What to pack to Milan


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La Rinascente during Saldi

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Oh lovely Milan, the city of fashion, food and fun! The past two weeks I have spent in Italy, loving my Christmas holiday, stuffing myself to satisfy my family, and all this at home fairly close to Milan, trying to visit Milan as much as I possibly could. On the 4th of January, the saldi (sales) start in Milan, and when the saldi start, Milan isn’t a place where someone would want to be. This is because of one very good reason: there are so many people that there are lines to get into the store, and then I’m not even talking about the line at the pay desk. On the street it was practically impossible to walk properly, you stepped, stopped, stepped, stopped, bumped into someone, said scusa and that whole cycle repeated itself over and over again. In the fashion warehouse: “la Rinascente” on Corso Vittorio Emmanuele II next to the Duomo there were so many people that I didn’t know which side to go to anymore, I was completely clueless in which direction I had come from, and where I had to go to. Off course to make the excessive tourist and locals on the street even more cozy, nature decided it had to rain the week of the saldi, which means that everyone, even those with umbrellas will walk on the covered sidewalk next to the stores.

At a certain point, just outside of the Rinascente, I saw a cute couple around their 30’s running to find shelter under the covered sidewalk. They, off course, bumped into me and left a mark of water on my jacket. Let me try to explain their appearance: the girl wore capri pants, all stars, a jeans-jacket and had no clue where to go, the boy, wore a t-shirt, Abercrombie vest and long pants on, both were soaking wet. Here is were I realised that tourists in Milan often aren’t prepared for the weather, nor the people, in Milan. 

There are only two very important things that you need to remember about the weather in Milan: #1: The summers are hot and humid (prepare for beautiful thunderstorms that will both scare the crap out of you, and will fascinate you immensely), #2: The winters are damp and cold (Please, don’t forget to bring a rain jacket and umbrella).

Even though Milan is the fourth hottest city in Europe, and only has 10 snowdays, every night will be cold. Remember those cliché romance movies that are set in Italy, where the woman and man walk outside at night after a wonderful romantic dinner and the women says: “I’m so cold” and the man gives her his jacket… Remember? I think that everyone that has experienced those Milanese nights can agree that yes this type of scene is a cliché, not only in movies but also in real life.

However, no matter what weather, sun, cold, rain, snow and wind, Milanese people will look like they’ve just come out of a photo-shoot. Think a lot of black and white, sunglasses, fur, high heels, latest trends, etc. etc. However don’t torture yourself with wearing high heels to go sight-seeing and shopping, you will regret it (but then again, it could also be the perfect excuse to buy a new pair of shoes)

This holiday I ran into the most interesting looking person I’ve ever seen in Milan. I was crossing the street and wasn’t there with my mind, suddenly a very tall, purple, feathered and furred thing was standing right in front of me. I didn’t hit big-bird, but I was very close to bumping into her. The middle-aged woman, in an over-sized, purple/pink feather and fur jacket looked back at me, and only then I noticed her peculiar make-up. Her face was painted white, like a geisha, with purple lipstick and fake eyelashes that seemed to touch her eyebrows. 

Below you will find a packing list for your backpack, purse, or anything like that, for those long Milanese days that are essential for surviving in Milan.

 

Backpack packing list for sightseeing to Milan. 

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1. 

http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/polaroid-z2300/

2.

http://www.urbanears.com/headphones/plattan/plattan-dark-grey/

 Urbanears are not just very handy in trendy Milan, but anywhere in the world. I have orange urban-ears and they have become an extension of my head nowadays, the sound quality is great and you can connect another headphone or earphone to listen together. 

3.

http://www.designboom.com/design/designboom-shop-new-product-goggles-umbrella/

I have had it way too many times that I bumped into someone while protecting myself from the rain, last time it was here in Stockholm. The man who I bumped into got a scratch on his left cheek and was soaking after I bumped into him. This umbrella with goggles will both make you look ridiculous, yet wanting to help the community around you. 

4.

www.theqcamera.com/

 This social media camera apparently has a very low quality and less storage than an iPhone, but hey, it looks nice, and is good to take with you as it is small, cute and water-resistant.

5.

http://www.asos.com/ASOS/ASOS-iPhone-5-Case-In-Ice-Lolly-Shape/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=3532097&SearchQuery=phone&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=36&sort=-1&clr=Multi

 Italian inspired ice-cream iphone cover. 

6.

http://www.duolingo.com

Also available on appstore: duolingo

Duolingo is great to study a language, not just Italian, but also Portuguese, French and German. Enjoy!

7.

http://www.palomarweb.com/web/tienda/products/view/5

 This map is available for nearly every big city, big plus with this map, you can crumble it, and it’s water proof. Trust me, you will need this wherever you go!

8.

http://www.modcloth.com/shop/wallets/keep-you-posted-wallet

 Travel inspired wallet. 

9.

http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/index.aspx

 Inspiration can strike everywhere, whether it’s a recipe for food, an idea for a tv-series or a simple reminder, this notebook is ideal. 

10.

http://www.asos.com/Mi-Pac/Mi-Pac-Backpack-in-Cosmos-Print/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=3784582&cid=12496&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=36&sort=-1&clr=Multi

I’m in love with this backpack, it is very awesome and the leather on the bottom is great so water won’t enter your backpack when you put it on the ground. 

 

Good luck! 

Keep tuned for more posts, 

Love Gioia

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