The second largest city in Italy, Milan is the capital of the Lombardy region and serves as the country’s commercial and financial hub. Regarded as a leader in fashion, many of the world’s most famous designers are headquartered in the city, including Versace, Gucci, and Armani. Milan is abundant in culture, being renowned for its architectural, literary, and artistic prowess. Being so rich in the arts, it should be no surprise that Milan is home to a number of universities, including the Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy’s largest technical university. Sport is popular in Milan, and the city has three football teams, two of which are in Serie A, the top Italian football league. These teams, AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano, have together won the European Champions League more times than any other city.
Location: Numerous Transport Options
Milan is a key node in the transport network of southern Europe and is served by three international airports and five railway stations. The main airport is Malpensa, and this lies 45 kilometres from the city centre and is connected by an express train service. Some European flights may arrive at the smaller Linate Airport, which is situated only 7 kilometres from the centre of Milan and is served by buses that run every ten minutes. Budget airlines may use the Bergamo Orio al Serio Airport, officially called Il Caravaggio International Airport. Like Malpensa, this is 45 kilometres from the city, and there are various bus services that run from outside the arrivals area. Alternatively, a bus can be taken to Bergamo Station, from where trains to Milan can be found, but this can often take longer than the direct buses. The city is well connected by motorway links, but drivers should be advised that there is a congestion charge in the city centre, and due to heavy traffic, it is advisable to only venture into the centre at weekends. Milan has an excellent public transport infrastructure, comprising buses, trams, trolleybuses, and an underground system.
Business: Home to Europe’s Largest Convention Centre
As Italy’s economical centre, Milan is home to a large proportion of the country’s businesses, including three Fortune 500 companies. Prominent industries include media, telecommunications, manufacturing, and finance. The city’s Milano Congressi convention centre can accommodate 18,000 delegates and boasts 70 meeting rooms. As the biggest venue of its kind in Europe, it attracts numerous international events throughout the year. Situated in the heart of the city, it is easy to reach via public transport, car, or on foot.
Culture: Art, Opera, and Fashion
There are a wealth of cultural venues to explore in Milan, from art galleries and museums to opera houses and fashion boutiques. The Brera Art Gallery contains a spectacular array of famous paintings, while the beautiful Sforza Castle has both art collections and historical exhibitions. The world-renowned La Scala opera house features some magnificent productions, and the Teatro Dal Verme theatre is home to the resident Orchestra i Pomeriggi Musicali. There are numerous fashion shops in the city, including those of prestigious designers, and Milan Fashion Week is held twice annually, during the spring and the autumn.
Activities: Local Attractions and Cuisine
Milan Cathedral, situated in Piazza Duomo, is one of the most visited attractions in the city. The stunning Gothic building took almost six centuries to complete, and the major construction was finished in 1805 under the instruction of Napoleon Bonaparte. Finer details were only completed in 1965, with some un-carved blocks of stone remaining today. The Indro Montanelli Public Gardens are a pleasant spot to walk, and the grounds house the Natural History Museum and the Planetarium. Milan benefits from its own regional cuisine, so a good way to relax is with some traditional fare in the cafés or restaurants of the Brera and Navigli districts. Try the Caffè Cova, near La Scala in the fashion district, for a chic eatery. For an exquisite evening meal, head to the historic centre, which is the area around Milan Cathedral, where numerous fine-dining establishments can be found.