Milan, Italy: history, sights, shopping
Milan is a city of beauty and fashion . Every year a lot of people come here for the shows, or various fashion weeks. This city fills with an atmosphere of elegance and sophistication. This is the second largest city in Italy, as well as its most important center of economy and development of science. Milan is located almost in the center of the country, namely in one of the most prestigious districts – Lombardy, and in addition the city is divided into nine districts. The city’s population is growing rapidly upwards, crossing the one million mark, without stopping for a second. It attracts not only tourists, but also newcomers, since most people are attracted by the opportunity to get a high-paying job.
Milan is the center of fashion . Upon arrival in the city almost immediately you can feel this wonderful atmosphere of sophistication, luxury and elegance. Every nook and cranny of the house is saturated with it. Immediately after arriving in Milan you can immediately feel the difference between it and another city in Italy – Rome. Here life flows so fast that sometimes it seems impossible to keep up with it. For those who come to this city for the first time, it can seem very unusual. The way new technologies intertwine with the old buildings and streets is really very striking.
What is the city of Milan?
A little history of Milan
The history of the city begins in the VI century BC . It used to be inhabited by a tribe of ethnoruscans. The Roman conquerors came to this city in 222 A.D., and a few years later, the current Milan became the main center and capital of the Western part of Rome and the main residence of the Roman Emperor.
The ninth century was one of the most deplorable for the city . The beautiful city was bombed by troops led by Friedrich Barbarossa, one of the emperors of the German Empire. However, Milan was not going to surrender under the Emperor’s oppression, so already in the XII century this beautiful city was united by a league, which was organized to fight against Friedrich. And already 16 years after Milan joined the league, the city of Barbarossa was destroyed.
The important history for the life of the city begins in the thirteenth century. At that time the Visconti ruled, to be replaced a few decades later by another dynasty, the Sforza. During that period famous figures like Leonardo da Vinci or Donato Bramante appeared in the city. After a few years a succession of changes of rulers began, that is, one ruler was replaced by another and it happened very quickly. First the Spaniards ruled, then the Austrians, later the French. The most important and developed period was the succession of governments of the Austrians, as it is thanks to them in the XIX century, Milan made a huge breakthrough in development and became the intellectual center of development in Italy. And after 45 of the twentieth century this city has become an industrial metropolis of Northern Italy.
A little history of Milan
The sights in the city are intertwined with modern buildings and constructions, inducing an atmosphere of sophistication and grace. One of the most beautiful and attractive places in Milan is the cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente. The building, located in the heart of the city, is made in Gothic style. The main material of the cathedral is white marble. And the structure itself simply fascinates with its beauty and unusual design. The facade of the cathedral is decorated with beautiful figures of saints, turrets, incredible compositions that depict various biblical stories, sculptures of mystical creatures. But most striking of all is the sculpture of the Madonna, which towers over the city as if it were its guardian angel.
Inside the cathedral is no less beautiful . Numerous arches and columns, and the high ceilings are decorated with beautiful paintings and paintings.
However, it is worth remembering that before you decide to visit the cathedral, you should read the rules, because the entrance there is allowed only in special clothes that do not violate them and do not go beyond the limits of decency. Categorically prohibited short skirts, shorts, open T-shirts, T-shirts, dresses with cleavage and so on.
Sforcesco Castle is another of the equally beautiful places in Milan. This wonderful old castle is the former residence of the Italian Duke of Sforzesco, which was left by him in the fourteenth century as a gift to his ancestors, and afterwards was donated to the city. It is also known for the fact that Leonardo da Vinci himself took part in the decoration of the castle.
Now the place works as a museum. Its halls hold paintings and sculptures of masters that are valued around the world. The jewel in the collection is the work of Michelangelo. It is thanks to them that crowds of tourists come here. Also, if you wish, you can order a guide who will take you on a full tour of the building, telling you about what’s here and what it’s all famous for.
Fans of Egypt are sure not to miss the hall devoted to both the history and culture of Egypt . Here you can see the mummies of the pharaohs, various gold ornaments and gadgets both military and for daily chores.
Apart from the castles, there are also many museums and galleries, where works of art by many Italian artists, painters, sculptors and so on, as well as foreign ones are concentrated.
Shopping in Milan
I guess every fan of shopping and fashion dreams to visit Milan at least because there are so many stores with brand name clothes, shoes and accessories. The malls are filled daily with thousands of tourists and locals. The best stores have practically endless queues. All this is due to the fact that the quality and beauty of things here at the highest level. But the price sometimes seems simply exorbitant. However, this can be justified by the fact that this is primarily a trend-setting city, designed for those who do not care how much money can be spent on things. But you can also find less expensive stores or boutiques, where you can buy the same fashionable and branded things. However, these places still need to find, because in the most visited and famous areas of the city are collected the most expensive stores. This is done to ensure that tourists left as much money in their establishments.
Shopping in Milan
What to take home from Milan?
First of all, it is jewelry. A beautiful diamond ring is sure to please every person who buys it. Also a wristwatch, both men’s and women’s. Coat, rave clothes, shoes or accessories, glass jewelry, beautiful books, appliances, cosmetics, different delicious things like sausages, cheeses, olive oil, spices, sauces, cookies, chocolate and other desserts can all be great gifts for friends, relatives and yourself.
Milan is the city of fashion and trends . It is so beautiful that no one will remain indifferent. This place will be a great place to relax and travel.
Fashionable and successful Milan.
Milan is famous all over the world for its soccer club, a majestic cathedral in the main square and the opera house, which gathers all circles of the aristocracy. Every year in spring and autumn the city hosts the shows of the world famous brands during the Fashion Week.
Getting to know the city
This is one of the largest cities in Italy. It is the administrative center of the largest region of the country Lombardy. Milan is undoubtedly an important city in the state, as it is considered its financial capital. It is also called the fashion capital of the world.
Milan is an ancient city, one of the oldest in Italy. It was founded by the ancient Celtic people back in 600 BC approximately 222 BC. The territory of the modern city was conquered by the Romans, who gave it the name of Mediolanum.
The legend of the name of the city tells that the leader of the Celtic tribes, who were invading Italy in antiquity, had an unusual dream. It said that the city had to be built on a place where there was a wild boar with long hair in front. Finding a boar on a flat field, the tribal leader founded a town there and named it Medhelanon, which translates as “half-covered with wool” or “in the middle of the plain.”
Milan became an economically rich and prosperous city after the twelfth century AD. The city developed both industrially and culturally. At the end of the XV century there was painted Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco “The Last Supper”, which is still in the Dominican monastery in Milan.
During the Great Patriotic War the city was almost destroyed, as it succumbed to constant bombardment. But after its completion Milan was rebuilt. Today it is a prosperous, with an important cultural heritage city of Italy known around the world.
Where is it
Located in northern Italy in the Lombardy region of Milan province. The area of the city is 182 km². Rome is more than 500 km. By high-speed train you can reach the capital in 3 – 4 hours. And to Venice is only about 200 km, travel time takes about 2 – 3 hours.
How to reach
By plane. Milan has two airports: Malpensa and Linati. The first of them is the main airport with international flights. It has two terminals, between which there is a free shuttle bus. From Malpensa to the city you can get by train Malpensa Express. It goes to the train stations Milano Centrale and Milano Cadorna. The trip costs 12 euros and takes about 40 minutes. You can also take a shuttle from the airport. The ticket price is about 10 – 15 euros and the journey time will take no more than an hour.
Linate Airport is located near the center of Milan (7 km). In the city you can take a bus number 73, which stops just outside the terminal. The Malpensa Shuttle bus runs between the two airports.
Not far from the city, in Bergamo, there is the airport of Orio-al Serio. It offers low-cost flights within Europe as well as charter flights. The city can be reached by train from Bergamo station, but from the airport you will have to take a cab or bus to get there.
By train. The central station of the fashion capital is considered one of the main and largest stations in Europe. Exactly here trains arrive from big cities of Italy and Europe. Transport services of this station are called R (Regional). Suburban trains go to station Cadorna. This connection is called the S Lines (Suburban). This is where trains from airports arrive.
By Bus. The main bus station is Lampugnano. There are also many small transportation companies in the city, which make trips within the country and from other countries. Therefore, schedules and fares are varied. From the bus station in Piazza Z. Freud, a bus ride to Rome will cost 50 euros.
By car. Milan is connected with the cities of the country by good transport links and is equipped with excellent tracks. However, the price of travel on the highway is quite high, and on weekdays there are large traffic jams. For those who explore the whole country and decided to visit the fashionable capital, it will be most convenient to travel by car. But if you are going for a weekend trip only to Milan itself, it is better to use the train or plane to get to the city.
Milan on a map
The fashion capital has a subtropical type of climate. The city has a humid hot summer and just as humid but cold winter. Summer temperatures are quite high, often there are heavy rains. The average summer temperature is from 19 to 30 degrees above zero.
Winter temperatures in Milan range from -3 to +4 degrees. Precipitation at this time of year is plentiful, falling in the form of rain and snow. In the fall and spring there is also a lot of rain and fog in the city. The average temperature at this time is 6 to 17 degrees.
The best time to visit is from March to June, and September to October.
Attractions and Entertainment
The main attractions are in the central part of Milan. This is the historic district of the city, which is called Area C (Area C). Entrance to this area by car on weekdays is paid.
The main attraction and visiting card of the city is the Cathedral Duomo, located in the central square. This is a remarkable building in the Gothic style. Its full name is the cathedral of Our Lady of Nascente. Milan Duomo refers to the largest temples in the world.
For those who want to see not only the architecture and the interior of the cathedral have the opportunity to climb to the roof. You can do this by going up the steps, and the elevator. Entrance ticket to the top costs about 12 euros for adults and 6 euros for children. From the roof of the temple there is a picturesque view of the city.
The sights are considered a sights and Milan Square itself, called the Cathedral Square. This is a popular place to relax not only with tourists but also with the locals. In the square, in addition to the majestic architectural treasures, you will meet many pigeons that are constantly living there.
There, on the left side of the Duomo, is the Gallery of Victor Emmanuel II. It’s an ancient arcade built among the first in Europe. Here you can visit the fashion houses of world famous brands, as well as fashionable restaurants and cafes. By the way, in the middle of the square there is a monument to the same Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy.
After passing through the passageway, you get to La Scala Square. Here is the most famous theater in the world. An unremarkable building from the outside strikes you with the luxury and aristocratism of its interior. The Opera House of La Scala is visited not only by the upper classes of Milan but also all over the world. The cost of a ticket for a performance ranges from 20 to 200 euros, depending on the seat. It will be cheaper to buy a ticket online on the official website.
For lovers of ancient castles will be interesting to visit the residence of the rulers of a medieval dynasty. This is the Sforza Castle, or Castello Sforzesco, built in the XV century.
An interesting fact is that the Milanese architects, who built the Moscow Kremlin, took this very building as an idea. Therefore it is impossible not to notice the magnificent similarity of the two buildings.
Inside the castle you can see the work of Leonardo da Vinci, who was involved in the decoration of the residence. And you can also see Michelangelo’s last sculpture, which he never had time to finish. Entrance to the castle costs about 5 euros. Opening hours: daily from 7 am to 7 pm.
Near the Sforza is the picturesque Sempione Park. There is another famous landmark of Milan, the Arch of Peace. It is an architectural monument installed by order of Napoleon Bonaparte in the early XIX century.
One of the most popular places for tourists to visit is the main church of Santa Maria delle Grazie Monastery.
But its fame lies in the fresco in its refectory, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. It surprisingly survived the bombing during the war. Today the entire monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Excursions to the outskirts of Milan
In Milan you can enjoy not only the beauty of architecture and masterpieces of painting and sculpture, but also the beautiful nature. Very popular place in Italy is the town of Como and its famous lake of the same name. It is located 40 km from Milan. You can get there by train or with a guided tour.
Bologna is only an hour away from Milan by high-speed train. The city is famous for its oldest university, which is one of the oldest in Europe.
An hour and a half by train from the city is Verona. The beautiful old city is considered a romantic place because of the story of Romeo and Juliet, successfully described by William Shakespeare.
And in two and a half hours you will reach the famous Venice, an amazingly beautiful city built on water. Here you can ride the gondolas and listen to the singing gondoliers, and visit the Doge’s Palace.
The latter is the main attraction of Venice. It is the most beautiful monument of Gothic architecture in Italy.
In addition to all the remarkable places in Milan shopping is a separate attraction. It is the place where people come from all over the world to buy the most stylish and fashionable things. In the city are located the headquarters of the most famous brands in the world: Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and others.
Most of the boutiques you will find on one of the central streets of Milan – the famous Via Montenapoleone. Its length is only 500 meters, but it is located in the historic part of the city. The street is one of the components of the high fashion district – the “Golden Quadrangle”. It is a whole quarter, which gathered the most famous fashion houses of Italy. The stores are open from morning to evening without weekends or siestas. It’s hard to leave here with a full wallet.
For those who want to find things cheaper, Corso Buenos Aires is the place to go. It is also a very popular shopping destination with a variety of offers for every pocket.
Worthy of attention are the famous Milan outlet stores. They are most often located outside the city, because due to their often enormous size they could not fit into the central area. The most popular among shopaholics are outlet stores Fidenza Village, Serravalle, Franciacorta.
For those who do not know, an outlet is a mall where you can find designer items sold at discounts.
Milan has a variety of modes of transportation, united in a single network. The ticket is also single for any mode, and you can buy them at stalls, kiosks, or subway stations. The price of a ticket valid for 90 minutes is 1.5 euros. A daily ticket will cost you 4.5 euros and a two-day ticket costs 8.25 euros.
Metro. The subway runs from 6 am to 12 at night. There are 4 lines in total in Milan: red M1, green M2, yellow M3 and purple M5. The M4 was planned to open back in 2015, but was never completed.
Streetcars, trolleybuses, and buses. You can ride these modes of transport around the clock. Trolleybus and streetcar lines are quite developed in Milan and are the largest in Western Europe. Ticket, as well as the subway, must be purchased in advance in designated places.
Cab. Cab cars all over Italy are white. The price of a trip will depend on the distance, the counter should be installed in the car. To order a cab it is better to call by phone, or ask to call at the hotel.
Rent a car
If you decide to rent a car in Milan there are many rental services – Eurocar, Hertz, Avis, Sixt. However, keep in mind that you have to pay for travel on the highway around the city. Parking space in the city costs 1.5 euros per hour, and after 8 pm – 2 euros for 5 hours. Payment is made by SostaMilano card, which can be purchased at tobacco kiosks. Underground parking costs 5 euros for two hours and plus 2 euros for each subsequent hour.
Conveniences for visitors to the city
There is a great privilege for visitors to the city. Buying a MilanoCard, the tourist gets to use any city transport free of charge, visit about 20 museums, and get discounts in some establishments.
It can be purchased in advance and picked up on arrival at the airport or train station, or purchased after arriving in town. The price of the card, valid for 24 hours, is 7 euros. The card for three days costs 19 euros.
Where to stay
It’s easy to guess that Milan is an expensive city, so accommodation here will not be cheap. We’ll give you a few options from different budget categories.
Cheaper would be to rent a bed or room in a hostel. The best according to tourist reviews are:
More expensive, but also more comfortable will be staying in hotels. Some of the best are considered:
Where to eat
In Milan you can taste the traditional Italian cuisine and delicious ice cream. You can eat here on every corner, whether it’s a cafe or a luxury restaurant.
Keep in mind that establishments near central attractions, such as the Duomo, are unreasonably expensive. In addition, they often include a service charge on the bill.
For those who want to taste the gourmet cuisine, restaurants will do:
Restaurants are very popular:
In the city are very common fast food establishments. You should definitely try the Italian ice cream, which is considered the most delicious in the world, as well as the Italian snack tramedzini. It is recommended to try it in the restaurant “Tram”.
Milan is an ancient and very beautiful city. However, it attracts tourists not only with its architectural and cultural treasures. For most visitors the city is the fashion capital where you can empty your wallet and get fashionable things. Visiting Milan, everyone will find in it entertainment to their liking and pockets. Have a great holiday!