Milan City Guide

Milan, Italy

Most of Milan’s main attractions are grouped around the central Piazza del Duomo. The most famous building in Milan is the Duomo cathedral which took an astounding 500 years to build. Inside and outside the cathedral are 3,500 statues, and there is an observation point on the roof from where you can see the Alps on a clear day. Another of the city’s most impressive buildings is the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II, a cross-shaped, glass-roofed arcade featuring many luxury retailers and expensive cafes inside.

Milan is famous for being a hub of the fashion industry, and the fashion quarter is located primarily in the Quadrilatero della Moda. Here there is an A to Z of fashion design houses. But the glamour and wealth of the area are balanced by several nice museums and gardens. Here the Museo dell’Ottocento is a neo-classical villa built in 1790 where Napoleon lived at one time, and today houses a variety of art from the 19th century. The Pinacoteca di Brera is one of Italy’s most prestigious art collections from the 13th through the 20 centuries.

Sant’Ambrogo in the western part of the city is the place to find antique shops and rare book dealers. Here you will also find the most precious work of art in Milan, the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, housed in Santa Maria delle Grazie. Visits must be booked ahead, often up to one month in advance.

Milan’s diverse nightlife is centered on three areas: the upscale districts around Corso Como, in Corso Sempione, and the Navigli/Ticinese quarter. La Scala is one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses, staging opera concerts most of the year and also ballet and classical concerts. San Siro stadium is home to two of Italy’s top teams, AC Milan and Inter Milan, which face off here twice a year.