City Guide, Milan
Milan is one of Italy's most fashionable cities and one of the richest cities
in Europe but it also holds several historic and artistic attractions, including
the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the Last Supper painting, and the famous
La Scala Opera House. Travelers to Milan will find a fast-paced, glamorous city
with a thriving cultural scene and a top city for shopping. Although the city was
heavily bombed during World War II, much of it was rebuilt.
A city rich in style and fashion, Milan also comes with more than its fair share
of leading tourist attractions. When you first arrive in Milan, do treat yourself
to a guided tour of the city, whether on foot or by bus, so that you can see what
attractions are on offer and where exactly they are located.
The Teatro alla Scala opera house is a particularly notable place of interest
in the city, as are the many palaces of Milan, such as the Palazzo Borromeo, the
Palazzo Marino and the Palazzo Real, amongst many others. Further tourist attractions
within the city include the Meazza (San Siro) Stadium, the Rotonda della Besana,
and the Giuseppe Verdi Music Conservatory (Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Verdi).
Culture & Entertainment
Milan also has another important and long-standing tradition: the theatre.
For centuries, some of its theatres and opera houses have been the performance sites
of some of the best opera singers, composers and musicians, dancers, and playwrights
and actors, both traditional and avant-garde. In contrast to their importance, the
number of theatres in Milan is sparse, with most of them sitting in and around the
Brera neighborhood –district of culture and nightlife par excellence – and putting
on more than 300 performances annually, ranging from traditional and contemporary
theatre productions to variety and cabaret. The theatre of all Milanese theatres
is, of course, La Scala, one of the most important opera houses in the world.
Food and drink
Food in the whole Lombard region is predominantly cooked with butter and lard.
There is a preference to rice and polenta rather than pasta. The most traditional
dish in the Milanese cuisine is Saffron Risotto, followed by the “Busecca”
that is the dialect word for tripe and the “Cassoeula”, pork casserole
consisting of ribs, skin and sausages cooked with cabbage. The “ mondeghili”
are fried meatballs fried in butter and the famous “Costoletta” or “Cottoletta
alla Mialnese” is a thick veal escalope in breadcrumbs. Milan is also the
birthplace of Panettone, the Italian Christmas cake.
Aperitifs are an important feature of the Milan food and drink scene, most bars
offer a whole range of finger food to accompany the after work drinks in a mixture
of pre-dinner snacks and socializing opportunity.
Many believe that if any city could ever challenge Paris for the title of global
fashion capital, it would be Milan. This ultimate Mecca for all fashion addicts
never fails to amaze with the number of designer flagships it’s home to. The
exclusive boutiques and studios sell some of the most sophisticated fashion.
Milan was the birthplace for a number of labels that evoke the utmost respect
in anyone familiar with the basics of fashion design. Versace, Prada, Dolce &
Gabbana and Armani all set up their original boutiques here. For those looking for
something more affordable, Milan offers a multitude of shopping options for both
new and second-hand fashion.