Milan is Italy's business capital and the center for everything that's up-to-the-minute in commerce, finance, fashion, and media. Milan is also the perfect gateway into the Italian Lakes region with the breathtaking Lake Como and picture-postcard perfect Bellagio, only 1 1/2 hours by car.
Most Milan hotels are familiar international chains, offering a high level of service and amenities.
Milan is served by both Linate and Malpensa International Airports.
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- Choice of accommodations
- Hotel V.A.T. (Value Added Tax) and service charges
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should go?
Milan is a great strolling, window shopping, and dining city.
The world's greatest opera house—La Scala—makes its home in Milan.
If you love to shop, Milan is a Mecca, as it is home to global fashion giants such as Armani, Prada, and others.
What's the climate like?
How do I get around town?
Transfers between the airport and hotel are not included with your vacation package. From Malpensa airport (30 miles outside of the city), you can get to Milan by a train to Ferrovie Nord train station, which connects to the red or green metro lines. You can also go by shuttle bus to Stazione Centrale, Milan's main railway station.
Tram and Bus
Tickets can be purchased at the metro stations, in giornali (kiosk) or tabacchi (stores marked with "T"), but not on the bus or tram.
There are 3 metropolitan lines: the red line (linea rossa), which travels from the west to the north; the green line (linea verde), which travels from the southwest to the east; and the yellow line (linea gialla), which travels from the south to the north. Tickets can be purchased at the metro stations, in giornali (kiosk) or tabacchi (stores marked with "T"), but not on board.
Taxis are convenient, but not necessarily cheap, especially during rush hour.
A mix of public transportation and a taxi. You call the radiobus and it takes you where you want between the hours of 8pm and 2am.
What kinds of dining and nightlife are available?
Restaurants are numerous in this European city with most restaurants featuring outstanding Italian food. Entertainment leans towards the cosmopolitan with trendy clubs, jazz bars, high-end bars and dance clubs, plus the world-famous Teatro alla Scala.
Some restaurants to try include:
If you love risotto, then make a beeline for this neighborhood trattoria. The superb risotto dishes change with the season. The setting is relaxed, the service informal, the prices strikingly reasonable. Outside the touristy center of town but quite convenient by subway.
A tiny, bustling first-class pizzeria near the Duomo. The wood oven is in full view, so you can see your pizza cooking in front of you. Aside from the pizza, the menu is essentially Tuscan. Reservations are essential on weekends.
This wood-panel wine bar near the stock exchange is the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine with cheese and cold cuts. At lunch, pasta dishes and select entrées are available; pasta is the only hot dish served in the evening. If you're coming for a meal, reservations are recommended.
Twin brothers Maurizio and Roberto Montina have turned this restaurant into a local favorite. Chef Roberto creates exquisite modern Italian dishes, while Maurizio chats with guests, regulars, and local families. Unlike many Italian menus, there's a fine selection on the hard-to-choose dessert cart.
Where should I go shopping?
Milan is home to global fashion giants such as Armani, Prada, and Trussardi; behind these famous names stands a host of smaller, less-renowned designers who help fill all those fabulous shops.
Here are some of the more well-know and well-loved shopping areas:
- Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is the most central shopping area with the greatest number of stores and movie-houses in the city.
- Corso Buenos Aires is one of the most popular areas with the highest ratio of stores per square foot than anywhere else in Europe.
- Corso Vercelli is where you'll find upscale but affordable designs.
- Elegant Via Montenapoleone is the quintessential shopping area where there is no limit on what you can spend. But window shopping is always free.
- Mercato Papiniano offers bargains in designer apparel on Saturday and Tuesday from about 9 to 1. The stalls to look for are at the Piazza Sant'Agostino end of the market. It's very crowded and demanding—watch out for pickpockets.
When are the local events?
Festival of Sant'Ambrogio
December 5-7. Milan celebrates its saint with a festival in the area around the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio in the center of Milan. The area is full of stalls where you can find antique furniture, handicrafts, and food, including cold cuts, cheese, sweets, and the official wine of the day, the vin brulé.
The Fair of Flowers
April. For 1 day, all the florists expose their beautiful flowers creations along the Naviglio Grande.
To get tickets to this world-famous opera house, it is best to order online at www.teatroallascala.org. Once you're in Milan, you can check on ticket availability at the Scala box office, located in the Duomo metro station and open daily from 12 noon to 6pm. About 100 tickets for seats in the second gallery go on sale 3 hours before a performance—they're available at the ticket office of the theater itself.
Be on the lookout in your wanderings through Milan for the Visconti family emblem—a viper, its jaws straining wide, devouring a child. The Viscontis ruled in the late 1200s and 1300s and were known for their aristocratic mixture of refinement, classical learning, and, apparently, cruelty.
To get in to Santa Maria delle Grazie to see DaVinci's Last Supper, reservations are required. Viewings are in 15-minute timed slots, and visitors must arrive 15 minutes before their assigned time if they are not to lose their slot. Reservations can be made via phone 02/89421146 or online at www.cenacolovinciano.org. It is best to call because more tickets are set aside for phone reservations. The telephone reservation office is open 9am - 6pm weekdays and 9am - 2pm on Saturday. Operators do speak English, though not fluently, and to reach one, you must wait for the Italian introduction to finish and then press "2." However, you can sometimes get tickets from one day to the next. Some city bus tours include a visit in their regular circuit, which may be a good option.
Good to Know:
|Malpensa International Airport and Linate International Airport
MXP and LIN
|May – June and September – October
|January and February, July and August, and November and December
|Milan is 7 hours ahead of the Central Time Zone
|Government legislation requires all people traveling via air to and from the United States and Canada to have a valid passport. For details on passports, visas, and health requirements, see Entry Requirements.
|15% is usually added to the bill in a restaurant, but if you're not sure if it has been, be sure to ask. It is also nice to leave some additional change worth a couple of dollars if you were really pleased with the service.
|Milan is the fashion capital of Italy, so dress up to fit in.