My friend and I have just spent a lovely relaxing weekend in Milan - more relaxed than usual as it was Assumption Day on the previous Wednesday, a national holiday in Italy so many businesses and shops were closed. No matter though, it was mainly the higher end of the retail spectrum on certain streets that chose to close so there were still quite a few stores open for business. Many were in the process of renovation and redecoration in readiness for the new season. Just as well we weren't after much anyway but we're always happy to experience just being there and enjoy the warmth of the weather and the hospitality.
We spent Saturday morning doing a bit of shopping, the majority of the time in the relatively new department store Excelsior, "a unique shopping experience. Fashion, beauty, accessories, food and
design mingle together in the historic building at Galleria del Corso 4, ... now completely renovated by acclaimed
starchitect, Jean Nouvel. 4000 sq m in one area, divided over 7 floors and inside an architectural
casing of ribbon-like video installations that create a kaleidoscopic
effect, and a network of floating lifts and travelators. Milan’s old
Excelsior cinema has now risen to new heights as the new icon of
They house an ecclectic array of designer's collections from Paris, New York and around the world. A very stylish affair with cool music and uber hip sales assistants to enhance your experience!
In true Italian style, we even saw a bicycle parked outside with it's own tail attached to the mud guard! There are now a number of bikes for rent in Milan and even though many of the streets are cobbled it does not stop people from using them. It's a great way to get around and see the city .. called BIKEME it's a public bike sharing facility like the Barclays or 'Boris' bikes in London.
Our afternoon was spent enjoying a leisurely lunch and a refreshing glass (or even two if I'm honest!) of prosecco as we put the world to rights and people watched before heading back to our hotel to rest and freshen up for dinner.
The main department store in the centre of Milan La Rinascente opens from 10am on a Sunday so we spent our last few hours doing a giro of each floor before checking out of our hotel and heading to our respective departure points.
This trip I did not have to buy an extra suitcase or worry about being over my luggage allowance weight, but I had a great time as always and look forward to doing it all again next year!
We always stay at the Starhotel Rosa Grand which has been renovated and upgraded over the years and is right in the heart of the city next to the fabulous Duomo Cathedral.