Dear Sam,


I hope you had a great summer, too.  Although the weather here is definitely autumnal, I’m still thinking of warm days as I’m busy getting ready for our holiday.  We’re taking the train to Lake Como via Milan, where we have a few days to explore. As it’s our first visit there I’ve been doing some research into what to take with me and things to see and do.  So, I thought I’d share my pre-holiday list with you today:

Preparing for a short stopover in Milan

  • We’re staying in the fashion district in the northeast of the city, near the central station, and I’ve been researching the local sights.  As well as some window shopping, I’d like to take a walk in the large park, i Giardini Pubblici, and visit the Gallery of Modern Art at the Villa Belgiojoso. Among the exhibits is Federico Faruffini’s surprisingly modern-looking painting of 1865, The Reader (which you can find in Room XVI under its Italian title Lettrice by visiting the gallery’s website here).

    The Duomo in Milan
  • gather that Milan is very walkable and it’s possible to climb the 919 steps at the Duomo for a spectacular view of the city (and even the Alps if the weather is clear). So, buying a new pair of walking shoes was on my list! I wanted something really comfortable, so I’ve ordered these from Fitflop:
  • Speaking of reading, I’ve just started The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni which is set around Lake Como and Milan:
    The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni, published by Everyman Classics

    It was inspired by Ivanhoe and it’s a gripping story of a young couple whose happiness is threatened by a powerful local nobleman. Here in the UK it’s available from Hive books, who will make a donation to a local bookshop of your choce with every order.  And, to pass the time on the train journey I’ve downloaded the audiobook of your  July Bookshelf recommendation.

  • One of the great pleasures of travelling for me is enjoying the local food, so I’ve been checking what to expect: local dishes and specialities include Risotto alla milanese made with parmesan and saffron, filling soups like minestrone along with Panettone and, of course, ice-cream.
Panettone – said to have been invented in Milan.
  • Something else I’m keen to try is your recipe for lavender lemonade, which sounds delicious. We have plenty of lavender in the garden and it will be the perfect way to use it and enjoy a last taste of summer.

Much love,


5 thoughts on “Planning for a two-day visit to Milan

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