With Milan Fashion Week rapidly approaching, a suggestion for a hotel in Milan, and a sightseeing side trip to a spot that needs some advance planning. The Grand Hotel de et Milan is splendid. If there are still rooms available during Milan Fashion Week, book it! The hotel is centrally located, and is super comfortable. The rooms are spacious, high ceilings, and have a very Italian, traditional feel.
Sightseeing: Don't Miss...
The must see attraction in Milan is Leonardo DaVinci's The Last Supper, L'Ultima Cena in Italian. To view the masterpiece, you MUST buy tickets ahead of time or you will not be able to go in to see it. The 15th Century mural is painted on a wall in The Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The Convent is hidden on a small side street in the heart of Milan, and it is impossible to see the awe inspiring painting on a dining hall wall without an advance reservation and ticket. But, the effort this takes is well worth it. The detail in the painting, and the expressions on the faces of the apostles are timeless and telling as the traitor is revealed. Interesting tidbit, a door was cut in the bottom of the mural in the 1600's, the arch of which can still be seen at the bottom of the painting. And, the monastery was bombed during WW II, but the painting survived.
Oh, and a side trip is in order, you are in Italy after all. Wearever's suggestion would be a trip down the coast to one of two or three marvelous Relais & Chateaux properties in Southern Italy. A personal favorite is Don Alfonso 1890. The location and the restaurant are spectacular, and the hosts, the Iccarinos could not be more gracious and welcoming. Do not miss the pre Roman tunnel which houses the wine collection and an aging room for cheeses. A better meal can not be found in Italy, you can even try to cook yourself at the boutique hotel's cooking school.
Another choice is Bellevue Syrene 1820 in Sorrento. The hotel was built on the foundation of a Roman villa, and the views of the coast line and deep blue sea are some of the reasons to keep coming back to Italy. The wine cellar is in a traditional grotto beneath the hotel. Although it may not strictly be beach weather, Pompeii, Capri, Ischia, and the unsurpassed Amalfi Coast, including Positano, are there for you to explore.
The other iconic Relais & Chateax is in Positano, Il San Pietro Di Positano. The views are spectacular, as is the tennis court set between the cliffs. There is even a private elevator built into the rocks that goes down to a private beach and restaurant. Use Milan Fashion Week as a good excuse to explore La Dolce Vita in Italia.
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