Our short but sweet visit to Milan

Tucked in between our time in Lucerne, Switzerland and Salzburg, Austria we had planned a trip through the Swiss Alps on Switzerland’s ultimate scenic train, the Bernina Express. We had booked one night prior in Chur to board the train which ended in Tirano in Italy. We figured seeing we were so close, why not spend the next night in Milan.

Knowing we wouldn’t be there long enough to see the sights we decided to treat ourselves. We booked ourselves in for a night in a historic 17th century mansion, which was once the residence of one of Milan’s richest families. With Milan being recognized worldwide for its fashion and glamour, a night in this former magnificent estate was going to be as close as we would get to the high life in Milan.

Arriving into Milan by train was impressive. The train station is one of Europe’s main train stations and considered one of the most beautiful.

Just minutes from the centre of Milan and walking distance to the leafy Parco Nord park we arrived late in the afternoon to Grand Hotel Villa Torretta Milano, MGallery by Sofitel.  

 The Villa has a distinctive character, where art and beauty infuse the rooms with timeless atmosphere. The room is unique, luxurious décor, kingsize beds, marble bathrooms, exquisite linen, and a welcome gift. How lovely, a Panettone, a traditional sweet Christmas bread.

After we freshened up we enjoyed a relaxing drink in the central Lobby Bar, where we were provided a complimentary snack.

And because Milan is the fashion capital we couldn’t arrive here without at least hitting one shopping centre. So made our way across the street to the Centro Sarca shopping centre to have a browse and find somewhere for dinner. We came across a lovely restaurant called Rossopomodoro where had an amazing Italian meal of citrus octopus salad and as this was our only stop in Italy just had to order pasta with a glass of Italian Moscato.

Exhausted from our day which was filled with the excitement of the Bernina train from Chur to Tirano, followed by a slow local train that passed Lake Como on the way into Milan, we made our way up to our room for an early night.

Next morning we enjoyed breakfast at the Il Vico della Torretta restaurant where we dined in the timeless atmosphere of the carefully restored dining area with frescoed walls and crystal chandeliers which transported us to another era. 

The Villa provides unrivalled modern comforts and has been restored in a prestigious, historic setting. Care was taken to preserve as many of the original features as possible. Many of the ceilings have the original four century old oak timbers. Frescos were relocated and those painted retain the colour and original tones of ivory or pinkish undertones. Many of the interior walls have polished Venetian plaster with Venetian stucco work. The 17th century walls of these splendid reception rooms certainly could recount the past and transport you to another era.

Inside the hotel grounds is the Oratory of Santa Margherita, a chapel where they still conduct Sunday mass.

It was soon time to say goodbye to Milan, if only we had at least 48 hours in Milan. Our visit there was short, but it was now time to make our way back to the train station for another train journey, this time onto Salzburg. On the train we ordered coffee and enjoyed our Panettone which truly made it a short, but sweet visit to Milan.

Overall our stay in this sophisticated residence, despite being limited on time and minus the Milanese high society, had characteristically European ambience and was very enjoyable. The hotel service was impeccable and the attention to detail, second to none, creating a memorable moment and an unforgettable stay.

If we’d had more time we would have gone on a walking tour, visited the Duomo and checked out the fashions at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. But we couldn’t resist being so close and not at least passing through and treating ourselves to a short, but opulent stay.

What’s your thoughts? Would you go to a city knowing you didn’t have time to explore the area and see the sights?

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19 Responses

  1. Adam says:

    Italy has so much glamour … Milan doesn’t disappoint on that count! Great pictures!
    Adam recently posted…5 Ways to Make Your Vacation Flights Less TurbulentMy Profile

  2. Oh, my! What a sweet visit indeed. I agree, Milan’s train station holds its own grandeur and the dishes you had, they look absolutely delicious!

  3. What an incredible place. Love that they updated things but kept the historic styling. So very European. Sadly I never made it out of the Milan airport during my one time there!!

  4. MIlano is one of my favourite Italian cities. The station is magnificent and the food… Bellissima.

  5. I love the train station in Milan, I was totally blown away by it as well. Out of all the cities we visited while in Italy, Milan didn’t really blow me away. They have some beautiful sites like the Duomo and The Last Supper but overall the city felt like any other big city in Europe. I do love the hotel you stayed at though, way better than the 5 floor walk up Airbnb we stayed at lol. #citytripping
    Christine | The Journey of Christine recently posted…My 4 Day London ItineraryMy Profile

  6. Maximo says:

    Hey Lyn,
    This train ride looks amazing. I’ve never visited Europe and it’s always been a dream to swing through the countryside between cities and just look out. The hotel you stayed at looked great! I could only imagine how many great places to stay are. Seems like you should have stayed longer. More reason to get out there again.

  7. When I went to Milan we only stayed a day and of all the Italian cities I visited it disappointed me the most because everyone just wanted to shop but I may have to go back and stay at that Villa! The art on the walls is amazing
    Eric || The Bucket List Project recently posted…Funny But True Things About the Rickshaw RunMy Profile

  8. I love this kind of whirlwind trip – I’ll happily visit any city, even if I know I’ll only be able to scratch the surface. There’s always next time!
    Jane @ Raincity Librarian recently posted…Traveling with AllergiesMy Profile

  9. tots2travel says:

    I love the approach, if you don’t have time for sight-seeing make up for it in accommodation. Fantastic.
    tots2travel recently posted…Findhorn on the Moray Coast – a Favourite StopMy Profile

  10. nice trip:) #mondayescapes
    Tanja (the Red phone box travels) recently posted…The ABCs of my travelsMy Profile

  11. Corinne and I were just talking about how we haven’t spent enough time in Italy. Thanks for the inspiration to put Milan on the itinerary!
    Jim ~ ReflectionsEnroute recently posted…A Weekend in TbilisiMy Profile

  12. Esther says:

    OMG that food just looks amazing (just leave that to the Italians, right!).
    Found your blog through #MondayEscapes
    Esther recently posted…Verrassend Namen: 8 must-do’sMy Profile

  13. Beautiful photos. The architecture and decoration of the mansion look stunning, definitely worth it when you’re only there for 1 night. I struggle visiting a place knowing we will have next to no time, but seeing some is better than seeing none. It also means you can ‘try before you buy’ so to speak and consider booking a longer trip next time if you liked it. The train station in Milan is amazing, we loved snapping shots of it when we visited. Thanks for sharing!
    D of Love C and D recently posted…Romantic Day in the Hunter ValleyMy Profile

  14. Seems like you had a great visit to Milan, even if it was short! The train station is so beautiful (it looks like it could have been part of a palace!) and I’d love to try that citrus octopus salad! That seems like an interesting combination.
    Bryna | Dotted Line Travels recently posted…Vatican City: Tips for Visiting St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican MuseumsMy Profile

  15. Rhonda Albom says:

    I’d have a difficult time going to a city for such a short period but I have done it before. I view it as a taste and I could always return for more. I love the fresco walls you show in several of your photos.
    Rhonda Albom recently posted…Rainy Auckland Night: A New Zealand Photo EssayMy Profile

  16. We were travelling from Zermatt, Switzerland to Milan, but for some reason we jumped train at a little town called Domodossola, which was amazing. Milan next time ..maybe

  17. Jill says:

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! I’m so glad you were able to visit Milan if only for a short time. (I would’ve done the same!) Beautiful photos!

  18. Ah, this reminds me of backpacking through Europe and riding Eurail. We did a few train rides from Milan to points north, east, and south. Indeed they have an impressive rail station. I likely stayed at a cheap inn but your lodging looks so much nicer. I will have to try it!
    Charles McCool recently posted…8 Great Things to Do in Havana CubaMy Profile

  1. April 14, 2017

    […] Tirano we travelled to Milan for an overnight stopover and onto Salzburg via Innsbruck. Despite the lack of snow in the hills of Austria we weren’t […]

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