Travel guide - Milan

The capital of fashion and a perfect place to refresh your wardrobe, Milan reflects Italian modernity and good taste. On the cutting edge of fashion trends, the city is best discovered through its historical and religious sites, along with its designers’ showrooms and famous shops. This dynamic energy propels the city to the forefront of the creative scene. To visit Milan is to discover the keys to its past and its aesthetic heritage.

Milan: historic sites and urban renewal

Milan’s splendour is embodied by its streets and monuments, which are symbolic of the city and the Renaissance period. Inside the superb Santa Maria delle Grazie church, you can see La Cène, the famous fresco by Leonardo da Vinci. The Duomo will dazzle you with its spectacular white marble facade. The cathedral, an emblem of Milan, is more than 600 years old and was fully restored in 2008. In addition to the statue of David with the head of Goliath and the extraordinarily realistic statue of St. Bartholomew flayed, the cathedral is also home to magnificent stained glass windows. The Lombard city is now writing a new page in the history of its city planning. Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind, two contemporary architects, are giving Milan a new lease on life with their CityLife project. The three modern towers in this new business district, Tre Torri, are complemented by innovative city planning projects such as the plant-covered towers known as Bosco Verticale, with their 900 trees and plant-covered balconies.

Fashion and design: Milan is the place to be

Fashion capital of the world, Milan is Italy’s most stylish city. Ingenuity and creativity are at the heart of this city, whose inhabitants appreciate the finer things in life. With its Prada, Gucci and Versace shops, the prestigious Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II turns many heads. A symbol of Milan’s wealth and its aesthetic and commercial culture, the elegant, sophisticated “salon of Milan” is one of the world’s largest covered shopping centres. The very stylish Quadrilatero della Moda area nearby is the best place to find the boutiques of famous brands. The Lombard city’s energy is catching, and design is the focal point in the streets of Via Tortona and Via Durini, where you can find ready-to-wear shops like Armani Casa and Fendi Casa. The showrooms of Cassina and B&B Italia, two major furniture designers, present their latest pieces, while Brera hosts Design Week each year.

Museums and cultural spaces: Brera and La Scala

Milan is home to archives of great musical and aesthetic works. At the Pinacoteca di Brera you can discover a vast collection of classical religious works by Italian master painters. Raphael’s The Marriage of the Virgin and Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus vie for the title of most beautiful work. The history of opera as a major Italian art is revealed at the La Scala theatre, a historic opera house and important piece of Italian artistic heritage. From Bellini to Verdi, with his immortal works including Aida and Otello, the neoclassical building built in 1778 still echoes with the melodies of the operas that have been performed here. La Fondazione Prada, a work of modern architecture, is a contemporary art institution. Its bar, Luce, is both kitsch and on trend and is the perfect finishing touch on the very modern building. The avant-garde site of Mudec, which resembles a futuristic warehouse, is home to the Museum of Cultures, where exotic pieces are displayed amidst objects reflecting cultural exchange.

Italian cuisine and the art of the aperitivo

Milan is as cosmopolitan and sophisticated in terms of cuisine as it is in terms of artwork and fashion. The city has the largest number of Michelin stars in the country, and the very popular Chicken Milanese is a classic that will never go out of style. Milan has a mix of sophisticated restaurants such as NòA and traditional trattorias like Dongiò. Sample saffron risotto, another classic dish, at Ratanà. The spice conjures up images of a historical era when Milan was a place of trade and a crossroads of flavours from neighbouring countries. In keeping with tradition, at the end of the day it is time to gather with friends and enjoy a relaxing aperitivo. On the banks of the canals of Navigli, people come together at the beginning of the evening, heading to a bar to enjoy a few bites of focaccia and charcuterie with a spritz at Mag Cafè or a negroni at Rita.
Milan embraces its love of beautiful things, and a visit here will nourish your soul while dazzling your eyes. From fashion to design, the city is abuzz with creative enthusiasm year round, and the energy spills over into art and cuisine.

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