Milan, Italy, 2022

For the final post in our Italy 2022 journey, we had a two night sleepover in Milan. In 2019, we stayed at the incredible Hotel Principe di Savoia, Dorchester Collection. I wrote about it in the Milan 2019 post. We really loved that hotel, the warm and humorous hospitality, the exceptional service, and the stunningly beautiful rooms and building. For the 2022 trip, since it was only two nights, we wanted to splurge and go for something right in the city centre. There’s no better location than the Park Hyatt Milano, right in the middle of everything.

LEICA M11 35mm ISO-64 1/400sec f/6.8
LEICA M11 35mm ISO-64 1/500sec f/8
LEICA M11 35mm ISO-64 1/100sec f/5.6

Park Hyatt Milano

The hotel is next to the Piazza Del Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Everything is within walking distance including shopping, arts and culture and the metro station. You certainly pay for this convenience as the pricing was just as high as the Principe Di Savoia, but with a much smaller room. While we didn’t spend too much time accessing the hotel’s services, we found a professional team, willing to make our stay comfortable and relaxing.

Park Hyatt, Milano; GFX100S 20mm ISO-200 1/45sec f/8

Shopping Experience

Milan is often cited as the world’s best place to shop. In 2019, we verified this to be true by having the time of our lives shopping for luxury brands as well as local, high quality, hand crafted goods. However, in 2022, Milan was only partially able to deliver on the shopping experience promise. Local brands and small shops continued to be excellent places to spend our money, with warm, witty and knowledgeable service.

It was in the luxury stores where the service was severely wanting. The big luxury brands all had lineups outside their stores, some as long as 1-2 hours. Who would want to spend 1-2 hours of their vacation standing in line? One notably bad experience was at the Goyard Store; it’s a postage stamp sized store that makes people wait outside (rain or shine) for 1-2 or more hours. Upon entering the store, customers quickly find out that they have nothing to sell. I can’t imagine the disappointment of waiting two or more hours and then finding out there’s nothing to buy.

GFX100S 20mm ISO-200 1/85sec f/4
LEICA M11 35mm ISO-200 1/80sec f/2.8

When we did finally get into some stores (tip: wait for the rain storms to come and then visit the stores as the lineups immediately evaporate), we found the staff complaining about the “weak Euro tourists” who were using their strong currency to buy everything in sight. However, after chatting for a while with the staff, the warm hospitality that Italy is known for eventually emerged. It just took some effort to bring the smiles back by showing a genuine interest in the product and not wanting to buy everything in the store.

LEICA M11 35mm ISO-320 1/80sec f/6.8
LEICA M11 35mm ISO-125 1/80sec f/8

Quick Stopover

Since we were using Milan as our shopping destination and the last stop before departing back to Asia, we didn’t have too much time for tourism photos. The images are from the 1.5 days we were there and the from the flight back. I hope you’ve enjoyed this short series on Italy in 2022. While we had an up and down experience, battling our way through the streets teeming with tourists, we can’t fault Italy for that. As tourism normalizes in 2023 and beyond, I expect things to settle down again and we will certainly be looking forward to an Italy 2024 trip!

In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some tips and images from a Christmas trip to Bali, Indonesia!

LEICA M11 35mm ISO-64 1/360sec f/3.4
LEICA M11 35mm ISO-64 1/125sec f/8
LEICA M11 35mm ISO-500 1/60sec f/5.6
LEICA M11 35mm ISO-64 1/90sec f/2.4
From the Malpensa Milan Airport Lounge; GFX100S 80mm ISO-200 1/1400sec f/2.8
Sunrise was spectacular from the plane ride heading home; GFX100S 80mm ISO-200 1/200sec f/1.7

2 thoughts on “Milan, Italy, 2022”

  1. interesting to note your increasing usage of the Leica, a camera I am becoming interested in also. Care to comment or compare brands?

    1. Hi Paul, I’ve written a review on the M11 that I think sums up my experience with the camera. It can be found here. If you’re new to Leica, I’d recommend reading this post as well about my Leica journey. I think the M11 is an amazing camera, but it’s more as a second camera rather than the only camera.

      I wish it had IBIS because it’s hard to get pin sharp images with 61MP at lower shutter speeds, and I also wish it had a faster shutter response. On the flip side, the way it feels in hand and the quality of the build and materials are unmatched by any other camera on the market. If I didn’t care so much about ultimate image quality, I’d love to take the compact M11 as my only camera on trips, but the compromises that manual focus and lack of IBIS brings are too much for my requirements.

      In regards to brands, Leica feels like I’m part of a family, whereas Fujifilm or Sony feels like I’m anonymous to those companies. However. when it comes to service, you should know that Leica takes a VERY long time to repair their products. A simple cleaning of the sensor on my Leica Q took more than six months. In comparison, any issues with my Fujifilm equipment have been resolved in a matter of days, and sometimes even hours.

      Let me know if there are specific aspects you’d like to compare and I’ll be happy to provide my perspective.

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