For art, design, fashion shopping and opera lovers, you’ll need two days in dynamic and sophisticated Milan. Attractions include the Duomo and the Baptistry, Santa Maria delle Grazie for Leonardo’s Last Supper, Sant' Ambrogio, Brera Picture Gallery, the Ambrosiana Library and Picture Gallery, Museo Poldi-Pezzoli. As one of Europe's top shopping destinations, Milan offers stylish boutiques and designer studios selling clothing, shoes, accessories, linens, housewares, and jewelry, centered around the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Via Montenapoleone, Via Della Spiga, Via Sant' Andrea, the Brera district and its side streets - Via Solferino, Via Madonnina, Via Fiori Chiari. For the antique lover, the monthly Milan antique fair is a necessity. To help you with your shopping, just ask and we can hire the services of a personal shopper who will escort you on an in-depth, personalized tour of Italian designers' private showrooms and Milan's most exquisite boutiques.
While most travelers make it a point to see Milan’s magnificent Gothic Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and window shop the designers’ stores between Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga, many never discover some of this workaday city’s smaller pleasures, kind of villages within the city.
Though most canals are dry these days the delightful Navigli district is one that you should make a point to see. It’s a relaxed area where no one is rushing as they sip their potent cups of espresso or in the evening enjoy one of the city’s favorite pastimes, l’aperativo. The district is filled with antique shops, art galleries, vintage clothing stores and some very good restaurants.
The universities are situated in the Porta Ticinese making it a favorite student gathering area while those who are more fashion conscious head into the Porta Garibaldi district built around the Corso Como. But for the most picturesque area, outside of the Navigli, head to the Brera. This beautiful district near the city’s center has the magnificent Brera Museum among others, theaters and design galleries. It’s a little more elegant than the Navigli which appeals to the artists, designers and museum staff who prefer to have their aperitvo in one of its inviting bars or restaurants.
From the beginning of the Corso Buenos Aires to the public gardens you’ll find Milan’s most exclusive residential area within the Porta Venezia district. If you’re staying in one of the city's 5* hotels, this is where you “live". It’s Milan’s Rodeo Drive or the Miracle Mile all rolled up into one. During Fashion week it’s filled with limousines, photographers and tight security!
Like their neighbors in Piedmont, Lombardian diners may choose from the greatest selection of exceptional restaurants to be found in Italy. The region is a large rice growing area making risottos almost more popular than pastas. Lombardy produces butter and is the only province where it is used instead of olive oil. Many of the dishes produced here are so widely known that we forget their origin is alla milanese! Scallopine or cutlets dipped in egg & bread crumbs and sauteed in butter is an international favorite. Saffron, introduced by the Spanish, flavors risotto alla milanese, most frequently served with braised veal shanks, osso buco. And like Piedmont, polenta is a favored dish in Lombardy. Polenta pasticciata, a delicious combination of cheese, butter and layers of polenta baked in the oven is a dish worth trying when encountered on the menu. Milan's gift to the Christmas table is panettone, a light cake made with sultanas and candied peel. Mascarpone, the essential ingredient for tiramisu when combined with spongecake, chocolate and alcohol makes a dessert not unlike a trifle. And while the wines of Lombardy have never seriously rivaled those of Piedmont or the Veneto, there are three reds of merit ~ Sassella, Grumello and Inferno ~ and a white Lugana from the shores of Lake Garda made from Trebbiano grapes which makes a perfect companion for fresh water lake fish.
Santa Maria delle Grazie
Duomo di Milano
Inside Milano Basilica del Corpus Domini
Charming Brera restaurant
La Scala Opera House
Charming Canal of Milan