Romantic Things to Do in Milan

February 5, 2013 by

Things to Do

Restaurant at La Rinascente overlooking the Duomo. Creative commons photo by JasonParis via Flickr.

Milan is famously Italy’s capital of banking and fashion, which doesn’t sound like it leaves much room for romance. But any destination can be romantic if you’re there with your sweetheart, and Milan actually offers some romantic things to do if you know where to look. Here are some romantic things to do in Milan.

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Picnic in the Park

Yes, Milan is a busy city – but when the weather is nice, locals flock to the Parco Sempione in the city center to enjoy the great green lawn. Bring a picnic cobbled together from a stop at an outdoor market or one of the many grocery stores in the city and lounge in the park with the Milanese. Depending on the time of year, you may even find mini-festivals going on in different parts of the park, too.

Designer Shopping Spree

If your sweetie’s a fashionista and your budget will allow, nothing says “I love you” like a few hours popping in and out of the designer boutiques in the Quadrilatero d’Oro. And if your honey’s a bit more budget-conscious, you can hunt down one of the not-terribly-easy-to-find discount shops that sell last year’s fashions, or stick to window-shopping, which is always free.

Aperitivo with a View

Aperitivo, that buffet-style stop between work and dinner that most Milan residents spend an hour or two enjoying, can be romantic enough on its own – especially if you’re on a streetside cafe with good people-watching. But for an aperitivo with a killer view, head for the Rinascente department store next to the Duomo. They serve drinks on the 7th floor, where there’s a large balcony overlooking the Duomo. There’s no lavish buffet here, but a glass of bubbly and a look at the Duomo should make it a heart-stopping place to spend a half-hour or more before dinner.

Night Out at the Opera

Make your music-loving sweetie swoon with tickets to a red-velvet-lined box at La Scala. The opera season begins in December, and the schedule varies each year, so check online well in advance of your visit to make sure there are tickets available during your stay. And if you can’t score tickets to a show, be sure to visit the La Scala Museum, which includes a peek inside one of those sumptuous theater boxes.

Indulging in a Fine Meal

It’s not a romantic evening in Italy if you don’t have a great meal. In Milan, where aperitivo is extremely popular, you can split your evening meal into two parts – first, find a bar you like with a great buffet where you can have a drink or two and some snacks to nibble on. Then, head for one of Milan’s many great restaurants (for the best ones you’ll need to book a table in advance). Try Corso Como 10, where the Milanese go to be seen; Cracco, a restaurant run by the people behind the fancy Peck market; Bice, a Tuscan restaurant in the Quadrilatero d’Oro; or Savini, inside the beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

Two Tickets to a Soccer Game

Let’s say the love of your life isn’t swayed by shopping, fine food, or opera. How does seeing a soccer game in Italy’s biggest stadium sound? Two different teams play their home games in the Stadio San Siro, so there are games just about every weekend during the soccer season – and because San Siro is so big, chances are good you’ll be able to get two tickets by walking up to the ticket kiosks a few hours before the game.

Take a Day Trip

If all else fails and you can’t quite muster up any romantic energy in the heart of Milan, then head out of the city for a day trip. A popular (and romantic) option is to visit Lake Maggiore, but you can also spend a day meandering through the walled town of Bergamo. In either case, you get to escape the city for a day while exploring a place that’s more quiet and picturesque.

- Jessica Spiegel

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