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The capital of Italy's Lombardy region, this modern, industrial city does not offer the same laid-back attitude you may notice throughout the rest of the country - the people here are all about business and working, often being compared to New Yorkers in their work ethic. Yet even the average Milanese citizen finds time to remain at the forefront of fashion, which is why Milan sets a style standard that much of the world emulates. Shopping here is practically a sport, and it doesn't stop at clothing. Innovative Milanese design has become famous for furniture, lighting and even everyday household products. Also boasting a varied cultural life,and international dining, the city's world-famous La Scala Opera House has just re-opened after a multi-year total renovation to bring it into the 21st century.
Piazza della Scala
This is the big one if you're an opera buff. Having just completed a major renovation which seemed to take forever the house is now looking as glamourous as ever, and speaking of glamour, make sure you dress accordingly when attending as the fashion conscience Milanese have no patience for those who don't respect one of their greatest traditions.
Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie, 2
Viewing Leonardo da Vinci's famous fresco, "The Last Supper" is a breathtaking experience, especially since the completion of its renovation in 1999.
Piazza del Duomo,12
World class art exhibitions are the norm here. The Palazzo Reale, a former royal palace with its large halls, refined furnishings and sweeping staircase, is today an important exhibition venue and cultural centre. With a space of 7,000 square metres, it regularly displays modern and contemporary art works including many famous collections from around the world in collaboration with renowned museums and cultural institutions.
Piazzale Cimitero Monumentale, 1
This cemetery, established in 1866, is really an open-air museum. It is an example of the eclectic tastes that prevailed during the period. The giant park to which Milanese high society eventually retire to is filled with the chapels and crypts of the noblest families. You will find among others, Manzoni, Verdi and Cattaneo in architecture Gothic, Romanesque and Byzantine.
Via Brera 28
Italy's most impressive art collection, Pinacoteca offers 700 years of Italian art throughout 38 rooms. Treasures include Raphael’s Marriage of the Virgin, Piero della Francesca’s Brera Altarpiece and superb works by Titian, Canaletto and Caravaggio.
National Museum of Science & Technology
Via S. Vittore 21
Tel. +39 (02) 48.551
The heart and soul of this engaging museum are the working scale models of Leonardo's submarines, airplanes, and other engineering feats that, for the most part, the master only ever invented on paper (each exhibit includes a reproduction of the master's drawings and a model of his creations). This former Benedictine monastery and its beautiful cloisters are also filled with planes, trains, carriages, sewing machines, typewriters, optical devices, and other exhibits, including some enchanting recreations of workshops, that comprise one of the world's leading collections of mechanical and scientific wizardry.
The highlights are undoubtedly the exhibits based on the inventive technical drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.
Triennale Design Museum
Vivale Alemagna, 6
It is most appropriate that in this city of fashion there is a museum that is dedicated solely to Italian design. Be sure to check out the ground floor Design Cafe.
Museo del Novecento
An extensive collection of 20th century artists include works by Umberto Boccioni and Carlo Carra. Be sure to go to the top floor where the view of the Piazza Duomo is perfectly framed and absolutely stunning.
Via Privata Chiese 2
This gallery which is the north on the city limits boasts enormouus large scale art installations. This may be a bit of a trek from the center but well worth it. Have brunch at the HB Bistrot, the onsite cafe.
The Duomo Cathedral
1 - 3 Duomo
The Duomo, which began construction in 1386, today has a capacity 40,000 persons.
The Brera Art Gallery
Via Brera 28
Tel. +39.02.894.211 46
The Brera Art Gallery has one of the most important art collections in Italy. There are works my leading 14th-20th century Italian artists.
The original Castle was built in 1368. Needless to say, it has seen many changes. There were once 60 drawbridges that heped defend it.
Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia
Via Montecuccoli 6
If the Milanese say this is the best, it is-- consistently voted one of the best restaurants in the city, be sure to make reservations well in advance, and plan the evening around this spectacular dining experience.
Via Ceresio 7
This unique restaurant overlooking Milan's financial district is glamorous and a must for cocktails. The Milanese summers can get very hot but at Ceresio you can rent a poolside cabana for the day. Not just cocktails, but lunch and dinner is also served in this very sophisticated Milan establishment.
Via Priv della Bindellina
Milan can be chaotic but here is respite from all of that in a charming restaurant that overlooks a lovely garden. Try the chicken breast which is moist and accented with cumin and cashew. The eggplant parmigiani is also one of the restaurants notable dishes.
Carlo e Camilla
Via Giuseppe Meda, 24
The setting is dramatic; resembling a large scale art installation. The vivid attention to detail is worth a visit for the ambiance and the food to. Italian chef Carlo Cracco cretes inventive dishes such as paccherie (pasta) tossed with turnip greens, mussels and smoked pig's trotters.
In Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (No. 92)
It may be a bit touristy but the location alone is worth a visit. This restaurant is located in Milan's version of a mall. However, a very special one that was built in the 19th Century and contains amazing frescoes and caryatids overhead. The osso buco and risotto Milanese is excellent! The people watching is also pretty special here.
Piazza Belgioioso 2
With a superb wine list of Italian vintages, classic offerings and luxurious decor, this distinguished restaurant opened in 1696 and to this day remains an international favorite.
Cracco-Peck Milan Restaurant
Via Victor Hugo 4
One of the most established dining locales, Cracco-Peck Milan Restaurant is an extension of Peck, a foodie's must-visit.
Via Filippino Lippi, 7
The fashion-conscious Eda is one of the newer restaurants on the Milanese scene, with a sleek bamboo-lined, black walled restaurant and bar, and tables tiered similar to an theatre auditorium. The food is Italian, with specifically Sicilian recipes dominating the menu.
Dolce & Gabbana GOLD
Via Poerio Carlo, 2/A
Tel.+39 02 75777711
The first restaurant from Stefano and Domenico is uber fashionable and glitzy. As its name suggests, gold is a major theme - gold staircase, gold lighting, gold menus, gold bathrooms... A smoking area and bar has an intimate feel, but you come to GOLD for the luxurious first floor restaurant with its large circular mirrored tables. Elsewhere, we’d be dubious about a restaurant created by fashion designers, but in Milan it feels appropriate. In a town full of fashion/food collaborations (Armani’s Nobu is another old favourite), Dolce & Gabbana GOLD is currently the place to be.
5 Piazza XXV Aprite
We don't usually recommend almost self serve chain restaurants but this Milanese chic bakery is a must. They use traditional recipes, made with organic wholemeal flour and baked throughout the day. The founder, Rocco Princi, opened his first store in 1986 and has since expanded to five stores. Princi’s outlets are striking in their minimalism, designed by the architect Claudio Silvestrin, with lots of straight lines, designer stools and diffused lighting warmly reflecting off wood, bronze and stone. Georgio Armani designed the uniforms. It may be sleek and modern — they’re particularly proud of the fact that they remain open 24 hours, and on Sundays. Whether you want foccacio or slice of Pizza it does not get any better.
Zucca e Melone
Via Gian Giacomo Mora, 3
Lime green and Violet walls with chairs painted bright orange, yellow and purple. The menu is just as creative at this fun restaurant.
Viktor & Rolf
Via Sant'Andrea, 14
One of Milan's hottest retail stores for clothing and housewares. The store designs alone are reason to visit.
4 Via Victor Hugo
In business since 1883, this lavish mini-empire is comprised of several shops, a rotisserie and the innovative restaurant Cracco Peck, all stretched across a city block. Don’t miss the 600-label wine cellar or Casa del Formaggio.
Via Sigieri 24
Fabio Cocchi and Luigi Rotta’s shop mixes the important (Noguchi lamps), the functional (wood spice holders) and the amusing (inflatable plastic vases that resemble Venini glass). They collaborate with local talent and a wide array of designers from around the world to present a provocative home furnishings collection.
Frequented by the world's jet set and well-to-do Milanese, Milan's fashionable shopping district is famed for its wealth of luxury boutiques. Top names in haute couture and ready-to-wear, from Versace and Dolce & Gabbana to Louis Vuitton and Valentino, all have shops here. Some of the world's finest jewelers, including Cartier, Bulgari, Pomellato and Tiffany's are here too. Even if you're not buying, the stunning window displays are always worth a look.
Via Alessandro Manzoni, 31
This is Giorgio Armani's personal mall and it fills and entire city block. Here you can not only shop for clothes but have a great lunch at Caffe Emporio Armani.
Spazio Rossana Orlandi
Via Matteo Bandello 14/16
This retail store is packed with great pieces from around the world. Think Ikea but Italian style!
Teatro Alla Scalla
Catch an upcoming opera, play or concert at this amazing center for performing arts. Check the site for upcoming events.
Public Transportation Official Website
An easy-to-use interface that shows the best route when you input departure and arrival points.
Check arrival and departure, as well as ground transportation, for Milan’s Linate and Malpensa airports.
Via Giovenale 7
It's at the end of a dark alley in an old foundry and it attracts sophisticated real locals.
Piazza Sempione, 2
This black painted lounge with huge windows facing the Parco Sempione is great for cocktails.
Via Larga 8
This cocktail bar, which wears its gay/chic sensibilities on its sleeve, is known beyond Milan for topflight musical compilations. The “Glounge,” as people like to call it, is a must-see spot much appreciated by onetime pioneers of anti-disco who have chosen it as their headquarters.
Corso Como 15c
One of the most popular places to see and be seen, Hollywood is the most famous discotheque in Italy. Models, designers, actors, politicians and other cognoscenti show off their talents on the dance floors. Be prepared for a nearly impervious admission policy.
Via Ascanio Sforza 49
This historical club on the Navigli was the first to organize live music. Recommended for jazz lovers, it features international stars, some of whom jet in to play here, while others, including Ronnie Jones, are longtime residents of Milan.
Tocqueville 13 Disco Restaurant
Via Alexis de Tocqueville, 13
Tel: +39 02 29002973
Via Borsieri 37
Tel. +39 02 6901 6888
Live Jazz between 9PM and 11:30PM along. You can dine here as well.
Via Adelchi 5
Tel. +39 02 7063 8678
One doesn't usually think of Milan as a place for beer halls. However, Birrificio Lambrate is an exception to the rule. Craft beer is right next to haute couture at this Milanese micro brewery. That, along with 30 different plates that make up the best beer snacks in the world and you'll soon understand why happy hour here is so special.
Ripa di Porta Ticinese 9
Have the bars namesake cocktail. The lounge is in the Navigi neighborhood, one the cities hotest night life destinations.