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Milan is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and is a must-see for any traveler. From its iconic Duomo to its world-renowned fashion scene, Milan is a city that will leave you with a lasting impression. But you'll need to plan your trip before you can experience all that Milan has to offer. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive Milan travel guide so you can make the most of your time in the city.
In 1815, Vienna's Congress restored the city under Austrian control. They made Milan the capital of Lombardy. Milan, from there, became the focal point of Italian nationalism. The revolt of the Milanese against Austrian rule took place in 1848 during the battle of Five Days. This took place between 18 and 22 March. However, Milan was subject to the Austrian monarchy through 1859.
In the same year, the Austrians emigrated from Milan. After 1939, Milan became part of Italy's Kingdom. While Florence became the capital of Italy, then Rome, the financial capital was always in Milan. In 1919, Mussolini created the fascist party of Milan. His followers organized strikes and harassed some sections of the population.
Anti-fascist movements in the north of Italy formed a northern Liberation Committee in 1944. Due to a general strike that lasted for several days, Milan was liberated from German troops in 1945. Milan was a wealthy industrial city with a large working class after World War II. Milan is currently the second-largest city in Italy. Milan's larger metropolitan area has a population of 8 million.
Seasons do not govern Milan but events. Fashion Week is hectic, but you can still visit Milan after the events. MFW is typically in late February to early April, while Salone del Mobile takes place in April. You'll also find the city buzzing with exhibits.
These are some of the best things to do and places to visit in Milan besides La Scala.
Castello Sforzesco is a Milanian castle that the Visconti and Sforza families ruled. It was constructed in 1368 and reconstructed in 1450. The Torre del Filarete is a 1905 70-meter replica of the original gate tower.
The Musei del Castello Sforzesco is a group of museums located in Castello. One of them is a sculpture. The collection contains the last masterpiece of Pieta Rondanini, Michelangelo. Other museums include an array of Egyptian antiquities and musical history. There is also an armory of weapons, medieval armor, and a decorative art collection. The Castello also has two courtyards at its rear.
This church is a masterpiece in Romanesque architecture. It was built around the choir of a 9th-century church. There are also many things to see, including the large portico, which dates back to the ninth century. The atrium's portal and carved stone capitals rank it as one of Europe's finest examples of the Romanesque period.
Inside, make sure you see the pulpit. It has late Romanesque-style carvings and the Stilicone 4th-century sarcophagus. The high-altar's paliotto, or casing, is also a magnificent example of Carolingian artwork. Besides, missing the mosaic dome from the original Sacello di San Vittore is difficult.
Cimitero Monumentale is an outdoor gallery featuring Art Nouveau sculptures. Many of them are by well-known Italian sculptors. These monuments are hidden behind a massive and striking marble portico. They mark the graves of Milan's wealthy and famous from the late 1800s to the middle of the 20th century. An English map will help you locate the most notable examples.
Naviglio is a top choice for young people who like to hang out at canal-side cafés and music bars. It's most busy in the evening. However, going to the shops and artist workshops in the morning would be best. There are also many festivals and restaurants held here. April is the Festa Di Fiori, when the area around the canals has plenty of flowers. The Festa del Naviglio brings together crafts, processions, and concerts. It also features an antique market.
The setting for this museum of art is an elegant, patrician house. It was initially established in 1921. Highlights include paintings from Botticelli and Guardi, jewelry, silver, and Etruscan pottery.
The museum also houses a variety of textiles, such as Persian and Flemish carpets and tapestries. It also has an extensive collection of hand-worked lacing and an extremely rare Botticelli embroidery.
The house is well worth a visit. Artworks and other collections are in a mix of gallery spaces. They also decorated many rooms in the mid-1800s to display the collections. Furthermore, the Poldi-Pezzoli Museum is open to all with a single ticket.
Milan is what many people think of as an Italian city. Although they draw large crowds, Venice, Florence, and other Italian towns are beautiful. Therefore, take the time to enjoy their incredible scenery. Rome's great looks grant it the same status. Culturally, Rome is Italy's capital and the largest city. However, Milan is the country’s financial and fashion capital. In Milan, business is at the forefront of life. Therefore, you can expect a quicker pace of life in this area.
Milan has many other advantages than its business acumen. Many cafes sell espressos and tucked-away trattorias that serve delicious pasta and gelaterias. It also has a lot of cultural landmarks like the Duomo and the Last Supper. As in Italy, the official language of Milan is Italian. The currency is the Euro. Therefore, check the exchange rate before your trip. Also, Italians do not tip. Instead, restaurants add service charges to the bills.
Milanese cuisine is a must-try. You will find plenty to choose from, including pizza, espresso, and gelato. Milan is similar to other regions of Italy, like Naples and the Amalfi Coast, but it has its own unique culinary identity. Milanese Risotto, or risotto alla Milanese, is the most important dish. It is unique because of one ingredient: saffron. According to legend, the artist, not the chef, wanted to make it more appealing to his guests. Therefore, he added saffron to make it yellow.
Milan is also home to the delicious veal shank ossobuco. Cotoletta is another popular veal recipe to try. This pan-fried, buttery, bread crumbed-goodness is available in many places around Milan. Finally, Milanese Minestrone is the perfect comfort food for those who prefer meatless.
Besides, you can't go wrong with bread and cheese. Milan calls Lombardy home because of its cheeses. The bread of Milanese is the michetta, a white star-shaped bread made with bread. Panettone is a dessert loaf made with candied fruits, typically eaten around the holidays. You can also order a negroni cocktail while you're there. This well-known gin, Campari, and -vermouth cocktail is garnished with orange peel.
These are some of the best areas to stay in Milan. The city offers a wide range of boutique hotels. Presidential Suites with marble bathrooms, Michelin-starred restaurants, swimming pools, and typical Italian rooms and suites, you will have the choice! The rooms feature classic to modern designs - from Four Seasons Hotel Milano to Armani Hotel Milano.
Milan's party scene is in two canals at the southern end of town. They were once used to transport the material needed to build the Duomo. This area also has dozens of bars and restaurants. It was connected to the rest of the city by the Porta Ticinese, which was redesigned after Expo 2015.
Numerous bars offer whole buffets of food for free (but you must purchase a drink). They are competing to attract the largest crowds. Naviglio Grande, the largest canal, is the epicenter. Side streets and alleyways that run alongside the canals are worth exploring. There are also many great drinking and dining options here. If you are interested in live music or clubs, Corso Compo in Porto-Nuovo is the place to go.
You can choose to stay in the Centro Storico (City Centre). There are major tourist attractions here. These include Sancta Maria Delle Grazie and the nearby Duomo. There are many hotels and other tourist accommodations in the vicinity. It's also a great place to start your journey, especially for first-time visitors. You will also find all the shops from Italian designers.
Milan has excellent food. However, serious foodies will want to head north to Porta Nuova. First, you will find the Eataly complex. This 4-story emporium is dedicated to Italian cuisine. You can find everything you need here: cheeses, meats, pasta, wines, and many other take-and–go options.
You will also find many great restaurants here. These include traditional Milanese dishes: farm-to-table menus, and innovative seafood-based creations created by the Sicilian chef.
Milan has many sights, but none compare to the Piazza del Duomo. It has a vast, Gothic-inspired cathedral. This complex houses Bulgari and Prada's flagship stores. It also hosts dozens of shops and restaurants. Campari-based cocktails have been served at the Camparini for more than 100 years.
After touring the Duomo, take a walk through the Galleria. Moreover, Via Della Spiga is a short distance to the north, past rows after rows of 18th-century facades. This is Milan's only pedestrian-only avenue. It is home to stylish restaurants, luxurious hotels, and top-notch window shopping.
The Brera is a collection of narrow streets located northwest of the city's center. This is the old artist's quarter. It's extremely lively, with many tourists and locals enjoying the neighborhood. Moreover, the Pinocotera di Brera is arguably the city's most important museum of art.
Brera sits between the Quad and Parco Sempione. Its many attractions can quickly fill up a whole day. The Castello Sforzesco is also a must-see attraction. The castle houses some of the most significant museums in the city. The park is also home to the majestic Arco della Pace, a boulevard that runs along the street. It also features the Branco viewing tower, which offers a view of the city's incredible design history.
Three of Milan's most treasured assets are in the Zona Magenta neighborhood. They include the Civic Archeological Museum and the Science and Technology Museum. Moreover, the Santa Maria delle Grazie is home to Da Vinci’s Last Supper. This is one of history's most well-known artifacts. The Civic Archeological Museum also offers a fantastic insight into the city’s past.
Milano Centrale is the country's principal railway station. High-speed trains can take you from Milano Centrale to Venice, Genoa, and Turin destinations. They also drop you through Bologna, Florence, and Rome. Although Milan has buses, the tram is the most popular public transport method. There is also an excellent metro system.
Taxis are also available at most central locations. Besides, you can hail a cab using the MiT calling app. Taxis are available from Malpensa airport at a fixed price, but the fares from Linate are charged per person. Many hotels also offer transfers from and to the airports, as well as to and from the lakes.
It is a good idea to keep your purse close to you. Also, avoid dark, quiet areas in the city during the night. Instead, stick to the more crowded areas. If you feel you might be being followed, you should move quickly to see them or dial 113. Scammers might also attempt to steal your money or your belongings.
Avoid spending the night wandering around Milan Central station or its surrounding areas. Fake taxis are also standard in Milan. Therefore, only use official taxi companies or Uber. Do not accept gifts from random street vendors.
Pay attention to overcrowded areas, as pickpockets might target you. It is also essential to learn basic Italian to be able to ask for directions and get help when needed.