A day in Milan
Milan, is not difficult to explore: it is often possible to walk from one interesting area to another, and in other cases we recommend you take the subway, that will let you reach your destination without getting your stuck in city traffic.
Milan walking guide: Morning
Our tour starts with discovering Milan from Piazza Duomo, where you can admire the Duomo, that is one of Milan’s most important symbols. Why don’t you go in and climb up to the roof: you will find yourself surrounded by spire and late-Gothic statues, admiring the sight of the city that spreads out before you.
From Piazza Duomo, go to the splendid Galleria Vittorio Emanuele: you can have breakfast here, in one of the elegant coffee-shops inside the Galleria. We recommend Zucca, the coffee shop favored by Verdi and Toscani, with its second-floor windows that look out onto the Duomo and the Galleria and its luxury Liberty-style furnishings in wrought iron, mahogany and mosaics.
After a refreshing breakfast, continue on your tour going through the Galleria and walk to Piazza della Scala, where you can see the famous Theater La Scala. If you are fond of theater costumes and sets, we recommend you visit the interesting Museum. Otherwise you can continue your journey. From Piazza della Scala, go on to the nearby Via Dante and walk along until you get to the majestic Castello Sforzesco. Behind the Castle, you can see Parco Sempione: if you don’t feel hungry yet, you can work up an appetite by walking through the park. Once you come out of the park, walking through the Arco della Pace, you have two possibilities: look for a restaurant in the area straightaway, or go on foot or by taxi to your next stop, the Cenacolo Vinciano in Corso Magenta, and have lunch there.
We recommend raw vegetables with Crescenza or Gorgonzola cheese to start with, followed by Risotto alla Milanese and then the traditional cutlet or a tasty pot roast.
Milan walking guide: Afternoon
The afternoon is dedicated to art: first stop: we suggest the Cenacolo Vinciano that Leonardo painted in the refectory in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Corso Magenta. After admiring this masterpiece, go on to the nearby Piazza Cadorna where you will find the subway to take you to the Pinacoteca di Brera picture gallery. Get off at Cairoli (1 stop) and continue on foot. After you have visited the wonderful Pinacoteca, spend a bit of time exploring Brera, one of the most charming areas of Milan.
Milan walking guide: Evening
For a real taste of the unique atmosphere of the Milan Dolce Vita you will have to go to the Navigli area. Take the subway and get off at Porta Genova. Once there, go along Via Vigevano up to the Wharf and start exploring the clubs that line the Navigli.
Between one aperitif and the next, you will have the change to eat a real meal, serving yourself from the rich buffets that are provided at happy hour. Continuing your evening into the night will be no problem: you will soon learn which is the cool new club that has just opened, or which live concerts are planned for the evening. Don’t give yourself a time limit: Milanese nights are truly unpredictable!
Milan is Heaven on Earth for shopping lovers. You can find the best of everything in this city, especially everything connected with fashion and design.
Milan has a wonderful history as a laboratory of creative ideas: The Polytechnic and the Accedemia di Brera have trained fashion designers and other designers who are famous worldwide. They exhibited their creations for the first time in Milan, often creating scandal and revolutionizing fashion with their own personal style, never going unobserved.
In this section, we will offer you a small selection of fashion designers born in Milan, or who started their careers here, contributing to the great name of Italian fashion in the world.
- Giorgio Armani: born in Piacenza in 1934, the king of Italian fashion started his career in Milan, working as a buyer for Rinascente. At the beginning of the sixties, he left his job to dedicate himself to creating patterns for well-known designers, even though he had no specific training. In 1975 he risked again, starting up the label Giorgio Armani for men and women and he was successful immediately. He built up a close relationship with the cinema world from the start, and was consecrated with his clothes made for "American Gigolo". A young Richard Gere was seen in front of a huge clothes closet, in the dressing ceremony scene, that was arranged in a maniacally perfect order. Foremost symbol of elegance in the 1980s, Armani is still king of world fashion today.
- Miuccia Prada: Miuccia Prada, an anti-conformist who was politically active in the 1970s, took over the family company in 1978 that was specialized in bags and leather accessories, and revolutionized everything. Her bags became sought-after pieces and became part of the Milanese landscape. Here unmistakable, minimal-chic style won over the Milanese upper middle classes in the 1980s and 1990s. Her sports range, characterized by the famous “red line” made the label even better known and won over larger shares of the market. However, Prada did not want to be just a reference point for fashion: In 1995, she founded the Fondazione Prada in Milan, an important artistic laboratory and window for contemporary international artists.
- Dolce & Gabbana: Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, born in the province of Palermo and in Milan respectively, are the most famous couple in the Italian fashion world. Their style evolves continuously, and is much appreciated by "chameleon-like " stars such as Madonna. They made their debut in Milan in 1985, in the boom period of career women, ambitious and squared-off, just like the shoulder pads that were used to pad their suit jackets. Dolce & Gabbana went against the trend however, and rediscovered the fuller Mediterranean femininity: rounded shapes, petticoats that showed off one’s cleavage, loose, wild hairstyles. Sicily will always be a source of inspiration that will win over grey Milan too with its warmth and sensuality.
- Gianfranco Ferré: born in the province of Milan in 1944, Gian Grance Ferré gained a degree in architecture at the Milan Polytechnic. After traveling to India, from where he took his inspiration, he started working in the fashion world, with a rational, structured style that gave him the nickname “architect of fashion”. The tailored cut of his clothes and the lines of his shapes conquered the world.
- Versace: this name owes its fortune to the creativity of Gianni Versace, born in Reggio Calabria and who moved to Milan in the 1970s to work in the fashion world, designing patterns for other designers. Thanks to the managerial skills of his brother Santo, the label Versace was set up a few years later, a daring, aggressive label that is characterized by the unusual matching of colors and geometric patterns printed on silk. After Gianni’s death in 1997, the company was taken over by his brother and sister, Santo and Donatella.