Milano in 24 Hours (Or So)

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August 16th 2012
Published: August 16th 2012
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Milan was simply an entry point. It just happened to be the closest city to Trieste into which Icelandair flies. Before I landed I had, I must admit, little intrinsic interest in seeing Milan. In my head it was associated with snobbish fashionista types – so very unlike me. Of course, I knew there were sights to be seen, just as in any Italian city. Indeed, Italy seems to have a surfeit outstanding urban centers to explore; it can be overwhelming just to think about it. But Milan wasn’t high on my list of Italian urban centers to see.

I should have known, then, that it would surprise me. By this point in my traveling career, I know, if not always put into practice, that I should not approach a new place with preconceived notions of what it will be like. Yes, Milan is a fashion center, and, yes, the Milanese are rather fashionable people (I felt quite the frump, coming off a week of outdoorsy meanderings in Iceland – complete with my hiking shoes and all-purpose travel pants). But I was immediately taken with the surprising grit of the city.

Milan is a place where astounding beauty, such as the birthday cake fantasy of the Duomo, rests easily beside graffiti covered alleyways. Where men in impeccable suits and punkish kids rub elbows at the café bars while sipping their morning macchiatos. Where architectural remnants from as far back as the Roman era jostle with ultra modern constructions of concrete and glass (such as the Museo Novocento, which stands directly across from the Duomo).

In the end, I had only one full day in Milan. But I left feeling I could come back – that I would WANT to come back.

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