Situated in northern Italy along the river Olona, Milan is a city that offers a great range of culture with a breathtaking touch of history. Join the Italians in their daily life – take a boat tour along the coast or sit down with a Martini in a cosy bar. This city offers endless possibilities: experience the huge art collections and museums, sample the sparkling nightlife or simply stroll around looking at all the beautiful buildings.
As one of Europe´s leading fashion and design centres, Milan offers countless shopping opportunities, with exclusive stores filled with things like clothes, leather and glass goods from famous designers. Milan has more to offer than fashion though – for example, you can also visit Il Duomo, the iconic Gothic cathedral in the heart of the city. Besides the attraction of the city’s cultural and fashion scene, you´ll also find the successful football teams FC Internazionale (Inter) and AC Milan. If you can find the time, try and get to a home game during your visit.
SIGHTS IN MILAN
- Il Duomo – cathedral in the centre of Milan that took over 500 years to build. A true architectural masterpiece where visitors can go up to the roof and enjoy spectacular views.
- La Scala – the opera house, where many of the world’s greatest stars perform. Take the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful acoustics, but be sure to book your tickets early.
- Santa Maria delle Grazie – want to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting ‘The Last Supper’ in the flesh? Book your tickets before visiting; also worth a visit is Pinacoteca di Brera, home to Milan’s largest art collection.
Since the city has a huge football following with its two teams, we also recommend seeing a match during your stay. The San Siro stadium has a capacity of 80,000 – a true football experience. If you can’t get to the stadium, why not go to a bar to watch a game?
THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEAR MILAN
- Venice – About one or two hours by train from Milan. Venice is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built on pillars that decline a few millimetres each year, Venice is a slowly sinking city.
- Como – a one-hour car ride will take you to Lake Como, with its stunning surroundings. Como is known for movie stars and famous people having their summer homes there. Another lake worth visiting is Garda, where you can enjoy water sports like sailing and windsurfing, among other activities.
- Valtellina – a fabulous valley for skiing or hiking, about one or two hours from Milan. Since Milan is close to the Alps, visitors have the opportunity to try out a wide range of winter sports.
SHOPPING IN MILAN
Milan is a well-known shopping destination with trendy department stores and boutiques filled with designer clothes. In addition to high-end labels, you’ll also find products from local fashion designers. There are also a number of outlets where you can find designer clothes at cheaper prices. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping centre with its glass roof is a perfect example of 19th century elegance.
- Around the streets of Via della Spiga, Via Monte Napoleone and Via Sant'Andrea you’ll find lots of shops where you can see the latest the fashion industry has to offer. For outlet prices, visit Dmagazine, which offers last season’s designer brands at significantly reduced prices.
- La Rinascente – a department store covering eight floors, where fashion from famous designers jostles with toys, perfumes and accessories.
- If you want to buy your clothes at a market, go to Via Fauchè, which is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Another market is Mercato Papiniano – Milan’s largest outdoor market with everything from jewellery and clothes to fruit and vegetables.
ITALIAN FOOD & DRINK IN MILAN
In Milan you can enjoy good food and wine from the nearby regions. Milanese food is often simple, but always delicious! Fish or meat with vegetables is common, as are risotto and antipasti. Aperitivo is a pre-dinner event where you buy a drink from a bar or restaurant and are served complimentary warm and cold snacks. This is a social gathering and also a way to be seen. Of course, you should also take the opportunity to try real Italian pasta and pizza, with toppings such as mozzarella and prosciutto. And for a truly extraordinary experience, you can top it all off with some Italian ice cream (gelato)!
- Risotto – a rice dish cooked in broth to a creamy consistency; there are many types of risotto available; risotto con lo zafferano (with saffron) and risotto con la zucca (with pumpkin) are just a few of examples
- Minestrone – a soup with tomatoes, onions, pasta and carrots, often served with Parmesan cheese
- Tiramisu – a dessert made of ladyfingers (Savoiardi), espresso and mascarpone cheese
- Ravioli in brodo – stuffed pasta pillows served with broth
- Focaccia – a spiced bread with olive oil, salt and herbs – often eaten as a side dish
- Vitello tonnato – veal with a tuna sauce from the Piedmont region to the northwest of Milan
- Campari – a blood-orange flavoured alcoholic drink
- Spritz – a famous wine-based aperitif from northern Italy, often topped with sparkling water
- Wine – Italy is a wine country, so local wine is served everywhere
- Cappuccino, caffè latte, macchiato and espresso – the Italians love drinking coffee, in different forms depending on the time of day – for example, they normally only drink cappuccinos and lattes in the morning
TRANSPORT IN MILAN
- Trams, buses and the metro form an extensive transport network that makes it easy for travellers to get around the city. The same ticket is valid for all of them, making public transportation an inexpensive option.
- Taxi – go to a taxi stop or call the taxi company.
- You can get to and from Malpensa Airport, located about 50 kilometres from the city, by bus, train or taxi.
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