What to do, where to go in Milan?
Milan is the financial and fashion centre of Italy. It can’t compete with the historical sites of Rome or Florence, so it is often added to an itinerary on the second or third visit to Italy or as a stop on the way to Lake Como. I’m not sure why this happens. Milan is one of my favourite Italian cities to which I return year after year.
Here is my list of the top five places to visit.
1. The Duomo
Because of its position in the heart of Milan, the Duomo is usually the first stop when visiting the city. Don’t miss a walk on the roof, wandering among the spires and statues and taking in the breathtaking views.
You can read about the Duomo here.
2. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.
This 18th century glass and iron covered gallery is home to many beautiful shops, restaurants and cafes. Look up to see the magnificent central dome. Look down to see the emblems on the mosaic floor representing the cities of Milan, Rome, Florence and Turin. If you want to return to Milan you are supposed to place your heel on the emblem of Turin -the bull- and rotate clockwise!
3. La Scala
It’s an easy walk from the Duomo, through the Galleria and on to La Scala, Milan’s famous opera house which opened in 1778. Here some of the world’s best singers and orchestras can be heard and famous ballets seen. If you cannot book tickets to one of the performances, a visit to the Museo Teatrale alla Scala ( Museum) also includes a visit to one of the boxes where you can look down on the stage. If the theatre is being used, you may not be able to go into the box, so check on the board outside or ask when you buy your tickets
4. The Last Supper
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, “The Last Supper”, is one of the most famous paintings in the world. It covers a wall in the former dining hall of the monastery attached to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. In order to reduce deterioration, admission is strictly limited to 25 people every fifteen minutes. Tickets are often sold out months in advance, so buy them online as soon as you know you are visiting Milan. I use Tickitaly
On you way back from here, stop at Peck’s in Via Spadari, to see Milan’s best food store
5. Visit the Golden Triangle
This is the name given to Milan’s famous shopping streets, Via Monte Napoleone, Via della Spiga and those that run between them, Via San’t Andrea, Via Gesù, Via Borgospesso. Home to the country’s famous designer shops, you should come here to window shop even if buying is not for you.
There are also some wonderful shop interiors and window displays to be seen
Hungry! Near here is Paper Moon, a popular restaurant for pizza, salad or three courses in Via Bagutta.
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La Festa di San Giorgio
Don’t miss the Palantine Chapel in Palermo
Day trips from Trapani