Milan was founded by Celtic tribes around 600 B.C. When the Romans conquered the city, it was renamed "Mediolanum"—the land in the middle. Thanks to Milan’s strategic location in the middle of the fertile Po River valley, it quickly became an important centre for trade in the Roman Empire. Later, it also became its western capital.
Today, Milan is the second largest city in Italy. Almost everything in Milan revolves around the fashion industry. Most famous designers and fashion houses tend to be located in the city—the area around Via Monte Napoleone and Via Della Spiga is the heart and home to many fashion industry flagship stores. Centro Storico is where many of the city’s famous sights are located, including the Duomo and La Scala Opera. Navigli, by the canals, is another exciting neighbourhood famous for its nightlife, while Brera is an artsy enclave.
The cathedral is the symbol of Milan. Building began in 1386 and was not completed until 500 years later. It is a late Gothic masterpiece, made more interesting by the fact that this style can’t be seen anywhere else in Italy. Towering over the Piazza del Duomo, the marble building is marked by 135 spires and countless statues.
Cenacolo Vinciano is the home of one of the world’s most legendary and beloved works of art, Leonardo da Vinci’s "Last Supper". It’s rarely possible to simply walk in and take a look though, so a good way to avoid the long queues is to book a time in advance.
Martini Bar at Dolce & Gabbana
This retro bar takes its design cues from Art Nouveau and other modernist styles. The black mosaic floor has a red dragon inlay flanked by black leather sofas and large Murano candelabras. The bar is a collaboration between Martini and Dolce & Gabbana, so you can expect timeless elegance as well as traditional modernity.
Good to know
Milan’s local transport is called ATM and includes underground, buses, and trains. Single fare tickets and day passes can be purchased from ATM ticket offices, newsstands and ticket machines. All tickets have to be stamped on board at the beginning of every journey.