If you didn't know that I recently went to Milan for my 21st, then you've been living under a rock, because it's literally all I've spoken about for the past 2 weeks. My lovely boyfriend, Josh, and I set our sights on the lovely Italian city a few months back, and had been super excited to jump on the plane, and get there, ever since. It was our first holiday together, and one of my first trips to another country, that didn't involve work, in a while. It was exactly the little break away from reality that we both needed, and I've been completely consumed by the 'holiday-blues' now that we're home.

I wanted to write a little post all about our trip, share what we got up to, where we were recommended to go, etc etc - it'll hopefully be somewhat of a helpful post if you're planning to go to Italy, but also just a nice little memory for me to keep on here too!

We began our journey at Manchester Airport, where we said a big goodbye to the miserable rain and clouds of the North, and jetted off to the beautiful foreign sunshine. We'd been checking the weather forecast like crazy before going, and knew it was meant to be pretty damn hot when we arrived, but little did we know we were landing down in a sweltering sunny heatwave with highs of 40°C - it's safe to say that we were both melting on our travel into the city from the airport.

We'd booked an Airbnb, which we were super excited to stay in and were definitely ready to check into after 3 hours of travelling. And, luckily, it definitely did not disappoint: our host was amazing, providing us with bottles of water stocked up in the fridge (which we had completely finished by the time we'd left, because well, 40°C heat + lots of walking = major dehydration), as well as breakfast and snacks. Everything was more than we could have asked for! 

The apartment was the perfect little holiday home for us during the duration of our stay. It felt like our own home by the time we left, and I really did not want to wave goodbye to our lovely little balcony. But, less talk about leaving, more about what we got up to!

On the first evening, despite being absolutely shattered after getting to the airport for 5:30am in the morning, we headed into Milan Central and stumbled across this small little Italian cafe/bar where we enjoyed our first drinks in our new home away from home. I wish I could remember the name of it, unfortunately I can't, but I had an amazing glass of red wine there, whilst Josh enjoyed an Italian beer - not much to complain about really.

We then spent a while stressing over food - the sudden realization that most restaurants there don't open until at least 7:00pm in the evening, and we were absolutely ravenous. 

Google Maps was our port of call, and we were scouring the internet looking for somewhere that would feed us literally anything!

We eventually stumbled across Miscusi, which was a place a bunch of you recommended actually, but I hadn't realised how close we were to one (doh!), and it was perfect for getting us settled in. We had been struggling to find somewhere where the food was described in English (it made us realise that we're a totally ignorant country, but neither of us speak a word of Italian so needed some help) and Miscusi came to the rescue. I had some amazing Pesto Tagliatelle and Josh had Ragu Bolognese - it definitely got us excited to try more Italian food!

On our second day we headed into Duomo for the first time for breakfast and were breath-taken by the beautiful sight of the Cathedral as we exited the Metro. We must have both filmed that metro exit about 20 times - it is just absolutely stunning!

We grabbed some breakfast at a cute cafe (there's lots of nice cafes in Duomo if you want a quick cappuccino before you start your day) - it's crazy that every morning involves either a croissant or pancakes, but I wasn't complaining! Then headed off to do a bit of outfit photo shooting (Josh is a saint and let me drag him to every beautiful corner I could find).

We wanted to go to the Cathedral this day, but hadn't realised we needed to pre-book tickets (ooops), so put that aside for the next day and popped into Milan Central for an amazing lunch at Hostaria La Baita. We both had pizza because, well, "when in Italy!", and they were so so good! Definitely one for the recommendation list - especially if you're going as a couple.

That evening - after pestering everyone for recommendations on Instagram - we headed into Isola for the first time. We decided after a day of running round from place to place, that we deserved a few drinks, so took to Isola for the bars and nightlife of Milan.

We began at a bar called BOB, which I adored the interior of - I took a million photos of it! It was super nice, but definitely one of the more 'pricey' bars there. Two drinks cost us 17€, which made us a little it skeptical (it made us crap our pants and cry about our bank balances) that everywhere else would be the same, but that wasn't the case. 

Our favourite bar of the night was a place called Type - they had a really lovely chilled vibe in there, as well as a sheltered seating area outside which was great (somewhere I'd definitely take cover in the shade during the day). It was well priced, with nice staff - we had a really nice evening there.

Thursday was Cathedral day and we were so excited to head up to the roof terrace and see the beautiful view. However, to start the day we decided to take a visit to the famous Starbucks Reserve Roastery, which is basically the fanciest, most incredible Starbucks/Coffee Shop you could ever stumble upon. 

You may have seen videos of it over on my Instagram, but if not, head over to my highlights and take a look - it's insane! We enjoyed some iced coffees and a couple of croissants, before heading over to the Cathedral to begin our tour. 

This was the hottest day we were there, for sure, so choosing to pay less and take the stairs to the Cathedral rooftop rather than the lift was not my wisest choice however, it was amazing to walk through the walls and peak through the small thin windows every so often and see how high up we'd gotten. 

Once we eventually made it to the top, we were blown away - the view was incredible and sound of music playing in the background, combined with the brilliant sunshine was just absolutely dreamy.

We turned full on tourist-mode taking snaps of the amazing sites and having those 'I can't believe we're here' moments. It was honestly just SO worth every penny, and I'd totally recommend doing it!

Once we'd retreated down to the inside of the Cathedral, we were able to see the amazing stained glass windows with all the murals, as well as heading into the crypt to see the ruins, some which dated back to 2BC.

After that we decided it was time for Gelato, and couldn't have picked a better place to treat ourselves. We went to Cioccolati Italiani and both chose a "Waffle Cone Ask Me If I'm Happy", which consisted of a huge cone, vanilla and chocolate ice cream, as well as a mini cone filled with hot melted chocolate and 3 thin caramel peanut bars - it. was. HEAVEN.

The next day we decided we needed something to cool us down and were eyeing up swimming pools nearby when Josh stumbled across a water-park... so, to the water-park we went!

It was Acquatica Park and it was a really great place to go if you're looking for something a little adventurous to do whilst you're in Milan (it's a good 40 minutes on the metro). However, the downside was that it was overflowing with kids who would just group together and cut in-front of you in the queue for EVERYTHING... which left us pretty frustrated, but we did get to go on one or two things which was super fun (besides me nearly losing my bikini top on the way down haha). 

We decided to just take to the swimming pools instead, rather than battling small Italian children who didn't like the concept of queuing. It was a really nice change to all the city-walking and definitely kept us cool in the heat for a few hours or so! 

*heads up, if your from the UK and need to pee whilst your there, the main toilets are squat latrines (something we're obviously not used to), so if you head into one of the cafes there's another toilet or two in there!*

On our last evening in Milan we decided to treat ourselves to nice meal somewhere, but weren't particularly in the mood for more pasta or pizza, so looked up some other cuisines and discovered a lovely Chinese restaurant called Giardino di Giada (Jade Garden).

It's located a small 5 minute walk from the Metro and was absolutely divine! They serve Cantonese dishes and the interior is so bright and elegant. We picked out some dishes to share and they were all so fresh and delicious, we were over the moon that we chose to eat there. The best dish in my opinion was definitely the 'Fried Noodle In Cantonese Style' - it was so so good!

Our trip there was lovely - I couldn't have asked for a better Birthday getaway. Milan is a beautiful city filled with so much culture and so much amazing food - I highly recommend if you like city breaks and exploring new places!

Hopefully you enjoyed this post and it was somewhat useful. I've loved writing it up and reminiscing about what we got up to. Here's to our next adventure!