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Unforgettable Milan

Elegance and sophistication are synonymous with Milan. Stylish and well-organised, the industrial capital of Italy functions efficiently and the Milanese are proud of their city’s status as the country’s economic engine and design capital of the world.  Not surprisingly, it is Milan and not Rome which is home to Italy’s stock market, major corporations and high concentration of industry.  Milan is a fantastic modern city ideal for a weekend city break with its own very own unique variety of food, drink, art, music and of course, shopping, all waiting to be experienced.

MilanEating and drinking is just as important as football and fashion in Italy – holding an almost religious status all over the peninsular, including the associated meticulous behaviour and rituals.  Italy’s food culture has been exported all over the world.  However, it’s not until you live and travel within this infinitely rich in culture country that you realise that Italy has so much more to offer. The Italian geography has made various micro-cultures each boasting their own wide-range of unexpected and intriguing food and drink.  Not only can you enjoy the best of Lombardy’s dishes in the region’s capital you can also try many of the peninsular’s other specialities.

The city is a sprawling metropolis yet most of its best attractions are concentrated in the centre between Castello Sforzesco and the cathedral.  Most new arrivals reach Milan via the Stazione Centrale, the main train station and impressive classic building from 1931.  In Stazione Centrale you will find the efficient Metropolitana Milanese (MM) which is a great way of getting around.

MilanMilan is also home to some of Italy’s greatest art work.  Here you can see Leonardo da Vinci’s masterful mural depicting the Last Supper in the Cenacolo Vinciano, marvel at Botticelli’s Madonna and the Child and see Italy’s first real still life, Caravaggio’s Canestra di Frutta (Fruit Basket).  There are many fascinating monuments that also must also be seen.  The most visible monument is Milan’s late-Gothic cathedral.  It stands at Piazza del Duomo in the centre of the city.  Another top sight is the Castello Sforzesco, once home to the noble Visconti family.  Today the castle is an art lover’s dream with an incredible 12 museums inside.

MilanCompeting with Paris as Europe’s fashion centre, Milan undoubtedly offers the most exciting shopping opportunities in Italy.  The best-known designers can be found within four streets that form Milan’s Golden Quad (Quadrilatero d’Oro): Via della Spiga, Via Sant’Andrea, Via Monte Napoleone and Via Alessandro Manzoni.  The centrally located Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a historic shopping centre opened in 1867 and one of the oldest shopping malls in the world.  Prada’s flagship boutique has been there since 1913.

Like many intellectual pursuits, classical music has its roots in renaissance Italy.  Opera is part of the Western Classical tradition and started gathering popularity in Italy during the 16th century.  The world’s most famous opera house, La Scala, can be found in Italy and provides an unforgettable experience to classical music lovers and newcomers alike.

 
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