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Milan Travel Information

The commercial capital of Italy and a thriving centre of art and fashion, Milan combines historic architecture and cultural heritage with world renowned fashion houses and a cosmopolitan cafe society.

Milan
Milan
Italy

Dominating the heart of this vibrant city is the world's largest Gothic Cathedral and a few steps away stands La Scala, surely the best known of all the great opera houses, with the largest stage in Europe hosting the most magnificent productions featuring the greatest singers.

A truly chic weekend break.


Milan Travel Information

Getting Around
Milan has an efficient tram and bus network but the city's fastest form of public transport is the metro system.
Taxis are plentiful in the city and tend to be inexpensive.

Must See
Duomo - a magnificent gothic cathidral.
Santa Maria delle Grazie where Leonardo da Vinci's 'Last Super' is housed
Castello Sforzesco.
Basillica of Sant Ambrogio.
Pinacoteca di Brera museum - home to some of the finest Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings.
For football fans a visit to the famous San Siro football stadium, the home of both AC Milan and Inter Milan.

San Siro Football Stadium
San Siro Football Stadium

Must Do
Climb to the roof of the Duomo for a breathtaking panorama.
Enjoy a coffee in one of the sophisticated cafes in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
Shopping! For designer boutiques make your way to via Monte Napoleone and via della Spiga. For the more price conscious, head to Corso Buenos Aires.

To Relax
During the day wander through the maze of pedestrianized streets covering via Fiori Chiari and via Madonnina or relax in the park behind Castello Sforzesco.
During the evening, the Navigli district and the Brera area, renowned as Milan's artistic and cultural quarter, are popular places to eat and drink.

Weather
Daily average temperatures (Approx) 'C

JAN 4 FEB 7 MAR 15 APR 20 MAY 24 JUN 27 JUL 29 AUG 25 SEP 21 OCT 14 NOV 7 DEC 5

Milan Highlights

> The world's design and fashion capital, home of Armani, Versace and Prada

> La Scala Opera house in Milan

La Scala Opera House
La Scala Opera House

> See Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece - The Last Supper

> For Trendy eateries try Navigli, with its network of canals

> At the centre of the city is the medieval Duomo, a gothic masterpiece

> Football fans can catch the action at AC or Inter Milan, the San Siro warrants a trip even when there is no match

With a population of 1.3 million and covering an area of 129sq km (80sq miles), Milan is a thriving, sprawling, sophisticated city, renowned as one of the fashion capitals of Europe and the financial centre of Italy. Despite muggy summers, foggy winters and sometimes polluted air, visitors flock here for the exclusive shopping and dynamic business environment. It has a rich and varied past which can still be ferreted out in pockets around the city, but generally Milan offers little of architectural or natural beauty – soulless 1960s concrete blocks far outweigh grandiose historical monuments. Most tourist interest centres around the Piazza del Duomo with its Gothic cathedral – said to be one of the world's finest – and the web of lively streets surrounding it. The suburbs offer little other than a handful of parks and some Roman remains, although the arty districts of Navigli and Ticinese, which flank a couple of grim industrial canals to the south west of Piazza del Duomo, offer a calmer contrast to the bustling life of the city centre.

Area
Located in northern Italy, at the heart of the Lombardy region. 40 miles south of the Alps and Swizerland border. 350 miles north west of the Italian capital, Rome. 7 miles west of Milan Linate airport and 25 miles south east of Malpensa airport.

Setting
Milan is in an almost completely flat terrain. It is surrounded by the flood plains and farmland of the River Po.

Places to Stay
There is a fair range of accommodation to stay, mostly these are targeted towards middle and business clients. It has functional establishments with a little character. Exclusive hotels are situated around the "Golden Rectangle" fashion district. Expect central city prices, there are a few cheaper options which are located around the Central Rail Station. Milan is busy all year round.

Things to do
Daytime: shopping is a must, try the very impressive glass domed Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery for people watching and expensive coffee. A good range of art galleries, museums and exhibitions, notably the Archaeological Museum, Gallery of Modern Art and the Brera Palace; Sforza Castle housing the Museum of Historic Art; churches, in particular the Duomo – one of the world's largest Gothic cathedrals – and Santa Maria delle Grazie with Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper (advance booking necessary); several parks including the Public Gardens (the city's oldest) and Sempione Park (rather seedy). A city tour is available by 1920's tram. Nightlife: arguably the best in Italy, with a host of bars, cafes and clubs to suit most budgets – Ticinese, Navigli and Brera are the most hip, happening areas; plenty of live music covering a broad range including rock and jazz; the world-famous La Scala Opera House (prestigious and popular); theatres (notably Teatro Piccolo) and cinemas (some English language) are plentiful.

Restaurants
A different variety of restaurants with all budgets catered for, from popular fast-food outlets (including a welcome Italian style chain) to pricey restaurants (aimed at expense account business clients). Traditional trattorias are the trendy places to dine – with soups and risottos being favourite dishes – but international cuisine, such as African and Chinese, is well represented. Many pizza joints, cafes, sandwich bars and cake shops, as you would expect in a fast-paced city. Typical local dishes include risotto, ossobucco (veal), panettone cake and zabaglione (like a souffle). Fast food burger joints everywhere.

Shopping
An impressive array of shops opportunities and a mecca for all the top designer labels, especially shoes. Exclusive boutiques are concentrated in the Quadrilatero d'Oro ("Golden Rectangle") between Via Monte Napoleone and Via della Spiga. The Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery houses some of the most exclusive outlets. The pedestrianised area Corso Como also has a good share of boutiques, shops, beautiful people and is the haunt of the fashion media crowd. There is more affordable shopping along Corso Buenos Aires. For something a bit different, Navigli and Brera districts have antique shops to second-hand stores. Peck in Spadari St is a famous food hall.

Excursions
Half day tours: Certosa di Pavia, one of Europe's most impressive monasteries, near the historic town of Pavia.
Full day (or overnight): many interesting towns, such as affluent Vigevano, Cremona (known for its violin making), romantic Mantua (Mantova) and Verona, especially during the opera season.
Two days: Italian Lakes, in particular Maggiore, Como and Garda; Alps for summer walks and winter skiing; Lugano in Switzerland.

Transport
Local buses and trams provide a regular and efficient service across Milan and into the suburbs, augmented by an easy to negotiate Metro; tickets are available at news stands, tobacconists and machines. The Central Station is the hub of Europe's railway network, with frequent connections to Italian and European cities. A number of other stations – such as Porta Garibaldi – provide an equally convenient service. Plentiful metered taxis. Car rental (if one dares to drive) at the airport. Day tourist tickets provide good value for money.

Who does it suit?
Most of Milans visitors are business travellers or affluent shopaholics making the most of the upmarket designer boutiques and stores. Football fans and art lovers will also find something of interest.

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