Milan beats Rome as the main industrial, commercial and financial centre of Italy, but is perhaps even more well known as the fashion and design capital. Read more.
Milan beats Rome as the main industrial, commercial and financial centre of Italy, but is perhaps even more well known as the fashion and design capital. Milan Fashion Week is a major drawcard for designers and tourists alike, and for soccer buffs, you’ll find not one, but two of the world’s major football teams residing there.
Fashion and beyond
As one of the world’s renowned fashion capitals, Milan is saturated in chic shopping opportunities. Brera is a hip, bohemian-type neighbourhood, perfect for leather goods including shoes, while Via Monte Napoleone delivers more in the realm of exclusive, expensive boutiques. For the perfect mix of fashion and architecture, visit the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, where shoppers enjoy some unforgettable retail therapy beneath its soaring glass vaults and intricate mosaics.
Fashion aside, Milan is a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city with a unique sense of cultural heritage. The Milan Cathedral (Duomo), with its buttresses, spires and gargoyles extending towards the sky, provides a stunning view over the skyline of Milan. The lovingly restored Castello Sforzesco, a 15th century castle, is the home to a myriad of museums, ranging from local masters of Milanese tradition, to furniture and Egyptian art and can be reached by bus directly from the Duomo. Like everything else about Milan, the nightlife is diverse and busy. The Navigli District is popular with hipsters, jazz lovers and bar hoppers alike. The prices here are cheaper than in the city centre and the atmosphere is often more lively. Alternatively, spend an evening with Puccini, Rossini or Verdi at La Scala Opera and indulge in a little classy entertainment. Half price or cheaper tickets are available last minute, so this is one occasion when planning ahead isn’t always best. If your visit is in the right season, soccer fans can also grab tickets to a home game for A.C. Milan or Inter Milan.
From the airport to celebrity hideouts
Two international airports serve Milan: Malpensa Airport and Linate Airport. Many low-cost airlines provide inexpensive airfares to Milan all-year-round. Milan is also a major railway hub, ensuring easy access to and from other major Italian cities. Within the city of Milan, the excellent metro and tram networks will get you where you need to go. To gain a fresh perspective of Milan, join a city bicycle tour and take in famous monuments as well as delving into the hidden corners of the city. Milan is surrounded by an abundance of beautiful day-trip locations. A favourite among tourists and locals is Lake Como, famed as the home to George Clooney, and a luscious combination of picturesque scenery, quaint old villas, historic churches and fun water-based activities. Travelling by car is certainly an option for day-trips, but for those new to driving in European cities, train travel is often a preferable experience.