WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Nowadays, Milan is also referred to as "the Fashion Capital of the World" and "the capital of World's Design". This is due to the many multinational events and fairs, like for instance the Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair.
However, it remains uncertain where the name Milan originally comes from. One theory states that the Latin name Mediolanum comes from the Latin words medio (in the middle) and planus (plain). However another theory reasons it means the central town or sanctuary of a Celtic tribe (because lanum derives from the Celtic root lan). In addition, a third theory links its name to an ancient emblem of the city, the boar sow (Scrofa semilanuta in latin). Following this explanation Mediolanum would mean "half-wool".
Milan is the city capital of the Lombardy Region in Northern Italy, Europe. It lies in the north-western section of the Po Valley. While the river Po lies to its south, the foothills of the Alps lie to its north as well as the magnificent Italian lakes (Lake Como, Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano).
WHY GO THERE?
There are many reasons to visit Milan. The city is widely regarded as a global capital in industrial design, fashion and architecture. Furthermore it offers an abundance of art and subsequently museums. Not surprisingly, Milan welcomes the most cultural tourists in the world. Additionally it offers a wide array of hotels, like for instance the world's first 7 star hotel Town House Galleria in the city centre. Exquisite dining is also not a problem in this city, also check the Navigli District. As a result, Milan has one of the highest numbers of accredited stars from the Michelin Guide in the world. In short, the city is a visit wortwhile!
FASHION, SHOPPING & DESIGN
Along with Paris, London and New York City, Milan is regarded as one of the fashion capitals of the world. As a matter of fact, Milan has a huge prêt-à-porter industry. For example Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, Valentino and Versace are all famous Italian fashion brands which are headquartered in the city. Furthermore many international fashion labels have their shops in Milan. Without a doubt the Milan Fashion week is a highlight. This international fashion event is even hosted twice a year. Subsequently Milan has an upscale fashion district, the Quadrilatero della moda. For instance the Corso Venezia, the Via della Spiga, Via Manzoni, Via Monte Napoleone, and Via Sant'Andrea belong to the city's most prestigious shopping streets. Especially the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a must see, as it is one of the world's oldest shopping malls.
Without a doubt, Milan is seen as a global industrial design capital. Already in the 1950s and 60s it was the main industrial centre of Italy and one of Europe's most dynamic cities. Today, Milan still is the place to ho for high-quality furniture and interior design. For example FieraMilano, Europe's largest permanent trade exhibition is in Milan. Additionally Milan is home to one of the most prestigious international furniture and design fairs, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile.
Without a doubt, La Scala is worthwhile a visit, as it is one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world. Before Milan had the Royal Ducal Theatre which was destroyed in a fire in 1776. La Scala replaced the Royal Ducal Theatre in 1778. The theatre offered opera and ballet. However, in the second World War the Scala Theatre was destroyed. Luckily it has been rebuilt and has been a ever since.
What's more, the city offers several cinemas and theaters. For example, the Cinema Centrale, which is the cities oldest cinema showing world films.
Milan is home to some impressive architecture. Even though there are only few remains of the ancient Roman colony, you can still admire the well-preserved Colonne di San Lorenzo. Nowadays some of the finest and most important churches in Milan still stand, including great basilicas that were built at the city gates: Sant'Ambrogio, San Nazaro in Brolo, San Simpliciano and Sant'Eustorgio. The most important example of Gothic architecture in Italy is Milan's cathedral Duomo. It is worth mentioning that this is also the fifth largest cathedral in the world. One of the most enduring symbols of Milan is the gilt broze statue of the Virgin Mary. This statue stands on the highest pinnacle of the Duomo. Especially noteworthy is The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which is situated in the heart of Milan. Not only because it is an outstanding work of architecture, and an emblem within the Catholic tradition. It's because, the Santa Maria delle Grazie is perhaps even more famous for the fresco that is preserved inside its dining hall: Leonardo Da Vinci's fresco of "The Last Supper". The Church is one of Renaissance art's most important testimonies thus it became a UNESCO World Heritage in 1980.
MUSEUMS & ART GALLERIES
Milan has many cultural institutions, museums and art galleries. One of the most important art galleries is the Pinacoteca di Brera. The Brera Madonna by Piero della Francesca for instance, is part of its collection. Another place worth mentioning is the Castello Sforzesco. The Castello Sforzesco itself hosts numerous art collections and exhibitions. (Especially statues, ancient arms and furnitures). Additionally, the Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco, has an impressive art collection. For example, it includes Michelangelo's last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà, Andrea Mantegna's Trivulzio Madonna and Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Trivulzianus manuscript. Furthermore the Castello complex also includes several museums. For instance the Museum of Ancient Art, The Furniture Museum and The Museum of Musical Instruments. But also, the Applied Arts Collection, the Archaeological Museum with its Egyptian and Prehistoric sections and the Achille Bertarelli Print Collection.
MODERN ART, CONTEMPORARY ART & EXHIBITIONS
Nowadays, Milan still is a major international hub of modern and contemporary art. Subsequently, it has numerous modern art galleries. For instance the Modern Art Gallery. This gallery is situated in the Royal Villa, that hosts collections of Italian and European painting from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. One of the most important 20th-centruy art galleries is the Museo del Novecento. It is situated in the Palazzo dell'Arengario. Especially relevant are the sections dedicated to Futurism, Spatialism and Arte povera. Other places of interest are the Museo delle Culture (MUDEC) and the Gallerie di Piazza Scala, a modern and contemporary museum.
Additionally, The Prada Foundation and HangarBicocca provide contemporary art exhibition spaces. Furthermore, the Nicola Trussardi Foundation organizes temporary exhibitions in venues around the city. Especially noteworthy is that the city hosted the Universal Exposition in 1906 and 2015. Have a look at the exhibition agenda for upcoming exhibitions.
Interestingly, Milan is also home to many public art projects. There is a great variety of works that range from murals to sculptures to pieces by internationally renowned artists.
HOT AIR BALLOON TRIPS IN MILAN
Without a doubt, seeing Milan from above is an amazing experience and one you will never forget. Gently glide over the mountains, lakes and fertile fields of Lombardy and Tuscany. Hot air balloon trips start at Lodi (nearby Milan). Do not miss this great opportunity to experience the magic of flying, while enjoying a glass of champagne and magnificent views.
MILANOCARD & CITYGURU MILAN PAS
Why the Milanocard? Because this tourist card ensures free public transportation. Additionally you can enjoy discounted rates from 10% to 100% off select museums. Furthermore you can get access to personal driver services, and much more. Get the MilanoCard and see Milan your way. Additionaly the Cityguru Milan Pas is very handy as it gives you free acces to the most important city museums on top of that it will enable you to skip the lines. Furthermore it will let you benefit from up to 50% discounts at the best local restaurants, trendy shops, hotels and other exclusively selected high quality partners. This pas also facilitates free public transport. It even has a handy geolocation feature. Check out the Cityguru Milan pas to find out about all the benefits here.
Milan is great for culture, but let's not forget sports. In fact, the city hosts two of Europe's major football teams, namely A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale. Now you can catch the opportunity to tour the grounds of AC Milan's famous stadium San Siro. Did you know that this stadium not only hosted some of the most defining moments is soccer, but also some big legends like Bob Marley and Bod Dylan? Basketball is also big in Milan. As a matter of fact, Milan hosts one of Italy's major basketball teams, Olimpia Milano.
INDUSTRY AND FINANCE
Milan is home to thousands of the most important companies worldwide. Noteworthy is that it is also Italy's main industrial and financial capital and corporation hub. Furthermore, Milan has become the wealthiest city among the economic rivalry "Four Motors for Europe." These motors of Europe consist of four highly industrialized regions that cooperate in a long term relationship in the fields of science, research, education, environment, culture, and other sectors. The three other regions being respectively: in the first place Lyon, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes of France, secondly Barcelona, Catalonia of Spain and thirdly Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg of Germany. Subsequently, Milano is currently a leading Alpha Global City, with strengths in the arts, commerce, design, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, services, research, and tourism. Furthermore its business district hosts Italy's Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest national and international banks and companies. Its official stock index is the FTSE MIB. Another interesting fact is that it is the 2nd richest city in the European Union after Paris (in 2016). Also, it is the second most populous city in Italy after Rome.
FLY TO MILAN
WHAT TO DO
WHERE TO EAT
WHERE TO STAY