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Explore Milan on your bike

Translated by Mira Mistry — 2 months ago

Original text by Caroline D

0 Tags: Erasmus experiences Milan, Milan, Italy


The best way to explore a new city...

...is, in my view, to go and see it on your bike. If you’re lucky enough to have a bike and you know how to hold on to it, there’s not another second to lose. Go!

I had the pleasure of spending a semester of Erasmus in Milan – an incredible city that offers so much to those who want to get to know it. I lived about 25 minutes from the Università Cattolica and every morning I happily got on my loyal destrier to ride along the path that separated me from the uni.

Milan is a complete adventure on a bike. You learn to get lost in the kind and merry landscape of old trams, vespas, cars and other cyclists. Spending the first few days solely finding “good paths”, you end up lifting your nose up away from your handlebars (but not too much, always be careful) and let yourself fill up on the soul of the urban landscape that passes by before your eyes.

Every little pedal gives you more of an urge to embrace the city. After a few weeks, the roads become familiar, and nothing is more pleasing than feeling like a fully-fledged local of this city that was unknown to you up until then.

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Then comes the time to move on from the beaten paths and get stuck into discovering the various areas that make up Milan: Brera and its pinacotheca; the Navigli district and its little bridges that straddle the canals; Corso Emmanuele and its boutiques…

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Go a little beyond the centre and you will be able to dive into the centre of the Parco Sempione - the true green lung of the città; the perfect place to catch your breath for a few minutes, or even a few hours… Then head towards the Porta Venezia area: literally the “gate that leads to Venice” (but for that, you’ll have pedal a little more!). Here, the gardens are on the balconies, and every window brims with foliage. The elegant villas all have a private courtyard, letting you catch a glimpse of fountains, exotic plants or even… flamingos.

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Feel free, however, to come back towards the Duomo, the heart and crossroads of the city; it is where all the roads begin. Majestic, the cathedral proves even more spectacular at the golden hour with the stone lace standing out against the orangey sky.

Exploring Milan by bike guarantees confusing, but always rewarding, routes. It ensures surprises at the corner of every road, and promises to change a mundane, everyday journey into an adventure, where you know the starting point, but never the end…


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