Thought of as the centre of a newer, more cosmopolitan counterpart to the ancient cities of Rome and Florence, Milan is a playground for the stylish, the wealthy, and those looking for a taste of the good life.
Having been largely destroyed during World War II, the city has rebuilt itself into Italy’s business capital, replete with shiny modern commercial buildings. The city’s more historic bones remain intact, with Gothic architecture intermingled with the modern.
Where to Stay
The modern architecture of Milan is especially showcased in its numerous hotels. Sleek lines and contemporary art give Milan that modern edge it is has become known for.
The Armani Hotel Milano is a stark, modern hotel located in the fashion district. Designed by renowned fashion designer Giorgio Armani, the look is sleek and minimal. A 4-star hotel, you can expect VIP treatment along with a hefty price tag, including a “lifestyle manager” who will attend to your every whim.
The Ariston is an affordable and excellently located option, boasting simple and tastefully decorated rooms and a complimentary organic breakfast. Close to shopping, dining, and the Tram, this simply elegant hotel is perfect for the budget-conscious traveler.
Another budget-friendly option is the Hotel Spadari al Duomo. Featuring striking architectural features such as modern, clean lines and custom-designed furniture, as well as an amazing collection of contemporary art, this hotel is a calming feast for the eyes. The staff is doting, the breakfast is complimentary, and the location can’t be beat.
Located a few blocks from the famed La Scala, Grand Hotel et de Milan doesn’t have the stark modernity of some other Milanese hotels. Instead, it features old world warmth and style. It boasts a restaurant, bar, and a gym. This is an ideal place for those looking for a truly “European” feel to their accommodations.
Where to Eat
Milan isn’t just a fashion capital, it is also a culinary capital. Famed chefs offer modern gourmet selections alongside traditional Italian fare. There is no shortage of elegant restaurants, charming bistros, and quaint cafes to choose from.
Located in the Grand Hotel et de Milan, Don Carlos is a favourite of the opera crowd.
Open late and for dinner only, you can expect a bold gourmet menu.
If you prefer something a little lighter, the vegetarian menu at Joia is both inventive and irresistible. They serve lunch and dinner, so it is a perfect stop before an afternoon of exploring Milan.
For authentic Italian pizza, be sure to visit Pizzeria la Fabrica. Made to order in the wood-burning ovens, you can choose from more traditional Italian offerings to something a little exotic, such as their pizza with truffles.
Just outside Milan sits a quaint country inn serving the best seasonal Italian cuisine. Antica Osteria del Ponte never disappoints, with a varied and dynamic menu of pastas, fish, meats, and wines.
What to Do
Milan is the perfect city for a stroll, easily traversed by foot. Visitors can easily take the Tram to different parts of the city in order to explore all of its colorful sides. Explore, shop, dine, or relax in one of the parks or gardens.
No trip to Milan is worth taking without a visit to the Duomo, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. The Museo del Duomo features exhibits on the history of the cathedral and its preservation.
Home to da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”, Santa Maria delle Grazie is worth a visit. Reservations and a fee are required to view the iconic painting, but touring the modest, but nonetheless stunning, church is free.
Visit the many art museums, showcasing the finest examples of Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods of art. Don’t miss the Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology.
Stroll through the many piazzas, including the Piazza del Duomo or the Piazza Mercanti. It is worth it for the people watching alone! Visit the beautifully-kept public parks, shop at the upscale Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, or take in an AC Milan football game.
When to Visit
Milan is beautiful year-round. Christmas season is spectacular, with lights and decorations adorning everything is sight. Summers are very hot, and many merchants close up shop in August for their summer holidays, so that is something to consider when planning your trip to Milan.
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