Views from the Roof of Milan’s Duomo – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 11th, 2018

Milan's Duomo - Keep Calm and Wander

If standing on top of Milan Cathedral won’t take your breath away – you better check in yourself to a hospital. 😀 No, I’m not kidding. Milan Duomo is one of the very few man-made architectural wonder that blew my mind away. It’s one of those places you don’t only have to see but also experience it.

From its facade to its internal core, this architectural wonder will leave you with a lasting impression. And from its underground archaeological museum to its roof, the Duomo shows us a contrast of what Milan was like and what Milan is today.

Climb the stairs or use an elevator?

Here’s the deal: the former will cost you 8 euros and the latter is 10 euros. However, the lift doesn’t go all the way up to the roof but only on the last floor and then you have to climb the remaining steps.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Milan Gay Travel Resources

Pieta Rondanini, Michelangelo’s Unfinished Statue – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 9th, 2018

Pieta Rondanini - Keep Calm and WanderPieta Rondanini – Keep Calm and Wander

Pieta Rondanini is Michelangelo’s unfinished marble statue. Since 1952, Milan is a host to the master’s work. Today, you can find it at Museo Pieta Rondanini inside the Castello Sforzesco. When Michelangelo died in 1564, they found the sculpture at the artist’s workshop in Rome. Afterwards, the unfinished statue was missing for more than 200 years and reappeared in 1807 at Palazzo Rondanini.

And that’s how it gained its monicker: Pieta Rondanini.

As you can see, Mary is standing, supporting her son, Jesus, after he was taken down from the cross. The famed Pieta inside St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican has Mary sitting while looking down at his son bathed in blood.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Florence Gay Travel Resources

The Duomo in Milan – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 4th, 2018

The Duomo in Milan - Keep Calm and Wander

In Milan, all roads lead to the Duomo – a gigantic cathedral that is as old as the Roman empire itself. Any visitor who does not visit this place hasn’t been to Milan.

Why, oh why? …because I have seen this place and I must say that I was shaken to my core when I saw how delicate the finesse of architectural art is combined with the size of the building. It is, after all, the largest church in Italy and the third largest in the world, covering 109,641 sq. ft. area.

1. See all the 3,400 statues

Combining both the inner and the outer statues of the cathedral, they make up to 3,400 statues, 700 figures, and 135 gargoyles. All of these inclusions make the building the most decorated one on the planet!

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Milan Gay Travel Resources

Milan’s Top Attractions – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , May 3rd, 2018

Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle - Milan - Keep Calm and Wander

Milan had been a cultural and political hub of the Roman Empire in the past. Today, it still holds immense importance in terms of attracting tourists from around the world to its bustling modern-day shopping malls, old gothic cathedrals, Byzantine mosaics, and historical citadels.

Milan was my last Italian city before taking off a train to Geneva, Switzerland. After reaching Milan and visiting these 7 distinct tourist attractions mentioned below, I was dazzled by the mix of Milanese or Roman culture – the architecture influenced by it, and the modern Italian vibes mingled and entwined in all of them.

1. Milan Duomo and the Piazza del Duomo

Standing in the main city square and looking at the gothic cathedral of Milan that took centuries to build was indeed enchanting in its own way. I was suddenly surrounded by two of the most revered attractions of Milan as I turned my head towards the left and saw the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Walking inside the Duomo was easy. And when I got in, my eyes stood wide at the spectacle ahead. I absorbed the art and the ambiance slowly and after being done with silently praising the inner workings of the intricacy of the place, I took an elevator to the top roof.

The spires looked gothic from the Piazza, but as I wandered right beside them, they revealed their true grandeur. I was honored by the presence of Madonnina sitting atop the highest spire and looking down at the moving human race below.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Milan Gay Travel Resources

Inside Sforza Castle – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 27th, 2018

Sforza Castle Milan - Keep Calm and Wander

Any fortress or castle in the world carries a piece of history that has passed by and eroded, yet evolved its fabric culturally, architecturally, and religiously. The Sforza Castle in Milan, Italy is no different and this is what I found out after visiting it. Milan, generally, is a welcoming city with its Italian vibes. However, it is this castle that brings about its true nature both historic and present.

Before going on stating what you can do in the castle, let us take a dive in the pool of history. I know I hate it, too, but for the sake of understanding this place better, let’s spare some moments.

A Short History

Sforza Castle or Sforcesca castle has seen many eras of complex invasions, sieges, and renovations. Built in the 1450s by Francesco Sforza, it is one of the few remnants of the 14th-century citadels. However, before it was a castle or a residential quarter of the notable rulers, it had been a Visconti fortress with impeccable defense systems – walls and towers that are so high and mighty. It was on the ruins of this fortress that Sforza built the Sforza Castle.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Milan Gay Travel Resources

Gay Italy – From Verona to Milan

Author: , August 24th, 2016

Gay Italy

In my deluded mind, a trip to Milan was an opportunity to sip Negronis by a sun-baked pool, admiring the city’s style and hot, swaggering men. A relentless two-day rain storm changed that plan slightly.

An umbrella was firmly in the hand, rather than in the cocktails, but Italian talent was duly ogled and the Milanese remain admirably chic, even when it’s quite nippy and pouring it down.

We were in the city for the Quiiky Untold History tour. This wasn’t a guided peek into Donatella’s plastic surgeons or Berlusconi’s favourite escort agencies. This was a journey into an ancient past when alchemy, art, design and religion fused to made Italy a cultural ruler. But before delving into the mysteries and wonders of 15th-century art, we plunged into Milanese nightlife.

Lecco Milano is a hip, mixed bar offering food, DJs and a range of cocktails, including one tipple worryingly called GinHB. We also played bingo at L’Elephante while drinking a killer cocktail called the Bin Laden. I don’t remember how I got home.

By Stewart Who – Full Story at Gay Star News

Milan Gay Travel Resources

A Layover in Milan – Carlos Melia

Author: , June 5th, 2016

Carlos Melia - Milan

I was invited by Emirates Airlines to try their new non-stop flight from New York to Milan, Italy on their Business Class, so I decided to pit together a 10 days itinerary exploring Italy, which took me to my first visit to the Amalfi Coast, onwards to yet another lovely visit to Venice and to London, aboard the overnight luxury train Venice Simplon Orient-Express.

Since I have not been in Milan for quite sometime, I’ve decided to take a suite for the day at the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental Milan, and explore a few higlights, after a lovely and relaxed lunch. Here are my comments, photos and videos. Hope you enjoy my post on this experience.

So I flew Emirates Airlines, non-stop from New York JFK to Milano Malpensa. It was on their Airbus 380, and it took approximately 7 hours, which went by very quickly. Meal service consisted by drinks at the onboard lounge bar, followed by a three-course dinner. One hour upon arrival, breakfast was served. Great entertaiment system, screen, movie selection, headseats. Full flat – comfortable – bed, as a matter of fact I passed out for 3 hours on it, and I rarely sleep when flying into Europe from New York.

My only comment would be the crew. Compared to other similar airlines, I felt they weren’t that friendly, engaging nor attentive to service, which in the end makes it for the entire experience, doesn’t it?. Regardless, the best option, today, to fly non-stop from New York to Milan.

Upon arrival to Milan Malpensa, I had my VIP Service and Transfer, by Milano Luxury Services. A Mercedez E-Class and private chauffer that in no time, had me at my hotel in the heart of Milan. Mind I was in Milan, only for six hours, connecting flights to the Amalfi Coast, each minute counted.

When I travel overseas, and have connecting flights, I usually enjoy taking a hotel room at the connecting destination, and exploring for a few hours. In this case, I landed in Milan at noon, and my flight to Naples, was at 8PM. Giving me plenty of time to enjoy my gorgeous suite at the Mandarin Oriental Milan, have a nice lunch at the Mandarin Bar and Bistro by Michelin star awarded and acclaimed Chef Antonio Guida.

At the Mandarin Oriental Milan, I checked in at the fabulous Milano Suite, decorated in true Milanese style, dedicated to the designer Piero Fornasetti – was an Italian painter, sculptor, interior decorator and engraver. The Milano Suite is located on the second floor of the hotel, also known as the ‘noble’ floor because of its high ceilings and abundant natural light. Furnished with original Fornasetti pieces, accommodation consists of a living area, bedroom, master bathroom and a separate guest bathroom.

The living room is divided by a pillar, adorned with wallpaper aptly named ‘Riflesso’ (reflection), with the ‘Ultime Notizie’ table and ‘Capitello’ chairs in the dining area, and the ‘Fly’ coffee table, ‘Guscio’ sofa and ‘Boss’ black leather armchair on the other side. Accessed via a corridor with its ‘Architettura’ console table, the king size bedroom is dressed with ‘Chiavi Segrete’ wallpaper and furnished with a writing desk, a small table from the ‘Farfalle’ collection and two large interfacing mirrors. A vast ensuite bathroom features a walk-in shower, twin vanity unit and a much-admired ‘Spoon XL’ bathtub from Agape.

After a lovely shower and a glas of local chilled white wine, I joined the General Manager and Public Relations team, for a relaxed lunch at the colorfull Mandarin Bar & Bistro. Mandarin Bar offers a seductive mix of contemporary music, delicious dishes and bespoke cocktails. The black and white marble mosaic covered floor and walls combined with a large central bar and eclectic mix of furniture creates the perfect backdrop for drinking and dining.

Catering both to guests and the city’s discerning style crowd, Mandarin Bar enjoys a relaxed atmosphere with three distinctive areas; the bar bistro, an inside lounge and an outside courtyard area featuring lounge sofas, tables, cabanas and soft lights. The bar bistro menu features a mix of Italian dishes, salads and Antonio Guida’s reinterpretation of traditional sandwiches, served with a modern twist. The octopus was delicious, and the Tiramisu, was totally worth of each calorie.

I followed with a quick tour and walk around the entire property, including Entry Level Rooms, Presidential Suite, spa, fitness center and funtion rooms. With an enviable central location, Mandarin Oriental, Milan is a 5-star luxury hotel, just steps from La Scala. And with spacious rooms, elegant suites, innovative dining and a fabulous spa, we are the perfect urban retreat. With interiors by acclaimed Italian designer Antonio Citterio, their 104 rooms and suites exude a wonderful sense of luxury. What I liked the most, is how cozy and private the whole experience felt.

Given the privileged location, I decided to go for a two hours walked around the area, and visit the Duomo, La Scala, Via Montenapoleone, and Via della Spiga, Milan’s most exclusive shopping streets, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Sforza Castle and Santa Maria delle Grazie, which hosts Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”.

By 5.30PM – sharply – I was ready to continue my journey onwards to the Amalfi Coast. Once again my private car and chauffer by Milano Luxury Services, took me – this time to Linate Airport, to board my Alitalia flight to Naples. This was my fantastic six hours layover in Milan.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog

Milan Gay Travel Resources

Eating My Way Through Northern Italy

Author: , January 2nd, 2016

Dani Globetrotter Girls

One of the things I was most exciting about when I got on the train to Italy? The food, of course! I boarded the train in Germany in the morning knowing that I’d get off the train in Milan a few hours later, and all I could think about was what I’d be eating for my first meal in Italy. I love Italian food – the pastas, pizzas, breads and pastries, risotto and pretty much everything that I can eat as a vegetarian (I am always told I am missing out because the meat dishes and seafood are amazing, apparently).

So while I’m inviting you to join me on a culinary tour of Lombardy and Veneto, the regions I traveled to on my recent visit, be warned: this is only a small fraction of all the good food Northern Italy has to offer, and it is the meat free version.

When this decadent customs wasn’t feasible anymore because of rising gold prices, Lombardians still wanted their food to look as if gold was used, which is why the color yellow is omnipresent – in the most iconic dish of the region for example, Risotto Alla Milanese. The color comes from the saffron, which is the most expensive spice in the world – did you know that? In addition to saffron, lots of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and butter are used. As you can see in the picture below, ‘Alla Milanese’ can also be made with pasta, not just with risotto.milan spaghetti milanesaSpeaking of butter – Lombardians are not afraid to use butter and lard, especially in the polenta dishes. Polenta, a corn meal based dish is together with risotto the most common dish in the region, and is usually served with meat or vegetables.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Lombardy Gay Travel Resources

Best Gay Friendly Destinations in Italy

Author: , December 10th, 2015

Colosseum - Rome, Italy

Thanks to the open-minded attitude of some important cities like Florence, Milan or Bologna, Italy has always been also one of the main destinations for LGBT tourism.

If you are looking for some gay friendly destinations in Italy, here is some advice.

Milan and Bologna

If you want to spend your holidays in the north of Italy, Milan might be the best choice: well known for its historical monuments, above all its Cathedral, the Duomo, it is famous also for its vitality and for the innumerable chances that it offers to have fun and to enjoy the city.

What’s more, it is very open to any sexual orientation and you will find a lot of LGBT friendly clubs and bars (especially all around Porta Venezia district). For this reason, you should subscribe the Arcigay Card; for just 15 euros, you will be able to take part to many different activities, as well as to enjoy gay parties, afterhours, restaurants and cruises.

The card can be used even in Bologna, another of the most open-minded and tolerant city of Italy, because it has been governed by the left party since the Second World War, and also thanks to the university campus.

Here you can find the very well-known gay and lesbian centre, called Cassero, built in a medieval spot of the city, which is also the headquarters of the Arcigay organisation.

Tuscany, Florence and Rome

Moving to the center of Italy, we find the Tuscany region, famous for its atmosphere of freedom since the time of Renaissance: here it is strictly forbidden to discriminate against anyone based on sexual orientation.

Florence offers you any kind of amusement: cinema, shopping and restaurants.
For example, every Tuesday the Azione Gay e Lesbica organisation proposes iCiacklinei: every week a different movie with a gay theme.

But if you are more interested on how to enjoy the weekend, you will find many LGBT friendly pubs and discos all around Piazza Santa Croce, where you will dance until dawn.

Beyond Florence, you’ll also find the gay life in Versilia, especially in the summer.

Finally, moving to the South, the most well-known gay friendly destination surely is Rome.

Maybe you wouldn’t expect to find many gay areas in this conservative and catholic city, but in spite of this, gay life is present and important.

Who doesn’t know about the annual Gay Village? An open-air summer festival well-know all over Europe, as well as the always crowded Via San Giovanni in Laterano, today called Rome’s Gay Street, where you can enjoy the weekend in summer nights.

Don’t forget that even in Rome, the Arcigay Card is accepted in many bars, pubs, restaurants and saunas,

Italian cities can be today compared to Sitges, Mikonos or Ibiza for  LGBT friendly tourism, so donit miss the chance to visit Italy for your next gay holiday.

Note: This is a sponsored article, although we have taken no compensation for it.

My Weekend in Milan

Author: , May 8th, 2014

Milan, ItalyHead to spend Easter weekend in Milan, first stop the city to meet friends and explore and second stop to meet the new Italian family just an hour north of the city in the steeps of the mountains in a village called Veglio.

We flew EasyJet, 1.5 hours from gatwick to Milan linate which is smack in the middle of the city a 15 minute taxi ride just [euro]13. Here we stayed with a friend who was just four stops by underground from Duomo, and a simple 20 minute walk from the main high street. If you begin shopping Milan there wil be no turning back. Not only are there hundreds of shops in the city but the style is unique and incredible compared to major cities like London and Paris and Berlin, furthermore the prices are surprisingly affordable for this style.

If Milan is built for anything it is shopping, immerse yourself in the high street stores or head designer for the home of Prada and other amazing brands that dazzle the wealth of the city including D&G And Marc Jacobs.

By Ryan C. Haynes – Honest Omissions | Milan Gay Travel Resources