Article by Mauro Autista
They say that if you want to know the truth about a city, you should ask a taxi driver. The wisdom behind this is that they know the streets, and have chatted to locals for years, making them more reliable than any guide book. Well, I’m not a taxi driver, but I’m the next best thing: I’m a Milan airport transfer driver, and am always keen to offer my passengers recommendations on what to do and see. However, the real intrigue comes on the return journey – hearing passenger comments has given me a real insight into which of Milan’s sightseeing highlights are really worthy of your time. Here’s some of the feedback I’ve picked up over the years:
The iconic cathedral is one of the first things Milan’s holiday makers are keen on seeing when they visit. Generally speaking, people who have visited the famous building are full of praise for it’s beauty and stunning architecture, though a few have noted that its insides are comparatively drab and dull. What everyone says though is that you should be sure to head up to the roof for the highlight of your Milan holiday. Although it costs a few Euros to take the stairs or lift, I have lost count of the number of passengers who haven’t been able to praise the stunning views of the city enough! The consensus is that a visit to the Duomo is an essential part of your Milan sightseeing, even if you are not Catholic!
La Scala Opera
The opera house isn’t to everyone’s tastes, by any means, but if you love your classical music or simply think that La Scala is something you should experience, Milan holiday makers are blown away… if they can get a ticket! Most of the tickets are like gold dust – and paying a small fortune does not even mean you will be able to see. Indeed, many of the seats are labelled listening only, while others will suffer neck strain trying to get a decent view of the performance. That said, those who have been have nothing but positives to say about the atmosphere and the wonderful architecture of the old theatre.
San Siro/Stadio Giuseppe Meazza
The home of Inter and AC Milan gets special praise from visitors to the city. Although many just take the stadium tour (which, be warned is not available on matchdays), plenty of my shuttle clients have taken in full matches. The advice is to take the 3rd tier seats if possible – as you get to walk up the spiral ramps get to your seat, taking in some great views along the way, as well as getting a splendid view of the whole pitch. Prices compare favourably to watching football in the UK – between £10 and £20. Far cheaper than watching a Premiership match, and arguably a better standard of football! It may not be a conventional part of Milan sightseeing, but my passengers have nothing but praise for one of the most famous stadia in Europe.
Many castle buffs I’ve met on my Milan airport transfers state that the Castello Sforzesco is not only visually appealing, but also a fascinating insight into the country’s middle-age history. It is not – like many British castles – furnished in period fittings, but instead houses hundreds of artefacts, antiques and relics from the city’s history. If that’s your thing, I’m reliably told you could be busy here all day!
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
This architecturally appealing boutique shopping area of Milan is a favourite for visitors on their way from the airport, but often they have been left disappointed by the limited array of shops and aesthetics. Others seem to feel it’s an outstanding day out though, so perhaps it’s a case of expectations too high for those who are disappointed.
In all my years in providing Milan airport transfers, I’ve never met anyone who has been disappointed with their stay in Italy’s cultural city. What’s more, a fair proportion of them declare that they’ll be back again in the next few years, given the amount there is to see and do. And when they do – assuming they take my Milan airport transfer – I’ll be on hand to offer them advice based on what my other customers have recommended!
About the Author
Mauro Autista is a Milan airport shuttles driver for Shuttle Direct. They provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don’t miss your car on your holiday abroad.