Italy 2014: Milan, Lake Como, & Messina, Sicily

Lake Como | Lace & Lilacs

As I sat upon my bed this morn, surrounded by various pillows in distinctly unique shades of pink & a fluffy, large, coffee-brown throw blanket, my thoughts wandered to the brief trip to Europe my father and I took last fall. I want to go somewhere, anywhere, oh-so badly at the moment… but I suppose writing of past adventures & explorations will just have to be enough for this gloomy, February day.

Ooh, shall we discuss, Italy now? (Could the answer ever be anything other than yes? I think not.)

Our first destination on this itty bitty business expedition was Milan… post-arrival we spent a full day in Lake Como, and then departed for Catania, Sicily (from Milan), where my father met with Italian customers of his.

Magic. Italy is magic. I kind of loved it.

Lake Como | Lace & Lilacs

Lake Como | Lace & Lilacs

Milan, Italy

Though I adored Milan (truly!), it was my least favorite of the three Italian cities I had the opportunity to acquaint myself with over the course of our stay. (Ouch- my apologies for that long sentence.)

The atmosphere is remarkably lovely, however, and the architecture! Oh my. Incredible.

Where to Go:

The Milan Cathedral – Milan’s cathedral is utterly stunning. I was unable to capture the exterior with justice, much to my dismay (a sad attempt at photographing it can be found below). Oh, but being in the presence of such a majestic structure – it was simply extraordinary.

Teatro alla Scala – An incredible opera house… someday, I will see a performance in this beautiful place. Someday…

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Shall we shop? (in one of the world’s oldest malls!)

Sforza Castle – Ah, how entirely gorgeous is this castle? Love.

Santa Maria delle Grazie – So pretty-pretty. A sight that absolutely must be seen. (Also: The Last Supper!)

Piazza del Duomo, Milan – I heart this little square. It is just wonderful.

Milan | Lace & Lilacs

Lake Como | Lace & Lilacs

Como, Italy

My father and I spent merely a few hours here… we took a train from Milan, you see, as Lake Como was quite close and we had a bit of spare time. This is now (officially!) my absolute favorite Italian city. (I have only visited four, though, so…)

The afternoon in Como was rather dismal – dark & fairly rainy. In spite of this, we had an excellent time. Gelato, expressos, sightseeing, and shopping. It was so fun!

Where to Go:

Lake Como – This large lake is positively breathtaking… walk along the waterfront, if visiting during Como’s peak season, perhaps take a boat ride? So much loveliness.

Como Cathedral – Como’s cathedral is awe-inspiring. You simply must (must!) take the time to see this glorious place of worship.

Basilica of Sant’Abbondio – Yet another delightful Italian church. The structure is magnificent.

Exploring – Explore! Pretty please! There are quaint gift shops & adorable lil cafes… so many pretty things to discover.

Milan | Lace & Lilacs

Milan|Lace & Lilacs

Messina | Lace & Lilacs

Lake Como | Lace & Lilacs

Messina, Sicily

Oh, Sicily! Oh my!

Dad and I flew into Catania, and were driven to Messina shortly after arrival . We spent our time there in the cutest, teeny-tiny hotel and met with his Sicilian customers on several occasions.

The atmosphere in Messina was far more colorful & tropical than that of Milan and Como… I totally adored it.

Where to Go:

Messina is home to a variety of stunning fountains, a lovely lake, beautiful churches, & more. We explored the city for quite a while and happened upon the sweetest little restaurants, shops, & works of art. And, ah, the residents are so incredibly friendly! I just love Italians.


Lake Como | Lace & Lilacs

As I mentioned earlier, Italy is magic. I cannot wait to return to this darling place.


– Abby

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12 comments on “Italy 2014: Milan, Lake Como, & Messina, Sicily”


    I want to go to Italy very badly. And my great great grandpa is from Messina Sicily!!!

    • Hahah, Italy is so gorgeous, Kayle! I hope you get to go soon!

      And OMG, no way?! It’s so cool that your grandpa’s from there… It’s seriously such an amazing place. ๐Ÿ˜€ <3

  2. I’m so glad you had time to see Como – I absolutely adore the region and spent four days there during my 2009 trip. I love Milan, your rainy shots are giving me a whole different feel for the city! I was lucky enough to view a Monet Water Lily exhibit while I was there, and it was one of the highlights. I have yet to visit Sicily but from everything I’ve read, the atmosphere is far different from the “boot”. Ah, these photos are a sight for sore eyes! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’m so glad I visited Como, too! We initially weren’t going to go, but the rain in Milan got to be so heavy that we decided to leave the city for the day. It was raining in Como, too, but not as badly ๐Ÿ™‚
      I do wish Milan hadn’t been quite so rainy… I’m sure I would’ve gotten a better feel for it. But the colorful umbrellas were so fun to see! And oh, a Monet exhibit?! How wonderful!!
      I hope you have an opportunity to visit Sicily soon. It’s very different from the rest of Italy, but still lovely. The weather is very similar to Southern California, so I felt at home.
      Sorry for the long response, Laura! I could just talk about Italy all day ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Your beautiful photos are making me miss Europe so much! Italy is high on our list of places to visit and I hope we get there sooner rather than later.

  4. What a great post! My family and I went on a road trip through Europe a few summers ago and stopped in Venice and Verona. Such a beautiful country! Loved the food ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, Matea! Italy is such wonderful place – I hope I have the opportunity to visit Venice & Verona someday. ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  5. I am so jealous!!!

  6. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous Abby!
    Wow, Lake Como is officially on my bucket list. So stunning!
    and i couldn’t agree more – Italy is 100% magic ๐Ÿ™‚
    great post lovely!

    • Thanks so much, Bec!

      Lake Como is such a lovely place. I hope you have an opportunity to stop there while you’re in Europe!!