I never intended to go to Milan.
The day before my flight was scheduled to fly to Paris from Venice, a strike of air traffic controllers in France caused all flights to be cancelled. There were simply no flights flying from Venice to Paris for the next two days, and although being stranded in Venice is not the worst thing, I did have classes I needed to be in Paris for!
My solution? Take a train from Venice to Milan in the morning, spend the day in Milan, and take the high speed train from Milan to Paris that night. Not only was the problem solved, but it gave me a day to explore Milan. Or rather, Milano in Italian.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Near the Duomo di Milano, this arcade is one of the oldest shopping centers. From the outside I didn’t expect to enter this expansive and ornate passage. Inside the arcade is lined with shops, which are probably some of the most expensive stores in the world.
This 15th century castle was impressively huge, but what was even more impressive for me was the enormous Parco Sempione directly behind it. The castle itself is full of museums and art collections, but it is free to walk around the grounds and explore.
Piazza Gae Aulenti
There is a distinct line in Milan where the historical part of the city stops and the modern part begins. In this modern wonderland, you will find a variety tall buildings that all look as if they are straight from a render. My favourite part was Piazza Gae Aulenti, which was encircled by tall glass skyscrapers with most of the piazza devoted to a large pool of water. The interesting part was that there were voids cut into this pool that allowed you to see underneath, into the building (plus these voids had the added benefit of allowing sunlight into the space below).