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About city What to see Gallery Where to stay

Milan is Italy’s economic giant and an international fashion and design centre. It’s an elegant and dynamic city, which is also home to the Italian Stock Exchange and the offices of Italy’s largest companies and banks. Milan is the fifth largest city in the European Union and, together with its suburbs, home to over 5 million people. Every year it’s visited by more than 6 million tourists – a great proportion of whom come for the Milan Fashion Week and Furniture Fair. In 2015, Milan will host the EXPO 2015, the main theme of which – food – is very appropriate for Italy.

With all of its shops, ateliers, discount outlets, vintage stores, markets and workshops, Milan is a true paradise for fashion lovers. The greatest thing about it, though, is that fashionable accessories can be bought even by those who don’t have extremely deep pockets - some will go to the big fashion stores-museums, such as Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Bottega Veneta and Valentino, while others will head for the concept store Kilofascion, where designer clothes and accessories are sold by weight. The hottest time for shopping in Milan is during sales, which start on the first weekends of January and July.

People during Milan Fashion week, Italy on February, 27 2015. Eccentric and fashionable people outside city during Milan fashion week wait for models and famous people
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  People during Milan Fashion week, Italy on February, 27 2015. Eccentric and fashionable people outside city during Milan fashion week wait for models and famous people

But Milan is not all about shopping and fashion – it’s also about culture. The Gothic cathedral il Duomo di Milano, situated at the centre of Milan, is the symbol of the city. With all of its arches, towers, statues and flowers – of which there are more than 3500 – it resembles a crocheted tablecloth. The unique structure of the cathedral can be seen both from the inside and from the roof.

Aerial view of Milan from Duomo roof terrace with Vittorio Emanuele Gallery, Italy
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Aerial view of Milan from Duomo roof terrace with Vittorio Emanuele Gallery, Italy

Not far from the Cathedral of Milan is the beautiful Art-Nouveau gallery Vittorio Emanuele II – you simply have to take a selfie against the mosaic of its main floor. This luxurious gallery connects the Piazza del Duomo with the famous Scala Square. By the way, the latter offers various interesting tours around the opera backstage, and if you manage to buy a ticket early enough, you’ll get to see an opera or ballet performance for less than 20 Euros.

The Sempione Park, situated between the Sforza Castle (which hosts several museums) and the Arch of Peace (an excellent example of Neoclassicism), is a great place to rest from the busyness of Milan. Here you can not only lie down on the grass, but also use free Wi-Fi.

If you fail to see the masterpiece of the Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci the Last Supper, your cultural programme in Milan will remain incomplete. The famous fresco is carefully guarded in the Holy Mary of Grace Church by Dominican monks.

But let’s talk about dinner now. For aperitifs, dinners, parties and even nighttime shopping, both locals and tourists prefer the diner, bar and vintage store district i Navigli.

Naviglio Grande canal
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Naviglio Grande canal

The so-called culture of pre-dinner, meant to increase one’s appetite for dinner, is very popular in Milan. During the time of the aperitif, people meet with old friends, solve the last business problems of the day or simply rest after a hard day at work. In the evening, most bars offer various snacks, the prices of which are already included in such aperitif drinks as the non-alcoholic Sanbitter, light cocktails like Aperol Spritz or Campari Soda, sparkling red and white wine, and beer.

Milan is mostly suited for modern, dynamic travellers – a museum or two in the morning, shopping and fashion-gazing during the day, and discussion of the day’s events over a cocktail in the evening.

Where to stay

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