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Milan, is the capital of the Lombardy region and the first most populous city in Italy. The population of the city proper is 1.3 million, while its urban area (that stretches beyond the boundaries of its metropolitan province), with a population estimated to be about 5.5 million, is the 5th-largest in the EU. The wider Milan metropolitan area, known asGreater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region of 7 to 10 million people. Milan is the main industrial and financial centre of Italy and one of global significance. In terms of GDP, it has the 3rd-largest economy among EU cities after London and Paris, and the largest among European non-capital cities. Milan is considered part of the so-called Blue Banana and lies at the heart of one of the Four Motors for Europe.
Milan is a leading global city, with strengths in the arts,commerce, design, education,entertainment, fashion, finance,healthcare, media, services,research, tourism. Its business district hosts Italy's Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest national and international banks and companies. The city is a major world fashion and designcapital, well known for several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair. The city hosts numerous cultural institutions, academies and universities, with 11% of the national total enrolled students.
Milan's museums, theatres and landmarks (including the Milan Cathedral, Sforza Castle and Leonardo da Vinci paintings such as The Last Supper, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) attract over 9 million visitors annually. Milan is the second Italian city with the highest number of accredited stars from the Michelin Guide. The city hosted the Universal Exposition in 1906 and 2015. Milan is home to two of Europe's major football teams, AC Milan and FC Internazionale.
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
|LANGUAGE :||Italian (official)|
|RELIGION :||Roman Catholic|
|AREA :||181.76 km2 (70.18 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||120 m (390 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||45°28′N 09°11′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48,6%
• Female: 51,4%
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :||50121–50145|
|DIALING CODE :||+39 2|
Milan (Italian: Milano; Milanese: Milan) is financially the most important city in Italy, and home to the Borsa Italiana stock exchange. It is the second most populous city proper in the country, but sits at the centre of Italy's largest urban and metropolitan area. While not considered as beautiful as some Italian cities, having been greatly destroyed by Second World War bomb raids, the city has rebuilt itself into a thriving cosmopolitan business capital. In essence, for a tourist, what makes Milan interesting compared to other places is that the city is truly more about the lifestyle of enjoying worldly pleasures: a paradise for shopping, football, opera, and nightlife. Milan remains the marketplace for Italian fashion – fashion aficionados, supermodels and international paparazzi descend upon the city twice a year for its spring and autumn fairs.
Milan is famous for its wealth of historical and modern sights - the Duomo, one of the biggest and grandest Gothic cathedrals in the world, La Scala, one of the best established opera houses in the world, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, an ancient and glamorous arcaded shopping gallery, the Brera art gallery, with some of the finest artistic works in Europe, the Pirelli tower, a majestic example of 1960s modernist Italian architecture, the San Siro, a huge and famed stadium, or the Castello Sforzesco, a grand medieval castle. So, one has their fair share of old and new monuments. Plus, it contains one of the world's most famous paintings - Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper.
Around 400 BC, the Celtic Insubres settled Milan and the surrounding region. In 222 BC, the Romans conquered the settlement, renaming itMediolanum. Milan was eventually declared the capital of the Western Roman Empire by Emperor Diocletian in 286 AD. Diocletian chose to stay in theEastern Roman Empire (capitalNicomedia) and his colleague Maximianus ruled the Western one. Immediately Maximian built several monuments, such as a large circus 470 m × 85 m (1,542 ft × 279 ft), the Thermae Herculeae, a large complex of imperial palaces and several other buildings.
With the Edict of Milan of 313, Emperor Constantine I guaranteed freedom of religion for Christians. After the city was besieged by the Visigoths in 402, the imperial residence was moved to Ravenna. In 452, the Huns overran the city. In 539, the Ostrogoths conquered and destroyed Milan during the Gothic War against Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. In the summer of 569, a Teutonic tribe, the Lombards (from which the name of the Italian region Lombardy derives), conquered Milan, overpowering the small Byzantine army left for its defence. Some Roman structures remained in use in Milan under Lombard rule. Milan surrendered to the Franks in 774 when Charlemagne took the title of "King of the Lombards" (before then the Germanic kingdoms had frequently conquered each other, but none had adopted the title of King of another people). The Iron Crown of Lombardy dates from this period. Subsequently, Milan became part of the Holy Roman Empire.
During the Middle Ages, Milan prospered as a centre of trade due to its position. The war of conquest by Frederick I Barbarossa brought the destruction of much of Milan in 1162. Milan took the lead role in the formation of the Lombard League, formed in 1167. The war between the German emperor and the Italian communes continued for years, ending with the Italian victory at the battle of Legnano. As a result of the independence that the Lombard cities gained in the Peace of Constance in 1183, Milan became a duchy. In 1208 Rambertino Buvalelli served a term as podestà of the city, in 1242 Luca Grimaldi, and in 1282 Luchetto Gattilusio. The position was a dangerous one: in 1252 Milanese heretics assassinated the Church's Inquisitor, later known as Saint Peter Martyr, at a ford in the nearbycontado; the killers bribed their way to freedom, and in the ensuing riot thepodestà was almost lynched. In 1256 the archbishop and leading nobles were expelled from the city. In 1259 Martino della Torre was elected Capitano del Popolo by members of the guilds; he took the city by force, expelled his enemies, and ruled by dictatorial powers, paving streets, digging canals, and taxing the countryside. However he brought the Milanese treasury to collapse; the use of often reckless mercenary units further angered the population, granting an increasing support for the Della Torre's traditional enemies, the Visconti. The most important industries in this period were armaments and wool production, a whole catalogue of activities and trades is given in Bonvesin della Riva's "de Magnalibus Urbis Mediolani".
On 22 July 1262 Ottone Visconti was created archbishop of Milan by Pope Urban IV, against the Della Torre candidate, Raimondo della Torre,Bishop of Como. The latter thus started to publicize allegations of the Visconti's closeness to the heretic Cathars and charged them of high treason: the Visconti, who accused the Della Torre of the same crimes, were then banned from Milan and their properties confiscated. The ensuing civil war caused more damage to Milan's population and economy, lasting for more than a decade. Ottone Visconti unsuccessfully led a group of exiles against the city in 1263, but after years of escalating violence on all sides, finally, after the victory in the Battle of Desio (1277), he won the city for his family. The Visconti succeeded in ousting the della Torre forever, ruling the city and its possession until the 15th century.
Much of the prior history of Milan was the tale of the struggle between two political factions: the Guelphs and the Ghibellines. Most of the time the Guelphs were successful in the city of Milan. However, the Visconti family were able to seize power (signoria) in Milan, based on their "Ghibelline" friendship with the German Emperors. In 1395, one of these emperors, Wenceslas (1378–1400), raised the Milanese to the dignity of a duchy. Also in 1395, Gian Galeazzo Visconti became duke of Milan. The Ghibelline Visconti family was to retain power in Milan for a century and a half from the early 14th century until the middle of the 15th century.
In 1447 Filippo Maria Visconti, Duke of Milan, died without a male heir; following the end of the Visconti line, the Ambrosian Republic was enacted. The Ambrosian Republic took its name from St. Ambrose, popular patron saint of the city of Milan. Both the Guelph and the Ghibelline factions worked together to bring about the Ambrosian Republic in Milan. However, the Republic collapsed when in 1450, Milan was conquered by Francesco Sforza, of the House of Sforza, which made Milan one of the leading cities of the Italian Renaissance.
Milan's last independent ruler, Lodovico il Moro, called French king Charles VIII into Italy in the expectation that France might be an ally in inter-Italian wars. The future king of France, Louis of Orléans, took part in the expedition and realized Italy was virtually defenceless. This prompted him to come back a few years later and claim the Duchy of Milan for himself, his grandmother having been a member of the ruling Visconti family. At that time, Milan was also defended by Swiss mercenaries. After the victory of Louis's successor François I over the Swiss at the Battle of Marignan, the duchy was promised to the French king François I. When the Spanish HabsburgCharles V defeated François I at the Battle of Pavia in 1525, northern Italy, including Milan, passed to Habsburg Spain.
In 1556, Charles V abdicated in favour of his son Philip II and his brother Ferdinand I. Charles's Italian possessions, including Milan, passed to Philip II and remained with the Spanish line of Habsburgs, while Ferdinand's Austrian line of Habsburgs ruled the Holy Roman Empire.
The Great Plague of Milan in 1629–31 killed an estimated 60,000 people out of a population of 130,000. This episode is considered one of the last outbreaks of the centuries-long pandemic of plague that began with the Black Death.
In 1700 the Spanish line of Habsburgs was extinguished with the death of Charles II. After his death, the War of the Spanish Succession began in 1701 with the occupation of all Spanish possessions by French troops backing the claim of the French Philippe of Anjou to the Spanish throne. In 1706, the French were defeated in Ramillies and Turin and were forced to yield northern Italy to the Austrian Habsburgs. In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht formally confirmed Austrian sovereignty over most of Spain's Italian possessions includingLombardy and its capital, Milan.
Napoleon invaded Italy in 1796, and Milan was declared capital of the Cisalpine Republic. Later, he declared Milan capital of the Kingdom of Italy and was crowned in the Duomo. Once Napoleon's occupation ended, the Congress of Vienna returned Lombardy, and Milan, along with Veneto, to Austrian control in 1815. During this period, Milan became a centre of lyric opera. Here in the 1770s Mozart had premiered three operas at theTeatro Regio Ducal. Later La Scala became the reference theatre in the world, with its premières ofBellini, Donizetti, Rossini and Verdi. Verdi himself is interred in the Casa di Riposo per Musicisti, his present to Milan. In the 19th century other important theatres were La Cannobiana and the Teatro Carcano.
On 18 March 1848, the Milanese rebelled against Austrian rule, during the so-called "Five Days" (Italian: Le Cinque Giornate), and Field Marshal Radetzky was forced to withdraw from the city temporarily. The Kingdom of Sardiniastepped in to help the insurgents; a plebiscite held in Lombardy decided in favor of unification with Sardinia. However, after defeating the Sardinian forces atCustoza on 24 July, Radetzky was able to reassert Austrian control over Milan and northern Italy. A few years on, however, Italian nationalists again called for the removal of Austria and Italian unification. Sardinia and France formed an alliance and defeated Austria at the Battle of Solferino in 1859. Following this battle, Milan and the rest of Lombardy were incorporated into the Kingdom of Sardinia, which soon gained control of most of Italy and in 1861 was rechristened as the Kingdom of Italy.
The political unification of Italy cemented Milan's commercial dominance over northern Italy. It also led to a flurry of railway construction that had started under Austrian partronage (Venice–Milan; Milan–Monza) that made Milan the rail hub of northern Italy. Thereafter with the opening of the Gotthard (1881) andSimplon (1906) railway tunnels, Milan became the major South European rail focus for business and passenger movements e.g. the Simplon Orient Express. Rapid industrialization and market expansion put Milan at the centre of Italy's leading industrial region, though in the 1890s Milan was shaken by the Bava-Beccaris massacre, a riot related to a high inflation rate. Meanwhile, as Milanese banks dominated Italy's financial sphere, the city became the country's leading financial centre.
Late modern and contemporary
In 1919, Benito Mussolini's Blackshirtsrallied for the first time in Piazza San Sepolcro and later began their March on Rome in Milan. During the Second World War Milan suffered extensive damage from Allied bombings. When Italy surrendered in 1943, German forces occupied most of Northern Italy until 1945. As a result, resistance groups formed. As the war came to an end, the American 1st Armored Division advanced on Milan – but before they arrived, the resistance seized control of the city and executed Mussolini along with several members of his government. On 29 April 1945, the corpses of Mussolini, his mistress Clara Petacci and other Fascist leaders were hanged in Piazzale Loreto.
During the post-war economic boom, a large wave of internal migration (especially from rural areas of Southern Italy), moved to Milan. The population grew from 1.3 million in 1951 to 1.7 million in 1967. During this period, Milan was largely reconstructed, with the building of several innovative and modernist skyscrapers, such as the Torre Velasca and the Pirelli Tower. The economic prosperity was however overshadowed in the late 1960s and early 1970s during the so-called Years of Lead, when Milan witnessed an unprecedented wave of street violence, labour strikes and political terrorism. The apex of this period of turmoil occurred on 12 December 1969, when a bomb exploded at the National Agrarian Bank in Piazza Fontana, killing seventeen people and injuring eighty-eight.
In the 1980s, with the international success of Milanese houses (like Armani,Versace and Dolce & Gabbana), Milan became one of the world's fashion capitals. The city saw also a marked rise in international tourism, notably from America and Japan, while the stock exchange increased its market capitalization more than five-fold. This period led the mass media to nickname the metropolis "Milano da bere", literally "Milan to drink". However, in the 1990s, Milan was badly affected by Tangentopoli, a political scandal in which many politicians and businessmen were tried for corruption. The city was also affected by a severe financial crisis and a steady decline in textiles, automobile and steel production.
In the early 21st century, Milan underwent a series of sweeping redevelopments. Its exhibition centre moved to a much larger site in Rho, New business districts such as Porta Nuova and CityLife were constructed. With the decline in manufacturing, the city has sought to develop on its other sources of revenue, including publishing, finance, banking, fashion design, information technology, logistics, transport and tourism. In addition, the city's decades-long population decline seems to have come to an end in recent years, with signs of recovery as it grew by seven percent since the last census.
When to visit
Milan, depending on how you want to tour the city, is virtually visitable all the year. Keep in mind most places, including tourist destinations and museums, are closed on Mondays.
In autumn, the weather is warm/cool, and in later months can be quite rainy and foggy. At this time of the year, the city's inhabitants are very busy with work, so, the only people you're likely to see wandering around are tourists. All the major venues and shops are opened, since it is the working part of the year.
In winter, the city can become cold (often below or around freezing point), and the weather is usually foggy and rainy if not snowy. However, the city, in the few weeks before Christmas, becomes delightful to visit - the main sights are all illuminated by stunning lights, a huge Christmas tree is set up in front of the Duomo, vendors and markets can be found everywhere, many shop and display windows are decorated and the streets become bustling with locals and tourists alike. However, the only downside is that it can become extremely crowded, noisy and busy.
In spring, the weather is similar to that of autumn. People go back to work, and the atmosphere becomes more quiet, yet serious unlike that of the winter. Parks become nice to visit, as trees blossom. The city is also quite nice to visit at Carnival, where people dress up and celebrate, and during Easter, where there are special services held in churches and some special events.
In summer, Milan can become extremely hot and humid, with the odd powerful rainstorm here and there. Whilst in July, apart from the weather, most shops remain open, in August, as many locals go off to take their summer holidays, many businesses and venues shut down (with the notice Chiuso per ferie, or shut down for vacation). The city may become quite empty with the odd tourist strolling around, and with several of the main sights shut down. Despite it's not the best time for shopping and the weather's not at all times very pleasant, it's good if you want to enjoy the city to yourself when it's quiet, and maybe want to stroll around, sipping at the odd open bar or at an ice cream, or walking in a silent park.
|Daily highs (°C)||5.9||9.0||14.3||17.4||22.3||26.2||29.2||28.5||24.4||17.8||10.7||6.4|
|Nightly lows (°C)||-0.9||0.3||3.8||7.9||11.6||15.4||18.0||17.6||14.0||9.0||3.7||0.1|
Milan is located in the north-western section of the Po Valley, approximately half-way between the river Po to the south and the foothills of the Alps with the great lakes (Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano) to the north, the Ticino river to the west and the Adda to the east. It is flat, the highest point being at 122 m (400.26 ft) above sea level. The administrative commune covers an area of about 181 square kilometres (70 sq mi), with a population, in 2013, of 1,324,169 and a population density of 7,315 inhabitants per square kilometre (18,950/sq mi). A larger urban area, comprising parts of the provinces of Milan, Monza e Brianza, Como, Lecco and Varese is 1,891 square kilometres (730 sq mi) wide and has a population of 5,264,000 with a density of 2,783 inhabitants per square kilometre (7,210/sq mi).
The concentric layout of the city centre reflects the Navigli, an ancient system of navigable and interconnected canals, now mostly covered. The suburbs of the city have expanded mainly to the north, swallowing up many communes to reach Varese, Como, Lecco and Bergamo.
While Rome is Italy's political capital, Milan is the country's economic and financial heart. With a 2010 GDP estimated at €132.5 billion, the province of Milan generates approximately 9% of the national GDP; while the economy of the Lombardy region generates approximately 20% of the Italy's GDP (or an estimated €325 billion in 2010, roughly the size of Belgium).
The province of Milan is home to about 45% of businesses in the Lombardy region and more than 8 percent of all businesses in Italy, including three Fortune 500 companies. Milan is home to a large number of media and advertising agencies, national newspapers and telecommunication companies, including both the public service broadcaster RAI and private television companies like Mediaset, Telecom Italia Media and Sky Italia. In addition, it has also seen a rapid increase in internet companies with both domestic and international companies such as Altervista, Google, Lycos, Virgilio and Yahoo! establishing their Italian operations in the city. Milan is a major world fashion centre, where the sector can count on 12,000 companies, 800 show rooms, and 6,000 sales outlets (with brands such as Armani, Versace, Valentino and Luxottica), while four weeks a year are dedicated to top shows and other fashion events. The city is also an important manufacturing centre, especially for the automotive industry, with companies such as Alfa Romeo and Pirelli having a significant presence in the city. Other important products made in Milan include chemicals, machinery, pharmaceuticals and plastics.
Other key sectors in the city's economy are advanced research in health and biotechnologies, chemicals and engineering, banking and finance. Milan is the home to Italy's main banking groups (198 companies), including Banca Popolare di Milano, Mediobanca, Banca Mediolanum and UniCredit and over forty foreign banks. Also, most asset management companies are based in Milan, including Anima Holding, Azimut Holding, ARCA SGR, and Eurizon Capital. The Associazione Bancaria Italiana representing the Italian banking system and Milan Stock Exchange (225 companies listed on the stock exchange) are both located in the city. The city can boast one of Europe's largest trade fair systems of over 1,600,000 m2 (17,222,257 sq ft) and about 4.5 million visitors flock to the around 75 major events every year from all over the world as well as to the high-tech conference centres. Tourism is an increasingly important part of the city's economy: in 2010, the city registered more than 2.3 million international arrivals, up 10% on the previous year.
Milan is currently undergoing a great urban renewal. FieraMilano, the historical city trade fair operator, owned a fairground known as "FieraMilanoCity", which was dismantled to be house for a major urban development, CityLife district. The new trade exhibition center, built in the north-western suburb of Rho and inaugurated in April 2005, makes FieraMilano one of the largest expo areas in the world. Along with CityLife, many other construction projects are under way to rehabilitate disused industrial areas. Several famous architects take part in the projects, such as Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Arata Isozaki, Zaha Hadid, Massimiliano Fuksas and Daniel Libeskind. Many of these projects are in preparation contextually to Expo 2015.
Here you will find two most important railway stations - Milano Centrale and Porta Garibaldi - as well an array of office and residential towers.
This part of the city encompasses the city's only UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes a famous painting —- the Last Supper. Other sights in Western Milan include a cemetery with monumental tombs and the old fair center.
Likely the best known attraction here are the canals (navigli) that in former times were used for sailing in from the Lombardian countryside. It's quite popular to sit at the bars along the canals and enjoy a drink.
Thanks to Open Wifi Milano you can surf the web for free in many areas of the city: both in the town center and in the outskirts. To use this connection you have to register and to login. For further information you can visit: the official website.
Prices in Milan
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.20|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€6.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€35.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€65.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€7.50|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€4.00|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€4.00|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€10.00|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€19.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.18|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€5.00|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€2.30|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€78.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€33.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€84.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€1.50|
62 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
230 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Milan's two main international airports are Malpensa (the biggest, and 40 km away) and Linate (7 km from the city center). Orio al Serio airport at Bergamo (45 km east) and Parma airport (100 km south), sometimes referred to as Milan's additional airports, mostly host budget airlines.
Milan Malpensa Airport (Milano Malpensa; IATA: MXP) is the main airport for the city of Milan and the Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria regions of northern Italy. It is the country's second-busiest airport, and one of its two intercontinental hubs, the other being Fiumicino Airport at Rome. It is located 40 km north-west of Milan, near the towns of Gallarate and Busto Arsizio. It is not Milan's only airport nor the closest to the city centre – the smaller Linate Airport on the east side of Milan is 8 km from the city centre.
Malpensa has two runways, and two terminals that are 4 km apart by road. The newer and larger Terminal 1 opened in 1998 on the western side of the airport. The older Terminal 2 is at the northern end of the runways and is used only by Easyjet.
Pretty much every major European, Middle Eastern and North African carrier has flights to Malpensa. Delta, United and Air Canada fly to North American destinations; Air China, Cathay Pacific, Korean, Singapore Airlines and Thai connect Malpensa to East and Southeast Asia, and Alitalia also has a couple of intercontinental flights; and TAM flies from Sao Paulo. Several budget and charter airlines also fly there.
Malpensa is at least an hour and a half from central Milan by any mode of transport. The best public transport option between Terminal 1 and the city is usually the train, as the airport railway station is at T1. The best option for Terminal 2 is usually a bus, as T2 has no railway station yet and the shuttle from T2 to T1 is very poor (the railway line is going to be extended to T2 though).
Malpensa Express. Trenord runs these trains from the Malpensa Aeroporto railway station at Terminal 1 to central Milan. Some services terminate at Milano Cadorna station, and the others at Milano Centrale station. All the services follow the same route as far as Milano Nord Bovisa station, then diverge either to Milano Cadorna or to Milano Porta Garibaldi and then Milano Centrale. A one-way ticket to the city center costs €12. A family (or group) ticket for up to 2 adults + 2 children (under 18 years old) is available for one-way trips for €25. Your ticket must be bought and validated in the station before boarding. You can no longer buy tickets on board. The only option for a passenger without a ticket is to contact a ticket inspector when boarding or immediately after boarding (a surcharge of €5 will be added to the cost of a full rate single ticket) [www] . Tickets can be booked online. You can buy a return ticket online for €18 for up to 30 days after the first trip. You need to select specific train dates and times, but you can take a later train within 4 hours of the selected ones [www]. Online tickets do not need to be stamped or printed. You can show the ticket inspector your online ticket on your smartphone.
- To Milano Cadorna – the easiest and fastest connection if you travel between Terminal 1 and the city centre, though it may be crowded at rush hours. Trains leave every 30 minutes, arriving at Cadorna after less than 40 minutes (the Cadorna station is connected to Milan's subway network, at the intersection of the red M1 and green M2 lines). Some trains are non-stop, while others stop at some intermediate stations (usually Busto Arsizio, Saronno, Milano Bovisa). Non-stop trains take 29 minutes to reach Milano Cadorna, while stopping trains take 36 minutes. For full timetable see here. The last train departs at about 11:20PM, so if you arrive on a late flight or are delayed then you will need to take a bus or taxi. After the last train there are buses that connect to Cadorna station and ones that connect to Centrale station.
- To Milano Centrale – these trains stop at Milano Bovisa, Milano Porta Garibaldi and Milano Centrale; some also stop at Busto Arsizio and Saronno, and some also stop at intermediate stations. There are 1 or 2 trains each hour and they usually take either 46 or 52 minutes. For full timetable see this website . The trains arrive and depart on platform 3 in the Centrale station, where there are self-service ticket machines.
Trenitalia trains run from Gallarate train station, which can be reach by a SACO bus service from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 to Gallarate (buy ticket on board). The buses can sometimes be up to 2 hours apart (up to 3 hours at weekends) – download timetable from Air Pullman.
TiLo operates the S30 train service from the Malpensa Aeroporto station up the eastern side of Lake Maggiore terminating at Cadenazzo or Bellinzona in Switzerland. The first departure is at 07:50; then from 11:50 to 19:50 there are departures every two hours. It stops at both of the stations at Busto Arsizio, and Gallarate.
For other destinations, check the Trenord timetable service. This also includes short-distance buses that run from outside the Malpensa Aeroporto station to Busto Arsizio (RFI/FS) station (taking 38 minutes), where you can catch Trenitalia trains.
These buses are long-term train replacements while track construction is underway and they also stop at Ferno and Busto Arsizio Nord(Ferrovienord/FNM) stations. A bus departs every two hours between 06:46 and 18:46, with an extra departure at 09:46. The return buses depart Busto Arsizio FS for the airport every two hours between 8:39 and 20:39, with an extra one at 11:39. You can also get a bus timetable in PDF at Muoversi in Lombardia by entering the line name "Malpensa Aeroporto - Busto Arsizio Fs (56)" or "Busto Arsizio Fs - Malpensa Aeroporto (271)".
To Milan Centrale Station
Buses leave approximately every 20 minutes for Milan Centrale Station, costing about €8-10. Travel can take between 40 minutes (weekends) and 1 hour or more (weekday mornings):
Buses are better than the train for Terminal 2 – since you would need to take the slow inter-terminal shuttle bus to get to the train station at Terminal 1, you might as well take a bus directly to Milan. There is always a bus waiting, and they usually wait until the bus is completely full before departing.
- Alibus, , e-mail: [email protected]. A seasonal (Apr-Oct) service that runs from both terminals to the western side of Lake Maggiore with stops in Arona - Meina - Solcio - Lesa - Belgirate -Stresa - Baveno - Feriolo - Fondotoce - Verbania Suna - Verbania Pallanza and Verbania Intra. Services are 2–3 hours apart. Book by 11am the day before departure (by 11am Sa for Monday trips), choosing from the timetable. Buy tickets on board, cash only.
- SADEM for Turin
Taking a taxi to the city center is expensive: €90 (fixed fee for a City-Airport trip, without further stops). Only taxis registered in Milan itself have signed up to the fixed fee agreement - taxis from outlying cities (which you will also find at Malpensa) have not signed on to the agreement, and will take you to Milan, but will charge you the meter reading (generally €80+ in light traffic).
If on entering a taxi you do not see a card on the window or rear of the driver/passenger seats, then you are in a non-Milanese taxi. You can request the fixed fee, and if the driver refuses, then take the next taxi in the rank. You may find that if you take the fixed fee from a non-Milanese taxi then they take a slower non-toll road rather than the toll paying motorway (tolls are ALWAYS paid by the driver so are included in the meter or fixed fee). Fixed fee are inclusive of all surcharges, night and holidays surcharge, but can only be applied if the journey has no intermediate stops. Otherwise the total price indicated by taximeter will be applied.
- To/from Exhibit area (Fiera di Milano / Rho) - €60
- To/from Linate Airport – €100
- To/from Varese – €65
For more information about taxi fares, see this document (in Italian, the fixed fares between airports and the city are in the bottom part of the page).
Taxi ranks are at Arrival area, ground floor. Gate #6 for Terminal 1 and gate #4 for Terminal 2.
Airport radio taxis are available by calling:
- Radiotaxi 6969 - Tel: +39 02 6969
- Radio Taxi Freccia - Tel: +39 02 4000
- Taxi Blu - Tel: +39 02 4040
- Radio Taxi La Martesana - Tel: +39 02 2181
- Taxi 8585 Autoradiotassi - Tel: +39 02 8585
- ICTM Consorzio Taxi Malpensa - Tel: +39 0331 231312 e 800911333
If you travel with a family or a party greater than 4 people, or if you wish to travel in a premium vehicle, it is worth booking a private transfer. Private transfers are more expensive then taxis but they include a meet & greet service (the driver waits for group at arrival lounge showing a sign) and usually run medium or high range cars.
Some companies covering Malpensa are:
Linate Airport (IATA: LIN) is a small, efficient one-runway airport close to the city centre (7 km). Its focus is on domestic and intra-European flights, and on business travellers. Italy's flag carrier Alitalia has a major base there, offering flights from all over Italy and Europe. Other European flag carriers also operate connections to Linate instead of, or in addition to, Malpensa.
Taking connecting flights in Linate might take much longer than elsewhere because there is no through passage: you get off the airplane, get out of the security area, go through security again together with those passengers who have just arrived from Milan and not with a connecting flight, and only then can you board the new plane. If you're taking a connection from outside of the Schengen zone it doesn't make much difference, because in these cases you have to go through security again (e.g. London to Palermo via Linate), but if both flights are within the Schengen zone then you don't have to go through security again if the airport has a through passage (e.g. Palermo to Genova via Linate).
- As the airport is close to the city, it is served by buses of the city public transport network: Bus no. 73 outside the terminal building goes to San Babila Square, in the city centre, which is served by metro line MM1. This bus is not a dedicated service but a city transportation network bus with many stops en route, may get crowded during peak hours. The bus runs every ten minutes and costs €1.50. This bus service is managed by ATM, the public transport company of Milan. Tickets can be purchased from the newsagent inside the airport terminal or by the ATM vending machines close to the bus stop. Remember to validate the ticket when boarding the bus. With the same ticket, you can transfer to the metro (subway) system once and unlimited buses or tram streetcars in a 90 minute period. You can also directly use a comprehensive ticket to many places in the suburbs. Information and timetables available from the ATM web site. To catch the right 73 bus from the airport to Milan, look for direction "SAN BABILA M1" and avoid Line 73 buses directed to "S.FELICINO" (be very careful not to take a bus to San Felicino, because not only you would go in the wrong direction, but you would also be considered without a valid ticket for that journey). On the other direction, when going from the city centre to Linate airport, you can get both buses directed to Linate airport or to San Felicino. During daytime the frequency of the bus is one bus every 5 to 10 minutes.
- A new bus, named LIN, during the Expo period connect Linate airport to the railway station of Milano Porta Vittoria and return (in Milano POrta Vittoria it is possible to interchange with the Passante Ferroviario, including taking a train to Rho Fiera Milano Expo for the Expo)
- A new metro line, MM4, currently under construction, is expected to connect the Linate Airport terminal directly with San Babila in the city centre in 2022.
- A dedicated bus service, called Starfly , operated by Autostradale, connects Linate airport to Milan's center running every 30 minutes and tickets cost €5 per adult (ticket sold at local newsagent and on board). This bus also stop on route at Lambrate railway station. The journey takes approximately 27 minutes.
- A bus service, operated by Malpensa Shuttle connects Malpensa airport to Linate airport as well as Malpensa to Milan's Central train station (timetables, fares and ticket booking available online). The journey takes 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on traffic conditions.
- Taxis from Linate to the city centre cost around €12-20 depending on traffic conditions. The minimum charge is €12. If you are going to the centre, ignore all the guys standing at the exit to the terminal saying "taxi"... they are for destinations outside central Milan (i.e., outlying cities) and will charge a minimum of €70. Queues for regular taxis can get long during peak commuter hours (early evening) and are particularly bad during Fashion Week.
Orio al Serio Airport
Some budget airlines fly to Orio al Serio Airport (IATA: BGY), about 45 km north-east of Milan, near the city of Bergamo. Ryanair refers to this as Milan Bergamo Airport. Orio al Serio is actually closer to Milan than Malpensa and getting from there to Milan takes about the same time.
- Trains to Milan leave from Bergamo station, which you can get to by shuttle bus or taxi, but is quite far from the airport. Buses to Bergamo are run by ZANI and take 10 minutes, at a cost of around €1.50. Trains from Bergamo to Milan run every 30–60 minutes and take around 1 hour. Adult one-way fare approx €4.
- Bus services — All buses leave for Milan from immediately outside the arrivals section of the airport and from Ferrante Aporti on the east side of Central Station in Milan for all the companies below.
- Autostradale run a direct bus, Orio Shuttle, from Orio Airport to Milano Centrale station, which is probably the best choice. Departure times may vary, but buses generally run every half hour during the day, less often at night, and take about 1 hour or more. However, beware of cutting things too fine, because the highway to Milan is very crowded during weekdays. Adult one-way fare: €5. Tickets are sold in Orio Al Serio Airport in Bergamo and at the Central Train Station in Milan. Be at the Milan Bus stop at least 15 minutes before nominal departure time, or you may get left behind. Tickets can be purchased online, but sellers at the airport and train station will offer 3 tickets for price of 2.
- Zani Viaggi also run a bus service from Bergamo Airport to Milano Centrale station with a stop at the Cascina Gobba MM2 station on the North Eastern outskirts of Milan. Adult fare: €9ish one way. Tickets sold at an office in the airport or online.
- There are several other bus shuttle companies, that offer direct bus services from Bergamo airport to Milan central, Malpensa and Linate airport. It is advisable to not buy the bus tickets online beforehand, because then the passenger has no choice but to wait for the bus the he/she has booked. Once you get out of the customs area, there are a lot of kiosks and agents, who will offer bus tickets to city center at €9 return, or €5 one-way. This gives flexibility to choose the first departing bus, instead of waiting at the airport.
- Taxis to Milan will set you back around €100.
Milan is served by two major national companies: Trenitalia (main hub: Milano Centrale) and NTV (usually known by its commercial name: Italo, main hub Milano Centrale). It is also served by other long distance companies, such as SNCF.
Regional transport is managed by Trenord, which runs the entire regional train network.
The main railway station is the Central Station (Milano Centrale orCentrale FS), which is served by Trenitalia, the State Railways. Regular express and fast trains serve all Italian cities (Turin, Venice, Rome, Naples,Florence and many others), and some European cities (Barcelona, Zurich,Geneva, Munich, Stuttgart, Zagreb, Vienna, etc.). From December 2015, the station had become the main hub also for NTV.
Trenord offers regional trains to Lecco, Sondrio, Tirano, Bergamo, Brescia and other cities.
The station building is in itself worth a visit being a masterpiece of rationalist architecture.
The station area is not in a great part of town at night, though in the area there are a number of decent budget hotels and some business-oriented international brand hotels. In general, the area south of the station (characterized by a few skyscrapers) is a business and local government center, pretty active during working hours but almost deserted at night. Should you need a few supplies for your trip, there is a supermarket in the west side of the station in the basement, as well as cafes and other small shops. Internet points in the main square overlooking the station. In 2008 the station is completing extensive renovation. At night, parts of the Central Station become a sleeping area for vagrants. Usually around the station there are children aggressively targeting tourist for pickpocketing, so pay attention to your bag.
The Central Station is served by MM2 and MM3 metro lines. Taxis stops directly in front of the station (on the sides during the renovation period), and ATM buses on the West side (IV November Square) and buses to Linate, Malpensa and Orio airports on the East side (Luigi di Savoia square).
There is a luggage storage facility in the train station which opens at 6:00am and closes at 11:00pm. It is close to the entrance where all the busses and taxis stop. The initial charge of 6.00 EUR gives you 5 hours, which can be extended in hourly steps as follows: from 6 to 12 hours 0.90 EUR/hour, from 13 hours onwards 0.40 EUR/hour. You will need to show an ID card or passport.
It is the terminus for most commuter railway lines. Be aware that in fact there are two stations. The main one is the surface station, with 20 platforms used by regional and national trains and some commuter line, the other station (usually referred as Milano Porta Garibaldi Passante or Sotterranea) is placed underground below the main station, with two platforms used by suburban commuter lines.
The station features connections with the main cities in Lombardy (Como,Bergamo, Lecco, Varese, Pavia, Lodi and many others) and some direct connection with Malpensa airport.
It's also the terminal of SNCF trains to Paris. Note that the tickets have to be bought at the separate SNCF ticket booth.
From the underground station you can take trains to the Rho fairgrounds (using the commuter lines S5 toward Varese and S6 toward Novara). Just get off at Rho Fieramilano station.
It is also a stop for the MM2 and MM5 metro lines .
Another important railway station is Cadorna, served by Trenord, where the Malpensa airport Express stops and which is also a stop for MM1 and MM2 metro lines. Trains to Como Lago station leave here.
Other main train stations are Lambrate (connected to MM2 metro line), Greco-Pirelli, Rogoredo (connected to MM3 metro line) and Porta Genova (connected to MM2 metro line) and Bovisa (connected to the Passante suburban commuter train link) and Domodossola. Domodossola station is very close to the city section of the Milan Exhibition Centre - fieramilanocity, also connected to the subway system by the MM1 metro line.
The main motorways linking Milan to the rest of Italy are:
- A1, the Autostrada del Sole (Highway of the Sun), a six-lane motorway linking Milan to Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples.
- A4 Westbound, a six-lane motorway linking Milan to Turin, the Westyern Alps and France.
- A4 Eastbound, the Autostrada Serenissima, an eight-lane motorway linking Milan to Bergamo, Brescia, Verona, Padua and Venice, and further to Trieste and Slovenia.
- A7, a six-lane motorway linking Milan to Genoa, the Ligurian Riviera and the Cinque terre.
- A8, the Autostrada dei Laghi (Highway of the Lakes), an eight-lane motorway linking Milan to Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lugano and the rest of Switzerland.
- A9, a four-lane motorway linking Milan to Varese and Western Ticino inSwitzerland.
- A35, also known as BreBeMi, is a six-lane motorway linking Milan-Linate to Brescia.
- A50, A51 and A52, respectively the West, East and North Ringroads (Tangenziale Ovest, Tangenziale Est, and Tangenziale Nord) connect the various motorways forming a six-lane ringroad around Milan.
- A53, a four-lane motorway linking Milan to Pavia.
The main highway operating company is Società Autostrade per l'Italia.
Park and ride
Because of heavy traffic, it is strongly recommended not to drive in Milan during working days. Driving is much better during weekends. A recommendation is to leave your car in one of the well-marked, huge commuter car parks near several exits of Milan's motorway ringroad; they're managed by ATM and are easily connected with Milan's underground metro lines, but they close around midnight. They're near highway exits in Cascina Gobba (East), Lampugnano (North West), Molino Dorino (North West), Bonola (North West), Rho-Pero (North West), Bisceglie (South West) and San Donato (South East).
Transportation - Get Around
By Public Transport
Azienda Trasporti Milanesi S.p.A. (ATM) operates a public transport network which is pretty efficient (especially the underground lines and the trams (streetcars)). Single tickets cost €1.50 and are available from newsstands, tabaccherie, bars and automatic ticket machines in metro stations. 24h (€4.50, as of Sept. '11) and 48h (€8.50) tickets, as well as a "carnet" of 10 single trips (€13.80) are available from most newsstands (including subway newsstands), tabaccherie (tobacconist - look for large T sign), coffee bars and the tourist information office. Please note that you must have a valid ticket before boarding a bus or tram. Tickets are not sold on board and you will not find a self-service ticket machine at bus and tram stop. You need to buy a valid ticket from one of the place listed above. Single tickets are valid for 90 minutes, during which you can use them on as many trams and buses as you like, for one metro ride and for one ride on the urban part of the suburban train. Your time starts once you validate it by inserting it into a box which prints the date and time on it. These are found inside trams and buses and at the turnstiles at the metro. If you've first used a single ticket on a bus or tram, you must also validate it when you enter the metro or before taking the urban part of the suburban train. There still exists three different types of ticket machines on trams and buses. To validate the new-style paper with magnetic strip tickets (these should be the only ones that you will ever be sold) you need to use the orange and yellow machines. If you have a new magnetic credit-card type ticket, you should validate it every time you board on a new bus or a streetcar as well.
The Metro (short for Metropolitana , the logo is a big white M on a red background) has four lines, each commonly identified by a color as shown below, and is the best way to get around Milan. The lines are: M1, red (rossa); M2, green (verde); M3, yellow (gialla); M5, lilac (lilla). The M4 is under construction, to be completed by 2022, as many other extension of existing lines. The subway network is rather extended (lines split into different sections and its 72 stations cover most areas of town). Trains run every 1–3 minutes. Service starts at 6.00AM and the last trains run at around midnight (2AM on Saturday nights). During Saturday nights, after 2AM, buses substitute metro lines.
Trams (streetcars) run above-ground on rail lines running through the streets. These are known as trams and an Italian (or non-American foreigner for that matter) will have no idea what you are talking about if you ask them where to find a 'streetcar'.
Being above ground means you get a view of what you're passing, so if you don't need to go far, they're convenient and fun. Some tram lines are operated by the ultramodern 'jumbo' green tram, others are run by yellow or orange antique traditional carriages (similar to the ones in San Francisco) with wooden panneling inside and glass chandeliers. Many tram stops have electronic information panels with indications on how many minutes to wait before the next available service.
ATM also organizes dinners on a special restaurant tram (ATMosfera), you can enjoy your dinner while strolling the city on the old streetcar.
Buses should probably be your third public transport option. Equally comfortable, rather punctual and clean with many routes to choose from. ATM streetcar and bus services stop around 2AM. However, some lines end their service earlier and some do not have a night service at all. In any case check your route and timetable in advance if you want to travel late at night. From 8PM to 2AM a special shuttle service is operated by ATM, called Radiobus , an on-call bus accessible only by pre-booking. Radiobus is a good, cheap and efficient alternative to taxi. Shuttle buses operated by ATM, with the characteristic silver color with a strip of international flag painted diagonal, operate after 8PM and until 2AM; you may book them by phone at 02 4803 4803 at least 20 minutes in advance (a couple of hours is better). The bus will stop at a dedicated place (these have an hexagonal panel with blue writing RADIOBUS and telephone number on white) and will leave you virtually any place. Memorize the pick-up location. The driver will wait for ladies to enter the home door as a courtesy. Costs €2 per person. You may buy the tickets in advance, or pay on the bus.
Several buses connect suburban cities and towns surrounding Milan. Some are managed by ATM. You can travel on most of them with an inter-urban ticket (biglietto interurbano) which are sold in two forms: including travel in Milan or without. In the without form you can only go to the end of the line, while with the cumulative version you can transfer to any ATM line. There are several rules and distance limits which apply, so be aware of them when you purchase your ticket.
Many bus stops have electronic information panels with indications on how many minutes to wait before the next available service.
Taxis can be expensive and drivers are allowed to pick passengers up from designated taxi ranks, through phone bookings and directly from the sidewalk of a street. The main taxi companies can be reached at 02.40.40, 02.69.69 or 02.80.80, or alternatively, from a land line dial 848.814.781 to be connected to the nearest taxi stand. If you book a taxi by phone you'll start paying from the moment the driver accepts the call and comes to pick you up. Local law define some fixed fee trips: Milan to Malpensa Airport €70, Malpensa Airport-Rho Fair €55, Malpensa Airport-Linate Airport €85, Linate Airport-Milan Fair €40. All fees are intended for a one-way, non-stop trip; taxi waiting time and booking are extras. A surcharge will apply in the evenings so don't be surprised if the meter has €6+ on it when you enter, even if at a taxi-stand.
The Suburban Railway System or S-lines (the logo is a big green S on a blue background) includes a special line known as Passante ferroviario (railway link), considered Milan's fourth subway line (although trains run every 6-15 mins), and has eight more lines, each identified by a number (S1, S2, S5, S6, S10 through Passante Ferroviario and S3, S4, S8, S9, S11 through other railways), connecting metro area towns with Milan. Suburban trains run less often than Metro trains (depending on the line, they range from 1 to 4 per hour) but, as some lines share tracks and stations, you can expect as many as 10 trains per hour in central Milan between Lancetti and Porta Vittoria stations. Suburban Railway 'S' Lines are usually marked in blue on subway maps. The Passante is not heavily used by the Milanese and in non-peak hours stations can be deserted so would not be recommended for lone (and particularly female) travellers.
Driving is definitely not a good idea to get into the city centre. Like most major cities traffic is a considerable problem, not to mention the hassle of parking. During working hours traffic is often blocked, inside the city as well as on the highway ring surrounding it. It is much better at night, but you'll probably have problems finding a place to leave the car near enough to nightlife attractions.
If you must drive in Milan make sure you have an up-to-date map showing the many one-ways present in the city.
Traffic congestion fee
Since January 1, 2008, cars entering Milan's central area within the former walls of the city (cerchia dei navigli) must pay a fee (€2,€3, €5 or €10 depending on the engine and age of the car), the fee and the fee area are both known as Area C.
There are cameras in all entrances to this area and all registration plates are recorded. Payment can be made by purchasing entrance cards at newspaper stands, online or by sms (call 020202 for information). Failure to pay within 48 hours from entering the area implies a fine of €75.
There are no exemptions for foreign cars (cars with a foreign country plate).
There are two car sharing services in the city, Car2Go and Enjoy. With a small rental, from 25 to 29 cents per minute, it's possible to rent a Smart car or a Fiat 500, respectively, in order to move freely within the city. There are no extra costs, and even the congestion charge is included in the rent.
Walking is definitely a possibility, and although Milan is a large city, many of the main tourist attractions are within an easy and pleasant walk from one another. In recent years, several tourist hot spots, such as the Corso Vittorio Emanuele or the Via Dante have been made pedestrian, so walking shouldn't be a problem. No matter how hot the day, one will see elegantly dressed people of both sexes in timeless fashion without a drop of sweat. There are many places to sit, apart from the ubiquitous cafes, especially in the parks. Get a decent map of the city before setting out though, as the roads do not always maintain a straight line, and the various piazza can be confusing to the newcomer. In the many parks, there are dog only areas, but one should always be careful when walking as the two things one will see on the ground in the streets are cigarette ends and dog faeces.
Bikes are available through the bike sharing service BikeMI. You can register for annual or temporary subscriptions at any BikeMi station. If you register for a temporary subscription (weekly or daily), a user code, along with your password, will be sent to the e-mail address, chosen during your registration. Your codes are active as soon as you receive them. BikeDistrict is a website that offers cycling directions to get around safely in the city. Entering the departure and destination addresses, BikeDistrict finds the best itinerary for bikes, avoiding as far as possible cobblestones, tram rails, busy streets and the routes which are potentially dangerous for cyclists. The suggested route is displayed on a map and colored according to the cycling level of every street, together with real-time information about bike sharing stations and with the location of cycling-related services, such as bike repair shops.
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Milan, being a worldwide trendsetter, is a fashion shoppers' paradise.
There is pretty much every form of shopping in this city that one can imagine: from the designer's prestigious emporia, retail giants' outlets, small entrepreneur's tiny and funky boutiques, to second-hand average shops.
The main shopping area is the so-called Fashion Quadrangle (quadrilatero della moda), a set of blocks roughly between Duomo Square (Piazza Duomo), Cavour Square (Piazza Cavour) and San Babila Square (Piazza San Babila). Here in Montenapoleone Street (with prime brand shops), Della Spiga Street, Vittorio Emanuele Street, Sant' Andrea Street, Porta Venezia avenue and Manzoni Street, it contains the most prestigious boutiques and showrooms in the world. Everything reeks of ostentation and the splendor of a chic, fashionable lifestyle. Shop windows shine, exhibiting the trendiest shoes, coolest glasses, funkiest dresses, most glamorous clothes, and most luxurious crystal chandeliers.
For people wanting to spend a bit less while still buying beautiful pieces, other areas are better. One of these is1 Corso Vercelli (MM1 Pagano, MM1 Conciliazione subway stations), another one is Buenos Aires Avenue (MM1 Porta Venezia, MM1 Lima, MM1/MM2 Loreto subway stations), reputed as being the longest shopping street of Europe. Corso Buenos Aires connects Porta Venezia to Piazzale Loreto, and is even more commercial: here you can find Calzedonia, Alex Fashion, Luisa Spagnoli, Furla, Brian & Barry and Nara Camice.
The Brera district (Lanza, or Montenapoleone metro stops) is also not to be missed for trendy and young, yet stylish, boutiques. The Brera district is great for other things, such as browsing through ancient rare art stores and galleries, sipping a hot drink at a refined-air cafe, attending a funky disco, or looking for exotic furniture. However, today, there are a lot of young designers who have up-and coming boutiques, which are slightly less expensive than their Montenapoleone counterparts, but are quite fashionable and of high quality. The Brera district is great because it combines chic, old-air shops, with zeitgeist, modernist and youthful ones. Jewelry stores include Papic oro e argento or Alcozer & J. Bijoux, fashion shops include Accessori or Laura Ashley, and furniture stores include Zohar or Lucitalia.
Let us not forget, the Piazza del Duomo, Via Dante, Piazza San Babila, and the Corso Giacomo Matteotti which are excellent shopping places. In the Galleria, you get brand fashion stores, two bookstores (Rizzoli and Libreria Bocca) and a sliverware store called Bernasconi plus a Gucci cafe (and many, many more!). In the Corso Giacomo, you can find Abercrombie & Fitch, in Piazza del Duomo you have Grimoldi, Ruggeri, Donna and La Rinascente department store, in Piazza San Babila you can find Upim, Eddy Monetti, Guess and Valextra, and there are loads of shops in the Via Dante, so there are really heaps of shopping opportunities in this area.
For hipsters, there's the elongated Porta Ticinese area, especially on Saturday, when the flea market Fiera di Senigallia takes place near the Darsena (2008: currently that area is closed and Fiera di Senigallia has been moved to a place near Porta Genova MM2 subway and train station). This is a great place to wander and browse, and save money if you've somehow survived Milan's high end boutiques. Sort through new and second-hand clothes, old furniture, fake art nouveau lamps, perfumed candles and every kind of essence, books, comics, records, videos and DVDs. In the Corso Ticense, several shops, such as Diesel, RVM Orologi, Dress, Energie, Colors & Beauty, Tintoria La Boutique, Blu Max, Le Jean Marie, Brazilian, Ethic, L'Uomo outlet, Les Tropezziennes, Atelier cucine e ..., Panca's Show Room, or Cinius (and loads more) are present. There are also several banks and post offices, such as the Banca Popolare and Poste Italiane, and a CTS Viaggi travel agency. Thus, with so many shops, you can keep your shopping bags full, and browse even further.
The other market in Milan is the Mercatone del Naviglio Grande. This takes place along the on the last Sunday of each month. Dedicated to antiques, the market has over 400 exhibitors, so you're certain to find something that catches your eye.
Although Milan is a city that changes its mind as quickly as fashion trends come and go, it remains one of the strongest bastions of traditional Italian cooking, where homemade elements are still very much praised and appreciated. There are trattorias, enoteche (wine bars) and restaurants (including luxury ones) everywhere that offer traditional Milanese and Italian dishes to eat. This city's traditional cooking is based on filling dishes like osso buco (braised veal shanks) and risotto alla milanese(chicken-broth risotto made with saffron).
Dining times tend to be a shade earlier than in Rome or Florence, with lunch generally served between 12:30 and 14:30 and dinner from 19:30 to 21:30. Dinner, and sometimes lunch, are usually preceded by that great Milanese institution, the aperitivo—a glass of sparkling wine or a Campari soda in a sophisticated hotel bar.
Avoid the restaurants around the Duomo, they tend to be tourist-only spots, with low quality food at inflated prices. Be aware that most restaurants charge an extra "serving tax" or "table rent", about €2 per consumer. Also avoid restaurants or cafes around the central station, where it has been reported that hidden serving tax can be up to €5 per person with cheap quality food.
There is much confusion regarding tipping in Italy. Italians do not typically leave tips anymore at restaurants. In touristy locations there will often be a line (a recent trend) left blank for a tip to be added. Just draw a line through it and leave a couple of euros. Never leave tips at bar counters.
In bars you can enjoy great caffè espresso, cappuccino and a brioche for as little as €2. At bars in the Duomo and San Babila areas, breakfast can be very expensive if you sit down. If in doubt go to the bar and eat there, you'll pay what the Italians do- and they will admire your audacity too.
Milan, as a big city, is filled with several different forms of fast-foods, from the foreign giants and national chains, to independently-owned take-aways and sandwich bars. Most fast-food restaurants are found in the Duomo, Buenos Aires and central station areas, as these are the most crowded and busy ones in the city. In the Piazza Duomo and Galleria, one can find international fast-foods such as McDonald's and Burger King, but Italian chains of the Autogrill group such as Spizzico and Ciao and Autogrill can be found all over the city. There are several Ciao outlets in places such as no. 12 Corso Europa or no. 54 Via Montebianco, and for McDonald's, you get a restaurant in the Piazza del Duomo and Galleria, and also some in the Corso Buenos Aires, plus some others in places such as Corso Vercelli or Piazzale Lotto. Other fast-foods which can be found in Milan include Garbagnati (Cordusiometro station) which is a self-service restaurant and bakery, which has several vegetarian courses, or the Luini (Duomo metro station) which is a restaurant which is famous for making Southern Italian-style pieces of dough with mozzarella and tomatoes inside.
Although Milan cannot claim to be the birthplace of pizza, (that claim belongs to Naples), you can still find good pizzas in Milan. The best areas for pizza are near Via Marghera (at the end of Corso Vercelli), and on the , on Brera. Expect to pay €8-15 for a pizza and a beer. In Milan, pizza is often eaten with a knife and fork, but of course eating with one's hands is possible and welcome. Most people do both.
Watch out for frozen pizza in Milan (it usually states it on the menu). Always check the restaurant has a wood burning oven and that they are using it.
If you are in the Northeast area, there are many little pizzerias on Viale Fulvio Testi(the northern extension of viale Zara) in the Greco area, of which an excellent choice is Pizzeria Da Pino. Ask for John Luca, and don't miss the lasagne. Here you may also get homemade Mirto (as you can at many other places). The prices are very reasonable in these establishments; expect to pay about €4-5 for pizza and €3-4 for beer. These places are where the locals eat, they are very friendly and helpful but few speak anything but Italian. Take the phrasebook with you.
In the last several years, Milan has established a local version of the Aperitivo or Happy Hour. Italians drink very moderately and "happy hour" is not a drinking, but a social event.
Roughly from 7PM to 9PM, many bars offer drinks and cocktails at a fixed price (€5-8 each), accompanied by free all-you-can-eat buffets with snacks, pastas, and many other small appetizers. But be careful not to confuse "aperitivo" with "free dinner". It's a snack to be enjoyed with a drink. Italians will immediately see you as a buffoon- and it's seen as tacky to fill up on finger food for dinner, although it's common to spot them doing so.
A whole lot of these places can be found in Southern Milan. Another great area for aperitivo, not far from Duomo, is Corso Buenos Aires.
In summer enjoy gelato, excellent Italian ice cream. The quality mark gelato artigianale ("artisanal ice cream") indicates gelaterias that produce their own ice creams, without industrial processing. Bakeries are open every day, you can enjoy great and inexpensive bread-related food, such as pizza and focaccia. You can find a bakery almost everywhere in Milan, even in the Duomo area, and is a good alternative to bars for a fast lunch.
Sights & Landmarks
There are many things to see in Milan - from fine churches, old palaces, excellent museums, world class theatres and opera houses, cultural gems, striking buildings, sleek modern architectural works and lovely streets and squares.
Milan has some of the oldest churches in Italy, older than the ones in Rome because Milan was the capital of the Northern part of the late Roman Empire. The cathedral,Duomo is the symbol and the heart of Milan. Santa Maria delle Grazie in the Western part of the city is the home for Leonardo da Vinci's painting The Last Supper and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For those passionate about art Milan offers a large variety of art museums, mainly of Italian Renaissance and Baroque. Note, though, that most museums are closed on Mondays.
For long periods Milan has been surrounded by walls, built during the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages and the rule of the Habsburg. Many of the gates are still there and well worth a visit. During the centuries some of them have been completely annihilated and many are built on the same place as a former gate. Currently there are seven gates standing dating from various ages. Clockwise from 12 o'clock they are: Porta Nuova, Porta Venezia (formerly called Porta Orientale and Porta Renza), Porta Romana, Porta Ticinese (two gates; one closer to Duomo and one further out), Porta Sempione and Porta Garibaldi (formerly Porta Comasina).
Despite not having as much greenery as some cities, Milan offers several parks and gardens, scattered all over the city. Maybe the most visited of them is Parco Sempione, also home to the Sforzesco Castle. Many smaller and less-famous parks can be found in the southern part of the city.
Not all points of interest are right in the absolute centre - some of the most wonderful gems can be found near the outskirts or even outside of Milan.
Museums & Galleries
Milan is home to many cultural institutions, museums and art galleries, that account for about a tenth of the national total of visitors and receipts. The Pinacoteca di Brera is one of Milan's most important art galleries. It contains one of the foremost collections of Italian painting, including masterpieces such as the Brera Madonna by Piero della Francesca. The Castello Sforzesco hosts numerous art collections and exhibitions, especially statues, ancient arms and furnitures, as well as the Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco, with an art collection includingMichelangelo's last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà, Andrea Mantegna'sTrivulzio Madonna and Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Trivulzianus manuscript. The Castello complex also includes The Museum of Ancient Art, The Furniture Museum, The Museum of Musical Instruments and the Applied Arts Collection, The Egyptian and Prehistoric sections of the Archaeological Museum and the Achille Bertarelli Print Collection.
Milan's figurative art flourished in the Middle-Ages, and with the Viscontifamily being major patrons of the arts, the city became an important centre of Gothic art and architecture (Milan Cathedral being the city's most formidable work of Gothic architecture). Leonardo worked in Milan from 1482 until 1499. He was commissioned to paint the Virgin of the Rocks for the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception and The Last Supper for the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
The city was affected by the Baroque in the 17th and 18th centuries, and hosted numerous formidable artists, architects and painters of that period, such as Caravaggio and Francesco Hayez, which several important works are hosted in Brera Academy. The Museum of Risorgimento is specialized on the history of Italian unification Its collections include iconic paintings likeBaldassare Verazzi's Episode from the Five Days and Francesco Hayez's 1840 Portrait of Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria. The Triennale is a design museum and events venue located in Palazzo dell'Arte, in Sempione Park. It hosts exhibitions and events highlighting contemporary Italian design, urban planning, architecture, music, and media arts, emphasizing the relationship between art and industry.
Milan in the 20th century was the epicenter of the Futurist artistic movement.Filippo Marinetti, the founder of Italian Futurism wrote in his 1909 "Futurist Manifesto" (in Italian, Manifesto Futuristico), that Milan was "grande...tradizionale e futurista" ("grand...traditional and futuristic", in English). Umberto Boccioni was also an important Futurism artist who worked in the city. Today, Milan remains a major international hub of modern and contemporary art, with numerous modern art galleries. The Modern Art Gallery, situated in the Royal Villa, hosts collections of Italian and European painting from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. The Museo del Novecento, situated in the Palazzo dell'Arengario, is one of the most important art galleries in Italy about 20th-century art; of particular relevance are the sections dedicated to Futurism, Spatialism and Arte povera. In the early 1990s architect David Chipperfield was invited to convert the premises of the former Ansaldo Factory into a Museum. Museo delle Culture (MUDEC) opened in April 2015.The Gallerie di Piazza Scala, a modern and contemporary museum located in Piazza della Scala in the Palazzo Brentani and the Palazzo Anguissola, hosts 195 artworks from the collections of Fondazione Cariplo with a strong representation of nineteenth century Lombard painters and sculptors, including Antonio Canova and Umberto Boccioni. A new section was opened in the Palazzo della Banca Commerciale Italiana in 2012. Other private ventures dedicated to contemporary art include the exhibiting spaces of the Prada Foundation and HangarBicocca. TheNicola Trussardi Foundation is renewed for organising temporary exhibition in venues around the city. Milan is also home to many public art projects, with a variety of works that range from sculptures to murals to pieces by internationally renowned artists, including Arman, Francesco Barzaghi,Alberto Burri, Pietro Cascella, Maurizio Cattelan, Leonardo Da Vinci, Giorgio de Chirico, Fausto Melotti, Claes Oldenburg, Igor Mitoraj, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Aldo Rossi, Giuseppe Spagnulo and Domenico Trentacoste.
Things to do
- Exhibitions - Many exhibitions are held during the year, ranging from wines to computers, industrial equipment and chocolate. The fieramilanocity is the old exhibitions ground in central Milan a few km northwest of Duomo (MM1 Amendola Fiera or MM1 Lotto - Fiera 2 Stations), the new fairgrounds of fieramilano are in Rho (northwest of Milan, MM1 Rho Fiera Station, A4 highway Pero exit).
- La Scala, one of the world's most famous opera houses, is located in Milan. It also hosts classical music concerts. Other places to enjoy classical music include Teatro dal Verme, Auditorium di Milano and the Giuseppe Verdi conservatory.
- If you like theater and preferably understand Italian, there are a couple of theater houses in Milan. Piccolo Teatro di Milano has three theaters,Teatridithalia - Elfo e Portaromana Associati has two.
- From Torre Branca and the roof of Duomo you have good views of the city - certainly worth taking a couple of photos of.
- If you're into Italian fashion, there are few, if any, better shopping destinations than Milan. All the usual suspects have their brand stores in the historical center. Moreover, Milan Fashion Week, one of the "big four" fashion industry events in the world are held twice yearly (Feb-Mar and Sep-Oct).
- Milan has been a hotspot for the Telugu film industry of India (movies in Telegu). Most of the new films of this industry include scenes in Milan. The first 15 - 20 minutes of the movie Attarintiki Daaredi, which was the first Telegu language movie to get INR798 million (US$13 million) in 25 days, was shot in Milan. So if you ever see the shooting of these films, stay and watch if you're allowed to, since the Telugu films are really enjoyable!
There are plenty of bars and cafés in Milan of all kinds - from fancy old-fashioned ones, where you can enjoy a formal hot drink, to avant-garde modern places, and youthful spots for a happy hour/late-night drink. Some also offer some food too.
Milan by night
Milan has a great variety of places where you can have fun. A great starting point is Como Avenue(Corso Como), near Garibaldi Station, full of bars and glamorous clubs. In the summertime, this street is packed with young and attractive people.
Another place where you can go is the quarter, near Porta Ticinese Avenue and XXIV Maggio Square, where you can find a lot of small pubs, open air cafes and restaurants by the water canals (navigli). In many pubs and bars you can find a free booklet named Zero2 which is a guide to Milan Nightlife: if you don't know what to do or where to go, do grab one!
Other popular night spots with bars and people are Viale Monte Nero (on Wednesday it's packed with people in the piazza in front of a bar called "Momo"), Piazzale Susa (and nearby Citta' Studi area). Nights are overwhelmingly crowded at the Colonne di San Lorenzo (not far from Navigli quarter), and in the cozy Latin-quarter of Brera. Another good spot is the pedestrian part of Corso Sempione near the Peace Arch (Arco della Pace).
There are bars and clubs open all week long but usually few people go out at night on Mondays or Tuesdays, the vast majority prefer to have fun on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. However, Wednesday night appears to be one of the coolest to go out in stylish VIP-frequented clubs.
Milan has an alternative club scene, with a few crews making electronic music parties outside clubs. Ultracheap, every time in a different location (lofts, warehouses, farms, pools, city parks) those kind of parties attract people aged 20–28. The biggest one is called RESET! and attracts 1500-2000 people once a month
Gay and Lesbian Travellers
Although Milan has a variety of bars, clubs, restaurants and venues for gay and lesbian travellers, many only operate one night a week. Choosing from one of the "mainstays" listed in the district articles and asking anyone where to go should lead you in the right direction. Also, venues are not concentrated in one area of town, but rather spread throughout the city.
Foreign travelers are often confused by the ARCI card regime that is required for entry into many clubs. It's a relic from the times of police raids that has now conferred tax benefits on these private club owners. No need to fear—just show up and purchase one at any of the clubs. You must bring some ID or you cannot purchase one.
Open air meeting places such as Parco Nord, the gardens behind Cadorna station or Ortomercato are not recommended (criminals and hustlers). The safest way to cruise is to take the late night metro and get into the second-last coach, which is usually occupied by the gays and lesbians.
Safety in Milan
Unless you venture into the dangerous suburbs, Milan is a rather safe city.Certain areas near Loreto, the central railway station, and Porto di Mare (Southern end of the yellow metro line) can be unsafe in the night. At the station, do not seek help from any random person offering to help with the booking machines / ATMs or under any other pretext. After they have helped, they will pursue you to get as much money as possible for their "help". Or they can pretend to be helpful, cheating instead. A possible scenario: they guide you through the interface of the ticket machine in a metro station, and advice you to pay using notes instead of coins (allegedly the ticket machine wouldn't accept coins). If you insert a 20 euro note, the machine would give it back after a few moments. However, before it happens, they will grab your attention saying that the ticket should appear in the bottom of the machine, and simultaneously an old beggar with body odor will appear begging for money. You wouldn't notice it but the beggar will collect the 20 euro note that the machine would give back to you. The "helper" would then show to you that the maximum amount of change given by the machine is less than 10 euros.
Beware of the migrant vendors in the streets: most of the merchandise they sell is imitation/fake luxury goods. Even at a fraction of the cost of the original merchandise, the quality is spotty, and the goods are not well maintained in storage. Remember that it's illegal to bring pirated goods into some countries and therefore such souvenirs might get even more expensive when trying to bring them home.
They may also try giving you "free" friendship bracelets (sometimes calling them 'a gift'). After you take the bracelet, a coloured piece of string, they will hit you up for money and relentlessly pursue you until they get as much as they can. They will be forceful, physically tying the bracelet to your wrist, or laying it on your shoulder as you try and walk away. This is especially true in the tourist areas around the Duomo and Castello Sforzesco. They usually first ask "Where are you from?" Just ignore them. In empty places, watch for strangers directly approaching you. Try to be with other people like in a bus station or a shopping mall.
Beware of people hanging around the square outside Duomo: they will walk up to you and forcefully give you corn on the hands to feed the pigeons on the pretense that they are free. All the pigeons in the surrounding area will then fly to you. The people will then relentlessly pursue you and ask you for money.
Be careful crossing the street: drivers don't usually respect pedestrian crossings unless there is a red light for them to stop.