On a trip or holiday everyone seeks what they enjoy most. Whether it’s art, food, recreation or nature, you will fulfill all your needs right here. With its various districts – each with its own unique atmosphere, its characteristic eclectic and energetic spirt, Milan is a city that can please everyone.
Story behind Milan
Milan is recognised as the economic capital of Italy, but it is also famous for being a city of art. Historical buildings, monuments, villas, modern architectural buildings, churches and abbeys all offer a variety of styles and striking details that are well worth getting to know. This is a monumental richness amongst the most treasured in Italy, blended in an urban context and enjoyed daily by citizens and tourists alike.
Milan is a city of fashion, design, art, aperitifs and finance. Milan has many different aspects, maybe even too many to discover in a short stay, but there are some highlights to at least begin to get to know the city. These are the most important tourist attractions, the most representative architectural wonders, the most important institutions, the symbols of the city. Milan has unique variety of museums. Over the centuries, the long literary, artistic, musical and scientific tradition has made this city into a propeller centre, a crossroads of culture that has left behind numerous traces, now preserved in important museum collections.
GAM - Gallery of Modern Art (Villa Reale)
This villa was built between 1790 and 1796 as Count Lodovico Barbiano Belgiojoso’s residence. In addition to benefitting from the presence of the public gardens of the Porta Orientale, the position of the villa was strategic for the era: it was the actual and symbolic entrance for those arriving in Milan from Vienna.
Piazza del Duomo
Piazza del Duomo is the main piazza in Milan that, for many centuries, has marked the centre of the city, both in a geographic sense and both for its artistic, cultural, and social significance. Piazza del Duomo is a showcase of the most representative buildings of the city like the magnificent Duomo and the elegant Galleria. The monuments and palazzos that overlook the piazza narrate the history of the city. Without doubt this is the ideal starting point for exploring the city.
Teatro alla Scala
The Teatro alla Scala was actually built as a replacement of the Teatro Ducale in 1776 by order of the empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and was inaugurated in 1778 with Antonio Salieri’s Europa riconosciuta. World famous artists performed at the Scala such as Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and Verdi.
Quadrilatero della Moda
The “Quadrilatero della Moda” aka the “Fashion District” is Milan’s neighborhood of luxury and designer names. It is surrounded by 4 prestigious streets: Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia. Visitors come from all over the world to shop in the boutiques and showrooms, or just to walk around and admire the shop windows.
When to Visit
All the events you can't miss in December
The atmosphere that one breathes in the Christmas festive period in Milan is unique. Here you can find all the city has to offer to live the holiday season to the fullest! Exhibitions, events, the Christmas trees around the city, Musical Advent Calendar, skating rinks, Nativity scene at Palazzo Marino and much more.
The ‘Oh Bej Oh Bej’ Christmas Market
The Christmas market, held every year during the feast of Sant’Ambrogio, is one of the most popular city traditions. This market offers all types of merchandise to suit all tastes and budgets particularly small crafted items, seasonal sweets, toys and gifts, not forgetting the Milanese ‘Firunatt’ or ‘Firon’ strings of roasted chestnuts. From 7th to 10th December.
Christmas lights in Milan
The number of streets lit up for Christmas in Milan this year has risen to 200! They are ready to illuminate the city all the way from the centre to the suburbs for a total of 35 glittering kms! Come and see them!
What to do
What to do in Milan?
Milano by Night starts at sunset with the Happy Hour. All the city bars compete to offer the best cocktails skilfully prepared by their expert barmen. It’s both a trendy ritual and a chance to enjoy a drink and satisfy your appetite without spending a fortune. Getting together in the evening for a drink is a Milanese custom. The Happy Hour is a great way to meetup with friends, partners or colleagues. Aperitifs can be sipped standing at the bar or whilst lounging on couches at the most ‘in’ locations. Enjoying a leisurely drink in one of the Milan by Night venues is like being in a lounge where you can chill out with friends and listen to smooth background music.
Milan by bicycle
Milan is greener than you would ever think. Walking around you can readily come across trees, flower beds and gardens tucked away between the city buildings. If you want to explore the green side of this city, a bicycle is the ideal way to enjoy these oases of green. And thanks to “bike sharing,” everyone has easy access to an ecological way to get around.
Land of wine, fish and olives
Milan has its own gastronomic tradition but it is also a very good one; it is a culinary tradition that in a way is similar to the city itself, pleasant with not to many frills, made up of hearty, easy to prepare dishes, created mainly to nourish the body than to tickle the palate.
Famous Milanese risotto was invented by a painter whose nickname was Zafferano (Saffron) thanks to his penchant for adding a pinch of yellow to all his colours; a friend teased him that one day he would end up by putting it in his risotto and he took him at his word: needless to say it was a great success.
Another happy ending that was created from a mistake is the Negroni cocktail. One fine evening at Bar Basso one of the barmen ran out of gin and decided to use sparkling spumante instead; the result has gone around the world and back, becoming one of the thirty cocktails that every respectable barman has on his repertoire, and has to be able to make blindfolded.
Curiosity and innovation even in the kitchen. Milan has the flair for innovation in its blood and can’t help but put its best foot forward, even in the kitchen. In this way, it has participated in a revolution that has interested the whole of gastronomic Italy.
Did you know?
The people of Milan are often hallmarked by their passionate character, and this is one of the keys to understanding the city. This approach has always played a fundamental part in its various artistic expressions – such as opera at La Scala – both in terms of the performers, and the spectators who provide their judgement and generous enthusiasm.
When chosing where to stay in Milan, you shoud keep in mind that city’s neighborhoods are split into 9 zones. Each zone is arranged in a circle around the Milan Duomo.Each neighbourhood offers different atmosphere and different prices. Check out what zone suits you best.
How to Get There?
Milan – a city ready to welcome and share its culture and traditions
Plane For those who prefer to travel by air, Milan is serviced by three airports (Linate, Malpensa and Orio al Serio) that support domestic and international flights. All the airports offer a wide choice of car rental companies and cars with chauffeur service.
Car The Lombard territory allows one to taste all types of scenery and sensations. It is enough just to get into the car and travel the long, wide autostrade (motorways) to find yourself immersed in another culture in a flash.
Bus There are many national and international destinations that are connected with Milan through a network of buses and there are seven main companies, both public and private, that operate in the territory. There are also many routes that connect the Lombard capital with its whole region and allow one to reach one side of the territory from the other.
Bus The camper van is an integral part of the Milanese way of holidaying.
Dubrovnik is connected with a regular ferry service with Bari, Korcula, Island of Hvar, Split and Rijeka. Many other cruiser ships have regular calls to Dubrovnik.
Railroad For those who prefer to travel with their “feet planted firmly on the ground”, there are numerous railway stations (Stazione Centrale, Cadorna Ferrovie Nord, Porta Garibaldi and Lambrate) with services for all destinations.