19.7.14

10 ideas for the summer in Milan

Summer is finally here but... what if everyone is leaving town and you're stuck in Milan?
Here are 10 ideas to survive the Milanese summer:


1. Bike
Streets are emptier; tramways, metros and buses run on a reduced summer schedule (what's up with that?! Milanese mystery); you might be less in a hurry, so take advantage of all this and grab a bike to go around the city! You don't have one? No excuse, you can use the city's bike sharing (visit the website for info on subscriptions to the service)
image from BikeMi website
2. Swim
Who said you can't swim in Milan? OK, there's no beach and swimming in the Naviglio is not an option if you don't want to get out of the water covered in trash, but there are plenty of community pools where you can go to sunbathe or freshen up for a small entrance fee (from €5). My favorites: Piscina Romano; Piscina San Donato
Piscina Romano (from my Instagram)
3. Shoot
Empty city means less people photobombing your shots, right? Don't be afraid to be a tourist in the city, grab your camera, sunglasses and sun lotion and walk around, shoot a monument, a square, or if you're not shy, shoot some people having fun at the park (perhaps follow these tips) or friends. Or joing a photo walk with other aspiring photographers.
new architecture in Milan
4. Visit
I've passed by the Duomo at least once a week in the past 6 years, and I still haven't been inside! So this is my summer resolution, how about you? How many times have you passed by a monument, a museum or a place you wanted to go in and visit but never had the time, here's your chance, museums and churches rarely close down (but here's an exception!)
Milanese church closes for 2-week summer holidays
However, there are always new art or photography exhibitions you can check out, in the top of my head there's this beautiful photo exhibit of Sebastiao Salgado called Genesis, right in downtown Milan at the Palazzo della Ragione, worth the visit (and the €10 entrance fee), until November 2. Or the small but nice "Frida y Diego" at the Photology Gallery until August 24.
Sebastiao Salgado's Genesis
"Frida y Diego" at Photology (from my Instagram)
5. Drink
Milan is the city of the Aperitivo, and there are still plenty of bars open where you can have a fresh Aperol Spritz, Americano, Negroni, Sbagliato, a glass of chilled wine or whatever you like! and the best part of the summer is most of these places have outdoor seating, so you can do some people watching while sipping your drink. My summer favorites are: Marc Jacobs Café and the pricey Palazzo Parigi.
Marc Jacobs' Bloody Mary (from my Instagram)
Palazzo Parigi's Hugo and Moscow Spritz
6. Go up
The fashion of the rooftop bars is still on, so go and have your aperitivo at one of the many rooftops in the city. Milan's best: Ceresio 7, Hotel Cavalieri, Globe and Terrazza Aperol.
view from Hotel Cavalieri's rooftop bar (from my Instagram)
7. Discover
As with the bars, there are planty of restaurants that stay open in the Milanese summer, especially the new ones, so why not going for dinner to try them so you can surprise your friends when they come back to the city with your knowledge of the new best restaurants. Some new openings: Fishbar de Milan, Asola, Sushi B, ...
Alice, one of my favorite discoveries (from my Instagram)
8. Relax
Take the bike, take a walk, or take the metro to your favorite park, grab a blanket, something to nibble and a book (or ebook) or magazine and enjoy your reading under the shadow of a tree. My favorite parks: Sempione Park, Gardens of Porta Venezia, Parco Nord
relax under the shadow of a tree (from my Instagram)
9. Eat
There's probably a type of commercial activity that doesn't close in the summer and that's the Gelato Shops, so, since you're stuck in the city, make the most out of it and try a different gelateria everyday! My favorites: Il Massimo del Gelato, Eataly Lait, Cioccolati Italiani
Gelato (from my Instagram)
new location of il Massimo del Gelato (from my Instagram)
10. Help
You're not the only one in the city, you know? There are many associations that might need your help as a volunteer, especially those who take care of the elderly, children, pets or people in need. It would be a nice way to spend your free time in the city, right? Some associations: (Italian websites)
http://www.volontariperungiorno.it/come-partecipare/cittadini.html
http://www.milanoaltruista.org/
http://www.rovmilano.it/
Image fom this website
Bonus: Travel
OK, if you have already done all of the above and still have a spare day, you don't have to leave the city for days to visit some place new, you can always take the train and enjoy a day trip in one of Milan's neighboring cities like Como, Pavia, Cremona, Bergamo and even Bologna, Venice, Florence and Turin if you take the high speed trains.
Lake Como (from my Instagram)
Enjoy the summer!!! 

For more options, check my Milan Life map