my lovely friend elise – we met when we were 15 at manchester discos – books all her trips in advance when flights are bargain prices – she is very good at doing this and then asks her friends to join her! its a great way to see the world at less price than a train ticket. so off we went to milan for a few days – a city that i had been to once before, but many moons ago. flying from manchester made the whole journey easy peasy – smaller airports are much easier – and as soon as you step out of milan airport there are buses taking you straight to the centre of milan. the centre was much older and more elegant than i anticipated – lots of shopping around the beautiful galleria emanuel vittorio and the cake like duomo cathedral. you must see inside the original prada shop, with its beautiful wooden shop fittings, sadly unaffordable clothes. take a walk to corso como to see 10 corso como, the shop/cafe/gallery initiated by carla sozzani, former vogue fashion editor – its an interesting space with rooftop terrace – also close by is eat italy, the great department store with everything to do with italian food and cooking. one afternoon we visited the new prada foundation, a former distillery turned into gallery spaces by the architect rem koolhaas – the art was not to my taste, though i loved the louise bourgeois installation, but its worth the visit to see the amazing spaces and to eat a toasted panini and delicious ice cream in the wes anderson inspired cafe. take an evening stroll down the canal area – a bit touristy, but its where the younger crowd tend to go to drink and eat. there are plenty of trams around, so getting around is fairly easy. the highlight of our visit was a tour around villa necchi, the 1930’s private house, which is almost perfectly kept intact as originally designed – the detailing is just to die for – i first noticed it in the film ‘I am Love’ with tilda swinton. its a hidden sanctuary within the bustling city.