Milan is the absolute giant of a city and has the most populated metropolitan area in Italy, with 1.3 million inhabitants, and 3.2 million in the wider area surrounding the centre of Milan.some form of human settlement has been present in the Milan region for thousands of years and archaeological finds date back to 222 BC.in fact, at one time, Milan served as the capital of the Western Roman Empire.
Throughout antiquity, the Middle Ages and later, Milan prospered largely due to its dominant location in continental Italy.although the city was damaged during World War II, it recovered and saw a huge economic boom which explains its great growth and expansion.
Today Milan offers a sublime blend of historic architecture, modern high-rise skyscrapers, all mixed with a touch of Italian life.The city is particularly known for its abundance of high-end fashion stores and the beautiful Duomo Cathedral.
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The 10 best things to do in Milan
The Duomo di Milano is one of the most famous cathedrals in Europe, and as soon as you see it, you will know why.the largest church in Italy and the third largest on the continent, its construction began in the late 13th century and its centuries of building have imbued it with a fascinating combination of styles, additions and legends.you can spend most of the day exploring the structure inside and out, although you will have to pay a fee to enter.It’s also worth taking a walk on the rooftop (which requires a separate ticket), where you can admire more than 130 intricately designed towers, including the Santa Maria tower to which the cathedral is dedicated.
2.Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Beside the Duomo is another of Milan’s most interesting historical and cultural buildings, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.Built in the mid 19th century, its size is impressive, with two complete blocks covered by a raised glass roof (rebuilt after being damaged in World War II). There are shops and restaurants everywhere for you to explore, and a number of strange legends associated with it; for example, the mosaic of the bull in the centre of the complex is famous for supposedly bringing good luck, when you turn your heel on the bull’s genitals.Like the Duomo, you should consider a guided tour (there are many that encompass both the Duomo and the Gallery) that can guide you through all the important symbols and artwork within the structure.
Walking through Cimitero Monumentale is like walking through a city within a city. 250,000 square metres, you can spend a whole day marvelling at mausoleums of intricate designs lined up like terraced houses in a park-like setting.Hardly anyone makes the trip here, even though it’s only a 10-minute subway ride from the Duomo, so often just you and thousands of beautiful, sad statues enjoy a quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of Milan. Many famous Italians are buried here, including the Camparini family (from the Campari spirit brand), so take a map of the ticket office when you arrive.However, you’re likely to enjoy it more if you simply get lost. Closed Mondays
Milan is a great city for museum visitors, and offers many rewards for those who have time to explore beyond the Last Supper (a must see) and the impressive collection found in the Pinacoteca de Brera (idem).Lovers of contemporary art should visit the new Fondazione Prada, which opened in 2015; it has a permanent art installation in several rooms, nicknamed the «haunted house» that was partially created inside an old gin distillery.Leonardo da Vinci’s presence can be felt in the Science Museum ( Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia ), which contains practical exhibits along with drawings and models by the master himself.Options abound, but keep in mind that many museums are closed on Mondays and are free (and therefore often full) on the first Sunday of the month.
5.Witness the Last Supper
The Last Supper is an iconic work, known for its mystery and art, but most impressive of all, it exists.Created in dry plaster in an old church that has undergone multiple renovations, invasions and bombings, it is so delicate that visits are carefully managed (advance tickets are required). You will be surprised that something so well-known and revered is found in such humble surroundings.Consider seeing it as part of a guided tour to get a full picture not only of the piece itself, but also of the miraculous story behind its preservation in the face of almost constant adversity.
6.Night tour of Navigli
Milan, like Venice, was once surrounded and divided by canals.in fact, the materials to build the Duomo (and many other buildings in the city centre) were brought through those watercourses.A couple of them still exist at the southern end of the city, and serious cleaning efforts over the years have created a charming environment for visitors to enjoy, as well as possibly the center of local youth culture.the two canals, Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese, are the main attractions, but the whole area is full of shops, bars and restaurants.Via Vigevano, north of Naviglio Grande, has some of the best shops, while Via Corsico is packed with snacks almost every night of the week (as is the rest of the neighborhood) and the people watching are often a lot of fun as well.
7.Take an Italian cooking class
You’re in Italy, so any activity that involves food is highly recommended.Why not try to learn how to make pasta from a real Italian?you will find no shortage of cooking classes offered online, often organized by private chefs in their own homes who will guide you through the basics of how to make old-fashioned pasta.some classes include combinations of different types of pasta, so you can try fettuccine noodles, stuffed ravioli and risotto on the same afternoon.Most classes will also provide you with printed materials and instructions that you can take home with you, so you can impress your friends and family with your new skills.
Opera has been an element of Milanese culture for hundreds of years, and the city keeps the tradition alive with many great theatres.The Teatro alla Scala is one of the most famous opera houses in the world, and if you’re in the mood for a splurge, you’ll see some of the best musicians on the planet on stage. But you don’t necessarily have to break the bank. The Auditorium di Milano, renovated in the late 1990s and with impeccable acoustics, is another cheaper option. Not at the opera, but you’re still a music fanatic?Milan also has many options for you, such as the Blue Note jazz club in Porto Nuovo, the dance clubs of Corso Como and Le Trottoir near the Navigli district, which offers an eclectic mix of rock, funk and pop.
The wine of the north meets the wine of the south and all the in-between in Milan’s cafés and bars.Chefs and sommeliers from the nearby regions of Piedmont and Veneto are here, of course, pouring Barberas and Valpolicellas, but winemakers from all over the country bring their varieties to this city, which is more geographically connected to the European continent than below.Sicilian wines are particularly popular, with Nero d’Avola and other southern wines such as Negroamaro and, of course, Tuscan options such as Sangiovese widely available. Be sure to try a Primitivo from the Lombardy region, which encompasses Milan. Wine bars are all over town, but you may want to try Signorvino, which has a view of the Duomo, or go a little off the beaten track at Cantine Isola in Chinatown.Private shopping tour in Via della Spiga
Shopping is practically a religion in Milan, and Via della Spiga is the main place for the city’s most elegant shops and boutiques.The nearby avenues such as Via Borgospesso and Via Gesu are also full of shops, and of course, the nearby Galleria is essentially the most exclusive shopping centre in the world. Those looking for more reasonably priced items can try the Corso di Porto Ticinese near the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore, and also Via Dante, which leads from the Duomo to the Castle of Brera and the Castle of Sforza.
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