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Whether it's for work, a passion for fashion or a love of culture, any excuse is a good one to take a trip to Milan, Italy's most international city.
EVERYTHING STARTS FROM THE DUOMO
When you arrive in Milan, your first stop just has to be the Duomo: its impressive construction along with its Gothic gargoyles make it one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. Standing on the highest point of the Duomo is the famous Madonnina, the golden statue that is the symbol of the city and the muse for Giovanni D’Anzi's famous song "Madunina", which has become the (unofficial) anthem of the Lombardy capital. Step inside and enjoy exploring the history and secrets of this building and admire a breathtaking view of the city from its terraces.
Piazza del Duomo is also home to the Palazzo Reale, once the seat of Milan's government and now an important cultural center which hosts exhibitions of the work of world-famous artists.
Another unmissable symbol of the city is the Sforza Castle; with the neighboring Parco Sempione it offers a pleasant walk through history and nature.
Another "must-visit" is the Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie, if only to see Leonardo da Vinci's famous "Last Supper" (also known as the "Cenacolo Vinciano"). All lovers of Italian art will appreciate the many works in the Brera Art Gallery, such as Raphael's Marriage of the Virgin and Mantegna's Lamentation over the Dead Christ.
In Milan art can be enjoyed in-the-round with a quick visit to the famous La Scala theater, if only to take the obligatory photo for your album of Milan memories.
CAPITAL OF FASHION, DESIGN AND SPORT
When you think of Milan it is inevitably associated with Fashion Week, which attracts style and fashion enthusiasts like bees to a honey pot. But Milan is synonymous with fashion throughout the year with its famous Vittorio Emanuele II shopping mall as well as the streets that make up the Fashion Rectangle: Via Monte Napoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia, where the biggest Italian and foreign firms are based.
Designers from all over the world also use the city as their benchmark, especially during April when the Milan International Furniture Fair is on as well as the "Fuorisalone", the events and exhibitions that run alongside this major international trade fair.
So much has already been said (and will be said) about EXPO 2015, which will take place between May and October. Its theme will be Feeding the Plant, Energy for Life and it will provide an opportunity for the whole world to share ideas on how to manage food resources better in an increasingly crowded world. Visitors will also be able to discover the tastes and traditions of people from all over the world. It will be like visiting several countries at once!
Milan is also serious about sport, especially soccer: it is home to the San Siro stadium which hosts the famous derby between AC Milan and Inter Milan, two very important teams in the soccer world.
EATING AND DRINKING IN MILAN
There are many districts where you can find good food in Milan. To fully immerse yourself in the local customs, your taste tour has to start with a delicious risotto alla milanese, traditionally yellow in color, with numerous variants to be sampled. For your main course, don't miss the opportunity to try cassoeula (pork and Savoy cabbage), cotoletta alla milanese (Milanese veal cutlet) and busecca (stewed tripe). Many of our country's best cold cuts and cheeses come from neighboring areas and can be washed down with the many Piedmontese wines as a traditional aperitif.
For something sweet to finish, try a slice of panettone or castagnaccio (chestnut cake), depending on the season, or a torta meneghina (Milanese apple tart) which can be enjoyed all year round.
Milan is also well-known for its nightlife and has many bars where you can enjoy a drink with friends or your partner after dinner, especially in the Navigli and Brera districts.
Milan is the city with a thousand things to see and do. Find out for yourself by booking an Alitalia flight now!