If you’re planning a trip to Italy, what are the first cities that come to mind? If you’re like most people, Rome, Venice and Vatican City are probably the first places you think of, but what about Milan? Milan is a beautiful locale that should not be missed. The capital of the region of Lombardy, Milan features a little bit of something for everyone: world-class shopping (it’s the fashion capital of the world!), sports, opera, fantastic food, and unforgettable nightlife. From historic sites to modern living, Milan has it all.
Il Duomo (or “Duomo”) is the primary Cathedral and what some consider to be Milan’s crowning architectural glory. Featuring hundreds of ornate spires and scores of beautifully crafted statues, this stunning cathedral is not to be missed. Climb to the top and get a breathtaking view of one of Italy’s most stunning cities. Don’t forget your camera!
Santa Maria della Grazie and Da Vinci’s Last Supper
The Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie is home to Leonardo da Vinci’s world-famous fresco, The Last Supper (which miraculously survived after the building was bombed in 1943). If you want to get up close to this historic work of art, be sure to purchase tickets well – even months – in advance.
La Scala Opera House and Museum
La Scala (or, Teatro alla Scala) is one of the many historic opera houses in Italy. Opened in 1778, this has been the home to many of the world’s most famous operas. If you’re an opera fan and you plan to visit Milan, this should definitely be a stop on your tour. Be sure to book in advance, and don’t forget to check out La Scala’s onsite museum, which houses a collection of historical musical instruments as well as portraits and busts of museums.
One of Milan’s oldest churches, Basilica Sant’Amrogio was constructed in the 11th century. It is named for Milan’s patron saint, whom you can see in a crypt onsite alongside two third-century martyrs. Inside this Romanesque building are also many examples of beautiful carvings, the best of which is the gold altar.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
If you love to shop, this is a can’t-miss stop. Built in 1867, this enormous glass-rooved shopping centre features high-end shops and restaurants that link the squares of the Duomo and La Scala.
Getting around in Milan
If you want to tour the city of Milan, you have a couple of options. First, you could rent a car from one of the Milan Malpensa Airport car hire companies and drive yourself around. There are a few benefits to this. First and foremost, you can travel around on your own schedule. You aren’t restricted by tour times, tour ticket availability, etc. Plus, if you find something off the beaten path and decide to explore, you can do that, too. Alternatively, you can also join a bus tour. The benefits of that are that you don’t have to worry about finding the various sites you want to see and you’ll get the benefit of the tour guide’s knowledge and experience. However, you’ll be hemmed in by the tour schedule, which doesn’t leave much room for improvisation or exploration. Which option you choose depends on your personality and travel style. Whichever way you go, though, you are sure to make some memories you’ll never forget!