Milan is the largest and most important city of Northern Italy and is situated in the Po River Valley. For much of its history, Milan was subject to French and Austrian control until it was conquered in the 19th Century, subsequently becoming a part of Italy. Today, Milan is Italy’s second largest city, its financial center and business hub, and its wealthiest and most cosmopolitan city. It is also seen as the fashion and design capital of the world, the home of priceless art by legendary figures such as Leonardo de Vinci and Michelangelo, and the center of one of the most vibrant nightlife found anywhere. One could argue that in Italy, Milan is the place to be and the place to be seen.
For those who are into shopping, Milan may be as good as it gets. Being the home of many top models and designers, it is not surprising that it is also the home of some of the best fashion items. The fashion quadrangle offers high-end shopping. Located along the streets of Montenapoleone, Vittorio Emanuele Street, Manzoni, and Della Spiga, you’ll find the main shops of every major fashion brands including Giorgio Armani, Versace, Gucci, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi and the like. There are also other famous designer labels for other items like shoes, leather goods, and blankets. The more price-sensitive shoppers, on the other hand, should visit areas like the Brera, Navigli, and the Vercelli and Buenos Aires avenues.
The cultural scene is equally compelling. Milan has many museums, landmarks, and monuments. The Cenacolo Vinciano gallery in the Saint Mary of the Graces Church is a gem, as it is home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. Another gem is the Castello Sforzesco, a castle stronghold where the wealthy Sforza-Visconti families of Milan and later the Austrian governor resided. Other marvels include La Scala Theatre, the world-famous Italian opera house, which first opened in 1778. It underwent extensive renovations in 2004. The Duomo is another site of interest, being the fourth largest Cathedral in the world. It dates back to the late Gothic era and was completed in 1386.
The nightlife in Milan is also lively with several discos, pubs, and clubs. In particular, Como Avenue is a hotspot for stylish bars and clubs. In the Porta Ticinese avenue area in the Navigli quarter, you’ll find smaller pubs. The best time to frequent the scene is on Wednesday and the days leading up to the weekend.