I decided to take a long weekend in Milan, because I always wanted to go there, its one of the worlds fashion capitals, and because I found a good deal online. I expected great things photographically.
Flights were booked via Easyjet and my hotel room I found using a combination of tripadvisor.co.uk and a couple of other sites. Who do you use when going on holiday??
The flights were great, except I needed to pay for a bag due to taking my tripod and mono-pod, but that was fine as it allowed me to take more stuff with me.  The flight from Edinburgh was perfect and the return flight even better (despite the snow) arriving 20 minutes early.
Easyjet sold tickets for the shuttle bus into Milan, Central Station during the flight, so it made it easy once we arrived at the other end. Tickets were €16 around £13.75 open return and the journey took 1 hour.

Once I arrived in Milan, I headed for the Metro station. I had previously worked out how to get to my hotel from Central Station, it was only 2 stops away. Arriving at Loreto station, I walked up to ground level, at first I was slightly disorientated, the street looked nothing like I expected from having check it out Google Streetview before leaving Scotland. I discovered that I was in the right place, but Loreto (as with several other main stops) has several entrances and exits over several different streets, by luck I was out at the stop on the street I wanted to be at.

A couple minutes later and I was at my hotel. I checked in and dropped my bags, then it was onto a Chinese ran, Italian restaurant just around the corner, the bloke at reception said the food was not that good but it was really close and easy.
The restaurant was packed, I loved watching the people as they ate and conversed with one another, Italian people get very animated whilst speaking. A couple of beers and a calzone later, it was time for bed.
The next morning my alarm was set for 6.30am! My motto for the trip was I’ll sleep at night or when I get home. I ate breakfast at the hotel, then grabbed my camera and tripod and headed for the metro station. I discovered you can buy a 48hr ticket for €8.75 or single trip for €1.50, obviously I bought the 48hr pass, which was ideal as it allowed me to travel to and from the hotel several times each day, dropping off or picking things up.
I arrived at the Duomo station (for the Duomo Cathedral) around 7.30am and started snapping – more on that and more pictures in a future blog post. I moved onto the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and got some shots off there too.
I decided to enter the Cathedral so I took a trip back to the hotel dropped off my tripod and collected my monopod. The Cathedral was free except you must pay €2 if you want to take photos, I paid my money and got my wrist band – again more information on the Cathedral and a few photos in a future post.
After I came out of the Cathedral, I wondered where the nice day had gone, it was grey and started raining. I returned to the hotel and collected my thermals (it was cold) and my full waterproofs. I’m not big into recommending products, I only recommend something when I am 100% behind a product. I cannot recommend the Op/Tech USA “Rainsleeve” covers enough! They are cheap – £5.70 for 2, lightweight and do exactly what they are supposed to, if you are planning a trip anywhere and might get caught in the rain these are essential for D-SLR users, I used mine several times during the weekend, especially when it started snowing!
Yeah, you read that right at about 1.30-2pm it started snowing and not just a little bit either!
But I was prepared for the bad weather with all my gear on, and nothing was going to stop me taking photos. I walked to Luini before the snow and grabbed some lunch, post on this fantastic place already up.
I made the decision that as it was snowing I would do something inside, I would go see Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” it was going to take me a while to walk it, since there were no Metro stops near the museum. I walked and walked and walked, my feet were sore, I was cold and I was getting tired. Eventually I found the place, walked inside only to find a sign on the desk saying sold out, I asked the woman behind the counter if there were tickets for Sunday (the following day), but there were not. She said its always like this at the weekend… my advice book your tickets online first!! I slowly made my way back to the hotel calling it quits for the day.
I ate that night at a really good Italian restaurant which will be the subject of a future post.
The following day I was up and away at 6.30am this time I decided to have breakfast later. I get to the canal where I was planning to take my shots and it rained so heavy!! (Canal photographs to be posted later) I was glad to get back into the warmth of the hotel at 9am and get some breakfast. The rest of the day was spent wandering around the centre of the city, taking street photography style shots and drinking shots of espresso, a standard coffee in Italy is an espresso, if you want a normal coffee like we serve over here then you need to ask for an Americano.
Sunday night was spent, in what I’d been told was Milans best Pizzeria, (there will be a post to follow on this).
The following morning I was up and away early heading back to the UK.
Enjoyed my trip to Milan, its not as beautiful a city as Paris, it has a rough industrial style of its own. That combined with the wealth from the fashion industry makes it a unique place, and you can certainly see the money! Personally speaking a weekend was long enough in the city, next time though I plan to explore the lakes around Milan.

Not your typical photograph of Milan…
Central Public Library – Palazzo Sormani Andreani, Milan, Italy

During my recent trip to Milan, usually I was out of bed at 6.30am and out of the hotel for 7am, to beat the rush of tourists and hopefully get the best light. I wanted to photograph a different perspective of the city which still showed the beauty and elegance of the buildings.

Have you been to Milan? If so what did you think of the city? (comments in the section below please)

I walked a lot around the centre of Milan, I discovered this building on another photography website before leaving the UK, I loved the detail on the outside, and the scooters and bikes that lined the pavement outside. It was not too far from the Duomo Cathederal, which was ideal for me being on foot.

The façade that is now the library’s main entrance, was designed by Architect Francesco Croce (1696-1773). Apparently (I’ve read since being back in the UK) I should have gone inside, there are paintings and a well kept English garden in the centre courtyard of the building. I’ll know the next time!