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—  Comune  —
Comune di Milano
A collage of Milan: The Teatro alla Scala to the top left, followed by the inside of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the exterior of the Duomo, the FieraMilano complex, the triumphal arch of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the inside of the Rho Fiera, a Dolce & Gabbana boutique in the fashionable Via della Spiga, and the Piazza del Duomo at Christmas time.

Coat of arms
Milan is located in Italy
Location of Milan in Italy
Coordinates: 45°27′51″N 09°11′25″E / 45.46417°N 9.19028°E / 45.46417; 9.19028Coordinates: 45°27′51″N 09°11′25″E / 45.46417°N 9.19028°E / 45.46417; 9.19028
Country Italy
Region Lombardy
Province Milan (MI)
 - Mayor Letizia Moratti (PdL)
 - Total 183.77 km2 (71 sq mi)
Elevation 120 m (394 ft)
Population (30 April 2009)[1]
 - Total 1,301,394
 Density 7,081.6/km2 (18,341.4/sq mi)
 - Demonym Milanesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 20100, 20121-20162
Dialing code 02
Patron saint Ambrose
Saint day December 7
Website Official website

Milan (Italian: Milano, About this sound listen Italian pronunciation: [miˈla(ː)no]; Western Lombard: Milan, About this sound listen ) is a city in Italy and the capital of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1,300,000, while the urban area is the fifth largest in the European Union with an estimated population of 4,300,000.[2] The Milan metropolitan area, by far the largest in Italy, is estimated by the OECD to have a population of 7,400,000.[3]

The city was founded under the name of Mediolanum by the Insubres, a Celtic people. It was later captured by the Romans in 222 BC, and the city became very successful under the Roman Empire. Later Milan was ruled by the Visconti, the Sforza, the Spanish in the 1500s and the Austrians in the 1700s. In 1796, Milan was conquered by Napoleon I and he made it the capital of his Kingdom of Italy in 1805.[4][5] During the Romantic period, Milan was a major cultural centre in Europe, attracting several artists, composers and important literary figures. Later, during World War II, the city was badly affected by Allied bombings, and after German occupation in 1943, Milan became the main hub of the Italian resistance.[4] Despite this, Milan saw a post-war economic growth, attracting thousands of immigrants from Southern Italy and abroad.[4]

An international and cosmopolitan city, 13.9% of Milan's population is from abroad.[6] The city remains one of Europe's main transportational[7] and industrial hubs, and Milan is one of the EU's most important centres for business and finance, with its economy (see economy of Milan) being the world's 26th richest by purchasing power,[8] having a GDP of $115 billion. The Milan metropolitan area has Europe's 4th highest GDP: € 241.2 billion (US$ 312.3 billion) in 2004. Milan also has one of Italy's highest GDPs (per capita), about €35,137 (US$ 52,263), which is 161.6% of the EU average GDP per capita.[9] In addition to this, Milan is the world's 11th most expensive city for expatriate employees.[10] Milan has also been classified as being the 28th most powerful and influential city in the world.[11]

Milan is recognised as a world fashion and design capital, with a major global influence in commerce, industry, music, sport, literature, art and media, making it one of GaWC's major Alpha world cities.[12] The Lombard metropolis is especially famous for its fashion houses and shops (such as along Via Montenapoleone) and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in the Piazza Duomo (reputed to be the world's oldest shopping mall). The city has a rich cultural heritage and legacy, and has a unique cuisine (it is home to numerous famous dishes, such as the Panettone Christmas cake and the risotto alla Milanese). The city has a particularly famous musical, particularly operatic, tradition, being the home of several important composers (such as Giuseppe Verdi) and theatres (such as the Teatro alla Scala). Milan is also well-known for containing several important museums, universities, academies, palaces, churches and libraries (such as the Academy of Brera and the Castello Sforzesco) and two renowned football teams: A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale Milano. This makes Milan one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations, with over 1.914 million foreign arrivals to the city in 2008.[13] The city hosted the 1906 World Exposition and will host the 2015 Universal Exposition.[14]

Inhabitants of Milan are referred to as "Milanese" (Italian: Milanesi or informally Meneghini or Ambrosiani). The city is nicknamed by Milan´s inhabitants the "moral capital".[4]




The word Milan derives from the Latin name Mediolanum. This name is borne by a number of Gallo-Roman sites in France, such as Mediolanum Santonum (Saintes) and Mediolanum Aulercorum (Évreux) and appears to contain the Celtic element -lan, signifying an enclosure or demarcated territory (source of the Welsh word 'llan', meaning a sanctuary or church). Hence, Mediolanum could signify the central town or sanctuary of a particular Celtic tribe.[5][15]

The origin of the name and of a boar as a symbol of the city are fancifully accounted for in Andrea Alciato's Emblemata (1584), beneath a woodcut of the first raising of the city walls, where a boar is seen lifted from the excavation, and the etymology of Mediolanum given as "half-wool",[16] explained in Latin and in French. The foundation of Milan is credited to two Celtic peoples, the Bituriges and the Aedui, having as their emblems a ram and a boar;[17] therefore "The city's symbol is a wool-bearing boar, an animal of double form, here with sharp bristles, there with sleek wool."[18] Alciato credits the most saintly and learned Ambrose for his account.[19]

The German name for the city is Mailand, while in the local Western Lombard dialect, the city's name is Milán.

Celtic and Roman times

Ruins of the Emperor's palace in Milan. Here Costantinus and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan.

Around 400 BC, the Celtic Insubres inhabited Milan and the surrounding region. In 222 BC, the Romans conquered this settlement, which imposed the name Mediolanum, even though the name used by the local people was Milàn, from the celtic Medhlan.[15] After several centuries of Roman control, Milan was declared the capital of the Western Roman Empire by Emperor Diocletian in 293 AD. Diocletian chose to stay in the Eastern Roman Empire (capital Nicomedia) and his colleague Maximianus the Western one. Immediately Maximian built several gigantic monuments, like a large circus 470 m × 85 m (1,540 ft × 280 ft), the Thermae Erculee, a large complex of imperial palaces and several other services and buildings.

In the Edict of Milan of 313, Emperor Constantine I guaranteed freedom of religion for Christians.[20] The city was besieged by the Visigoths in 402, and the imperial residence was moved to Ravenna. Fifty years later (in 452), the Huns overran the city. In 539, the Ostrogoths conquered and destroyed Milan in the course of the so-called Gothic War against Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. In the summer of 569, the Longobards (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.[21] Milan surrendered to the Franks in 774 when Charlemagne, in an utterly novel decision, took the title "King of the Lombards" as well (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 was part of the Holy Roman Empire.

Middle Ages

The Biscione: the coat of arms of the House of Visconti, from the Archbishops’ palace in Piazza Duomo. The initals IO<HANNES> stand for archbishop Giovanni Visconti (1342-1354).

During the Middle Ages, Milan prospered as a centre of trade due to its command of the rich plain of the Po and routes from Italy across the Alps. The war of conquest by Frederick I Barbarossa against the Lombard cities brought the destruction of much of Milan in 1162. After the founding of the Lombard League in 1167, Milan took the leading role in this alliance. 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 could be fraught with personal dangers in the violent political life of the medieval commune: in 1252 Milanese heretics assassinated the Church's Inquisitor, later known as Saint Peter Martyr, at a ford in the nearby contado [pictured right]; the killers bribed their way to freedom, and in the ensuing riot the podestà was very nearly 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, successfully taxing the countryside.

His policy, however, brought the Milanese treasure 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.

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 a allegations of the Visconti's nearness 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 civil war which ensued caused more damage to Milan's population and economy, lasting for more than a decade.

Ottone Visconti led a group of exiles unsuccessfully 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 Guephs and Ghibellines. Most of the time the Guelphs were successful in the city of Milan. However, the Visconti family was were able to seize power (signoria) in Milan, based on their "Ghibelline" friendship with the German Emperors.[22] In 1395, one of these emperors, Wenceslas (1378–1400), raised the Milanese to the dignity of a duchy.[23] 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 fourteenth century until the middle of the fifteenth century.[24]

The Renaissance and the House of Sforza

The Castello Sforzesco, symbol of the power of the House of Sforza
Milan in the 17th 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.[25] 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.[15][25]

Periods of French, Spanish and Austrian domination

The French king Louis XII first laid claim to the duchy in 1492. At that time, Milan was defended by Swiss mercenaries. After the victory of Louis's successor Francis I over the Swiss at the Battle of Marignano, the duchy was promised to the French king Francis I. When the Habsburg Charles V defeated Francis I at the Battle of Pavia in 1525, northern Italy, including Milan, passed to the House of Habsburg.[26]

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 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 which began with the Black Death.[27]

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 including Lombardy and its capital, Milan.

19th century

Milanese patriots fight Austrian troops during the Five Days.

Napoleon conquered Lombardy 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.[28] During this period, Milan became a centre of lyric opera. Here in the 1770s Mozart had premiered three operas at the Teatro Regio Ducal. Later La Scala became the reference theatre in the world, with its premières of Bellini, 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.

Milan's central station as it was around 1864.

On March 18, 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. However, after defeating Italian forces at Custoza on July 24, Radetzky was able to reassert Austrian control over Milan and northern Italy. However, Italian nationalists, championed by the Kingdom of Sardinia, called for the removal of Austria in the interest of Italian unification. Sardinia and France formed an alliance and defeated Austria at the Battle of Solferino in 1859.[29] 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 made Milan the rail hub of northern Italy. Rapid industrialization 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. Milan's economic growth brought a rapid expansion in the city's area and population during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[5]

20th century

A view of the Main Hall during the World Exposition of 1906, held in Milan.
A map of the city of Milan in 1914.

In 1919, Benito Mussolini organized the Blackshirts, who formed the core of Italy's Fascist movement, in Milan and, in 1922, the March on Rome began from the city.

During the Second World War Milan suffered severe damage from British and American bombing. Even though Italy quit the war in 1943, the Germans occupied most of Northern Italy until 1945. Some of the worst Allied bombing of Milan was in 1944 and much of them focused around Milan's main railway station. In 1943, anti-German resistance in occupied Italy increased and there was much fighting in Milan.

As the war came to an end, the American 1st Armored Division advanced on Milan as part of the Po Valley Campaign. But even before they arrived, members of the Italian resistance movement rose up in open revolt in Milan and liberated the city. Nearby, Mussolini and several members of his Italian Social Republic (Repubblica Sociale Italiana, or RSI) were captured by the resistance at Dongo and executed. On 29 April 1945, the bodies of the Fascists were taken to Milan and hanged unceremoniously upside-down at Piazzale Loreto, a major public square.

After the war the city was the site of a refugee camp for Jews fleeing from Austria. During the economic miracle of the 1950s and 1960s a large wave of internal immigration, especially from Southern Italy, moved to Milan and the population peaked at 1,723,000 in 1971. During this period, Milan saw a re-construction of most of its destroyed buildings and factories, and was affected by a rapid post-war economic growth, called Il boom in Italy. The city saw the construction of several innovative and modernist buildings and skyscrapers, such as the Torre Velasca and the Pirelli Tower. Milan was, however, in the late-1960s until the late-1970s seriously affected by the Marxist/Leninist/Communist Italian group called Brigate Rosse, or Red Brigades, and the city was often filled with political manifestations and protests. As a matter of fact, on December 12, 1969, a bomb exploded in the National Agrarian Bank in the Piazza Fontana, killing seventeen and injuring eighty-eight people.

The population of Milan begun to shrink during the late 1970s, so in the last 30 years almost one third of the total city population moved to the outer belt of new suburbs and small cities that grew around Milan proper.[30] At the same time the city become to attract also increasing fluxes of foreign immigration. Emblematic of the new phenomenon is the quick and great extension of a Milanese Chinatown, a district in the area around Via Paolo Sarpi, Via Bramante, Via Messina and Via Rosmini, populated by Chinese immigrants from Zhejiang, one of today's most picturesque districts in the city. Milan is also home to one-third of all Filipinos in Italy, harbouring a sizeable and steadily growing population that numbers just over 33,000[31] with a birth rate averaging 1000 births a year.[32]

The Pirelli Tower under construction, symbol of the post-war Italian economic miracle
View of Piazza del Duomo, Milan in the early 20th century.

In the 1980s, Milan's industry began to be extremely successful. As it became a major exporter of textiles and several clothing labels headquartered in the city began to become internationally renowned (such as Armani, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana), Milan began to be recognized internationally as a major fashion capital, and the traditionally affordable and practical, yet stylish and chic attire produced by the city's stylists made it a serious global competitor, threatening Paris' century-long status as the world capital haute couture or high-fashion. The city also saw a rise in the number of internation tourists, notably from China, Japan or other Far-Eastern countries. This period of prosperity and the new international image of the city being a "capital of fashion" led many journalists to call the metropolis during the period "Milano da bere", literally "Milan to drink".[33]

In the 1990s, Milan was badly affected by Tangentopoli, a serious political scandal centered in the Palazzo delle Stelline complex, in which several politicians and businessmen were tried for alleged corruption. The city also underwent a financial crisis, and faced sluggish industrial growth, compared to that of the 1950s and 1980s. Despite this, Milan ripened its image as a fashion and design capital, with new labels such as Miu Miu setting up. By the late-1990s, Milan regained some slight industrial and economic stimulus to grow.

By the early 2000s, Milan's economy which had been stagnant in the early-1990s began to re-grow slightly again, yet this was short-lived and the city, despite having relieved itself from Tangentopoli's strain, fell into another economic recession and crisis. This period saw a rapid fall in Milan's industrial exports, and the Asian textile and clothing companies began to rival the still strong, yet declining Milanese fashion labels. However, Milan was able to maintain its strong economy, firstly by moving its Fiera (an exposition of products related to mainly industrial design) to a new establishment in Rho just outside the city,[34] and the announcement in 2008 of the city hosting the Expo 2015[35] has brightened prospects for the city's future, with several new plans of regeneration and the planned construction of numerous avant-garde structures. Despite Milan's industrial production is declining,[36] the city has found alternative and successful sources of revenue, including publishing, finance, banking, food production, IT technology, logistics, transport and tourism.[36] Overall, Milan's population seems to have stabilized in recent years, and there has been only a slight increase in the population of the city since 2001.[30]

Municipal Administration

The nine districts of Milan


Of nine boroughs into which Milan is divided, eight are governed by centre-right coalition (1-8) and one by centre-left coalition (9).

Administrative divisions

The city of Milan is subdivided into administrative zones, called Zona. Before 1999, the city had 21 Zone; in 1999 the administration decided to reduce the number of these zones from 21 to 9. Today, the Zona 1 is in the "historic centre", the zone within the perimeter of the Spanish-era city walls; the other eight cover the areas from the Zona 1 borders to the city limits.[37]



The district of Milan is located in the Padan Plain in the west-central area, inclusive among the rivers Ticino and Adda, among the river Po and the first reliefs of the Alps. It has a surface area of 181 km2 and is 122 metres above sea level.


Milan experiences a Humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa)[38] with some continental characteristics. This is typical of Northern Italy's inland plains, where hot, humid summers and cold, damp winters prevail, unlike the Mediterranean climate characteristic of the rest of Italy.[39]

Average temperatures in city center are -3 to 4 °C (
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{4}="def", in {{Convert|19|to|30|def|...}}. ) in July. Snowfalls are relatively common during winter, even if in the last 15–20 years they have decreased in frequency . The historic average of Milan's area is between 35 and 45 cm (16"/18"); single snowfalls over 30–50 cm in 1–3 days happen periodically, with a record of 80–100 cm during the famous snowfall of January 1985. Humidity is quite high during the whole year and annual precipitation averages about 1000 mm (40 in).[39] In the stereotypical image, the city is often shrouded in the fog characteristic of the Po Basin, although the removal of rice fields from the southern neighbourhoods, the urban heat island effect and the reduction of pollution levels have reduced this phenomenon in recent years, at least in the city centre.

Climate data for Milano
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 4.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 1.4
Average low °C (°F) -1.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 64.3
Avg. precipitation days 7.2 6.7 7.9 8.3 8.1 7.6 5.8 7.1 5.2 6.8 8.5 6.3 85.5
Source: World Meteorological Organization (UN)[40] 26 January 2010

Architecture and main sights


The Romanesque façade to the ancient basilica of San Simpliciano

There are few remains of the ancient Roman colony that later became a capital of the Western Roman Empire. During the second half of the 4th century CE, Saint Ambrose, as bishop of Milan, had a strong influence on the layout of the city, redesigning the centre (although the cathedral and baptistery built at this time are now lost) and building the great basilicas at the city gates: Sant'Ambrogio, San Nazaro in Brolos, San Simpliciano and Sant'Eustorgio, which still stand, refurbished over the centuries, as some of the finest and most important churches in Milan.

A centrally planned architectural drawing from Leonardo’s period in Milan. (Paris Manuscript B)

The largest and most important example of Gothic architecture in Italy, the Milan Cathedral, is the fourth largest cathedral in the world[41] after St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the Cathedral of Seville and a new cathedral in the Ivory Coast.[41] Built between 1386 and 1577, it hosts the world's largest collection of marble statues with the widely visible golden Madonna statue on top of the spire, nicknamed by the people of Milan as Madunina (the little Madonna), that became one of the symbols of the city.

Milan Cathedral: The Madonna dell’Albero chapel, by Francesco Maria Ricchino (1614).

During the rule of the Sforza family, between the 14th and 15th centuries, the old Visconti fortress was enlarged and embellished to became the Castello Sforzesco: the seat of an elegant Renaissance court surrounded by a walled hunting park stocked with game captured around the Seprio and Lake Como. Notable architects involved in the project included the Florentine Filarete, who was commissioned to build the high central entrance tower, and the military specialist Bartolomeo Gadio.[42] The political alliance between Francesco Sforza and the Florence of Cosimo de’ Medici bore architectural fruit, as Milanese building came under the influence of Brunelleschian models of Renaissance architecture. The first notable buildings to show this Tuscan influence were a palazzo built to house the Medici Bank (of which only the main entrance survives) and the centrally planned Portinari Chapel, attached to San Lorenzo and built for the first manager of the bank’s Milan branch. Filarete, while in Milan, was responsible for the great public hospital known as the Ospedale Maggiore, and also for an influential Treatise on Architecture, which included a plan for a star-shaped ideal city called Sforzinda in honour of Francesco Sforza and passionately argued for the centrally planned form. Leonardo da Vinci, who was in Milan from around 1482 until the fall of the city to the French in 1499, was commissioned in 1487 to design a tiburio, or crossing tower for the cathedral, although he was not chosen to build it.[43][44] However the enthusiasm he shared with Filarete for the centrally planned building gave rise in this period to numerous architectural drawings [pictured] which were influential in the work of Donato Bramante and others. Bramante’s work in the city, which included Santa Maria presso San Satiro (a reconstruction of a small ninth-century church), the beautiful luminous tribune of Santa Maria delle Grazie and three cloisters for Sant’Ambrogio, drew also on his studies of the Early Christian architecture of Milan such as the Basilica of San Lorenzo.[45]

An eighteen-century engraving of Palazzo Litta, showing the new façade, completed in 1761.
A nineteenth-century depiction of the Teatro alla Scala, constructed in the 1770s.

The Counter-Reformation was also the period of Spanish domination and was marked by two powerful figures: Saint Charles Borromeo and his cousin, Cardinal Federico Borromeo. Not only did they impose themselves as moral guides to the people of Milan, but they also gave a great impulse to culture, with the creation of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, in a building designed by Francesco Maria Ricchino, and the nearby Pinacoteca Ambrosiana. Many beautiful churches and Baroque mansions were built in the city during this period by the architects, Pellegrino Tibaldi, Galeazzo Alessi and Ricchino himself.[46]

The façade of the Neoclassical Palazzo Belgiojoso, constructed between 1772 and 1781, for the noble Milanese Belgiojoso family.

Empress Maria Theresa of Austria was responsible for the significant renovations carried out in Milan during the 18th century. She instigated profound social and civil reforms, as well as the construction of many of the buildings that still today constitute the pride of the city, like the Teatro alla Scala, inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and today one of the world's most famous opera houses. The annexed Museo Teatrale alla Scala contains a collection of paintings, drafts, statues, costumes, and other documents regarding opera and La Scala's history. La Scala also hosts the Ballet School of the Teatro alla Scala. The Austrian sovereign also promoted culture in Milan through projects such as converting the ancient Jesuit College, in the district of Brera, into a scientific and cultural centre with a Library, an astronomic observatory and the botanical gardens, in which the Art Gallery and the Academy of Fine Arts are today placed side by side.

The domed crossing of the nineteenth-century Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

Milan was also widely affected by the Neoclassical movement in the late-18th and early-19th centuries, transforming its architectural style. Napoleon Bonaparte's rule of the city in the early 1800s produced several fine Neoclassical edifices and palaces, including the Villa Reale, or often called the Villa del Belgiojoso (not related to the Palazzo Begiojoso). It is situated on Via Palestro and near to the Giardini Pubblici and it was constructed by Leopoldo Pollak in 1790.[47] It housed the Bonaparte family, mainly Josephine Bonaparte, but also several others, such as Count Joseph Radetzky von Radetz and Eugène de Beauharnais.[47] It is often regarded as one of the best types of Neoclassical architecture in Milan and Lombardy and is surrounded by an English landscape garden. Today, it hosts the Galleria d'Arte Contemporanea (English: Gallery of Contemporary Art) and it is lavishly decorated inside with ornate classical columns, vast halls, marble statues and crystal chandeliers.[47] The Palazzo Belgiojoso was also a grand Napoleonic residence and one of the finest examples of Milanese Neoclassical architecture. There are also several other important Neoclassical monuments in the city include the Arco della Pace or the Arch of Peace, sometimes called the Arco Sempione (Sempione Arch) and is situated in Piazza Sempione right at the end of the Parco Sempione. It is often compared to a miniature version of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The work on the arch began in 1806 under Napoleon I and it was designed by Luigi Cagnola. Just like with the Arc de Triomphe, Napoleon's 1826 defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, halted the construction of the monumental arch, but Emperor Franz Josef (Francis Joseph) I of Austria ordered it to be completed, also as an honour to the Vienna Congress and peace treaty of 1815. It was completed by Francesco Peverelli on 10 September 1838.[47] Another noted Neoclassic building in the city is the Palazzo del Governo, constructed in 1817 by Piero Gilardoni.[47]

The Torre Velasca, a symbol of 1950s Milan, built by BBPR.

In the second half of the 19th century, Milan assumed the status of main industrial city of the peninsula and drew inspiration to the urbanization from other European capitals, center of those technological innovations that constituted the symbol of the second industrial revolution and, consequently, of the great social change that had been put in motion. The great Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a covered passage that connects Piazza del Duomo, Milan to the square opposite of La Scala, was built by Giuseppe Mengoni between 1865 and 1877 to celebrate Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of united Italy. The passage is covered over by an arching glass and cast iron roof, a popular design for 19th-century arcades, such as the Burlington Arcade, London, which was the prototype for larger glazed shopping arcades, beginning with the Saint-Hubert Gallery in Brussels and the Passazh in St Petersburg. Another late-19th century eclectic monument in the city is the Cimitero Monumentale (literally, "Monumental Cemetary or graveyard"), which is found in the Stazione district of the city and was built in a Neo-Romanesque style by several architects from 1863 to 1866.

The tumultuous period of the 20th century also brought several innovations in architecture. A form of Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Fascist style is seen for the monumental city's Central Station (Stazione Centrale). The post-World War II period of reconstruction saw rapid economic growth that was accompanied by an increase in the population and the founding of new districts, but also for the strong drive for architectural renewal, has produced some of the milestones in the city’s architectural history including Gio Ponti’s Pirelli Tower (1955–59), the Velasca Tower (1958), the creation of new residential districts and, in recent years, the construction of the new exhibition centre in Rho and the urban renewal of once industrial areas, that have been transformed into modern residential districts and services, like the City Life business and residential center.

Parks and Gardens

The Parco Sempione, the city's main public park.
The Giardini Pubblici di Porta Venezia, laid out in the 1780s, are one of Milan's oldest remaining public parks.

Despite the fact that Milan has a very small amount of green space in comparison to cities of its size,[48] the city does boast a wide variety of parks and gardens. The first public parks were established 1857 and 1862, and were designed by Giuseppe Balzaretto. They were situated in a "green park district", found in the areas of Piazzale Oberdan (Porta Venezia), Corso Venezia, Via Palestro and Via Manin.[49] Most of them were landscaped in a Neo-classical style and represented traditional English gardens, often full of botanic richness.[49] The most important parks in Milan are: Parco Sempione (near to the Castello Sforzesco), Parco Forlani, Giardini Pubblici, Giardino della Villa Comunale, Giardini della Guastalla and Parco Lambro. Parco Sempione is a large public park, situated between the Castello Sforzesco and the Arch of Peace (Arco della Pace), near Piazza Sempione. It was constructed by Emilio Alemagna, and contains a Napoleonic Arena, the Civico Acquario di Milano (Civic Aquarium of Milan), a tower, an art exhibition centre, some ponds and a library.[49] Then there is Parco Forlani, which, with a size of 235 hectares is the largest park in Milan,[49] and contains a hill and a pond. Giardini Pubblici is among Milan's oldest remaining public parks, founded on 29 November 1783, and completed around 1790.[50] It is landscaped in an English garden Neo-classical style, and contains a pond, the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano and the Villa Reale. Giardini della Guastalla is also one of the oldest gardens in Milan, and consists mainly of a decorated fish pond.

Milan also contains three important botanical gardens: the Orto Botanico Didattico Sperimentale dell'Università di Milano (a small botanical garden operated by the Istituto di Scienze Botaniche), the Orto Botanico di Brera (another botanical garden, founded in 1774 by Fulgenzio Witman, an abbot under the orders of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, and restored in 1998 after several years of abandonment) and the Orto Botanico di Cascina Rosa.

On January 23, 2003 a Garden of the Righteous was established in Monte Stella to commemorate those who opposed genocides and crimes against humankind. It hosts trees dedicated to Moshe Bejski, Andrei Sakharov, the founders of the Gardens of the Righteous in Yerevan and Sarajevo Svetlana Broz and Pietro Kuciukian, and others. The decision to commemorate a "Righteous" person in this Garden is made every year by a commission of high-profile characters.


Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1861 267,618
1871 290,514 8.6%
1881 354,041 21.9%
1901 538,478 52.1%
1911 701,401 30.3%
1921 818,148 16.6%
1931 960,660 17.4%
1936 1,115,768 16.1%
1951 1,274,154 14.2%
1961 1,582,421 24.2%
1971 1,732,000 9.5%
1981 1,604,773 −7.3%
1991 1,369,231 −14.7%
2001 1,256,211 −8.3%
2009 Est. 1,301,394 3.6%
Source: ISTAT 2001

The city proper has a population of 1,301,394 inhabitants as of April 2009. Since the population peak of 1971, the city proper has lost almost one third of its population, mostly due to suburban sprawl subsequent to the deindustrialization process of the last three decades. The urban area of Milan, largely coinciding with its administrative province, is the fifth largest in the E.U. with an estimated population of 4.3 million. The growth of many suburbs and satellite settlements around the city proper since the great economic boom of the 1950-60s have defined the extent and pattern of the metropolitan area, and commuting flows suggest that socioeconomic linkages have expanded well beyond the boundaries of the city and its province, creating a metropolitan area of 7.4 million population expanded all over the central section of Lombardy region.[51][52] It has been suggested that the Milan metropolitan area is part of the so-called Blue Banana, the area of Europe with the highest population and industrial density.[53]


Since the end of World War II, Milan has been host to two waves of mass immigration, the first from within Italy, the second from outside the peninsula. These two immigrations have corresponded with two different economic phases. The first immigration coincided with the economic miracle of 1950s and 1960s, a period of extraordinary growth based around classic industry and public works. The second immigration has taken place against the background of a vastly different economy, centered around services, small industry and post-industrial scenarios. The first concerned Italians, from the countryside, the mountains and the cities of the South, the East or the other provinces of Lombardy. The second concerns non-Italians, from a myriad of countries but above all from North Africa, South America, Asia and Eastern Europe. By the end of the 1990s Milan had a 10 per cent foreign immigrant population, the vast majority of whom worked in the low-level service sector (restaurant workers, cleaners, maids, domestic workers) or in factories.[54] As of January 2008, the Italian national institute of statistics ISTAT estimated that 181,393 foreign-born immigrants lived in Milan, representing 13.9% of the total population.[6]


Piazza Duca d'Aosta business district: the Pirelli Tower and the Milano Centrale railway station.

Milan is one of the world's major financial and business centres, and with a 2004 GDP of € 241.2 billion (US$ 312.3 billion),[55] the Milan metropolitan area has the 4th highest GDPs in Europe: were it a country, it would rank as the twenty-eighth largest economy in the world, almost as large as the Austrian economy[56]

The Piazzale Cordusio, a busy commercial square in central Milan where several important buildings, such as the main post office, palace of the Credito Italiano and the headquarters of the mega-company Assicurazioni Generali are held. It is also the site of the old Milan Stock Exchange.

The city is the seat of the Italian Stock Exchange (the Borsa Italiana) and its hinterland is the largest industrial area in Italy. It was included in a list of ten "Alpha world cities" by Peter J. Taylor and Robert E. Lang of the Brookings Institution in the economic report "U.S. Cities in the 'World City Network'" (Key Findings, Full ReportPDF (940 KB)), along with Madrid, Seoul, Moscow, Brussels, Toronto, Mumbai, Buenos Aires and Kuala Lumpur.

In the late 12th century the arts flourished and the making of armours was the most important industry. This period saw the beginning of those irrigation works which still render the Lombard plain a fertile garden. The development of the wool trade subsequently gave the first impetus to the production of silk.

As in Venice and Florence, the making of luxury goods was an industry of such importance that in the 16th century the city gave its name to the English word “milaner” or “millaner”, meaning fine wares like jewellery, cloth, hats and luxury apparel. By the 19th century, a later variant, “millinery”, had come to mean one who made or sold hats.

The industrial revolution in Northern Europe gave a new prominence to the north area of Milan. It sat on the trade route for goods coming over the Alps, and built mills powered by water from the many rivers and streams.

In the mid-19th century cheaper silk began to be imported from Asia and the pest phylloxera damaged silk and wine production. More land was subsequently given over to industrialisation. Textile production was followed by metal and mechanical and furniture manufacture.

Today Milan is a major centre for the production of textile and garments, automobiles (Alfa Romeo) , chemicals, industrial tools, heavy machinery, book and music publishing.

FieraMilano, the exhibition center, had a fair ground known as "FieraMilanoCity", which was dismantled, except for a few remarkable buildings (including the cycle sports stadium, built in the '20s), to be house for an urban development, CityLife, exploiting its vicinity to the city centre. The new fair ground, in the north-western suburb of Rho, which was opened in April 2005, makes the Fiera Milano the largest trade fair complex in the world.

Milan and the future

Expo 2015 logo

Milan is undergoing an urban re-design. Construction projects are under way to rehabilitate disused industrial areas on the periphery. The schemes include the addition to the Teatro alla Scala; the CityLife project in the old "fiera" site; the new quarter Santa Giulia; and the Porta Nuova project in the Garibaldi-Repubblica zone. Many famous architects participate, such as Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, Massimiliano Fuksas and Daniel Libeskind. The tasks will change the skyline of Milan, which would no longer be dominated by the Duomo and the Pirelli Tower.

Milan will host Expo 2015 as a renewed city in the wake of this modernization.

International status

According to the Global City Power Index, Milan was ranked in 2008 as the 27th most powerful city in the world, and 28th in 2009 with a score of 203.5, coming after Beijing and Kuala Lumpur and surpassing Bangkok, Fukuoka, Taipei and Moscow.[11] In the different sectors of the study, Milan arrived worldwide 29th in economics, 30th in R&D, 18th in cultural activities, 18th in livability, 27th in environmental issues, and 15th in accessibility.[11]

The city also ranked highly in statistics of livability and specific person environment, being the 12th best place in Europe for managing, 13th for researching, 8th for both artistic and touristic opportunities, and the 11th top city in Europe for livability.[11]


A view of the Palazzo Beccaria in the picturesque Brera quarter, one of the most popular with tourists and visited attractions in Milan.
The interior of the Park Hyatt hotel in Milan, one of the city's most exclusive and luxurious.

Milan is one of EU's most important tourist destinations; with 1.902 million arrivals in 2007 and 1.914 million in 2008, it places itself 42nd and 52nd respectively, most visited city in the world.[13] According to a particular source, 56% of international visitors to Milan are from Europe, whilst 44% of the city's tourists are Italian, and 56% are from abroad.[48] The most important European Union markets are the United Kingdom (16%), Germany (9%) and France (6%).[48] According to the same study, most of the visitors who come from the USA to the city go on business matters, whilst Chinese and Japanese tourists mainly take up the leisure segment.[48] The city boasts several popular tourist attractions, such as the city's Duomo and Piazza, the Teatro alla Scala, the San Siro Stadium, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Castello Sforzesco, the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Via Montenapoleone. Most tourists visit sights such as Milan Cathedral, the Castello Sforzesco and the Teatro alla Scala, however, other main sights such as the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, the Navigli and the Brera Academy and district are less visited and prove to be less popular.[48] The city also has numerous hotels, including the ultra-luxurious Town House Galleria, which is the world's first seven-star hotel, ranked officially by the Société Générale de Surveillance, and one of The Leading Hotels of the World.[57] Milan also contains several boutique or fashion hotels, including the new Armani World, which is planned to open in 2010. It is a huge hotel situated in the Via Manzoni (in the Via Montenapoleone fashion district), and is found in a 1930s building. It is planned to contain 95 rooms, and everything will be in an Armani-based theme.[58] Other notable hotels in the city include the historic Grand Hotel et de Milan (where Giuseppe Verdi died), the Hotel Four Seasons, or the station Grand Hotel Gallia in the Piazza Duca d'Aosta, to name but a few.

The average stay for a tourist in the city is of 3.43 nights, whilst foreigners stay for longer periods of time, 77% of which stay for a 2-5 night average.[48] Of the 75% of visitors which stay in hotels, 4-star ones are the most popular (47%), whilst 5-stars, or less than 3-stars represent 11% and 15% of the charts respectively.


Figurative art

Milan was major artistic centre thorughout the centuries. Numerous art institutes, academies and galleries (such as the Brera Academy and the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana) exist in the city.

Milan's art flourished in the Middle-Ages, and with the Visconti family 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).[59] Also, rule of the Sforza family, between the 14th and 15th century, was another period in which art and architecture flourished. The Sforza Castle became the seat of an elegant Renaissance court,[60] while great works, such as the Ospedale Maggiore, the public hospital designed by Filarete were built, and artists of the calibre of Leonardo da Vinci came to work in Milan, leaving works of inestimable value, such as the fresco of the Last Supper and the Codex Atlanticus. Bramante also came to Milan to work on the construction of some of the most beautiful churches in the city; in Santa Maria delle Grazie the beautiful luminous tribune is by Bramante, as is the church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro.

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. Caravaggio's Baroque masterpiece "Basket of Fruit", is held in Milan's Biblioteca Ambrosiana and his "Supper at Emmaus" is held in the Brera Academy.[59] Milan became a major European artistic centre during the Romantic period, when Milanese Romantic was influenced by the Austrians, who ruled Milan at the time. Probably the most notable of all Romantic works of art held in Milan is "The Kiss", by Francesco Hayez, which is held in the Brera Academy.[59]

Milan and the whole of Italy, was later, in the 20th century, influenced by Futurism. 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 Futuristic artist in the city.[59] Today, Milan remains a major international hub of modern and contemporary art, with numerous modern exhibitions.[59]


Due Foglie sofa by Giò Ponti.

Milan is one of the international capitals of industrial and modern design, and is regarded as one of the world's most influential cities in such fields.[61] The city is particularly well-known for its high-quality ancient and modern furniture and industrial goods. Milan hosts the FieraMilano, Europe's biggest, and one of the world's most prestigious furniture and design fairs.[61] Milan also hosts major design and architecture-related events and venues, such as the "Fuori Salone" and the "Salone del Mobile".

In the 1950s and 60s, being the main industrial centre of Italy and one of mainland Europe's most progressive and dynamic cities, Milan became, along with Turin, Italy's capital of post-war design and architecture. Skyscrapers, such as the Pirelli Tower and the Torre Velasca were constructed, and architects such as Bruno Munari, Lucio Fontana, Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni, to name a few, either lived or worked in the city.[62]


In the late 18th century, and throughout the 19th, Milan was an important centre for intellectual discussion and literary creativity. The Enlightenment found here a fertile ground. Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria, with his famous Dei delitti e delle pene, and Count Pietro Verri, with the periodical Il Caffè were able to exert a considerable influence over the new middle-class culture, thanks also to an open-minded Austrian administration. In the first years of the nineteenth century, the ideals of the Romantic movement made their impact on the cultural life of the city and its major writers debated the primacy of Classical versus Romantic poetry. Here, too, Giuseppe Parini, and Ugo Foscolo published their most important works, and were admired by younger poets as masters of ethics, as well as of literary craftsmanship. Foscolo's poem Dei sepolcri was inspired by a Napoleonic law which—against the will of many of its inhabitants—was being extended to the city.

In the third decade of the 19th century, Alessandro Manzoni wrote his novel I Promessi Sposi, considered the manifesto of Italian Romanticism, which found in Milan its centre. The periodical Il Conciliatore published articles by Silvio Pellico, Giovanni Berchet, Ludovico di Breme, who were both Romantic in poetry and patriotic in politics.

After the Unification of Italy in 1861, Milan lost its political importance; nevertheless it retained a sort of central position in cultural debates. New ideas and movements from other countries of Europe were accepted and discussed: thus Realism and Naturalism gave birth to an Italian movement, Verismo. The greatest verista novelist, Giovanni Verga, was born in Sicily but wrote his most important books in Milan.

Music and Performing arts

The interior of the prestigious La Scala operahouse.

Milan is a major nation-wide and international centre of the performing arts, most notably opera. Milan hosts La Scala operahouse, considered one of the most prestigious operahouses in the world,[63] and throughout history has hosted the premieres of numerous operas, such as Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi in 1842, La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli, Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini in 1904, Turandot by Giacomo Puccini in 1926, and more recently Teneke, by Fabio Vacchi in 2007, to name but a few. Other major theatres in Milan include the Teatro degli Arcimboldi, Teatro Dal Verme, Teatro Lirico (Milan) and the Teatro Regio Ducal. The city also has a renownded symphony orchestra and musical conservatory, and has been, throughout history, a major centre for musical composition: numerous famous composers and musicians such as Gioseppe Caimo, Simon Boyleau, Hoste da Reggio, Verdi, Giulio Gatti-Casazza, Paolo Cherici and Alice Edun are or were from, or call or called Milan their home. The city has also formed numerous modern ensembles and bands, such as the Dynamis Ensemble, Stormy Six and the Camerata Mediolanense have been formed.


Corso Venezia, one of the main "Milan Fashion Quadrilateral" streets.
Via Dante, another main Milanese shopping street which connects Piazzale Cordusio with the Castello Sforzesco.

Milan is regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world, along with New York, Paris, Rome and London (as a matter of fact, the Global Language Monitor which every year nominates the top fashion capitals of the world has declared that Milan was in 2008 the top economic and media global capital of fashion).[64] Most of the major Italian fashion brands, such as Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Prada, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana, are currently headquartered in the city. Numerous international fashion labels also operate shops in Milan, including an Abercrombie & Fitch flagship store which has become a main consumer attraction. Milan also hosts a fashion week twice a year, just like other international centres such as Paris, London, Tokyo, and New York. Milan's main upscale fashion district is the "quadrilatero della moda" (literally, "fashion quadrilateral"), where the city's most prestigious shopping streets (Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Sant'Andrea, Via Manzoni and Corso Venezia) are held. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Piazza del Duomo, Via Dante and Corso Buenos Aires are other important shopping streets and squares. Mario Prada, founder of Prada was even born here, helping to cultivate its position as a world fashion capital.


Milan is the base of operations for many local and nationwide communication services and businesses, such as newspapers, magazines, and TV and radio stations.



Radio stations


  • March 18-March 22: Commemoration of the 1848 revolution or the five Days of Milan.
  • April 25: Milan's liberation from German occupation during World War II.
  • December 7: Feast of Saint Ambrose (Festa di Sant'Ambrogio).
  • December 12: Commemoration of the Piazza Fontana bombings.


In addition to Italian, approximately a third of the population of western Lombardy can speak the Western Lombard language, also known as Insubric. In Milan, some natives of the city can speak the traditional Milanese language—that is to say the urban variety of Western Lombard, which is not to be confused with the Milanese-influenced regional variety of the Italian language.


The Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, one of the city's most important and oldest churches.

Milan's population, like that of Italy as a whole, is overwhelmingly Catholic. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milan. Other religions practised include: Orthodox Churches,[65] Buddhism,[66] Judaism,[67] Islam[68][69] and Protestantism.[70][71]

Milan has its own historic Catholic rite known as the Ambrosian Rite (Italian: Rito ambrosiano). It varies slightly from the typical Catholic rite (the Roman, used in all other western regions), with some differences in the liturgy and mass celebrations, and in the calendar (for example, the date for the beginning of lent is celebrated some days after the common date, so the carnival has different date). The Ambrosian rite is also practised in other surrounding locations in Lombardy and in the Swiss canton of Ticino.

Another important difference concerns the liturgical music. The Gregorian chant was completely unused in Milan and surrounding areas, because the official one was its own Ambrosian chant, definitively established by the Council of Trent (1545–1563) and earlier than the Gregorian.[72] To preserve this music there has developed the unique schola cantorum, a college, and an Institute in partnership with the "Pontifical Ambrosian Institute of Sacred Music" (PIAMS) in Rome [2].


Several (especially Italian) films have been set in Milan, including "Calmi Cuori Appassionati"', "The International (film)", "La mala ordina", "Milano calibro 9", "Miracle in Milan", "La notte", and "Rocco and His Brothers".


Panettone, Milanese traditional Christmas cake

Like most cities in Italy, Milan and its surrounding area has its own regional cuisine, which, as it is typical for Lombard cuisines, uses more frequently rice than pasta, and features almost no tomato. Milanese cuisine includes "cotoletta alla milanese", a breaded veal (pork and turkey can be used) cutlet pan-fried in butter (which some claim to be of Austrian origin, as it is similar to Viennese "Wienerschnitzel", while others claim that the "Wienerschnitzel" derived from the "cotoletta alla milanese").

Cakes and pastries served in Milan's renowned Caffè Cova, a pasticceria in the Via Montenapoleone fashion district.

Other typical dishes are cassoeula (stewed pork rib chops and sausage with Savoy cabbage), ossobuco (stewed veal shank with a sauce called gremolata), risotto alla milanese (with saffron and beef marrow), busecca (stewed tripe with beans), and brasato (stewed beef or pork with wine and potatoes). Season-related pastries include chiacchiere (flat fritters dusted with sugar) and tortelli (fried spherical cookies) for Carnival, colomba (glazed cake shaped as a dove) for Easter, pane dei morti ("Deads' Day bread", cookies aromatized with cinnamon) for All Soul's Day and panettone for Christmas.

The salame milano, a salami with a very fine grain, is widespread throughout Italy. The best known Milanese cheese is gorgonzola from the namesake town nearby, although today the major gorgonzola producers operate in Piedmont.

On addition to a unique cuisine, Milan has several world-renowned restaurants and cafés. Most of the more rafined and upper-class restaurants are found in the historic centre, whilst the more traditional and popular ones are mainly located in the Brera and Navigli districts. Today, there is also a Nobu Japanese restaurant in Milan, which is located in Armani World in Via Manzoni and is regarded as being one of the trendiest restaurants in the city.[73] One of the city's chicest cafés or pasticcerie is the Caffè Cova, an ancient Milanese coffeehouse founded in 1817 near the Teatro alla Scala, which has also opened franchises in Hong Kong.[74] The Biffi Caffè and the Zucca in Galleria are also famous and historical ‘Caffès’ which are situated in Milan. Other restaurants in Milan include the Hotel Four Seasons restaurant, ‘La Briciola’, the Marino alla Scala and the Chandelier. Today, there is also a McDonald's fast-food restaurant in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and some new boutique-cafés, such as the Just Cavalli Café in Via della Spiga, owned by the luxury fashion goods brand Roberto Cavalli.


San Siro Stadium, one of Europe's largest stadiums

The city hosted, among other events, the FIFA World Cup in 1934 and 1990, the UEFA European Football Championship in 1980.

Football is the most popular sport in Italy, and Milan is home to two world-famous football teams: A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale Milano. The former is normally referred to as "Mìlan" (notice the stress on the first syllable, unlike the English and Milanese name of the city), the latter as "Inter". A match between these two teams is known as the Milan derby or the Derby della Madonnina (in honor of one of the main sights of the city, a statue of the Virgin Mary "Madonnina" on top of the Duomo di Milano).

Milan is the only city in Europe whose teams have won both the European Cup (now UEFA Champions League) and the Intercontinental Cup (now FIFA Club World Cup). With a combined nine Champions League titles, Milan is level with Madrid for the most number of titles won by a city. Both teams play at the UEFA 5-star rated, 85,700-seated Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, more commonly known as the San Siro. The San Siro is one of the biggest stadiums in the Serie A. Inter is the only team to spend its entire history in the Serie A while Milan has spent all except 2 seasons in top-flight.

Many famous Italian football players were born in Milan or in the province. Some famous Milan-born players include Valentino Mazzola, Paolo Maldini, Giuseppe Meazza, Gaetano Scirea, Giuseppe Bergomi, Walter Zenga, and Giovanni Trapattoni and many others.

Science and technology

The historic Brera Astronomical Observatory, founded in 1764.

Milan has for a long time been an important national and European scientific centre. As one of the early-industrialised Italian cities, modern science in the Milan developed in the late-1800s and the early-1900s, when the city became one of the so-called "laboratory cities", along with Brussels, London, Paris and other major economic and industrial centres on the continent.[76] Following serious competition from the neighbouring scientific atheneum of Pavia (where Albert Einstein spent some of his study years), Milan started to develop an advanced technological and scientific sector, and began to found numerous academies and institutions.[76] Milan will host an interesting project called "Milano, City of Science" (Milano, Città delle Scienze in Italian), which will be held in the International Exhibition of Sempione. Science-related events which also occurred in Milan was the European Union Contest for Young Scientists, held in the city on 13 September 1997 at the Science Fair in the Fondazione Stelline.[77] Probably the most important and ancient observatory in Milan is the Brera Astronomical Observatory, which was founded by the Jesuits in 1764, and was run by government eversince a law was passed in 1773.


The Politecnico di Milano main building
The velodrome of the Bocconi University.
The central building of University of Milan, built in the Renaissance as city hospital
The internal court of Brera Academy

Milan's higher education system comprises 39 university centres (44 faculties, 174,000 new students a year, equal to 10% of the entire Italian university population),[78] and has the largest number of university graduates and postgraduate students (34,000 and more than 5,000, respectively) in Italy.[79]

Educational institutions and universities

Founded on November 29, 1863, the Politecnico di Milano is the oldest university in Milan. Its most eminent professors over the years have included the mathematician Francesco Brioschi (its first Director), Luigi Cremona, and Giulio Natta (Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963). The Politecnico di Milano is nowadays organised in 16 departments and a network of 9 Schools of Engineering, Architecture and Industrial Design spread over 7 campuses over the Lombardy region with a central administration and management. The 9 schools are devoted to education whereas the 16 departments are devoted to research. The number of students enrolled in all campuses is approximately 40,000, which makes Politecnico di Milano the largest technical university in Italy.[80]

The University of Milan was founded on September 30, 1923 and it's a public teaching and research university, which - with 9 faculties, 58 departments, 48 institutes and a teaching staff of 2,500 professors. A leading institute in Italy and Europe for scientific productivity, the University of Milan is the largest university in the region, with approximately 65,000 enrolled students; it is also an important resource for the socio-economic context of which it is a part.[81]

The University of Milan Bicocca was instituted on June 10, 1998 to serve students from Northern Italy and take some pressure off the historical University of Milan which was getting over-crowded. It is set on an area, called Bicocca, in the northern part of Milan which was the kernel of its past industrial activity with a lot of the largest Italian factories in steel processing, chemical manufacturing, and electro-mechanics. In the faculty of science non-traditional degrees, from B.Sc. to Ph.D., in materials science, biotechnology and environmental science are coupled to the conventional ones in physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, computation and earth science. At the present the whole University hosts more than 30,000 students.[82]

The Luigi Bocconi Commercial University, established in 1902, has been ranked among the top 20 best business schools in the world by The Wall Street Journal international rankings, especially thanks to its M.B.A. program, which in 2007 placed it no. 17 in the world in terms of graduate recruitment preference by major multinational companies.[83] Forbes has ranked Bocconi no.1 worldwide in the specific category Value for Money.[84] In May 2008, Bocconi overtook several traditionally top global business schools in the Financial Times Executive education ranking, reaching no. 5 in Europe and no. 15 in the world.[85]

The Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, founded in 1921 by Father Agostino Gemelli, is currently the biggest Catholic university in the world with almost 42,000 enrolled students.[86]

The University of Languages and Communication of Milan, founded in 1968, is specialized in consumer and services research, business communication and ICT, tourism, fashion, cultural heritage and its exploitation, foreign languages for business, economics, marketing and distribution. The two campuses of Milan and Feltre have almost 10,000 enrolled students.[87]

The Saint Raphael University was fundamentally born as an off-spring of the research hospital structure St. Raphael Hospital, where students attend basic research laboratories in many research fields, including neurology, neurosurgery, diabetology, molecular biology, AIDS studies among others. It has expanded since then to include research fields in cognitive science and philosophy.[88]

The Tethys Research Institute, established in 1996, is a private non-profit organization specialised in cetacean research. Tethys has generated one of the largest datasets on Mediterranean cetaceans and over 300 scientific contributions. Tethys owns photographic archives exceeding 200,000 cetacean images, that have resulted in the identification of over 1,300 individuals of seven Mediterranean species. This expertise has granted to Tethys a role as regional coordinator in the former EC-funded project “Europhlukes”.[89]

The Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, regarded as one of the world’s leading academic institutions, is a public academic institution dedicated to teach and research within the creative art, (painting, sculpting, graphics, photo, video etc.) and cultural historical disciplines. It is the academic institution with the highest rate of internationalization in Italy with about 3,500 students including over 850 foreigners from 49 nations. In 2005 the teaching of the academy has been classified by UNESCO as "A5".

The New Academy of Fine Arts of Milan, founded in 1980, is a private academy that offers Bachelor and Master of Arts Degree Programs, Academic Master Programs, Diploma Program and Semester Abroad Programs held in English that are accredited by the US University System in the fields of Visual Arts, Graphic Design, Design, Fashion, Media Design and Theatre Design. Over 1,000 students coming from all over Italy and 40 different countries are currently studying at the academy.[90]

The European Institute of Design is a private university specialized in fashion, industrial and interior design, audio/visual design including photography, advertising and marketing and business communication. The school was founded in 1966 today enrolls over 8,000 students.

The Marangoni Institute is a fashion institute with campuses in Milan, London, and Paris. Founded in 1935, it prepares highly skilled professionals for the fashion and design industries.

The Milan Conservatory is a college of music which was established by a royal decree of 1807, when the city was the capital of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy. It opened the following year with premisses in the cloisters of the Baroque church of Santa Maria della Passione. There were initially 18 boarders, including students of both sexes. With more than 1,700 students, over 240 teachers and 20 majors, it is Italy's largest university of music.[91]

Cultural institutions, art galleries and museums

The city of Milan contains several cultural institutions, museums and galleries, some of which are highly important at an international level.[92]

The Bagatti Valsecchi Museum is a not-for-profit historic house museum in the Montenapoleone district [93] of the city's centre. The Italian Renaissance art and decorative arts collections of the barons Bagatti Valsecchi are displayed in their home, as they wished them to be. Hence, visitors may view not only particular pieces of art, but also the house's authentic ambiances, expressive of late 19th century aristocratic Milanese taste. It contains paintings such as the Christ in Majesty, Virgin, Christ Child and Saints, Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli, aka Giampietrino, 1540s (painter inspired by Leonardo da Vinci).

The Pinacoteca di Brera is one of Milan's most important art galleries. It contains one of the foremost collections of Italian paintings, an outgrowth of the cultural program of the Brera Academy, which shares the site in the Brera Academy. It contains masterpieces such as the Brera Madonna by Piero della Francesca.

The Castello Sforzesco is Milan's castle, and now hosts numerous art collections and exhibitions. The best known of the current civic museums is the Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco, with an art collection which includes Michelangelo's last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà, Andrea Mantegna's Trivulzio 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.

The Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano (Natural History Museum of Milan) was founded in 1838 when Giuseppe de Cristoforis (1803–1837) donated his collections to the city. Its first director was Giorgio Jan (1791–1866).

The Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia "Leonardo da Vinci" is a national museum about science and technology in Milan, and is dedicated to Italian painter and scientist Leonardo Da Vinci.

The Museo Poldi Pezzoli is another of the city's most important and prestigious museums. The museum was originated in the 19th century as private collection of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli and his mother, Rosa Trivulzio, of the family of the condottiero Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, and has a particularly broad collection of Northern Italian and (for Italy) Netherlandish/Flemish artists.

The Museo Teatrale alla Scala is a theatrical museum and library attached to the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Although it has a particular focus on the history of opera and of that opera house, its scope extends to Italian theatrical history in general, and includes displays relating, for example, to the Commedia dell’Arte and to the famous stage actress Eleonora Duse.

The Museum of the Risorgimento (Museo del Risorgimento) is a museum in Milan on the history of Italian unification from 1796 (Napoleon's first Italian campaign) and 1870 (Rome's annexation into the Kingdom of Italy) and on Milan's part in it (particularly the Five Days of Milan). It is housed in the 18th century Palazzo Moriggia. Its collections include Baldassare Verazzi's Episode from the Five Days and Francesco Hayez's 1840 Portrait of Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria.

La Triennale di Milano is a design museum and events venue located inside the Palace of Art building, part of Parco Sempione, the park grounds adjacent to Castello Sforzesco. It hosts exhibitions and events which highlight contemporary Italian design, urban planning, architecture, music, and media arts, emphasizing the relationship between art and industry.


Milano Centrale train station main entrance

After Bologna, Milan is the second railway hub of Italy, and the five major stations of Milan, amongst which the Milan Central station, are among Italy's busiest. The first railroad built in Milan, the Milan and Monza Rail Road was opened for service on August 17, 1840.

Since December 13, 2009 two High speed train lines link Milan to Bologna, Florence, Rome, Naples and Salerno in one direction, and to Turin in another.

The Azienda Trasporti Milanesi (ATM) operates within the metropolitan area, managing a public transport network consisting of three metropolitan railway lines and tram, trolley-bus and bus lines. The ATM tramway fleet includes several Peter Witt cars, originally built in 1928 and still working. Overall the network covers nearly 1,400 km reaching 86 municipalities. Besides public transport, ATM manages the interchange parking lots and the on-street parking spaces in the historical centre and in the commercial zones using the SostaMilano parking card system.

Milan has three subway lines in a system called Milan Metro, with a network size of more than 80 km. It comprises three lines; the red line which runs northeast and west, the green line running northeast and southwest, and the yellow line running north and south.

Map of the Milan Metro Network. The blue line represent the Passante urban track of the Suburban Railways.
One of Milan's trams crossing Piazza Fontana.

The Suburban Railway Service Lines, composed of ten suburban lines connects the Milan agglomeration to the metropolitan area. More lines were scheduled for 2008, but as of January 2009, none have been completed. The Regional Railway Service, on the other hand, links Milan with the rest of Lombardy and the national railway system. The city tram network consists of approximately 160 kilometres (99 mi) of track and 19 lines.[94] Bus lines cover over 1,070 km.

Milan has a taxi service operated by private companies and licensed by the City of Milan (Comune di Milano). All taxis are the same color, white. Prices are based on a set fare at the beginning and an additional fare based on time elapsed and distance traveled. The number of licences is kept low by lobbying of present taxi drivers. Finding a taxi may be difficult in rush hours or rainy days, and almost impossible during public transportation strikes, which occur often.

The city of Milan is served by three international airports. The Malpensa International Airport, the second biggest airport in Italy, is about 50 km from central Milan and connected to downtown with the "Malpensa Express" railway service. It handled over 23.8 million passengers in 2007. The Linate Airport, which is near the city limits, is mainly used for domestic and short-haul international flights, with over 9 million passengers in 2007. The airport of Orio al Serio, near to the city of Bergamo, serves the low-cost traffic of Milan (almost 6 million passengers in 2007).

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Milan is twinned with:[95]

Other forms of cooperation, partnership and city friendship

See also



  • Acts of international convention "Milan Capital"), Convegno archeologico internazionale Milano capitale dell'impero romano 1990; Milano Altri autori: Sena Chiesa, Gemma Arslan, Ermanno A.
  • Agostino a Milano: il battesimo - Agostino nelle terre di Ambrogio: 22-24 aprile 1987 / (relazioni di) Marta Sordi (et al.) Augustinus publ.
  • Anselmo, Conte di Rosate: istoria milanese al tempo del Barbarossa / Pietro Beneventi, Europia publ.
  • The decline and fall of the Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon)
  • The later Roman empire (Jones), Blackwell and Mott, Oxford
  • Milano romana / Mario Mirabella Roberti (Rusconi publisher) 1984
  • Marchesi, i percorsi della Storia Minerva Italica (It)
  • Milano tra l'eta repubblicana e l'eta augustea: atti del Convegno di studi, 26-27 marzo 1999, Milano
  • Milano capitale dell'impero romano: 286-402 d.c. – (Milano) : Silvana, (1990). – 533 p.: ill. ; 28 cm.
  • Milano capitale dell'Impero romano: 286-402 d.c. - album storico archeologico. – Milano: Cariplo: ET, 1991. – 111 p.: ill.; 47 cm. (Pubbl. in occasione della Mostra tenuta a Milano nel) 1990.
  • Torri, Monica (23 January 2007). Milan & The Lakes. DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley). ISBN 9780756624439. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  • Welch, Evelyn S (1995). Art and authority in Renaissance Milan. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut. ISBN 9780300063516. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 


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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Milan article)

From Wikitravel

For other places with the same name, see Milan (disambiguation).

Milan (Italian: Milano) [1] is financially the most important city in Italy and the second largest in Italy. While not recognisable for its sights, Milan is more about the lifestyle of enjoying worldly pleasures: a paradise for shopping, 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.

Pirelli building, Milan
Pirelli building, Milan


If Rome represents the "old" Italy, Milan represents the "new" Italy. Milan is the most modern of all Italian cities, and it still keeps most of its past history intact.

There is an Italian saying about the differences of these two cities which roughly translates, "Rome is a like a voluptuous woman whose gifts are very apparent, while Milan is the shy, demure girl whose treasures are plentiful, but discovered in time."

Get in

By plane

Milan has two main international air gateways, Linate airport and Malpensa airport. Sometimes referred to as Milan's additional airports, Bergamo's Orio al Serio airport (45 km East) and Parma airport (100 km South) mostly host budget airlines.

Malpensa airport

The main international airport is Malpensa (Milan Malpensa, IATA: MXP). It's a large, modern, two-runway airport. The airport has two terminals, with Terminal 1 being the largest (international and intercontinental flights). Terminal 2 is used by a number of budget airlines, such as Easyjet, and has grown consistently in the last few years (2004-2008). The two terminals are connected by a free shuttle bus service (running approximately every 20 minutes). However, such shuttles are very small and the frequency is inadequate: long queues tend to form, which prompts several taxi drivers to station right next to the stop and pick up those passengers who don't want to or can't afford to wait. It is not uncommon for passengers to wait up to 40-45 minutes for the transfers: most shuttles are packed, forcing passengers to wait for the next one.

  • SEA Aeroporti di Milano [2] -The firm operating Malpensa and Linate airports.
  • Malpensa Express Trains [3]. It leaves every 30 minutes from Terminal 1 and arrives at Milan's Cadorna train station after 40 minutes (Cadorna station is connected to Milan's subway network). By far recommended as the easiest and fastest connection to Milan, it is a rather efficient, speedy link (may be crowded at rush hours). Ticket: single trip €11 (€13.50 if bought on the train), round trip (single day) €14 (€17 if bought on the train). Your ticket must be validated in the station before boarding. Last trains depart from Malpensa Terminal 1 at approx 11:20PM so if you arrive on a late flight or are delayed then you will need to take a bus or taxi. Taking the train is not recommended if you have to reach Terminal 2, as the connections between T1 and T2 are very poor (see above)
  • To save a little bit of money at the expense of changing trains, buying two separate tickets and waiting some time at the connecting point, you may use the special train from Malpensa airport to Saronno and a regular service from Saronno to Milan (total cost for a single trip bought at the ticket office €8.10). An even cheaper way but with a much more difficult connection is changing in Busto Arsizio FN train station (total cost for a single trip bought at the ticket office €5.95).
  • Buses leave approximately every 20 minutes for Centrale Station and Linate airport, costing about €6 (€10 for a return ticket). Travel can take from 40 minutes (weekends) to 1 hour or more (during weekday mornings). Buses are the best bet if you arrive at Terminal 2. Since you need to take the slow airport internal shuttle bus to get to the train station, you might as well get on a bus directly to Milan. There is always a bus waiting, and they usually wait until the bus is completely full before departing.
  • Using a taxi to get from Malpensa to the city center is expensive: €70 (fixed fee for a City-Airport trip, without further stops). Note that 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, will still take you to Milan but will charge you the meter reading (generally €80+ in light traffic). If upon 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 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).
  • You can reach Milan by Trenitalia trains departing from Gallarate train station. A bus service is available from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 to Gallarate.

Linate airport

Some European or national flights arrive at Linate Airport (IATA: LIN). This small but rather efficient one-runway airport is very close to the city centre (7 km). It is mostly serviced by airlines to domestic destinations and some European destinations. After the bankruptcy of the 'old' Alitalia and its merger with AirOne, the new airline abandoned Malpensa in favour of Linate.

  • Taking connecting flights in Linate might take 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 abroad it doesn't make much difference, because in these cases you have to go through security again (say, London to Palermo via Rome Fiumicino), but if both flights are domestic then you don't have to go through security again if the airport has a through passage (e.g. Palermo to Genova via Rome Fiumicino). This is common in most countries: the rationale is that apparently no one seems to trust security checks performed by other countries!
  • Since the airport is so close to the city, it is served by buses of the city public transport network: Autostradale "Starfly" buses run every 30 minutes from Linate to Centrale station (5 euro). Bus no. 73 outside the terminal building goes to San Babila Square, in the city centre, which is served by metro line MM1. Note that 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. This bus service is managed by ATM [4], 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. With the same ticket, you can transfer to the metro (subway) system once and unlimited buses or tram streetcars in a 75 minute period. You can also directly use a comprehensive ticket to many places in the suburbs. For more detail see #Get around. Information and timetables available from the ATM web site.

To catch the right 73 bus to Milan, look for direction "SAN BABILA M1" and avoid Line 73 buses directed to "S.FELICINO".

  • A dedicated bus service connects Linate airport to Milan's center running every 30 minutes and tickets cost €3 per adult (ticket sold at local newsagent and on board).
  • A bus service, operated by Malpensa Shuttle [5] 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 (ie, 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 into Orio al Serio Airport (IATA: BGY) [6]. About 45km north-east of Milan near the city of Bergamo. Ryanair refers to this as Milan Bergamo Airport. Public transport into Milan is slightly less convenient than Malpensa or Linate:

  • 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 [7] run a direct bus [8] 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: €8.90. 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 [9] 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.
  • Taxis will set you back maybe €100 from Orio to Milan.
Central railway station
Central railway station

The station building is in itself worth a visit being a masterpiece of rationalist architecture.

Note that 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 (see "Sleep" below) 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 small supermarket in the western side of the station at ground level, 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 some foreign gypsy children aggressively targeting tourist for pickpocketing, so pay attention to your bag.

The Central Station is served by MM2 and MM3 metro lines and is a masterpiece of Rationalist architecture worth a visit. 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).

  • Another important railway station is Cadorna, served by Ferrovie Nord [12] (North Railways), where the Malpensa airport Express stops and which is also a stop for MM1 and MM2 metro lines.This is a good station if you are travelling to Como Lago station
  • Garibaldi station is the terminus for most commuter railway lines and is served by the state railways. It is also a stop for the MM2 metro and for the Passante suburban commuter train link (see #Get_around).
  • 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) for the FS Trenitalia railways and Bovisa (connected to the Passante suburban commuter train link) and Domodossola for the Ferrovie Nord railways. 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.

Note that Ferrovie Nord (FNM) and Trenitalia (FS) are two different railway networks, with different stations, different trains and different tickets. For example, if you need to go to Malpensa airport and you are in FS Greco Pirelli, you need to go first to Garibaldi train station, then take the MM2 metro to Cadorna train station and then the Malpensa Shuttle train to the airport. In some cases from Garibaldi station, you can take the Passante suburban commuter train link to Bovisa FNM station (these trains leave from the underground station below Garibaldi station and next to the MM2 underground station. Be sure that the train you take stops at Bovisa). From Bovisa you can get on the Malpensa shuttle train.

By car

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 four-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 in Switzerland.
  • 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 [13].

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). If you must drive in Milan during weekdays, then make sure you have an up-to-date map showing the one-way system.

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): 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 €36.

By bus

FS Garibaldi Train Station is also Milan's main Bus terminal.

The main national bus lines are operated by Autostradale [14], but there are many other small companies offering even international travel [15].

Milan metro
Milan metro

Azienda Trasporti Milanesi S.p.A. (ATM) [16] operates a public transport network which is pretty efficient (especially the underground lines and the streetcars (trams)). Single tickets cost €1.0 and are available from newsstands, tabaccherie, bars and automatic ticket machines in metro stations. 24h (€4.70) and 48h (€5.50) tickets, as well as a "carnet" of 10 single trips (€9) are available from most newsstands (including subway newsstands), tabaccherie (tobacconist - look for large T sign), coffee bars and the tourist information office. Single tickets are valid for 75 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. Note that as at late 2008 there still exists 4 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 [17], the logo is a big white M on a red background) has three lines, each commonly identified by a color as shown below, and is the best way to get around Milan. The lines are: MM1, red (rossa); MM2, green (verde); MM3, yellow (gialla). Lines 4, 5 and 6 are under construction to be completed by 2015. 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 6.00 AM and the last trains run at around midnight (2AM on Saturday nights).
  • Trams (streetcars) run above-ground on rail lines running through the streets. 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. There is also a restaurant tram and a party tram with disco music. Many tram stops have electronic information panels with indications on how many minutes to wait before the next available service. Note that 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'.
  • 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. Please note, however, that 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 [18], an on-call bus accessible only by pre-booking.
  • The Suburban Railway System (the logo is a big green S on a blue background) includes a special line known as Passante ferroviario, considered Milan's fourth subway line (although trains run every 10 mins), and has eight more lines, each identified by a number (S1 to S10, lines S7 and S8 being completed), connecting metro area towns with Milan. Note that 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.
  • Taxis can be expensive and drivers are not allowed to pick passengers up except from designated taxi stands or through phone bookings. 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.
  • 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.

  • Cars are 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. And a Congestion charge will be applied anywhere from €2 to €10 per day to enter the second city ring (i Bastioni) in accordance with how much your vehicle pollutes. The charge is only applied on weekdays, between 7:30AM and 7:30PM. Drivers will have to buy a ticket either online or from key points in the city.
  • 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. 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.



Milan offers the visitor a large variety of art museums, mainly of Italian Renaissance and Baroque.

  • Pinacoteca di Brera, Via Brera [19]. Reach by subway MM2 Lanza - Piccolo Teatro Station, MM3 Montenapoleone Station, streetcar lines 1, 4, 8, 12, 14, 27 or buses 61 and 97. One of Italy's most important art collections and one of the foremost collections of Italian paintings.
  • Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Piazza Pio XI, 2, 02 80692 1, ([20], Fax: 02 80692 210) [21]. Historical library that also houses the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana art gallery.
  • Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Manzoni St [22]. Reach by subway, MM3 Montenapoleone Station, or with many buses and streetcars. One of the world's richest private art collections.
  • Bagatti Valsecchi Museum [23] — A late 19th century aristocratic mansion with Italian Renaissance art collections located in via Gesù 5, between via della Spiga and via Montenapoleone; subway MM3 Montenapoleone Station, MM1 San Babila Station, streetcar lines 1 and 2, Montenapoleone stop.
  • Societa' per le Belle Arti ed Esposizione Permanente, +39 02 6599803 ([24], Fax: +39 02 6590840) [25]. Changing exhibitions of contemporary art. Walking distance to MM1 and MM2 Cadorna Station.
  • The Sforzesco Castle [26] — Reach by subway, MM1 Cairoli - Castello Station and MM2 Lanza - Piccolo Teatro Station, or with many buses and streetcars. Houses several of the city's musuems and art gallery collections. Home to the museums of applied arts, ancient art, historical musical instruments, prehistory, Egyptian art and fine arts.
  • Civico Museo Archeologico — Roman antiques from Milan and the surrounding area.
  • Contemporary Arts Pavillion (PAC), Palestro Street near Porta Venezia Gardens, [27]. Reachable by subway, line MM1, Palestro Station, or with many buses and streetcars.
  • Museo del Duomo (Museum of the Cathedral) [28]. Subway: MM1 and MM3 Duomo Station. Displays the 700 year old history of construction of the cathedral, with impressive walk-in wooden models, façade designs originating from several centuries, sculptures and more.
  • Museo d'Arte Paolo Pini [29] — Contemporary art gallery collection.
  • Galleria d'Arte Moderna — Mainly features 19th Century Italian art.

Other Museums:

  • Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology, S.Vittore Street, [30]. Reachable by bus or subway, line MM2 Sant'Ambrogio Station.
  • Natural Science Museum, at 55, Corso Venezia, inside Porta Venezia Gardens. Subway: Line MM1, Porta Venezia or Palestro Stations. Has reduced and free entry (depends on person) after 4:30PM most days or 2:30PM Fridays.
  • The Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) [31] — Located opposite the South side of Duomo, always hosts many exhibitions, usually very interesting. Subway: MM1 and MM3 Duomo Station.
  • Triennale di Milano, Alemagna St [32]. Museum of Design and Architecture, always has 4-6 exhibits on the subject of design, photography or modern art, at least 1-2 of which are always free entry. Reach by bus 61 or subway, line MM2 Cadorna-Triennale Station, or by walking through Parco Sempione from Castello Sforzesco.
  • Museo Teatrale alla Scala [33] — A museum dedicated to the world's most famous opera house. Subway: MM1 and MM3 Duomo Station.
Duomo by night
Duomo by night

Milan has the oldest churches in Italy (yes-- older than the ones in Rome because Milan was the capital of the Northern part of the late Roman Empire). Some of the most beautiful churches one can see in Milan are:

  • The Duomo, in Duomo Square. Milan's main cathedral, a massive late Gothic church (started in 1386) in white marble, with hundreds of spires and thousands of statues on its exterior and a famous façade. Don't miss the chance to climb up onto the roof and enjoy the spectacular views of the city between the Gothic spires. Reachable by subway, lines MM1 or MM3, Duomo Station, or with many buses and streetcars. Roof open daily 9 AM - 5:30 PM.
  • Saint Mary of the Graces ('Santa Maria delle Grazie') — Houses the famous Last Supper ('Cenacolo Vinciano') by Leonardo da Vinci. It is best to reserve tickets a few months before the visit. Canceled reservations are sold from 8:15AM every morning (if there are any). Tickets can be be reserved by phone (02.8942.1146) or online [34]. Reachable by streetcars 20-24-29-30 or by subway, lines MM1 and MM2 Cadorna Station.
  • Saint Ambrose, in Piazza San Ambrogio. A beautiful and huge Byzantic/Romanic church which was almost destroyed by allied bombing in World War 2, although some of its Byzantic mosaics are well preserved. Reachable by subway: MM2 Sant'Ambrogio.
  • Saint Maurice — A must-see! A stunning fully frescoed Renaissance church. Most of the paintings are the work of Bernardino Luini.
Castello Sforzesco
Castello Sforzesco
La Scala
La Scala
  • The Castello Sforzesco — Where the Sforza-Visconti ruling families of Milan resided. Later it was the Austrian governor's residence, when Lombardy was part of the Hapsburg empire. It houses several museums. Reachable by subway: MM1 Cairoli - castello Station.
  • La Scala Theatre, Via Filodrammatici 2, [35], +39 02 88 79 1. One of the most renowned opera houses in the world. It first opened in 1778 and re-opened in 2004 after extensive renovation. Reachable by subway: MM1 and MM3 Duomo Station.
  • Cimitero Monumentale — Milan's old cemetery in Neoclassical style. It is filled with lavish sculptures and monuments. Well worth a visit!
  • Old Hospital — A Renaissance complex which now serves the university.
  • La Rotonda della Besana — An 18th Century Neoclassical complex. It is now an exhibition space.
  • Chiaravalle Abbey— A beautifully-preserved medieval abbey still run by monks today, 7 kms South of Milan (get off at MM3 subway line Rogoredo Station and take a local bus for 3 stops; another option is to get off at MM3 subway line Corvetto Station and take local bus number 77 for 8 stops).
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele — The mother of all shopping malls: upscale shops in a splendid 19th century palace of a mall. For real Milanese cheap food, go to Luini for a Panzerotti on nearby Via San Radegonda.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
  • Biblioteca Ambrosiana — Historical library with treasures such as Leonardo Atlantic Codex.
  • Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense [36] — A library established in 1770 by the Austrian governor. It has since acquired other historical collections and the archives of RAI (Italy's state television). It is very active in organising workshops and debates on new media and new technologies.
  • Via della Spiga and its neighborhood is the center of high-class shopping, where almost every luxury brand can be found.
Naviglio Pavese
Naviglio Pavese
  • Porta Ticinese and the surrounding area is a very old-fashioned quarter nearly untouched by WWII bombings. At night Milanese people like to have a walk near Colonne di San Lorenzo (S.Lawrence's columns).
  • Piazza Della Scala — The location of the Statue of Leonardo Da Vinci and La Scala theatre. Great place for a photograph and right next to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Ticket office is underground in the Duomo Metropolitana stop.
  • I Navigli — The location where many night spots are open until late. I Navigli (or The Canals) consist of Naviglio Grande and Naviglio Pavese. On the last Sunday of every month there is an antiques market along the Naviglio Grande.
  • San Siro Stadium [37] — The famous stadium of Milan, home to AC Milan and Internazionale, two of the most famous and successful football(soccer) clubs in Italy. Terminal point of streetcar 16.
  • Leonardo's Horse [38] — A bronze sculpture realised according to an original project of Leonardo da Vinci. It is on the courtyard of the race-track of San Siro, just behind the Stadium. The race-track is open on race days but the horse is visible also from outside.


Milan is a great city to walk around and see the sights and people.

  • Football — Watch AC Milan [39] or FC Internazionale [40] at the famous Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, also known as San Siro, which is shared as a home stadium by both clubs. Tickets for most matches are available in advance or on the day. The rivalry between the two sides is very bitter, and considered to be one of the biggest in Italy, and matches between both sides, known as the Derby della Madonnina, are particularly charged affairs, and always attract sell-out crowds. Watch out for the scalpers at the stadium as they sell the tickets for much more than the official ticket offices. As many as 60 matches per year are played in San Siro from late August until late May. MM1 Lotto Station or streetcar 16.
  • Exhibition Fairs — Many exhibitions are held during the year, ranging from wines to computers, industrial equipment and chocolate. The old exhibitions area is in central Milan (MM1 Amendola Fiera or MM1 Lotto - Fiera 2 Stations), the new one is in Rho (North West Milan, MM1 Rho Fiera Station, A4 highway Pero exit). For more information, visit the Fiera Milano website [41].
  • If you want to see Milan from above you can go on Duomo roof (by stairs or lift), between spires and statues. Its a great experience for a stunning, panoramic view of the city. Another choice is the Branca Tower (Camoens street, near Triennale, inside Sempione Park), built in 1933 by architect Giò Ponti. The tower is 108 m high.


Milan has 8 universities and the largest number of students in Italy.

  • Università degli Studi di Milano [42], commonly known as La Statale — Established in 1924 in a 14th-century building named Ca' Granda with a marvellous internal courtyard. The University is on Festa del Perdono Street, very close to the Duomo. Reach by bus or subway, line MM1 MM3 Duomo Station. It also has other facilities around the city, the most important in Celoria Street.
  • Politecnico di Milano [43] — A Technical University established in 1863 and is now one of Europe's most outstanding centres for engineering, architecture and industrial design. The main building is on Leonardo da Vinci Square, reach by bus, streetcar or subway, line MM2 Piola Station or Lambrate Station. The other main (and newest) facilities are around Bovisa FNM Station.
  • Università Bocconi [44] — Established in 1902 as a private college, its one of the leading universities in Italy for economics and is renowed internationally. The central buildings are in Roentigen and Sarfatti Street and other facilities are in the surrounding area. Reachable by bus 79 and streetcars 9, 29 and 30.
  • Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore [45], commonly known as Cattolica — Established in 1921 in the XV century Saint Ambrose Monastery, it has two very beautiful cloisters designed by Bramante. Università Cattolica is on Gemelli Street, right behind Saint Ambrose Basilica. Reachable by bus or subway, line MM2 Sant'Ambrogio Station.
  • Università di Milano - Bicocca [46] — A new university born as a spin-off from Università Statale. Situated between Milan and the once-industrial small town of Sesto S.Giovanni, in a recently restructured area of former old tire factory grounds. Reachable by bus, streetcar of railway, FS Greco-Pirelli Station.
  • LIUC [47] — Established in 1991 north-west of Milan, in the small town of Castellanza, half way between Milan and Malpensa Airport, is a young yet very active university. Reachable by commuter train, FNM Castellanza Station.
  • IULM [48] — A communication-oriented university, established in 1968. Reachable by bus or subway, line MM2 Romolo station.
  • Università Vita Salute - San Raffaele [49] — Established in 1996 around San Raffaele Hospital, one of Italy's top research centres in biotechnology and medicine. Reachable by subway, MM2 Cascina Gobba station, then light railway service to San Raffaele.

Almost every Milan university has several facilities around the city and some of them also have secondary centres in other areas of Lombardy and Italy, so if you need something specific you'd better ask before getting there. Every university has its own students' residences, which are much smaller than they should be, so they can satisfy only a small portion of demand for them. If you're not able to get a room in a residence, every university has an ISU, a Studying Right Institute, that can help you find a room or an apartment for rent. Note that renting a room or an apartment can be very expensive, starting at €400-500 /month for a room. MeglioMilano [50] is an association that is now experimenting a project to help non-Milanese students find a home and retired old people find somebody to help them in everyday life. The project is called Prendi in casa uno studente (Bring a student home), you can ask for information by email ( or by phone on (+39) 02 76020589.


Milan is a fashion shoppers' paradise.

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, Della Spiga Street, Vittorio Emanuele Street 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 Located near MM1 San Babila or MM3 Montenapoleone subway stations.

  • Armani Megastore, Via Manzoni 31, near La Scala (Metro: Montenapoleone), 02-7231-8630. Giorgio Armani's flagship store. Covering over 8,000 square feet with outlets for his high-fashion creations, the Emporio Armani and Armani Jeans lines, plus the new Armani Casa selection of home furnishings as well as flower, book, and art shops; a high-tech Sony electronics boutique/play center in the basement; and an Emporio Café and branch of New York's Nobu sushi bar.  edit
  • Dolce e Gabbana, Via della Spiga no. 2 (Metro: San Babila), 02-7600-1155, [51]. High end designer store dedicated to womens wear.  edit
  • Etro, Via Montenapoleone 5 (Metro: Montenapoleone), 02-7600-5450, [52]. Boutique store carrying the mens and womenswear line from high end label Etro.  edit
  • Ermenegildo Zegna, Via P. Verri 3 (Metro: Montenapoleone or San Babila), 02-7600-6437, [53]. Luxurious boutique stocking elegant, ready-to-wear men's suits that look custom-tailored.  edit

For people wanting to spend a bit less while still buying beautiful pieces, other areas are better. One of these is Vercelli Avenue (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 Timberland, Mandarina Duck, Benetton, Kookai and Nara Camice.

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.

The other market in Milan is the Mercatone del Naviglio Grande. This takes place along the Alzaia Naviglio Grande 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.

If outlet shopping is your thing, the shopping outlet in Serravalle Scrivia (a town roughly an hours drive from Milan [54] is a good bet. Tour company-operated buses, including one that leaves from near the Castle, will take you there and back (roughly €20 for the round-trip as of early 2008). Reputed to be the first designer outlet in Italy and the biggest in Europe. Over 180 stores stock clothing, footwear and accessories, and it has a parking with 3000 parking lots, a children's playground, bars and restaurants.


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, inns and restaurants (including luxury ones) everywhere that offer traditional Milanese dishes to eat. This city's solid cooking is based on filling dishes like osso buco (braised veal shanks) and risotto alla milanese (chicken-broth risotto made fragrant with saffron).

Dining times tend to be a shade earlier than in Rome or Florence, with lunch generally served between 12:30PM and 2:30PM and dinner from 7:30PM to 9:30PM. Dinner, and sometimes lunch, are usually preceded by that great Milanese institution, the aperitivo—a glass of sparkling wine or a Campari soda downed in a sophisticated hotel bar.

Chinese restaurants are mainly located around Paolo Sarpi Street, the heart of Milan's Chinatown.

Avoid the restaurants around the Duomo (cathedral) and the central area, they tend to be tourists-only, very low quality at high prices. Be aware that most restaurants perceive an extra "serving tax", approximate 2 E pro consumer.

The city also features an excellent cafe called Brek with several locations throughout Milan, including near the Duomo. The food is very good, the prices are fair, and it's a good place to stop for a quick bite.

For an artistic dining experience, try Lacerba on via dei Orti, 4, which serves dishes inspired by the early 20th century art movement, Futurism.


In the last several years, Milan has established a local version of the Aperitivo or Happy Hour.

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, pasta, rice, and many other appetizers.

A great place to go is the Straf Hotel [55] near the Duomo. A whole lot of these places can be found in the area near the Colonne di san Lorenzo and Corso di porta Ticinese, or close by in the Navigli area (subway: MM2 Porta Genova Station).


At the Osteria del Gnocco Fritto, the €4.50 cover charge includes baskets of fried hand-size pastries (similar to sopapillas) accompanied by meats, cheeses, or jams (€8 to €11). Osteria del Gnocco Fritto has two locations: at Via Pestalozzi, 16, 02 8912.2631 and off the Grand Canal at Via Pasquale Paoli, 2, 02 5810.0216.

The Osteria dei Formaggi on the Grand Canal (Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 54, 02 8940 9415) serves all manner of excellent cheese dishes in an intimate dining room heavily decorated with cows.

  • Peck, Via Victor Hugo 4, +39 02 861040, [56]. Foodies in the Duomo area should not miss this place. It is the Dean and Deluca [57] of Milan, a gorgeous food shop that stocks the finest of just about everything. The prices are high, but since everything is counter service, you can graze a wide variety of delicacies for your money. Speaking of counter service, there is a special way to buy things at Peck. First, you order from the counter. They give you a little receipt. Once you have collected all your receipts, you pay at one of two registers. Then, you return to each of the counters you visited, where the staff have wrapped your treats exquisitely.
  • Boeucc', Piazza Belgioioso 2, Scala, Milan, tel 02/76020224. Milan's oldest restaurant is still traditional homemade cooking that is as fresh and tasty as the day it opened. Great for a special occasion, dessert is served on a special tea cart where they are shown to you before you decide, now try get out of having dessert! Even though the dessert are splendid, they are a bit pricy, so keep that in mind before you pick your dessert.
  • Da Abele, Via Temperanza 5, Loreto, Milan. Renowned for its risottos, which change seasonally, Da Abele has a relaxed atmosphere and place that is always packed with locals.
  • Il Brellin, Vicolo dei Lavandai, Navigli, Milan, tel 02/89402700. For a classic take on Milanese cooking, try Ill Brellin, where you can choose from homey classics such as rigatoni sautéed with pancetta, to modern interpretations on typical ingredients -- a pumpkin tart as an appetizer. Outdoor seating makes this a perfect choice on a sunny day, although take note that it is closed for dinner on Sundays.
  • La Terraza, Via Palestro 2, Quadrilatero, Milan, tel 02/76002277. For a Meditteranean take on Japanese cuisine, head to La Terraza which serves fusion food amongst a contemporary decor. During the summer months, everyone heads to the terrace, where you can see the treetops of the nearby Giardini Pubblici. There's a "happy hour" every day except Sunday; on Sunday, brunch is served.


In bars you can enjoy great caffè espresso, cappuccino and a brioche for as little as €2. Please note that bars in the Duomo and San Babila areas, breakfast can be very expensive.


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 Marghera street, at the end of Vercelli Avenue, and on the Navigli, on Brera. Expect to pay €8-15 for a pizza and a beer.

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 De 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 phrase book with you.

Another restaurant on the viale Fulvio Testi that is a real recommendation is Pizzeria De Bassié. They offer really good homemade pizzas and especially their special "Adriano" pizza is a really good option!

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 usualy states it on the menu). Always check the restaurant has a wood burning oven and that they are using it.

Pizza Fashion near the Centrale train station is good choice and they also do takeaway dessert if you're running to catch your train.

  • Pizzeria Da Giuliano, Via Paolo Sarpi 60 (In westmost part of the street), 02 341630. Nice and cozy pizzeria with great, quite thick and large pizza slices. You can choose you toppings and after a few minutes you'll get your slice. Wood burning oven and loads of Mozzarella.  edit


In summer enjoy gelato, an excellent Italian ice cream. The quality mark "gelato artigianale" 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.


Some of the best places for the happy hour and late night drinking are:

  • Exploit Café, near the San Lorenzo Columns, in Porta Ticinese Avenue. If you want to visit a real bar in true Italian fashion, this is a worthy hot spot.
  • Bar Bianco, # Viale Enrico Ibsen (Parco Sempione), tel 3336323027, inside the Sempione Park. It's cash only at this bar, but with Gucci clad clubbers and their well suited companions, money seems easy to come by. The life of a party can always be detected in here.
  • Roialto, Via Piero della Francesca 55, 20154 Milan, tel +39 02 3493 6616. It's bland facade conceals a real gem of a cocktail bar/restaurant. It is a very popular spot for after-work drinks, or perhaps a pre-club drink if you're going dancing somewhere like the Gattopardo.
  • Honky Tonks, Via Fratelli Induno, 10 Fiera (near Sempione Avenue), 00 39 023452562. Mon-Sat 6PM-2AM. Not exactly a country cowboy bar as the name might imply, a more accurate description would include the smoky lounge feel and the jazz music being played. The drinks are well made and they also serve Tex-Mex style food.  edit
  • Bar Magenta, in Via Carducci. This popular bar is best visited with a bunch of friends during apperitivo, a time when free appetizers are given out, usually around 7PM. It was said that Bar Magenta coined the now very popular “aperitivo”, and having a drink in here is a classic experience.
  • Dom Cafè, in Corso Como.
  • Il Saloon, in Niccolini St, Chinatown area.
  • Frescobar, in Bramante St, Chinatown area.
  • Birrificio Lambrate, in Adelchi St, near Lambrate Station, [58]. Features with its own branded beers.
  • Cicco Simonetta [59] — A bohemian pub hosting comics, musicians, and €3 beer on Mondays.
  • Brasserie Bruxelles, Viale Abruzzi,33 near Buenos Aires Ave, +39 2 2941 9148, [60]. Open daily 6PM - 02AM. Is a bar specialising in beer from Belgium. 5 beer on draught and 50 in the bottle.  edit
  • Rita, Via Angelo Fumagalli, 1, 02 8372865. It is the perfect place for a cocktail and Edo, the barman and the owner together with the chief Luca, is the grandmaster. They have strict code for preparing cocktails: no syrups are admitted, only fresh fruit. It is also a perfect place to eat.  edit
  • Fashion Café, Via San Marco ((Brera district)). Fashionable Armani-style place for aperitivo and drinks.  edit

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 Navigli 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 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.

Gay and Lesbian Travellers

Although Milan has a variety of bars, clubs, restaurants and venues for gay and lesbian travellers, tourists might often be misled by discovering that many places included in the long lists provided by gay and lesbian magazines are empty or shut. The reason is that clubs follow fashion and may be packed on a single night of the week and empty every other day. So be very attentive to hearsay and ask locals before venturing in places. Also note that venues are not concentrated in one area of town, but rather spread throughout the city. In February 2009:

  • Wednesday and Thursday nights is a gay crowd at Elephant (Via Lecco, subway: MM1 Porta Venezia Station).
  • Thursdays aperitivo at Hotel Straf near Duomo is well worth a look.
  • Friday nights at Rolling Stone disco (a huge one, Corso XXII Marzo, in the center but reachable by taxi, tram or #73 bus).
  • Saturday nights at Billy or Amnesia (viale Forlanini near Linate airport, reachable by taxi or #73 bus) or BinarioUno disco (via Plezzo, subway: MM2 Lambrate) or Black Hole (former lesbian club).
  • On Sunday nights, hundreds flock to the largest and classiest spot in town, the Borgo del Tempo Perso (via Fabio Massimo, subway: MM3 Porto di Mare) (open May-Sept only).

The best saunas in 2008 include Metro (via Schiaparelli near the Central Station, subway: MM2 and MM3 Centrale Station) and Royal Hammam (near BinarioUno club, via Plezzo, subway: MM2 Lambrate Station), mostly packed during the weekend especially at night as they are open 24 hours. Open air meeting places such as Parco Nord, the gardens behind Cadorna station or Ortomercato are highly not recommended (delinquents and hustlers).

  • Città di Milano, located in Quinto Romano, Via Gaetano Airaghi 61, 02 48200134, (Fax 02 48202999). It is located way on the outskirts of the city. If you arrive by car, take the tangenziale Ovest and exit at San Siro/ Fiera. If by public transport, take the subway (the M1 line to De Angeli) and then a bus (bus no 72). However keep an eye out for signs pointing to the campsite. Don't be afraid to ask locals on the bus where it is. Be aware that it's next to a rather smelly farm.

However, the campsite itself has a bar, a restaurant and very good shower facilities. This is definitely an option for students or people who would rather spend money in Milan, instead of accommodation.


Hostels and Apartments

  • Brera Apartments Milan – Via San Fermo, 1 - Cap: 20121, Milan, Italy. [61]. Telephone +39 02 36557200. The Brera Apartments offers a wide selection of self catering accommodations of 50 sqm with double bed, sofa for two children, American living with kitchen, private bathroom and the high quality services of a four star hotel of Milan. The Brera Apartments is located close the shopping street of Via Moscova and the Metro stop of Via Turati. The ideal solution for a short stay in Milan.
  • Piero Rotta Youth Hostel, Via Salmoiraghi 1, +39-02-39267095, ([62], Fax: +39-02-33000191), [63]. Follow the signs from QT8 stop on the red line to Molino Dorino. Very relaxed curfew compared to most in Italy. Look out for the night walkers you pass on the way to the hostel. €19-23. 5km from Duomo.
  • Isola Apartments Milan – Via Pastrengo, 14 – Cap: 20159, Milan - Italy [64]. Telephone +39 02 6888058 • Fax 035 885208. This accommodation offers luxury and elegant apartments with cooking corner, private bathroom and balcony. Also affordable rates and great location in the vibrant district of “Isola”, close the Garibaldi Train Station and the Subway stop.
  • Ostello Olinda, Via Ippocrate 45, 0264445219, ([65]), [66]. Hostel converted from an old psychiatric ward, though other buildings on the grounds are still used for psychiatric treatment. Reception desk is only open from noon to 8PM, and the staff only speaks enough English to keep the place functioning. Entry after dark requires checking in with the gate guard. No curfew, but remember that the guard-gate is closed from 1:30AM to 6AM. It is located out in the suburbs near the Affori Train Station. Easily reached from the city center by commuter trains, or bus 70. The yellow-line of the subway is currently being extended and will eventually reach this location. Price begins at €18/night, includes free wifi.
  • Sweet Hostel, Via Monza 111, First Floor, 0039/327-3499824, ([67]), [68] (Don't trust the website though, see below). Hostel in part of what appears to be an old apartment complex, very nice decor with marble floors and walls! Compact hostel, with three 6 bed mixed dorms and a room for the owners. Two modern bathrooms with showers, which do often have queues in the morning. Access to the complex is via electronic gates (2002 on the telecom), the owners are young and very friendly and will let you in at any hour. Staff speak English and Italian, apart from Jack the fluffy dog. Location is about 2 mins walk from Rovoreto on the metro (take the Via Monza exit, walk past the sex shop and under the bridge, then look for the gated building). At night it is about 30 mins walk from Loreto where the 91/90 free bus stops. Rooms have wifi and air conditioning, however we just left the window open, as such the room was rather noisy. Approx €20/night, breakfast included, free tea/coffee all day if you ask nicely. Great location, great staff, highly recommended!


  • Arco Hotel, P.zza S. Maria del Suffragio 3, 20129, +39 02 70126264, (Fax: +39 02 70126264), [69]. 1 star hotel 2km east of Milan centre.
  • Hotel De Albertis, Via De Albertis, 7, 20100, +39 02 7383409, ([70], Fax: +39 02 7383409), [71]. 2 star hotel located in the Cinque Giornate area (2km east of Milan centre). Run by a very pleasant family.
  • Hotel Delle Nazioni, Via Cappellini, 18, 20124, +39 0266981221, ([72], Fax: +39 026701804), [73]. 3 star hotel located 400 metres from the main railway station. Singles with bathroom from €84.
  • Hotel Delizia, Via Archimede, 86/88, 20124, +39 02 740544, (Fax: +39 02 733638), [74]. A recently restored 2 star hotel with comfortable access to the tangenziale and the splendid Piazza del Duomo. 14 rooms each with shower, bidet, toilet, free wifi, TV, ADSL, breakfast. Double room single use €60. Two persons €120.
  • Hotel Garda, Via Napo Torriani, 21, 20124, +39 02 66982626, (Fax: +39 02 66982576), [75]. Hotel Garda, 200 metres from Milan Central Station. Singles from €45 to €150. Doubles from €75 to €225.
  • Hotel Loreto, Via Bambaia, 4, 20131, +39 02 2613050, (Fax: +39 02 26145724), [76]. A two star hotel, 300 metres from Corso Buenos Aires in a quiet location. 1km from Central station, 4km from Duomo.
  • Hotel Serena Milan, Via Boscovich, 59 (Angolo Corso Buenos Aires), 20124, +39 0229 404483, (Fax: +0039 0229 404958), [77]. The Hotel Serena Milan is situated in the centre of the city of Milan close to the Central Station and close to famous attractions and historical places.
  • Hotel Porta Romana Milan, Via Lazzaro Papi, 18, 20135, +39 02 55185890, (Fax: +39 02 55180189), [78]. Hotel di Porta Romana is a 3 star accommodation nicely located in the city centre, ideal for business clients or holidaymakers who love to shop.
  • Hotel Valley, Via Soperga, 19, 20100, +39 02 66987252, (Fax: +39 02 66987252), [79]. Close to downtown, a short distance from the central train station.
  • Hotel Arno / Hotel Eva, Via Lazzaretto, 17, 20124, +39 02 6705509, ([80]), [81]. 500 metres from the central station, 50 metres from tram stop, 500 metres from metro stops. Free internet access for guests. Only some rooms have ensuite facilities.
  • London Hotel Milan, Via Rovello 3, 20121, +39 02 72020166, (Fax: +39 02 8057037), [82]. 400 metres from Duomo. Singles from €90 to €130, doubles €120 to €170.


All these have ensuite facilities, shower, bath, WC, TV in room, 24 hour lobby.

  • Ariston Hotel Milan – Largo Carrobbio, 2 - Cap: 20123, Milan, Italy. [84]. Telephone +39 02 72000556 • Fax +39 02 72000914. The Ariston is a three star hotel with 52 bedrooms (single, double and triple), private parking, a wine bar, a breakfast hall and a conference room able to host up to 25 people. Among the other services, the Hotel Ariston Milan also offers private bath, satellite TV, free internet access and a bike service, since the Ariston Hotel of Milan is an ecological accommodation. Average rates: singles €160, doubles €230.
  • Adam Hotel Milan, Via Palmanova, 153, 20132, +39 0229 404483, (Fax: +0039 0229 404958), [85]. 4 star hotel.
  • Admiral Hotel, Via Domodossola, 16, 20131, +39 02 3492151, (Fax: +39 02 33106660). 3 km northwest of Duomo, in front of Fiera Milano City exhibition centre. Singles from €130. Doubles from €180.
  • Ambasciatori Hotel Milan, Galleria del Corso 3, 20122, 0039 02 76020241, ([86], Fax: 0039 02 782700), [87]. 300 metres from the Duomo. Singles from €190, doubles from €260.
  • Antares Hotel Accademia, Viale Certosa 68, 20155, +390239211122, ([88], Fax: +390233103878), [89]. Four-star hotel located close to Milan's international fair and exhibition centre Fiera di Milano, as well as Via Vincenzo Monti shopping area and San Siro Stadium.
  • Antares Hotel Concorde, Viale Monza, 132, 20127, 0039 0226112020, ([90], Fax: 0039 0226147879), [91]. Four-star hotel close to the Corso Buenos Aires shopping area. Piazza Duomo is only a few stops away on the underground.
  • Antares Hotel Rubens, Via Rubens, 21, 20148, 0039 0240302, ([92], Fax: 0039 0248193114), [93]. Four-star Hotel Milan is near Milans Exhibition Centres, San Siro football stadium, Corso Vercelli shopping area and the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
  • Antica Locanda Leonardo, Corso Magenta 78, 20123, +39 02 48014197, (Fax: +39 02 48019012), [94]. Antica Locanda Leonardo is located near the Teatro la Scala and is comfortable to reach Milan Trade fair district in Rho.
  • Astoria Hotel Milano, Viale Murillo, 9, 20149, 0039 02 40090095, ([95], Fax: 0039 02 40074642), [96]. Three-star hotel very close to the Fair of Milan and Fieramilanocity.
  • Berna Swiss Quality Hotel, Via Napo Torriani 18, I-20124 Milano, (, fax: +39 (0)2 669 38 92). Four star hotel situated 100m away from the station, 2km from the duomo. Single room from 89EUR, double room from 116EUR(low season of 2009).  edit
  • Brunelleschi Hotel Milan, Via Baracchini, 12, 20123, +39 02 88431, (Fax: +39 02 804924), [97]. The Hotel Brunelleschi Milan is a reputable 4 Star in the centre of Milan close to the Duomo and La Scala Theatre. Prices range from €100 upwards.
  • Cardano Hotel Milan Malpensa, Via al Campo, 10, 21010 Cardano al Campo (VA), +39 0331 261011, ([98], Fax: +39 0331 730829), [99]. A charming 4 star hotel specifically designed to accommodate business and early-flight travelers, offering a comfortable overnight stay near Milan's Malpensa airport.
  • Country Hotel Borromeo, Via Bruno Buozzi 04, 20068, Peschiera Borromeo, +39 02 553771, ([100], Fax: +39 02 55300708), [101]. Four-star hotel located five minutes from Linate Airport with 75 non smoking rooms with air conditioning, satellite TV, and mini-bar.
  • Four Points Sheraton Milan, Via Cardano, 1, 20124, +39 02 66746131/4, ([102], Fax: +39 02 66746165), [103]. Milan city centre hotel with 205 rooms. Hotel also has 8 meeting rooms, restaurant, bar and exercise room.
  • Grand Hotel Puccini, Buenos Aires, 33, 20124, +39 0229521344, ([104], Fax: +39 022047825), [105]. The Grand Hotel Puccini is a 4-star city centre hotel is on Corso Buenos Aires. It has good transport links that allows good access to the Central Railway Station, airports and trade fair area.
  • Grand Hotel Verdi, Via Melchiorre Gioia, 6, 20124 Milan, Tel: +39 02 62371, Fax: +39 02 6237050 [106]. Central and easy to find. There are lots of other NH hotels [107] in Milan, if needs be.
  • Hotel Accursio, Viale Certosa, 88, 20156, +39 02 33001270, (Fax: +39 02 39217466), [108]. A small hotel, with only 28 rooms, but the location is convenient and the small breakfast service is nice.
  • Hotel Amadeus, Via Vitruvio, 48, 02 6692141, (Fax: 02 66713291), [109]. Really close to the Centrale station. The average rates are €80 but weekend rates for a single room can drop to as low as €42.
  • Hotel Admiral Milan – Via Domodossola, 16 - Cap: 20145, Milan, Italy. [110]. Telephone +39 02 3492151 • Fax +39 02 33106660. The Admiral Hotel is a four star accommodation of Milan with 60 bedrooms presented in different sizes. The Hotel Admiral is placed next the Exhibition Centre of Milan and behind the Sempione Park, at the beginning of the historic centre of Milan.
  • Hotel Ariston, Largo Carrobbio 2, +39 02 7200055, (Fax: +39 02 72000914), [111]. In Milan, at 5 minutes from the Duomo and from Navigli, Hotel Ariston is a great welcoming place. Designed with bio-architectural principles in mind. Average rates: singles €160, doubles €230.
  • Hotel Bernina, Via Napo Torriani 27, 20124, +39 02 66988022, (Fax: +39 02 6702964), [112]. Hotel Bernina is situated in the most comfortable and strategic zone of Milan, both for those interested in visiting the city, as for those who are in Milan on business. A stroll from the Central Station, this welcoming hotel in Milan is well connected to all the most interesting sites in the city. Single room from €55, Double from €75.
  • Hotel Bonola, Via Torrazza 15, +39 02 381 017 46, (Fax: +39 02 381 017 86), [113]. Hotel Bonola is close to the freeway exits (the Tangenziale Ovest exit "Viale Certosa" is 1 km away), "Rho-Pero", the new trade show center and Mazdapalace the historical trade show center. Singles from €40, Double from €60.
  • Hotel Canova, Via Napo Torriani 15, 0266988181, (Fax: 0266713433), [114]. Singles €51 doubles €68 cheapest booked via an intermediary, more expensive direct. Parking €20 per night, or use cheaper local garage. Excellent location near Stazione Centrale and low price.
  • Hotel Ca' Grande, Via Porpora, 87, +39 02 26145295, (Fax: +39 02 26144001), [115]. Hotel catering to travellers for business, study or tourism.
  • Hotel Casa Mia , Viale Vittorio Veneto, 30 (corner P.zza Repubblica), +39.02.6575249, (Fax: +39 02 6552228), [116]. Just 15 minutes walk to the Duomo and 10 minutes to Via Montenapoleone, small and attentive. Average prices: single rooms €65, doubles €90, triples €120.
  • Hotel Cristallo, Via Scarlatti, 22, 20124, 00390229517555, ([117], Fax: 00390229526129), [118]. Three star hotel situated 200 metres from Milan's main railway station in a location very suited to tourists.
  • Hotel Des Etrangers, Via Sirte 9, 20146, +39 02 48955325, (Fax: +39 02 48955359), [119]. Close to the Milan Fair and the main University of Milan, the Hotel des Etrangers offers services and comfort for business and travel requirements.
  • Hotel Domenichino, Via Domenichino, 41, 20149, +39 02 48009692, (Fax: +39 02 48003953), [120]. Just a short distance from the Trade Fair District, this hotel in Milan is in an ideal position for anyone on business or those on holiday in the city.
  • Hotel Fenice, Corso Buenos Aires, 2, +39 02 29525541, (Fax: +39 02 29523942), [121]. The Hotel Fenice is in a perfect location: just a short distance from Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga and the fashion stronghold with its famous boutiques. Singles from €65, Double from €100 night.
  • Hotel Florence, Piazza Aspromonte, 22, 20100, +39 02 2361125, (Fax: +39 02 26680911) [122]. The Hotel Florence is in a central area of Milan, easily reached from the Centrale station, with excellent public transport services (subway, street cars and buses) and full of attractions. Single rooms from €45, Doubles from €75.
  • Hotel Galles, Piazza Lima, 2, +39 02 204841, (Fax: +39 02 2048422), [123]. The Hotel Galles is the ideal solution for a business or pleasure trip in the heart of Milan. Singles from €75, Queen size bed from €92, parking €21 per night.
  • Hotel Galileo Milan – Corso Europa 9 - Cap: 20122, [124]. Telephone +39 02 7743 • Fax +39 02 76020584. A four star hotel with a choice of 89 single, double, triple and VIP rooms, all with private bath. Among the public areas are a bar, restaurant, lounge and reception with free internet connection. Rates include breakfast. 130 euros for single and 140 for a double.
  • Hotel Genius Milan – Via Porlezza, 4 - Cap: 20123, Milan, Italy. [125]. Telephone +39 02 72094644 • Fax +39 02 72006950. The Genius Hotel is a three star accommodation which presents 38 bedrooms with private en-suite service. Milan is the Italian fashion and business capital, so the rooms of the Genius also present Wi-Fi Internet connection. The hotel is located between Castello Sforzesco and the Duomo. The rates change according to the season and go from Euros 88 to 99 for a single, and from Euros 120 to 155 for a double.
  • Hotel Ibis Milano Centro, Via Finocchiaro Aprile 2, 20124, 00390263151, ([126], Fax: 0039026598026), [127]. Low cost three star hotel well located in city centre of Milan.
  • Hotel Ideale Via dei Mille, 60, 20129, +39 02 701 065 66, (Fax: +39 02 701 066 66), [128]. The Center of Milan, Università Statale, Centrale Train Station and Linate Airport can be reached in just ten minutes.
  • Hotel La Residenza, Via Scialoia 3, +39 02 6461646, (Fax: +39 02 6464268), [129]. Single rooms €55, doubles €88, triples €100, quadruples €120.
  • Hotel Marconi Milan – Via Fabio Filzi, 3 - Cap: 20124, Milano, Italy. [130]. Telephone +39 02 66 98 55 61 • Fax +39 02 66 90 738. Fabulous four star hotel located between Porta Nuova and the main train station of Milan, Stazione Centrale. Due its central position and the close public transports, the Marconi Hotel is easy to reach from Fiera Milano City and Fiera Milano. All the rooms of this four star hotel can be booked online and are divided in single, double and triple.
  • Hotel Manzoni, Via S. Spirito 20, 20121, +39 02 76005700, (Fax: +39 02 784212), [131]. Situated in the center of Milan, near Via Montenapoleone and the Duomo, Hotel Manzoni is perfect for the traveller who appreciates personality and style made in Italy.
  • Hotel Metrò, Corso Vercelli 61, 20144, +39 02 4987897, ([132], Fax: +39 02 48010295), [133]. Close to Milan city center, recently renovated to an elegant 3 star accommodation with garden.
  • Mercure Milan Corso Genova , Via Conca Del Naviglio 20, 02 643 50 03. Singles €60, doubles €70, parking €20 per night.
  • Hotel Manin Milan, Via Manin, 7, 20121, 0039 02 6596511, ([134], Fax: 0039 02 6552160), [135]. 4 star city centre hotel situated in a quiet side street. The hotels is a short distance away from the Duomo Cathedral, Scala Opera House and main railway station.
  • Hotel Mercure Milano Centro – Piazza Oberdan, 12 – Cap: 20129 Milano - Italy [136]. Telephone +39 02 29403907 • Fax +39 02 29526171. Four star hotel hosted in a 16th century building located in the centre of Milan, close the Duomo and Da Vinci’s Last Supper. Thirty large bedrooms with air conditioning and meeting rooms.
  • Hotel Miami Milan, Via Nuova Rivoltana, 98, 20080, Limito di Pioltello, +390270300333, ([137], Fax: +390270300444), [138]. 4 star hotel located within 2km of Linate Airport and 5 km from the city center.
  • Hotel Mozart, Piazza Gerusalemme 6, 20154, +39 02 33104215, (Fax: +39 02 33103231), [139]. Just a few steps from Corso Sempione, and very close to the Fiera.
  • Hotel Mistral, Via Vincenzo Toffetti 4, 20100, +39 02 57300197, (Fax: +39 02 57303060), [140]. A 3 star hotel very close to the Rogoredo FS stop of the Metro yellow line 3 which can provide quick and direct access to the Duomo and Central Station.
  • Hotel Piacenza, Via Piacenza, 4, +39 0254 55 041, (Fax: +39 0254 65 269), [142]. A short stroll from Porta Romana and the famous and prestigious Bocconi University, the hotel is also near typical restaurants and lively wine bars where you can spend a pleasant evening.
  • Hotel Regal, Via Verdi 10, 20080, Villaggio Ravello, +39029440493, ([143], Fax: +39029440515), [144]. 4 star motel located on the Grand Canal 10 km from Milan.
  • Hotel Ritter, Corso Garibaldi 68, 20121. A good 3-star hotel situated near the Moscova metro station and at a walking distance from Duomo.
  • Hotel Rona Milan, Viale Monza, 15, 20040, Caponago, +390295742241, ([145], Fax: +390295741103), [146]. Four star motel situated 10 km from Milan. The motel is in the Industrial Commuter Belt of Agrate.
  • Hotel Soperga, Via Soperga, 20127, +39 02 6690541, (Fax +39.02.66980352), [147]. Between the Main Station and Corso Buenos Aires. This is a welcoming and elegant place to stay a while, for recreation or the demands of work.

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  • Hotel Windsor, Via Galileo Galilei, 2, 20124, 0039026346, ([150], Fax: 0039026590663), [151]. 4 star hotel in Milan with 109 rooms. It is located near the Piazza Repubblica and is close to a Metro stop allowing easy access to Milan's attractions.
  • Hotel XXII Marzo , P.zza S. Maria del Suffragio 3, Angolo Bonvesin de la Riva 1, 20129, +39 02 70107064, [152]. In the centre of Milan, in the area of the Duomo and near the University and Courts.
  • THOTEL Milano [153]: it is in a strategic position, especially for business travellers, just off Milan’s Tangenziale Ovest and the major motorways, near the Rho-Pero trade fair complex and just a few kilometres from Milan’s airports.
  • Lido Hotel, R. Galli n.8, 20148, 0039 02 33000420, ([154], Fax: 0039 02 39211429), [155]. This Modern three star hotel is the closest hotel to the new pavilions of the Fiera Milano. Located across from the IOL Stadium.
  • Madison Hotel, Via Gasparotto, 8, 20124, +39 0267074150, ([156], Fax: +39 0267075059), [157]. 4 star city centre hotel located just 100 meters from the main railway station. The hotel is beside a subway stop.
  • The Milan Suite Hotel – Via Varesina 124 - Cap: 20156, Milan, Italy. [158]. Telephone +39 02 33431807. Modern four star hotel located in the north district, well connected to the city centre and Fiera Milano. 40 bedrooms divided in double for single use, suite and junior suite. All the rooms come with en-suite service and the breakfast included. Facilities inclue two meeting halls, private parking and limousine service. From €80.
  • Zumbini Rooms, Via Zumbini 6, 20143, +39 02 36556604, (Fax +39 02 36556603), [159]. The residence Zumbini Rooms is in the southern part of Milan.
  • Residence Ajraghi, Via Ajraghi 30, 20100, +39 02 33004669, (Fax: +39 02 33005540), [160]. Elegant Apartments near Rho-Pero trade fair.
  • Residence Loreto, Via Rancati 3, 20127, +39 02 2841041, (Fax: +39 02 2827616), [161]. Comfortable studio and apartments, with bath, fully equipped kitchen and high quality services.
  • UNA Tocq Boutique Hotel, Via A. De Tocqueville 7/D 20154, +39 02 62 071, (toll free USA: 1 866 376 7831), [162]. Offers 109 rooms and 13 apartments right in the heart of Corso Como. The hotel also features a restaurant and bar, as well as a fitness center with indoor swimming pool, and a garage nearby the hotel.
  • Antica Locanda dei Mercanti, Via San Tomaso 6, +39 (0)28054080, [163]. With/without private terraces. Large double rooms. In an old palazzo in the heart of the city. Charming boutique hotel.
  • Best Western Hotel Felice Casati, Via Felice Casati, 18, 20124, +39 02 29404208,, [164]. 4-Star Milan Hotel near Central Train Station, Corso Buenos Aires, Porta Venezia and many other attractions.
  • Crowne Plaza Milan City, Via Melchiorre Gioia, 73, 20124, +39 02 66717715 ,, [165]. 4-Star Milan Design Hotel offers 99 rooms and provides every comfort: wellness and fitness center, restaurant, bar, meeting rooms, suites, family rooms and much more.
  • Hotel Abacus, Via Monte Grappa, 39, 20099, +39 02 26225858, (Fax: +39 02.26225860), [166]. Four-star hotel with a parking area, 5 meeting rooms, restaurant, wellness and fitness center.
  • Hotel Capitol, Via Cimarosa, 6, 20144, +39 02 438591, (, Fax: +39 02 43859700), [167]. A 66-room 4-star hotel located near the Exhibition centre, the Financial district, the airport shuttle terminal, and the underground station.
  • Hotel Andreola Central, Via Domenico Scarlatti, 24, 20124, +39 02 6709141, (Fax: +39 02 66713198), [168]. Four-star hotel located 200 meters from the central train station.
  • Hotel Art Hotel Navigli, Via Fumagalli 4, 20100, +39 02 89410530, (Fax: +39 02 58115066). [169].
  • Hotel Ascot, Via Lentasio, 3, 20122, +39 02 58303300, (Fax: +39 02 58303203), [170]. In the center of Milan, just a few meters from Corso di Porta Romana and 10 minutes walk from the Duomo and the National University. Single from €83, Double from €124.
  • Hotel Baviera, Via Panfilo Castaldi, 7, 20124, +39 02 6590551, (Fax: +39 02 29003281) [171]. Classic Milan 4 star hotel with a central location.
  • Hotel Lloyd, Corso di Porta Romana, 48 20122, +39 02.58303332, (Fax: +39 02 58303365), [173]. Offers large meeting rooms and a well-being program. Local business, shopping and culture just 10 minutes walk from the hotel. Single rooms from €85, Double from €116.
  • Hotel King, Corso Magenta 19, 20123, +39 02 874432, (Fax: +39 02 89010798), [174]. 4 star hotel in the centre of the city, part of the Mokinba Hotels. Good location near the Duomo and top Milanese style service.
  • Hotel Vittoria, Via Pietro Calvi, 32, 20129, +39 02 5456520, (Fax: +39 02 55190246), [175].
  • Park Hyatt Milan, Via Tommaso Grossi 1 (+39 02 8821 1234), (), [176]. 5 star hotel very close to Piazza del Duomo and Teatro alla Scala opera house. Host to La Cupola, a prominent restaurant on Milan's elite social scene.  edit
  • Gardaland Resort Hotel, Via Palu’ 1, Castelnuovo del Garda 37014, Verona, Italy, +39-045-6404000 (, fax: +39-045-6404444). The Gardaland theme park's hotel located next to the theme park in a themed setting. Visitors can enjoy shows at the hotel.  edit

Stay safe

Unless you venture in dangerous suburbs, Milan is a rather safe city.

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. Other scams that they will try is giving you "free friendship bracelets." After you take the bracelet, a colored 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.

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.

Stay away from the area around the central railway station at night.

Be careful crossing the street: drivers don't usually respect pedestrian crossings unless there is a red light for them to stop.

  • Lake Como— A huge, impressive, beautiful lake in the foothills of the Alps. See the villages of Como, Menaggio, Bellagio & Varenna. Como can be reached by regular trains (50 minutes from Cadorna station) and buses.
  • Monza— Medium-size town with a beautiful pedestrian-only centre (local museum housing the medieval crown of the Longobard kings) and a marvellous park, Parco di Monza, the largest enclosed park in Europe. Inside the park there is the Autodromo Nazionale [178] where the Formula 1 GP, Superbike and other minor races take place. Accessible by regular trains (15 minutes from Centrale or Porta Garibaldi stations) and buses.
  • Bergamo— Elegant walled hilltop Renaissance university town. Bergamo is serviced by regular trains (from Centrale, Porta Garibaldi and Lambrate stations, about 1 hour trip time) and buses.
  • Crespi d'Adda— A planned industrial city between Bergamo and Milan. It has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Lake Garda— Beautiful lake with a lot of beautiful small cities, the best is Sirmione. Two big theme parks are nearby: Gardaland [179], the best in Italy, and Canevaworld Resort [180], home of Movieland (a movie theme park) and a water park. Accessible by way of regular trains (65-85 minutes from Centrale station) and buses. Very crowded during summer and weekends.
  • Excursions without a car: You don't need a car to escape from the business, the traffic, the congestion, the fog in wintertime, and the afa (humid heat in summer), of the city of Milan to a wonderful world of lakes, mountains, castles and good food: just take the train and, sometimes, the boat.
  • Biking Trips: Beginning at the 24th May Square (Piazza 24 Maggio) there is a excellent and very long bike road on the right (northern) bank of the canal. Be aware to take the Naviglio Grande (going west on the northern bank of the canal) and follow it as long as you want. After few kilometers you'll reach the nice Chiesetta di San Cristoforo, a popular spot for marriages. If you are well trained, proceed through the countryside. About 10 km to Gaggiano, a very nice and tiny village, and 20 km to Abbiategrasso. If you are still in the mood for riding, follow the canal on the right and reach Robecco sul Naviglio.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also milano



Proper noun

Milano m.

  1. Milan, a city in Italy


Proper noun


  1. Milan, a city in Italy


Proper noun


  1. Milan, a city in Italy


Proper noun


  1. Milan, a city in Italy


Proper noun

Italian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia it


  1. Milan, a city and province in Italy
  2. The letter M in the Italian phonetic alphabet

Derived terms



Proper noun


  1. Milan, a city and province in Italy


Proper noun

Milano m.

  1. Milan, a city in Italy

See also


Proper noun


  1. Milan, a city and province in Italy



Proper noun


  1. Milan (city and capital)

This Turkish entry was created from the translations listed at Milan. It may be less reliable than other entries, and may be missing parts of speech or additional senses. Please also see Milano in the Turkish Wiktionary. This notice will be removed when the entry is checked. (more information) July 2009

Simple English

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