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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