I got into this as we have just booked a 2/2 day trip to Milan & Rome for late April. Having read many of the posts on here I decided to join up.
Actually, it was hard to choose a single city to visit as there are so many we want to see so we decided to on both Milan and Rome before flying back to UK. So far we have only seen Venice and Paris as most of our previous holidays together were in the USA, which we adored. However, we are leaning more towards European city breaks. Shopping is always high on the agenda with both of us, but it has to be something different. We also enjoy sampling quality local cuisine, and I personally enjoy photography/sightseeing.
We don't know much about Italy outside of Venice. I have heard comments that Rome is compact, busy, noisy and not the best for shopping, yet on the other hand amongst the very finest for sightseeing, great food etc.
We shall be in Rome on Sunday and I wondered what the opening hours are going to be?
Any thoughts on either Rome or Milan? What about other European cities for shopping/cuisine?
We welcome your comments.
Best shopping cities in Europe are definetly Paris, London, Milan and Madrid.
But for both culture and not so pricey shopping you should try Barcelona and Prague. They are perfect for city brakes
[ Edit: sorry, no promos in the forum please. ]
In Milan you can have your fill in shopping and sightseeing by staying in the center: Piazza del Duomo (and its museum), the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Teatro alla Scala, etc. Food sampling possibilities galore here, but you'll need a solid purse.
Rome in a day or two is not enough to even scratch the surface. What should you see? The Colosseum, Foro Romano, Piazza Venezia, Fontana di Trevi, the Spanish steps (and just about opposite, one of the most expensive shopping streets: Via Condotti), Pantheon, Piazza Navona. That's a lot of walking already. Then you haven't seen the Vatican yet, nor visited Trastevere (Piazza Sta. Maria with some of the best restaurants in the area). It's too much, and my recommendation is to take two city tours: one during day time and one at night. Skip the food folklore of these tours unless you must.
Enjoy your excursions.
For shopping, Milan is better than Rome. You will find a lot of shops selling last years shoes and clothes at discount price. Although Milan is not one of the most beautiful town in Italy, it has some interesting places to see. I would recommand in particular the Brera area, the cathedral rooftop and the Monumental Cemeterry.
Rome is just stunning and has plenty of things to see. Making a selection of places to see in two days is going to be a difficult exercise I'm afraid.
Regarding food, you will eat well in both cities like anywhere in Italy. In Milan you should try the "Aperitivo" formula, a Milanese cousin of the spanish tapas.
I agree with the person above, milan has always sounded way better when you talk about shopping. the capital of european fashion :D
When i went to Milan i found everything to be extreamly expensive and I only bought one designer dress in the end. They had really cool shops but most prices were just silly.
In fact, I live in Iceland which is supposed to be one of the most expensive countries and Diesel Jeans (which i love and was hunting for) are cheaper here than they are in Italy.
Great to meet you all!
Thank you all for your insights to Rome and Milan.
We had envisaged Milan as the shopping fashion capital that it is, and Rome, by contrast a sightseeing paradise. We had wanted to book more than 2 days in Rome but the timing of our trip coincides with the May 1st bank holiday. I understand many places are closed on that day. As the hotels we booked were selling out fast we were limited to booking at the end of April. We would have opted for 3 or 4 nights in Rome if not for the bank holiday.
As for getting around Rome, we think nothing of walking 10 or 15 miles in a day. In fact we expect to walk most of it in order not to miss anything out. Certainly we will want to tour Rome at night too. From pictures the Coliseum looks fantastic when all lit up.
With Milan we expected to see v. high prices on the latest fashion. However, if there are discounts and sales on at the end of April then we will surely seek them out. I will probably leave the designer clothing to the ladies and will be happy just to pick up some Italian coffee beans, bottle of Amaretto and maybe one or two other local specialties. I presume as with any city there will be more than just fashion to browse and buy. We are probably more likely to be sampling the local cuisine in Milan than Rome due to the limited time in the latter.
Great to get your thoughts and opinions.