Wander the streets of Italy’s stylish northern capital to discover its artistic legacy, its culture of fashion and one of the largest churches in the world.
The capital of Italy’s Lombardy region is a pulsating metropolis defined by its cosmopolitan culture. Known around the world as a fashion destination, Milan is also Italy’s financial center. With an urban population of more than 5 million residents, it is one of Europe’s largest cities. Milan was partially destroyed during World War II, but countless beautiful, old monuments remain.
Visit Milan’s many stunning churches to discover its rich religious history. In the heart of the city lies the Cathedral of Milan, known to locals as the Duomo. As one of the largest churches in the world, it is one of the most popular attractions in the city. Cross the Piazza del Duomo to reach Santa Maria Delle Grazie, a church and convent that is home to da Vinci’s Last Supper. The Chiesa di San Maurizio features many notable frescoes and hosts Milan’s archaeological museum.
See art without religious context as well. The beautiful Villa Reale is home to two of Milan’s best secular galleries. Browse works by some of today’s best artists at the Contemporary Arts Pavilion, or see masterpieces from the 19th and 20th centuries at the Modern Art Museum next door. From here it’s just a short walk to the Brera Art Gallery where you can see works by Raphael and Carravagio.
Eat hearty risottos and pastas or visit pizzerias and gelaterias you’ll find on most streets. Italy is known for its aperitifs and wines; enjoy your favorite or sample something new in one of the city’s many bars. Explore the Navigli nightlife district after an event at the Teatro alla Scala to mingle with locals in the fresh air. In summer, the city remains warm throughout the night. In winter, make a trip to the nearby Italian Alps for skiing and snowboarding.
Milan is served by an international airport but can also be reached by train from many European cities. Once in town you’ll find the metro and tram systems easy to use and affordable. Join the locals and walk around, soaking up the style and grace of one of Europe’s most fashionable cities.