SIPPING APEROL SPRITZ IN THE SUN: A chilled weekend in Milan

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In my first time in Milan it rained the whole time, so it was great to be back when the weather was nice.

As I expect everyone does, our first stop was the Duomo and surrounding areas. The Duomo is very impressive, and on a sunny day it made for great photos. There are many options for tickets, but we chose the one which only gave access to the cathedral itself as it only cost 2€.

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We then visited the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, reaching the Teatro alla Scala right behind it. We had a quick gelato stop at Cioccolati Italiani, where service was confusing but the gelato was delicious.

Our next stop was the unique Sforzesco Castle and the beautiful Sempione Park behind it, where we sat in the sun watching buskers entertain the crowd.

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We got on the metro to Navigli (Porta Genova metro stop), a nice area absolutely packed with cool bars and restaurants. All the bars offered aperitivi, a great deal in which you buy a drink (about 10€) a get lots of nibbles alongside it. We had Aperol Spritz (my favourite!) and many other delicious cocktails, then headed back to the hotel at midnight, when the area was still buzzing.

In the morning we headed to Brera, a bohemian neighbourhood not far from the city centre. Brera Palace hosts the famous Pinacoteca and it’s also a great place for a drink in the sun at one of the many cute cafes in the area. We had an Aperol Spritz or two before heading back to the airport.

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HOW TO DO IT:

  • Go: Flights from London take about 2h, so you can easily go after work on a Friday.
  • Stay: We Stayed at Zambala, a place with serviced apartments which was a good option. We paid 158€ for two people for two nights.
  • Transportation: Milan has a good network of metro and trams. You can buy a 48h travelcard for 8.25€. Taxis from the airport are expensive, but frequent buses to and from the Central station cost only 8€.
  • Do: Leonardo’s Last Supper is a big draw, so it’s imperative to book in advance as tickets sell out weeks before your visit.

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A WEEKEND IN CARDIFF: Rainy days and bar hopping

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We took advantage of the bank holiday and hopped on a train from London to Cardiff. Our flat was near Cardiff Bay, so after making ourselves at home, we decided to explore the area.

We started at the impressive Millenium Centre, a landmark building perfect for taking photos. Then we headed to the bay, an area with lots of cool bars and restaurants. If the weather is nice you can also take a quick boat trip for £3.

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In the evening we decided to try and find a restaurant in the centre for dinner, but this was a mistake a that area was way too rowdy in the evening.

On our second day we explored some more, stopping at the little shops in the many arcades in the city centre.

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As the weather wasn’t great, we spent some time at Cardiff Castle (tickets for £12), a nice place to learn more about the history of the city. Bute Park is just behind the castle, and it looked quite nice too.

We had a late lunch at Bill’s, followed by a couple of nice cocktails at 10 Feet Tall, then headed back to the flat for a lazy night in.

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HOW TO DO IT:

  • Stay: We stayed in this nice flat, which was well located between the bay and the city centre.
  • When to go: The weather in Wales is not the best, so rain is always expected. We went in May and it was still quite cold.
  • Go: Trains from Paddington take a little over 2h. Book in advance as it can get quite expensive (we paid £74 return each).

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