As Milan Fashion Week—and a month of runway mayhem—draws to a close, we figured it was a good time to remember that there are plenty of other excellent things to do (and take pictures of) in London, New York, and, of course, Milano. I was lucky enough to visit the stunning city this month and I can vouch firsthand for its cosmopolitan appeal and classic European charm. Whether it’s shopping, sightseeing, or top-notch pizza you’re after, these are our top 10 picks for where to go and what to do when you’re there.
Have an aperitif at Senato Caffè.
The Senato Hotel is one of Milan’s coolest new boutique hotels. Located in a neoclassical building on the super-central Via Senato, it’s a short walk from major destinations like La Scala opera house and Piazza del Duomo. Its sleek, marble-and-brass interiors are the definition of chic, but what you really won’t want to miss is the Senato Caffè, which features the city’s first Franciacorta bar, serving top-tier sparkling wine selections from a sprawling, vineyard-rich region east of Milan. If you thought champagne tasted good, wait until you experience Franciacorta.
Enjoy Milan’s finest gelato.
Obviously you can’t visit Milan—or any Italian city, really—without tasting the city’s best gelato. You won’t be disappointed by Ciacco Gelato, a centrally located gelateria with tons of incredible flavors, including hazelnut, pistachio, persimmon, mango, and more.
Check out the Milan Cathedral.
The Milan Cathedral, or the Duomo di Milano, towers over the Piazza del Duomo square at 350 feet. The Gothic structure was designed by Leonardo da Vinci, Donato Bramante, and other famous Italian architects—be sure to get a snap of yourself with it in the background, and book tickets for tours ahead of time.
Have a rooftop dinner.
Atop La Triennale di Milano, a design and art museum located near a green space called Parco Sempione, sits a restaurant called Terrazza Triennale. With a gorgeous view and a menu created by Stefano Cerveni, a renowned chef who has headed up restaurants such as Due Colombe in Franciacorta, every dish is outstanding (and worth the splurge).
Eat a traditional Milanese meal.
At the super-authentic Il Carpaccio trattoria, expect charmingly simple décor, fresh ingredients, great prices, and excellent service. You won’t regret ordering the carpaccio, any of the homemade pastas, or the tiramisu.
Stroll through Brera.
The Brera district is one of Milan’s more historical and bohemian neighborhoods. It’s just north of the Cathedral, so grab a caffè or gelato and stroll around after visiting.
Indulge in Milan’s best pizza.
Trust: You do not want to miss a meal at Paper Moon, where the crowd is fashionable and the pizza is fresh AF. (I’m sure the other stuff on the menu—pasta, seafood, and more—is delicious too, I was just too busy trying every kind of pie.) I highly recommend tasting (and ‘gramming) the truffle, which was my personal fave.
Visit San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore.
Rivaled only by the Duomo itself, the San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is a stunning work of Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Often called the “sister of the Sistine Chapel,” its majestic frescoes, massive organ, and sweeping arched ceiling will transport you back in history.
Visit a historic opera house.
Teatro alla Scala, or La Scala, is a beautiful opera house that opened in 1778, and has hosted operas, ballet, and concerts ever since. Even if you don’t book a show, the in-person tour of the regal building is worth a visit alone.
Have a drink at Le Biciclette.
One of Milan’s coolest bars is a former bike shop called Le Biciclette, which serves excellent cocktails in a renovated industrial space that displays international modern art and features live music and DJs.