A paradise for food and fashion
Ah, Milan. Serious contender for style capital of the world…and a fabulous destination for a short-haul honeymoon. The reputation is well-deserved, this city really does know how to dress, but it’s not all fashion – Milan is Queen of all life’s finer things. Expect incredible food, fine wines, history, world-class museums and galleries, seriously luxe hotels and you won’t be disappointed. And better yet, it’s all just a two-hour flight away.
See the sights
The imposing Duomo di Milano (the second largest cathedral in the world) dominates the city centre – and most sight-seeing lists. This spectacular structure has to be seen to be believed, as does the view from the roof which at just €5 entry for the stairs/ €8 for the lift is worth every cent. Stroll across the square and into the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (a stunning covered arcade known as ‘Milan’s living room’) for one of the best people watching-spots in Europe, then emerge at the other side and you’re just seconds from La Scala – the most famous (and beautiful) opera house in the world. Milan is, of course, also home to Leonardo DaVinci’s iconic Last Supper, housed in the Santa Maria delle Grazie, but you’ll need to book online, around six weeks in advance.
Those who worship at the altar of Prada, should head to the Via Montenapoleone for designer heaven, while high-street disciples will find their fix on Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.
A place to stay: Hotel Principe Di Savoia
The service really is the star at this super-luxe hotel, which prides itself on catering for your every whim – including those you didn’t know you had! Every time I returned to my room I was greeted with a new surprise: Fruit basket and crudités? Lovely. Plate of artisan chocolates? Don’t mind if I do. Three varieties of chocolate mousse? Oh, yes please!
Stay in an ambassador suite (from €840 per night) and enjoy a separate spacious lounge room, enormous bed, and the best bit – a totally fabulous bathroom packed with Aqua di Parma toiletries. And if filling the oh-so-deep tub with luxury bubble bath isn’t quite relaxing enough, then just head up to the top floor and enjoy the delights of the spa and sun terrace – an oasis of calm in a mad, moped-filled city.
For more info click here
Wine & dine
The Principe’s own restaurant and bar is, refreshingly, a far cry from the stuffy same-old offerings you can often find in luxury hotels.
The bar (a favourite of the great and good during fashion week) is dark, cool and the perfect spot to sip a suitably glam cocktail and nod along to chilled-out beats before hitting the main event – dinner at Incanto. Despite the hotel’s five stars, don’t expect fussy formality: the service here is perfectly attentive, and the food fabulous, but the best thing about it is that you can really relax, enjoy a fantastic meal and do it like the Italians do – over an entire evening. Request a table in the so-romantic garden (complete with fountain), and if it’s on the menu, be sure to order the Sea bass tartare – stunning.
Explore further afield
There’s more than enough to keep you occupied in Milan itself, but if you fancy a few ideas on how to spend your (imaginary) millions, try a day trip to stunning Lake Como – less than an hour’s drive away. With homes belonging to Madonna, George Clooney and Gianni Versace lining the banks of this picture-postcard lake, you’ll be in very good company, though the best way to survey the celeb-laden scene is by boat, so hop aboard, pop on your shades and relax.
Lake Como is ideal for destination weddings – there’s that backdrop for starters, and there’s also very little red-tape for British citizens wanting to marry in Italy. Luxury concierge service IC Bellagio has access to exclusive lakeside villas perfect for weddings, and can arrange everything you’d ever want for your big day.
Or alternatively, let them create a luxe day trip you’ll never forget.
icbellagio.com to see just what they can do for you.
Lufthansa flies to Milano Malpensa Airport from London Heathrow from around £98 return. Milan itself is around 30 minutes by car from the airport.
See lufthansa.com for more details and to book online.
Where to next? Paris, New York or maybe Prague? Visit them all, in our romantic City Guides travel section.