Explore Milan, Italy with Ingrid Opstad

 

I’m beyond excited to be starting a little travel series on Pebble & Pearl! Travel is such a huge part of who I am and if I could do it non-stop I would. I love going on adventures around the globe– there’s nothing quite like it, in my opinion! There are tons of incredible places I’ve yet to discover, so, in the spirit of summertime adventure, I want to take a trip around the globe explore some of these wonderful places! Every Monday for the month of July, we’ll explore a different city through the eyes of some of my favorite fashionistas and travel bloggers. Expect some great tips on place to eat, sleep, and (obviously) explore!

Starting off this series, we’re going to explore Milan, Italy with Ingrid of That Scandinavian Feeling! I “met” Ingrid through a mutual friend, Instagram, when she reached out and sent me places she recommended I see during my time in Florence, Italy last summer.  After we connected, I fell in love with her minimalistic style and her great eye for detail. She drew me in with photos of her dreamy home, adorable fringe, and love for adventure. I’ve been stalking her ever since and I know you’ll want to too!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your blog?

My name is Ingrid and I am originally from Norway. After living and working many years in London, I decided to move to Italy with my boyfriend who is Italian. In London, I used to work as a graphic designer. Now, I am more of a social media and all-around creative professional for my clients and also managing my own blog. In this moment, I am in the beginning of a new business adventure called “Atelier Mave”, a paper & homeware brand with products made in Italy, but with a Scandinavian expression.
After moving to Italy, I started focusing a lot on my heritage and wanted an outlet where I could share more. As a Norwegian living abroad, I’m trying to find a Scandinavian feel from my surroundings so, I created the blog “That Scandinavian Feeling”. I want the blog to represent the feeling of coziness and calm, with a Nordic simplistic and minimalist style. The blog is intended to share my knowledge and love for Scandinavia; it touches upon everything from interiors, design, and lifestyle. “Scandinavian Feeling” is still quite young, but I have a lot of ideas on how to evolve the brand further.

Coming from Norway, did you find it easy to adapt to the Italian way of life?

Norway and Italy are very different  but, before moving here I had visited many times so I was aware of this. Adapting to their way of life was both easy and hard. I have, for instance, realized that after moving here it is better to take things slow and enjoy the moment. Sometimes everything is so hectic,  but the Italians sure know how to practice slow living while enjoying themselves. I think for me, I have created a mix of the Italian and Scandinavian lifestyle which seems to fit very well. When it comes to food, I am sticking more to the Scandinavian way of having a healthy and hearty breakfast instead of going for the Italian biscuits and coffee. When in comes to dinner, I am getting used to eating later in the evening which is true Italian style. I think that it is always good to adapt to your new surroundings, but still keep to your own traditions and ways of life.

You often talk about incorporating hygge into your everyday life, can you explain what hygge is and how you bring “that Scandinavian feeling” to life in Italy?

Hygge is a state of coziness & calm that you will get from enjoying life’s simple pleasures. It is a Scandinavian word that has become very popular this last year. It’s a feeling that can be achieved in your home by lighting candles, or enjoying a cup of coffee while reading a book wrapped in a blanket. Hygge is not just for your home, it can also be things like enjoying a picnic with friends, having a walk or going on a bike ride. Hygge is basically those little moments that makes us happy and relaxed.

I bring “That Scandinavian Feeling” to Italy by creating a home that is bright, minimal and clean, but also cozy and homely. I’ve been focusing on adding little personal elements in my home to make it cozy. Having little details like photos and decorative items remind me of where I’m from and the memories that I’ve shared with loved ones. Candles and plants bring more of the outside in. I enjoy creating my own little Scandinavian nest here in Italy. When I’m in my apartment, it makes me feel like I am back home in Norway and when I step outside I am yet again in Italy.


 

What do you love most about living in Milan?

After living in London, I was used to being in a big, vibrant city so I wanted to be close to something similar. I live on the outside of Milan near a smaller city called Monza, but Milan is not far away. I love the fact that I am so close to the busy city life, only 20 min on the train. Yet, is also very close to a more authentic smaller Italian village and one of the biggest parks in Europe, Monza park.

There are so many things that I love about living here; the food, the weather and the friendly people… But if I have to say one thing that I love the most is that it has to be so easy to travel around and experience the country. One of my favourite things to do on the weekend is having a little getaway or day trip to a new place. Italy is so diverse. You can experience those large, famous cities, but also discover small, idyllic towns and villages along the way. Because Milan has very good connections, you can reach places like Rome, Venice and Florence. You can also explore lovely places like Lake Como or even take a day trip to Switzerland – the opportunities are endless.

Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that Milan hosts the annual Design Week in April each year. It is a time when the whole city is buzzing and full of international people. Here you can find all the latest trends within the design and interior world. It is where all the brands show off their new products. It’s an amazing time to visit Milan if you are an interior geek like me 😉

I’m all about the food scene in a new city. Where are your favorite spots to taste what the city has to offer? 

Carlo e Camilla in Segheria- The coolest restaurant hidden in a old warehouse. In the restaurant you find two long tables inviting guests to sit together instead of separate which creates a warm and unique atmosphere. The food is amazing and the cocktails are very creative. The last time I went there,  I tasted a Caesar salad cocktail for instance.
Crazy Cat Cafe – A very particular place, if you like cats you will love it. Here you can play with cats and while eating lunch and cakes in a friendly and relaxing environment.


Bar Luce at the Fondazione Prada – A place worth visiting. This is a cafe designed by Wes Anderson, he has re-created the atmosphere of a typical Milanese cafè with a 1950s style full of pastel colours and quirky details. The perfect place for a drink or a coffee and a bite to eat while you pretend that you’re in your favourite Wes Anderson film.
Fancy Toast – Right now in Milano, toast is the hottest thing. This is a very tiny but very instagrammable place with all kinds of toasts on the menu.
Cioccolati Italiani – If you are after a good gelato make sure you stop by this place right near the Duomo! It is heaven.

Terazza Aperol – It might seem a bit touristy, but if you are in Milano and want to have an Aperol Spritz with the best view, I would recommend stopping here. It is located right opposite the Duomo, so you can enjoy a cold drink while looking at the most beautiful and iconic building in town.
Tram Ristorante At Mosfera – A lovely experience and a great way to discover the city. Dinner served on an old tram while it drives past all the sights in Milano.

Where are a few places people who are visiting Milan must go? 

As I mentioned above, the Duomo is the most iconic building in town and a must-see when visiting Milano. Purchase a ticket to visit the roof and get a view of the city as well as a closer look at the details of the architecture. While you are at the Duomo, be sure to walk thought Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and take a step back in time. This is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls, and it always takes my breath away.

I always recommend tourists to visit Eataly, this is a large store dedicated to food and eating. Something Italians know a lot about. Each floor has different sections dedicated to pasta, meat, cheese, wine etc… as well as different restaurants where you can enjoy everything from a pizza to just a glass of wine.

If you want to do some vintage shopping, then head to Navigli for the weekend market. This area is also good for aperitivo with endless bars and restaurant on each side of the canal, so after the shopping be sure to sit down and enjoy a glass and some nibbles in true Italian style.

Milan is a major fashion capital, what shops do we need to visit during our travels?

For fashion, you can find all the large flagship stores in the main shopping street behind the Duomo. Here you can also find the department store La Rinascente with clothing, household and beauty products. This is a pricey store with big brands, but you can also find a new section with Urban Outfitters and smaller up-and-coming brands. Another department store in Milan that I enjoy visiting is The Brian & Barry building in San Babila, 12 floors of shopping and food.

Via Torino is also a great area for discovering both big brands, as well as, smaller storesand independent brands. At the end of this long street you will find Milano’s version of Brick Lane, a trendy area full of younger people.

When it comes to design for the home, I love visiting Design Republic, it is a large store dedicated to Scandinavian design, as well as some Italian classics. Here you can find a beautiful curated showroom with a lot of inspiration. Also, the basement in the La Rinascente has a lot of great design and homeware.

Another place worth visiting is 10 Corso Como, a hidden backyard with a outdoor bar and fashion store downstairs. Upstairs you find a gallery and a bookstore selling a variety of creative & fashion related books.

After all that exploring, shopping and eating, we’ll need a place to sleep! Where are the best areas to stay in?

If you are planning to stay in Milano there are a few areas that I would suggest looking into. Go for Brera if you want a trendy and cool area but you are ready to spend a bit of money. Navigli is also a great area to stay in, and more affordable. Here you are close to the nightlife and bars on the canal. If you want to be close to the main attractions, then have a look at anything near the city centre and Duomo area as you will save on not having to take much public transport.

Where should we go to find you and stay connected? 

My Blog
Instagram

Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest

 

I hope you enjoyed reading all about Milan, Italy! Thank you so much stopping by.

 

Meaghan xx

 

28 Comments

  1. mlaurie24 on July 10, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    What beautiful pictures! I’ve always wanted to go here and now I really need to look into it. Thanks for the great tips.

  2. Monique on July 11, 2017 at 12:31 am

    OMG!! you are so lucky to be in an amazing city and culture. I am also a member of style collective and will follow you on social media. XO.

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on July 13, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      I wish I lived there! Sadly, it’s not me that lives there, but my friend Ingrid who I interviewed that’s the lucky one! Thanks for following along, it’s always nice to connect with other SC gals : ) Have a beautiful week x

  3. Shaheen Khan on July 11, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Loved reading this post. There’s so much passion in this description of Milan. And the photos are so picture perfect. Would love to visit all these wonderful places someday.

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on July 13, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      I’m right there with you! Her love for Milan makes me want to visit it all the more. Hopefully that day comes soon : ) Thanks for reading x

  4. Erin Bast on July 11, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Your photos are so gorgeous! They make it look like a wonderful place to visit. I really hope to make it to Milan one day!

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on July 13, 2017 at 5:19 pm

      Aren’t they beautiful?! I can’t take credit for the lovely photos though, my friend Ingrid who I interviewed sent them to me. I guess I should clear that up on the post! Glad you enjoyed it. Hope you’re having an awesome week x

  5. Joy Generoso on July 12, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Milan is so pretty! I’m dreaming of visiting and explore the city soon. I’ll take note some of interesting places you shared here.

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on July 13, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      I can’t wait to explore Milan someday! I didn’t get the chance to when I was in Italy last year, so it still up there on my list. I hope you get to see it soon and check out a few of these spots : ) Thanks for reading Joy x

  6. Ingrid Opstad on July 12, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Thank you so much for having me on your lovely blog. I look forward to read all the other posts in the series! x

    Ingrid | thatscandinavianfeeling.com

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on July 13, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      You are too sweet, it was my pleasure to have you!! Thanks for saying yes hehe. I love all the spots you shared– makes me eager for another adventure!! Have a fab week, lovely x

  7. pepperedinstyle on July 12, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    This is amazing! Congrats on this new series! I loved reading more about Milan and also getting to know Ingrid!! While I’ve been to Italy a couple of times, I have yet to visit Milan and this post makes me want to go even more! Xo ~Anna http://www.pepperedinstyle.com

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on July 13, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Thanks so much Anna! Isn’t she the cutest?! I definitely can’t wait to visits Italy again and do some serious exploring in Milan!! Hope you’re doing good : )

  8. dannie54 on July 12, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    I’m absolutely in love with this series! Milan is on my list, actually pretty close to the top, so I’m super down with all the suggestions in this post. And I love the concept of bringing hygge into every aspect of one’s life, not just the chill of winter. Lovely post!

    xoxo,
    Dannie
    http://www.stilefotocibo.com

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on July 13, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it! I really want to find ways to incorporate hygge into my everyday life too, it’s such a beautiful concept. I can’t wait for you achieve your Milano dream! Thanks for reading x

  9. Sam Thorpe on July 12, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Such gorgeous photos! Looks like you had an amazing visit, and I loved the interview! xo Sam

    https://iamsamthorpe.com/

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on July 13, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      Thank you, Ingrid took all the photos of her favorite places and shared them with me for the interview. I actually haven’t been to Milano yet, but really hope to soon : ) Glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Tabitha f on July 12, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Love this series! Can’t wait to read more!

    • Tabitha Faitha on July 12, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      🙂

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on July 16, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you Tabitha! I’m so happy you enjoyed it. Have a beautiful weekend xx

  11. Nancy on July 12, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful city! I hope to visit someday!
    http://www.simplynancyblog.com

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on July 16, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      I can’t wait to visit either Nancy!! Reading more about it has definitely given me the a case of wanderlust : ) Have a fabulous day xx

  12. mandyarraiz on July 12, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    These are such great tips and amazing places to visit! Can’t wait for your next post!! 🙂

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on July 16, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Ingrid gave some fun spots to visit that’ll definite be going on my list for whenever I visit!! Thanks for reading : )

  13. PishtoPosh on July 12, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Italy is such an amazing country with a rich history!! What a great series to start on your blog!! Love it.

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on July 16, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      It really is! I’ve fallen in love Florence and Cinque Terre and I can’t wait to explore Milan someday soon!! So many beautiful places to explore. Hope you have a wonderful weekend xx

  14. Courtney Bentley on July 13, 2017 at 2:45 am

    absolutely enjoyed this travel post! super love seeing such lovely photos it’s like going to Milan myself.

    Courtney Bentley || http://www.startsystemz.com

    • Meaghan Gonzalez on July 16, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      Aww thank you Courtney, I’m glad you enjoyed it. The photos make me feel like I’m there too and get me super excited to go and explore Milan in real life!! Have a lovely weekend xx

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