As it seems the economic capital of Italy is not part of famous leisure destinations, and what a mistake this is! Museums, restaurants, shopping centers, cultural life and much much more: the Lombard town has much to offer, especially to lovers of cities and urban life. Modern and dynamic, Milan is THE big Italian city, not to mention thath it’s home to the Expo 2015, the current Universal Exposition.
Occupied in history by the Spaniards, the Austrians and the Bonapartist troops, Milan completely separates cases in Italy. Here is a city closer to its Mitteleuropean sisters – Vienna and Budapest – that to its compatriots Naples or Rome.
Economic heart of the country, this city of 4 million inhabitants, formerly a stronghold of the Visconti family, competes with Rome for the title of media and intellectual capital of the country: four national dailies (including Corriere della Sera) and prestigious houses of publishing (Mondadori) have their headquarters in Milan. And, obviously, from Armani to Gucci, through Dolce & Gabbana, Milan fashion designers rival the great Parisian or New Yorker brands.
Everybody knows it. Luchino Visconti immortalized it in Rocco and His Brothers. At the heart of the city, the Duomo has demonstrated an undeniable splendor through the years. Third largest church in the world, a building in late Gothic style, saw his construction begin in 1386 but not completed until 500 years later.
From there, Milan can be visited on foot. Once out of the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II is the next spot for you. Completed in 1867 and covered by a glass and steel dome, it is one of the most beautiful passages in Europe. At the end is the famous Scala de Milan, the most prestigious opera of the world, a place that had Verdi, Puccini and Toscanini as directors.