Everywhere else I'd been in Italy, people told me I'd hate Milan. It seems to be a pretty hated city. I wasn't there long enough to form any definitive opinions but it did seem to have a snotty vibe. Of course, that could've been because I only went to the middle of the city where all the tourists hang out.
The only reason I went to Milan was because my plane flew out of there. I'd booked myself into a moderately priced hotel for the night and planned to see a bit of the city before I left. I'd actually wanted to book in somewhere much more funky (I so want to steal bedroom decor ideas from that place) and central, but all the places I wanted were shut down for holidays.
Then it took me forever to find the moderately priced hotel and, when I found it, the moderately priced hotel ended up being a ghetto hotel instead. I wasn't expecting luxury but I was expecting somewhere comfortable to sleep.
First up, I got the room next to the lobby. All night I had people slamming the door as they came back to the hotel right next to my head. The bathroom was kinda gross with a floor that never dried and there was a very narrow bed on castors in the middle of the room.
Then I tried to find the air conditioning. I'd turned it on. I had the remote control and I'd pressed all the buttons but I just couldn't fit the unit.
Because it was hiding behind the curtains! And, because my room was at ground level facing the street, I needed those curtains shut. I ended up rearranging them .
After that, I headed into the city centre, ie. the place where all the designer shops. I wandered around, taking a look at the Duomo which is very impressive but the line to go in was massive so I stuck to the outside. I'm sure it's nice inside and all but queuing for hours wasn't going to happen.
After that, I got my last gelato in Italy. I think my whole impression of Milan people being snotty comes from the gelato shop woman's attitude. I'm from Australia. I'm used to bad attitude in customer service but this woman really was outstanding in her level of can't be fuckedness. For reals, woman, just quit your job if you hate it that much.
I wandered around some more and had drinks and nibblies then went to have a look at Sforza castle. On the way, I found this whole project of corn fields growing in the city.
That was pretty much all I saw of Milan before heading back to my ghetto hotel. The next morning I checked out and went to the station to catch the train to the airport. I bought my ticket then had some breakfast while I waited for the train. Went back to look at the board to discover my train had been cancelled. So I ran to the information office because you don't just cancel a train to the airport, especially when they only run every half hour. It was true. I asked them for directions to the airport bus and ran out to find it.
The driver wasn't going to let me on because they were leaving but I looked at him pleadingly and he relented. I made it to the airport in plenty of time and waited with trepidation because I did NOT want to get back on an Air China flight ever again.
In hindsight, I'd have been better off booking an airport hotel, throwing my bag into a locker at the station for the day then heading out there that night. I'd have been not wasted time trying to find my ghetto hotel and I'd have been able to have a leisurely breakfast before going to the airport.
I don't really have much useful advice for Milan. It's an interesting city in which to spend a day and I probably could've spent my time much better if I'd planned it but the castle was nice and so were the nibbles (note: I did crawl several bars to get free nibblies with drinks).