Exploring Castel San Giovanni, Milan Travel Guide

If you saw my last travel adventure diary blog post, I jetted off to the beautiful island of Zakynthos, Greece, and I loved sharing my travel itinerary and my recommendations from the trip. I thought I would produce a new blog post as I've just recently got back from a short trip to Milan, Italy. My sister and her husband recently moved to a new house in Castel San Giovanni, so that was the inspiration behind the trip. I wanted to create a similar travel diary for this, so I get to share what I got up to, places I explored and of course a few of my photographs from the trip. 
So let's get started!

Monday 29th October
My trip to Milan, Italy, started off early on Monday morning. My dad, my brother and I headed for the airport, (London Gatwick), to catch an EasyJet flight to Milan Linate. The flight took around 2 hours, but it definitely seemed much much shorter!

view from plane

Once arriving at Linate airport, we took a shuttle bus to Milan Lambrate Station. This was around a 15 minute drive. Here is where I purchased the tickets and was able to catch a train to Castel San Giovanni where my sister lives. On this evening, Milan was very incredibly stormy. Heavy rain, thunder and lightning! This caused a major disruptions to the train service and many trains were cancelled. We waited nearly 2 hours!! Once the train arrived at Lambrate station, it took just over an hour to reach Castel San Giovanni. I even managed a little nap on the train!

milan lambrate station

Once arriving at my sisters new house, we tucked in to some delicious food. She plated up a quick snack; a selection of Italian meats, cheeses, roasted peppers, bread and chutneys. This was then followed by a gorgeous slow cooked Beef and Vegetable stew. It was delicious and perfect for a cold stormy evening.

beef and vegetable stew

For the rest of the evening, I was joined in bed with Luna! Isn't she the cutest!

black cat Luna

Tuesday 30th October
After a long nights sleep, I was able to go outside and enjoy the view from the new house. You could see for miles and miles. Beautiful autumnal colours of greens and yellows in the distance. It was simply breath-taking. 

Ziano Piacentino

For lunch, we had a quick and easy pasta dish. As a huge pasta lover, I finished this in no time at all. The dish consisted of small filled tortellini, it was with some kind of cured Italian Ham, with a creamy cheese sauce and a hint of fresh chillies, finished off with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Delicious!

Cheesy tortellini pasta

Once lunch was finished, we got ourselves ready and headed off out into the centre of Castel San Giovanni; a small town in the province of Piacenza. We stopped off for a quick coffee at a small café. Doesn't it look simply delicious?!

Italian coffee

We spent around an hour strolling around the town centre. Going into various little shops. They had just put some super cute Christmas lights on display, making it feel super festive.

Christmas lights in castel san giovanni

For dinner, we then drove to a Japanese Sushi restaurant (Il Ristorante Giapponese Tokio) in Castel San Giovanni. The price for this was less than 25 euros per person, which was such a great price as there was SO much to choose from. Plus it's all-you-can-eat, so you can imagine how much we all ordered. I couldn't move once we had finished!

Il Ristorante Giapponese Tokio

We ordered this INCREDIBLE Sushi boat. Even though there was just 5 of us, this boat was for just 3 people, and there was more than enough to keep everyone occupied. Packed with plenty of delicious Sushi Nigiri, Sashimi and Gunken with Prawns, Tuna, Salmon and White Fish. 

Il Ristorante Giapponese Tokio

My favourite was definitely the two types of Sushi with Tuna and Avocado. They were amazing!

Il Ristorante Giapponese Tokio
Il Ristorante Giapponese Tokio

We also tucked in to Tempura Prawns, Spring Rolls, Vegetable Noodles, Beef Fillet with a spicy pepper sauce, Salmon and Tuna Sashimi and much much more! I had never eaten so much Sushi in my life before. This restaurant was incredible, and I can't wait to go back!

Il Ristorante Giapponese Tokio

Wednesday 31st October
Wednesday morning started off with a quick and simple fried egg on toast for breakfast. One of the easiest breakfast dishes to make, and who doesn't love it? This was followed by a few cups of coffee and both some fresh red orange juice/fizzy red orange juice. I'm addicted to the stuff and so upset that it's not widely available here in England.

egg on toast breakfast

Lunchtime came around quite quickly, and of course you can guess what I had. More pasta! This time it was a super quick Pesto pasta with Parmesan cheese. Such an easy dish to make, with very few ingredients. Simply grab some pasta, green pesto, salt, pepper, Olive oil and your preferred cheese, and you're good to go. You can image this took me 0.5 seconds to scoff down! So good and so tasty!

pesto pasta

We then spent the afternoon teaching my sister to play 'Canasta' - a card game originating from Uruguay, South America.


From around 7pm, we headed out to a local town hall. As it was Halloween, there was a local festival taking place; 'Festa della Zucca' - Festival of the Pumpkin. They have a variety of different traditional dishes, all containing pumpkin in some form. Naturally I went for the Ravioli di Zucca - Pumpkin Ravioli, with a mountain of fresh Parmesan Cheese! For dessert, I have a really interesting combination of Chocolate Cake with a thin layer of Pumpkin puree in the middle. Sounds odd, I know, but it was incredibly delicious, that I could have eaten 2 or 3 more!

Ravioli di Zucca
chocolate cake with pumpkin

Thursday 1st November
We headed out to the town of Borgonovo; a small town in the province of Piacenza. 


We headed to a local pub/restaurant, Locanda Stazione, to have a taste of the super affordable lunch
 menu they have to offer. Included in the menu, you could start your meal with a pasta dish (primo), followed by a meat/fish dish (secondo) from the set menu. Alongside this, you were able to choose a drink to go with your food, as well as being given a bottle of water, and finishing the meal with an Italian coffee. All for just 15 euros per person!

Penne Arrabbiata

 A primo is the first course of an Italian lunch, and you guessed it, my eyes lit up when I saw they had Penne Arrabiata on the set menu. One of my all time favourite pasta dishes. This dish had such a sweet and fiery tomato sauce, topped off with a heavy sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. 

plate of grilled meats

 For secondo, this course including a small section of different meats; lamb, pork, beef, chicken and sausage. I accompanied this with a small green side salad, dressed in Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar.

green salad

After eating far too much at lunchtime, we all went for a little walk around the town. We popped into a small cake shop, 'La Cremeria', and purchased this beautiful cake with fresh whipped cream, chocolate and walnuts. It was simply stunning and cost only 20 euros! I could have eaten the whole thing!

La Cremeria Borgonovo

For dinner, my sister cooked a traditional Italian dish of 'Cotechino con Lenticchie' - a hearty dish of sausage and lentils that is usually served on New Year’s Eve in Italy. This meal also included potatoes, several varieties of beans and some fresh chilli. This dish was so delicious, super filling and perfect for a cold evening. We enjoyed it with lots of crusty bread for soaking up the sauce.

Cotechino con Lenticchie

Friday 2nd November
The weather on Friday wasn't very nice! We headed out to a local supermarket (Eurospin) for a few groceries that we needed, and carried on our card games from the day before. For lunch, we made some delicious Piadina's; a thin Italian flat bread, similar to a tortilla wrap, filled with a variety of ingredients. For my Piadina, I had Italian salami and ham, mozzarella cheese, rocket and some antipasto roasted mixed peppers. (I forgot to take a photo of it, as I was so hungry, I tucked in straight away!)

In the evening, we headed to a traditional restaurant - Casa Galli, in Ziano Piacentino. A home style cooking restaurant that had plenty to offer. Simple dishes that are local for the region, but made with a loving touch. We started off our meal with the usual Antipasto with various cured Italian meats, roasted peppers, freshly baked bread, quiche slices and some Russian salad. We also tried some homemade red wine, but I wasn't much of a fan. It was just too sharp and acidic for me.
Antipasto Casa Galli

More pasta! This time we had two varieties of tortellini - my favourite! These were fresh and homemade stuffed with Ricotta & Spinach and one with Pumpkin. They were some of the more tastiest pastas I have ever eaten. So fresh, smooth and they just melted in the mouth. I would have been very happy just to eat this all night! 

Ricotta & Spinach Tortellini Casa Galli
Zucca Tortellini Casa Galli

We also got to try a typical Italian dish from the region - 'Pisarei e faso' - which was little dumplings with mixed beans.

Pisarei e faso Casa Galli

Moving on to the main course, there was the option to choose Pork, Duck or Chicken. I obviously went for the traditional roasted Chicken with sides of roast potatoes and fresh steamed vegetables. Very simple, but very tasty!

roast chicken Main meal Casa Galli

After my main course, I was already completely full up. But now it was time for dessert, and there is ALWAYS room for dessert! The lovely lady at the restaurant brought us various homemade desserts, including a super fresh and zingy grapefruit semifreddo - semi-frozen dessert bursting with sharp fresh grapefruit. This was incredible!

grapefruit semifreddo casa galli

We then had a plate of homemade cakes brought to the table. A lovely chocolate cake, chocolate 'salami' slices and another cake made with some fruit chutney.

tris di dolci casa galli

Saturday 3rd November
Saturday was sadly the day we had to go home. We got up quite early to pack everything up and fill our cases. We took a train from Piacenza to Milan Centrale Station, which took around 40 minutes. From there, we took the airport shuttle bus to Linate Airport.

piacenza station

Once we arrived at Linate airport, and gone through security, I popped into the shops and picked up various different chocolates for myself and friends. When heading towards the gate, I came across this amazing piece of artwork, and can you believe it was completely made from LEGO. It was incredible to look at and I'm sure it would have taken days, if not weeks to build!

linate airport

Of course I was quite hungry and decided to have McDonalds for lunch. A large Big Mac meal went down a treat! We then boarded the flight back to London Gatwick, which I managed to get around 1 hours sleep on, which was nice. 

big mac mcdonalds

Once landing back in the UK, we took the train home and had a nice evening relaxing. Spending the day travelling makes you so incredibly tired, so I treated myself to Domino's Pizza for dinner.

That concludes my travel diary and how I spent 144 Hours in Castel San Giovanni, Milan. I honestly can't wait to go back. My mouths already watering at the sight of that incredible Sushi boat from the Japanese restaurant, and the homemade tortellini pasta at the restaurant in Ziano Piacentino!

Have you visited Milan before? Where is your next travel destination?

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