Despite its reputation as the fashion capital of Europe, Milan’s beauty is far from skin deep. The enchanting mix of both historic and sleekly modern architecture continually beckons visitors on Milan city breaks, but what makes them want to stay is the unique, creative spirit that runs through Milan’s every street. With avant garde restaurants, boutique hotels and innovative fashion houses around every corner, there’s a lot on offer.
A Milan holiday offers everything you would expect from a European capital, but with an extra sprinkling of flair and pizazz. Sip a cocktail in the trendiest of Italy’s bars, dine in style in countless gourmet restaurants, and wander the streets of chic shopping destinations, stunning historical landmarks and Italian fashionistas.
In 2015 the city of Milan will host EXPO, a non-commercial world fair that’s previously taken place in Paris and Brussels. While in Milan, the event will focus on food safety and quality, showcasing the best the city offers in culinary delights. Get a cheap city break deal during May through to October to take part in this major cultural event.
Shopping in Milan
Milan’s unequalled elegance and effortless cool attract a flock of style conscious visitors, loved up couples and culture seeking families to explore its streets of chic throughout the year. For those looking to wake up in the midst of Milan’s daily hustle and bustle, the city centre offers a range of hotels from the boutique and charming, to the sleek, grand and luxurious. The Parco Sempione in particular is home to a beautiful smattering of decadent, period buildings that have been transformed into indulgent hotels, perfect for Milan city breaks or romantic getaways.
Milan’s surrounding area also offers a wealth of accommodation options, most nestled within enchanting towns on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Making one of these rustic retreats your base provides the stunning vistas and relaxed pace of lakeside life, but with the buzz of the city within touching distance.
A Union of History and Modernity
For the culture seeker, Milan is an ideal destination. Despite its ever changing, fashion industry, the Milanese are proudest of the city’s more enduring wonders, particularly the handful of landmarks that survived its WW2 bombing. Among these, the intricately designed and grandly imposing cathedral stands tall, whilst Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ is continually surrounded by crowds of art vultures in the beautiful Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Milan is a city which hurtles from past to present in the blink of an eye, with historic monuments nestled next to cutting-edge fashion houses and trendy bars. However, what unites the two sides of Milan’s personality is its endless creativity. The flagship stores of many major designers can be found scattered across Milan’s streets, not to mention the edgy collections paraded down its runways in the height of the fashion season. A wealth of intriguing boutiques, innovative stores and sample selling outlets make shopping on a Milan city break an experience like no other.
Art lovers delight in the boundary pushing galleries and prolific collections of Milan’s artisans, and the array of experimental kitchens offer unique dining experiences night after night. After dark, the creative innovation explodes from Milan’s simmering club scene, with the freshest DJs playing to crowds of travellers and locals alike.
Things to do in Milan
When on Milan city breaks, you can’t miss out on the city’s star attraction, the UNESCO protected Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie. A beautifully preserved church in its own right, the Basilica is also home to Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic ‘Last Supper’ mural. Visitors flock from all corners of the globe to experience the unique innovation of this mural and its ornate surroundings.
Dedicated shoppers visiting Milan will revel in the greatest hidden treasure of its retail scene. Situated in an uninspiring basement courtyard, Il Salvagente offers piles and racks of discounted designer items, from Dolce and Gabbana to Prada, Versace to Ferretti. There are unbelievable bargains to be had here for those willing to do some serious rifling!
An unmissable attraction, the pink-hued Duomo reflects the ambitious creativity that runs throughout the city. Ornately carved from Candoglia marble, its intricate filigree spires form the most iconic feature of the Milan skyline.