“To travel is to live” – Hans Christian Anderson

Europe is renowned for its culture, food and fashion of course. I have heard riveting stories about Italy which sparked my interest to travel there. I heard how each street is coated with an artistic streak. Gothic tall buildings remain intact. It feels as though you’re time travelling to a period you have never experienced. Making the experience hauntingly beautiful yet nostalgic. And it is true when they say each corner you turn looks like a fashion runway, making perfect pictures for fashion lovers and photographers. And lets talk about the food! I have heard the scents of authentic Italian food travels with you. Like the air is saturated with the aroma of freshly baked pizza dough, ravioli and some good old gnocchi. Italian food is intrinsically cooked with passion and love. Served hot to awaken your taste buds to the flavours of the heavens.

Italy is one of the best trips I have ever taken. It is enriched with history and culture. I learned during my time there that the cities you visit will be determine the experience you will have. Each city is diverse in attraction, making your time there unpredictable yet equally exciting.


It was around mid-February [2018] and spring was blooming. My thirst to travel had peaked and so I booked my flight from London Gatwick Airport to Milan Malpensa Airport

Throughout my time there I stayed in the Ramada Plaza Milano hotel. We enjoyed our time in a self-catering apartment. It was convenient as it allowed us to prepare meals from our apartment, making the trip budget friendly! We also had the luxury of having breakfast at the hotel. We helped ourselves to a savoury breakfast at the hotel which made our last day of the trip quite relaxing. The hotel was approximately a 5-minute walk to Turo Metro Station.

Milan is north of Italy. Its location is at a distance from other popular cities such as Rome and Venice.

DAY 1:

Image by Athia Karim

Arriving at Milan Malpensa Airport there was many transportation services available to us. Usually on our trips we have a pre-booked transfer with the airline but in this case, we were feeling adventurous and wanted to experience life in Italy the way locals do. We managed to find a coach that would take us directly to the central station which also allowed us access to the metro. The coach was roughly around 4-6 Euros (which is a cheaper alternative to taking a taxi!). We made a brief visit to Plaza del Duomo, considering it was minutes from the metro. We spent some time briskly walking around the area and absorbing everything in. We picked up some mint chocolate chip gelato and travelled to the hotel.

Arriving to our hotel, we immediately checked out the entire apartment. The coolest thing about this apartment is that it featured a balcony which overlooked the garden, swimming pool and outdoor lounge area. The balcony was very spacious and included an outdoor table with cushioned chairs. It was a pretty nice spot to spend the evening watching the sunset and feeling the warm breeze brush against you.

DAY 2:

After a well-rested night our adventure began! We spent day 2 touring around Milan’s hotspots. There was so much to do. We took the metro and headed to Plaza del Milano. This location has two of the BIGGEST attractions of Milan:

  1. The Cathedral

The cathedral holds a gothic presence which makes its appearance very bold and significant. We visited inside the cathedral which allowed us access the museum and the cathedral rooftop. The rooftop is accessible by stairs and lift. It holds a staggering view of the city centre. After the museum we purchased our tickets to take a tour at the top of the cathedral. This is a special experience as it allows you to view one of the best views of the city.

Be mindful that the very top of the cathedral’s roof is layered which makes it feel very slippery. My recommendation would be to wear suitable footwear or to take some with you.

  • The Shopping Mall: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Usually I wouldn’t be so eager to go to a shopping mall during a trip. Only because I would rather experience the cities treasures. However, this shopping mall was an exception as there isn’t anything much like it and it wouldn’t be much of an experience without checking out the fashion district! The shopping mall was accommodating to all shoppers. We were able to shop from high end fashion stores to boutique stores. We then explored around the area and checked out neighbouring shops and outdoor markets.

  • Sempione Park

This probably isn’t the first thing you would think of when visiting Milan…but if you are a fan of scenic views, greenery and nature then you must travel to this city park! At entrance of the park there is a lot of outdoor markets selling souvenirs and gift items accompanied by some street music which made the park very lively. The park itself is quite big which features a lake. It very quaint and would make a beautiful evening walk/hike after a long day of being a tourist!

  • Civic Aquarium of Milan

This was a short walking distance from the Sempione Park. We just so happened to have come across the intimate aquarium and took no second thought to take a visit.

DAY 3:

We decided to broaden our horizons and visit the infamous Lake Como.

  • Lake Como

Lake Como is the third largest lake in Italy in Europe according to Villadeste.com. The selling point for me was the fun train ride to the village of Brunate. The train journey known as the Funicular, which travels upwards in a vertical line. It approximately lasts for 7 minutes and offers you a transcendent view of Como. The Funicular journey itself was such an adrenaline rush!

The village of Brunate sat at the height of the mountain, in the clouds. Exiting the train, you were able to follow a trek to the top of the mountain which leads you to a wooded area surrounded by wildlife and trees. Other villages are accessibly by boat across Lake Como which makes it a perfect opportunity to take a little boat ride across the lake and visit!

Como made a great day trip as you can experience a city that is incomparable to other cities in Italy. I loved the mystical feel of the fog hanging low on the hilltops of small villages and mountains. It is very distinct from large buzzing cities.

Como also has a fantastic food market. Although, it was quite crowded it gives you a great opportunity to experience an authentic Italian experience and their food. There are also many restaurants, museums and Como’s cathedral you can explore!


Travelling to Lake Como was a lot of fun. At this moment we were at the peak of our adventurous attitude and were ready to spend the day exploring Verona!

  • Verona

We took a bus from the train station to the old town (Centro Storico). I never felt the presence of love more alive than when I was walking the streets of Verona.

We took a walk to Juliet’s house. The sun was blushing more than it did in our entire trip. Juliet’s house is said to have been inspired by the Shakespearean play. It included a souvenir shop that offered engraved personal gifts (adding a personal touch), and the infamous balcony. This spot also included a wall of red heart lockets marked with names of visitors. Affectionate messages of love were marked on the walls of the entrance to the museum. It was a great way to be a part of the story and to have a part of you living in Verona for all eternity.

It bought the story alive and added a 21st century twist.  This attraction was a wall of red heart lockets marked with names. For anyone who is a fan of the Shakespearean play would love this tourist attraction.

We then walked aimlessly and found ourselves at Ponte Pietra. This is an archaic arched bridge overlooking Adige River. It felt humbling to be in this area. The roman styled bridge was nearby homes of locals. The residents greeted us with warm smiles and said hello! Their smiles made our day brighter. It was in this moment I felt the true presence of life in Italy.

We also made time to visit Arena di Verona, had some food at Ippopo Tamo, and did some last-minute gift shopping.

My recommendations for travelling around Italy:

  • Take a body bag/rucksack to avoid pick pocketers stealing your possessions
  • Carry water around with you to keep you hydrated
  • Take a paper map with you everywhere (we picked one up at the airport)
  • Travel with a power bar as you will need your phone for emergencies
  • Travel light – you do not want a strained back or shoulder because of carrying a large amount around
  • Lastly, have fun! Live in the moment not through the lens.


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