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Milan - Fashion and Industrial center of Italy | Print |  E-mail
Written by Antonio Violante   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 08:51

Visiting Milan

milan-view-of-cityx250Milan is Italy’s second largest city and is the country’s fashion and contemporary art capital.  It sits right at the center of Italy’s largest metropolitan and urban area.  Milan had significantly suffered from World War II, so it is not considered as scenic and beautiful as other Italian cities.  However, it has rebuilt itself as a prosperous cosmopolitan business hub, making it equally interesting to tourists.

Instead of exquisitely beautiful landscapes and beaches, Milan offers tourists a taste of modern and pleasurable or luxurious Italian lifestyle.  So if you want the best shopping, nightlife, football, and opera experience in Italy, Milan should be at the top of your list.

Getting Around Milan

Metro sign for Italian subway systemsMilan’s primary modes of public transport are the metro, the tram, and the bus.  These are cheap and readily available.  The metro, (look for the Red M) is considered the best way to get around the city, has three lines that are each identified by a color: the green line (linea verde) – south-east; the red line (linea rossa) – west-north; and yellow line (linea gialla) – north-south.  Read more about the subway systems in Italy.  The trams run on rail lines and above-ground, so you get a view of the streets.  It is fun and convenient to take the tram if you don’t have to go far.  Buses are also a great option as they are comfortable and clean, and they are very punctual while serving many routes.

You can also get around through taxis (which are expensive), radiobus, and rental cars.  Many people also use bicycles in Milano.

Places to Visit in Milan
Milan has the oldest churches in the country (even older than those in Rome since Milan was the capital of the late Roman Empire). So these beautiful and ancient churches are a must-see:

- The Duomo, which is the city’s main cathedral.  It is a late Gothic church made of white marble and boasts of thousands of exterior statues and numerous spires.
- Saint Ambrose, at Piazza San Ambrogio, which is a Byzantic/Romanic church with well-preserved Byzantine mosaics.
- Saint Mary of the Graces, which houses the world-renowned Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.  Tourists are advised to reserve tickets several months ahead.
- Saint Maurice, which is a wonderfully frescoed Renaissance church. 
- San Lorenzo, which is a beautiful 4th century basilica, known for its lovely courtyard and the statue of Constantine.

Tourists should also see historic monuments like The Castello Sforzesco, the famous opera house La Scala,  the old Neoclassical cemetery: Cimitero Monumentale, La Rotonda della Besana, and the Chiaravalle Abbey.

Scattered around Milan are certain parks and gardens.  So if you want to see some lush green sites, you can visit Sempione Park, which is just behind the Sforzesco castle; the Giardini pubblici or public gardens; and the Giardini della Guastalla, which is one of the oldest gardens in Milan.

Where to Shop in Milan

And since Milan is home to upscale shopping centers, a trip to one should never be missed.  You can start with the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, which is considered as the mother of all shopping malls and which houses luxury boutiques.  You can also make a trip to any of these high fashion shopping streets where you can find the trendiest and biggest designer stores: the Via della Spiga, the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the Via Montenapoleone, the Via Manzoni, the Corso Buenos Aires, the Corso di Porta Venezia, and the Via Dante.

Visiting these shopping centers in Milan, you will see the stores or retail outlets of fashion giants like Giorgio Armani, Abercrombie & Fitch, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, and Dolce e Gabana.

Milan Nightlife

No trip to Milan is ever complete without getting a taste of the city’s nightlife.  To do this, you can choose between two main party and clubbing areas: the Navigli area and the area around the Brera gallery.  In here you can see high-end restaurants, lively bars, and nightclubs.  However if you want a less expensive alternative, try the Centri Sociali, with its cheap and sometimes free entertainment like free concerts and film screenings.

Milan is often your first entry-point into Italy, so if your travels take you here, you should definitely spend a couple of days to take in this great city!



+1 #1 emily2143 2012-09-20 15:46

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