July 15, 2024

It’s too early to try the aperitif spots on my list, so I asked ChatGPT to show me some of Milan’s “hidden gems”. It came up with several options, including Porta Ticinese, described as a “hip area with antique shops, street art and a lively nightlife”.

But I was eager to see some art and history, and picked another ChatGPT suggestion: San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, A church full of stunning vivid frescoes depicting stories of the saints and scenes from the Bible.No queues, a calm way to wind down the day before a traditional (and tasty) Milanese veal dinner Locanda alla Scala, Last stop on my virtual assistant itinerary.

I asked ChatGPT to recommend a mid-range boutique hotel for an overnight stay, and it offered four options, each with a one-sentence description. Usually, I do extensive research before booking a hotel room – reading reviews and asking local friends for recommendations.But it was an experiment after all, so I trusted the travel assistant and chose my first night Hotel Scala Milanowhich ChatGPT describes as a boutique hotel with a “sustainability and wellness focus”.

The hotel has a convenient central location within walking distance of many major attractions. The staff are friendly, the rooms are comfortable and clean and claim to have “excellent indoor air quality” provided by the filtration system. However, despite being a small boutique hotel, when a group of people arrive at the restaurant at the same time, it feels too touristy, especially at breakfast.

In contrast, Locanda PandenusI stayed the second night at the recommendation of Franziska Basso, a travel designer in Milan Dreamsteam Exclusive Travel (member of the luxury Virtuoso network), it feels more like staying at home than a hotel. Though it has only four bedrooms and is accessible via a small staircase above the dining room, it’s calm and cozy and feels isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city, despite its central location in the charming Brera neighborhood, full of boutiques, art galleries and restaurants.

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