Milan Rome Venice Florence Milan Verona Bologna Genoa Duomo Fashion District Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Castello Sforzesco Piazza del Duomo Teatro alla Scala

Key city information

Population: 1.35 mln
Area: 182 km2
Time zone: UTC+1/+2
Local date/time:

About

Best places to see in Milan:

  • Duomo (church)
  • Fashion District
  • Galleria Viittorio Emanuele II
  • Castello Sforzesco (castle)
  • Piazza del Duomo (square)
  • Teatro alla Scala (opera house)

 

Milan is the capital of the Italian region Lombardy. It is the 2nd largest city in Italy after Rome.

Which Milan battles with Paris for international catwalk supremacy, at home the battle has been won. In Italy, Milan isn’t just synonymous with style, Milan is style. The women can pull off wearing catwalk fashions without looking affected and men can make riding a scooter in a three piece suit look natural. But don’t judge the city on appearances: behind those designer sunglasses Milan is hard at work, the heart of Italy’s economic engine room, the home of its stock exchange and the address of most of the country’s major corporations.

When the Milanese aren’t working, they allocate their time well. Besides plentiful shopping, there’s a selection of excellent live music, a must-do aperitivo (pre-dinner drinks) scene, a vibrant clubbing culture and cutting -edge theatre. And then there’s the food. Milan is one of best places to sample hearty northern Italian cuisine, with elegant restaurants and Italy’s best gourmet food store.

As for its history, you could very well sink your morning espresso in the same café that composer Verdi frequented. The breathtaking Duomo is one of the world’s largest and most striking cathedrals. The art galleries, many in former palaces, are home to significant works, including da Vinci’s The Last Supper. But the most fascinating aspect of Milian is that it’s full of small suprises. A walk down a quiet street reveals groups of hungry locals lining up for a table at their favourite pizzeria. Buildings with astonishing historic detail present themselves without fanfare. Most surprisingly, Milan receives more visitors than Venice or Florence, but manages not to be a tourist trap. Perhaps that’s the real secret to its style. Milan’s main sites – the magnificent Duomo, La Scala and Castello Sforzesco, and not forgetting the leafy Parco Sempione and Giardini Pubblici –are in the historic centre. Once you have enjoyed the spectacular views of Milan from the Duomo rooftop, get out into the neighbourhoods and wander their fascinating streets. Close to Piazza del Duomo is the famous Quadrilatero D’Oro – golden quad – the place to shop for designer fashion in Europe. Its streets are encrusted with boutiques and jewellery stores, many housed in neoclassical palazzo.

The cobblestone streets of charming Brera, immediately west of Via Alessandro Manzoni , are lined with antique shops, historic cafes and bars, and good restaurants. The quarter gained its bohemian style in 1776 when Maria Theresa of Austria founded the Accademia di Belle Arti on Via Brera, a street whicj, with Via Fiori Chiari at its northern and , is one of Milan’s most lively.

From the early 15th century until Spanish domination, the Duchy of Milan was ruled from Castello Sforzesco, which stood outside the city walls until 1549. Military parades, originally held here, later marched northwards to Sempione – the quarter of town north of Parco Sempione, dominated by the renowned Fiera di Milano (trade fair and exhibition centre). These days the area is home to funky aperitivo bars, down-to-earth trattorie, and a small Chinatown.

Ticinese, southwest of the mediaval centre, was the city’s traditional working class area. It gains its name from the River Ticino, which flows into Milan westwards along the Naviglio Grande – Milan’s largest canal, built in the 12th century. The canalside area of Navigli has been rejuvenated enormously and has re-emerged as a very hip part of town with some of the city’s most authentic trattorie and liveliest bars. A little north, around Via Savona, the young fashion and jewellery designers have moved in.

The Porta Garibaldi area north of the centre is where you’ll find the city’s fashionable Corso Como bars and clubs. While Milan is a sprawling city, the historic centre is easily manageable on foot, allowing you to get to know the city more intimately.

 

 

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