to some nice lingerie or fashionable swim suits. Retail chains like Tezenis and Intimissimi provide a wide choice of delightful and original lingerie as well as, in season, swim suits at moderate prices. Beware! Once you're in their shops, it's impossible not to buy at least one item.

 

Best hairdressers in Milan...
If you fancy a new hair cut or a special look, Tony and Guy in Via Vincenzo Monti is the right place. They are nice people, creative and very professional. You'll step out looking brand new, with beautiful healthy hair. For the top end of hair-styling, your best choice is Coppola, the most glamorous and expensive hairdresser in Milan. Lots of Italian celebrities rely on them for their look.

 

The best of design...
After fashion comes design, for which Milan is also renown. Pay a visit to Driade at Via Manzoni 30, a beautiful show-room displaying some of the best design pieces in a wonderful old building. Then head to Corso Europa, carrying some of the best brands in interior architecture. Design lovers shouldn't miss the Triennale, hosting the Design Museum, as well as several temporary exhibitions. There's also a lovely restaurant for a quick lunch, and a cafeteria in the park where one can have a drink when the weather is mild.

 

Best Museums...
If you have to chose only one museum while you are in my city, go and visit the Museo del Novecento. Overlooking the Cathedral square, this modern museum displays great works of art of Italian artists from the end of the 19th Century onwards. Additionally, from the wide glass panelled windows you can enjoy a superb view on the square and the Duomo. Other museums worth a visit are the Design Museum and the Pinacoteca di Brera. Although this latter cannot be compared to the great museums in Rome, Venice and Florence, it displays some wonderful works from the Middle-Ages and the Renaissance.

 

Bonus Tip - Time for dessert...

Ice cream shops and bars are very popular and finding out about the best ones is a hard task for visitors. As a local, lately, my favorite place is Grom, a small chain owning several outlets across the city. The place has become so popular that you're likely to have to queue, but it's well worth the time. P.S. Their ice cream is gluten free. Website: http://www.grom.it/eng/index.php Address: Via Santa Margherita 16

 

 

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