When visiting Italy, it seems every destination has enough historical sites to keep you busy for a month. Oddly, Milan and Pisa don’t fall into this category.
Milan is a thoroughly modern city and I would hazard to guess a wealthy one. This is not really the place for a budget traveler, but then again budget travelers seem to survive anywhere.
Milan is a good city to stroll around in. One can see a lot of interesting little shops and neighborhoods, but there isn’t the “monument to…” you find in most Italian cities. Don’t worry, the Cathedral makes up for it all.
In a city with a very modern feel, an old structure dominates. If you have an interest in churches, you must visit Milan. The “Duomo” is simply staggering in appearance. From the outside, it is all gothic spires and frescos. I don’t know why, but the place is just radiating intensity and power. The inside of the structure is a world unto itself. Marble is everywhere and you can’t help but stand around with your mouth open.
I hate to say it, but Milan can be a bit boring once you’ve had your fill of the Cathedral. The nightlife can be vibrant, but there is a definite dress to be seen feel to the place.
Who hasn’t heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa? When you visit, you will indeed find the tower is leaning. Unfortunately, you will not find much else. The tower is impressive as are the buildings immediately surrounding it. Nonetheless, the rest of Pisa is more interested in getting on with things. A nice place to visit, but don’t plan on spending more than a day or two.
There is nothing inherently wrong with Milan or Pisa if you know what to expect. If you’re expecting destinations similar to Rome, you’ll be disappointed.