The Champions League Returns to the Capital of Football
17 May, 2016
Along with Madrid, Milan is the city with the most European cups and Champions League trophies. While Madrid’s ten trophies are held by the competition’s overall master, Real Madrid, in Milan the spoils are divided between the two continental greats – AC Milan (with seven trophies) and Inter Milan (with three). The balance will of course tip in favour of the Madrilenians on 28 May, but the hottest question right now is whether Atlético Madrid is capable of finally ending its run of bad luck and conquering the greatest of finals to be crowned emperor of football on the continent. We’ll know the answer in a few days’ time.
At My Vueling City, we know only too well that the king of sports moves masses, and that hordes of people will be descending on Milan to witness one of the greatest spectacles in the world. We are aware that fans will be going on a lightning visit which, in many cases, will be less than 24 hours. No problem, as Milan has a lot to offer. Following are some tips for making the most out of this getaway. The idea is you get to see something more than the area surrounding San Siro, the stadium hosting the final.
San Siro stadium is quite far from the city centre, but it is well connected. You can get there easily by taking buses 95, 49 or 72. Tram no. 24 also has a stop there. But, the metro is clearly the fastest way of reaching the stadium – the recently unveiled Line 5 goes there direct. Curiously, the two great local soccer clubs share the stadium and, when it is Inter Milan’s turn to do so, it changes its name to Giuseppe Meazza. During the soccer season, both teams play there on alternate Sundays. On the day of the final, there are unlikely to be any guided tours but, if you visit the stadium any other time, we can recommend two. Both include a tour of the stadium, built in 1920, and visits to the players’ changerooms and to the AC Milan and Inter Milan Museum.
For those of you who will only be around for a few hours, we can recommend a walk through the inner city to give you a taste of the capital of Lombardy. Start with a stroll down the Corso Buenos Aires. This broad avenue is the backbone of the shopping district. Be sure to stop off at the Torrefazione Caffè Ernani, at Corso Buenos Aires 20. A visit to the café is essential if you want to perk up fully after the trip. They serve their own coffee, ground and roasted on the premises. Their espresso is highly aromatic and the best thing of all is the price – just one euro. Continuing down the avenue towards the centre, you will go through the Porta Venezia gateway, a sign you are entering the city’s historic centre. On the right (to the north) you will see a stunning park, the Indro Montanelli Gardens, a green lung which is ideal for having a picnic or for going for a run. Inside the park stands the impressive Villa Comunale, which currently houses the Natural History Museum. Further along what has now turned into the Corso Venezia, the avenue is lined with the storefronts of such exclusive brands as Dolce & Gabbana (which features a barber’s shop) and Vivienne Westwood. After crossing the Piazza San Babila, we recommend heading straight along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II where big brand stores have taken over the street level. Here, the tall buildings house a number of shopping malls or galleries. The street eventually leads into the Piazza del Duomo, presided over by Milan Cathedral or Duomo di Milano with its characteristic spires. This formidable construction built of pink Candoglia marble rivets the attention of most tourists who flock to the square. Another building well worth visiting is the Museo del Novecento as it affords the best views of the Cathedral. We realise that time is at a premium and that trippers will have their mind on nothing but a ball and 22 players. However, with a view to going back to Milan at a later date, we recommend you visit the museum as it features works by some of the leading artists of the early European avant-garde, notably De Chirico, Fontana and Marinetti. Lastly, take a stroll in the Quadrilatero d’Oro, undisputed as the most acclaimed shopping precinct in the world. The “Golden Quadrilateral” with its cobbled streets roofed with translucent barrel-vaulting leaves sightseers open-mouthed.
This route will surely have whet your appetite to see more of the city, but football is football and you probably don’t have much more leeway if you’ve come specifically to see the final. Further posts about Milan will follow soon, so keep your eye on the blog. If you fancy seeing the city for yourself, check out our flights here.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
Images by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS, John Seb Barber, Jose Luis Hidalgo
17 May, 2016