I have been in Milan now for a month and I thought I would write down a few things I wish I had known before moving here. I made a top 10, but because the post gets very long if I write all ten in one post I have cut the post in half. Last week I posted the first 5 (you can find it here) and here are the other 5!
6. Cenacolo and the Scala
Besides the Duomo, there are two other big attractions in Milan. First is the Cenacolo, also known as the Last Supper, by Leonardo Da Vinci. If you want to go the Cenacolo you have to make a reservation online (here) or you can call them. The most important things to know when you want to go is that it a LOT of people want to go too, so most reservation spots are filled months in advance. The second thing to know is more for the architecture/art students, because they can go for free (plus the booking fee of 1,50). Don’t forget to bring proof of you being an architecture student, because they will check when you pick up the tickets.
For the Scala it is the same thing, most cheap tickets are sold out when the selling starts. Ticket sales open at the start of the season in september for shows that will be in February-June. So if you want to go, book early. You can also try to get in by going to the ticket office 1,5 hour before the show to see if you can get one of the last minute tickets.
7. Speaking Italian
Since you are now in Italy, you should try to learn the language. Most people speak English, but if you at least try a little Italian they will be a lot nicer and more helpful. Some people will keep speaking Italian back to you, wether you speak Italian to them or not, so it is definitely useful to get at least a basic knowledge of the language before or while you are here.
If you want to go out for dinner in Milan, but you don’t want to spend too much money, you should go to ‘Aperitivo’ or ‘Happy Hour’. In a lot of cafes you can get a drink for 10 euros during happy hour (usually from 5/6 pm until 10 pm) and after you have paid for your drink, you can eat all you want from a buffet. The buffet usually consists of pastas, foccaccia, stews, sometimes fish and (pasta)salads. The best aperitivo I have had so far was at Blender Bar at Piazzale Susa, but you can also find some good aperitivo in the bars around Le Colonne.
If you want to see some art in a unique location, go to the HangarBicocca. I won’t write too much about it here, because a blogpost is coming up!
10. What else is there to do?
If you want to know what else you can do in Milan, you can check this useful site. It is in Italian, but since you are living in Milan you should know a little Italian by now. The site shows what is happening today in Milan, but you can also look for specific dates or a special event.
I hope my insights helped you a little and if you are living in Milan yourself, please leave some tips of your own in the comments below!