Milan is a fast-paced city where creativity is big business. In this sprawling metropolis, after-work drinks are an art form and looking good is compulsory. Located in the north of Italy, it is a city with ancient roots and extraordinary treasures. Milan may look like a moody town but its over one million inhabitants are alarmingly stylish, fabulously ambitious, and undeniably optimistic. Some people I know who run an Edmonton garbage bin rental company had nothing but great things to say about their time in Milan. Here are the top must-see attractions.
Cathedral de Duomo
Milan’s magnificent Cathedral de Duomo never fails to impress. With spires that reach to the sky and the largest stained glass window in Christendom, it’s a must-see attraction. For a bird’s-eye view of the city, you can wander between the stonework on the roof.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Directly across from the Duomo is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a temple of shopping. A soaring iron and glass neoclassical arcade, the galleria connects the city’s famous cathedral with the opera house. Armani, Versace, Prada, Gucci, and more all debuted on Milan’s runways. Fashionistas make a pilgrimage to the designer’s flagship stores in the Quadrilatero d’Oro. Chic concept shops and boutiques stocking emerging labels also line the city streets.
The Milanese has turned the after-work drink into an art form. The price of a drink also includes a tasty buffet of snacks and treats. Enjoy a cocktail while watching Milan’s beautiful people relax, catch up, and of course check each other out.
Pinacoteca di Brera
At the Pinacoteca di Brera, you can get your fill of Rembrandt, Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese. The gallery was founded in the late 18th century upstairs from the prestigious Brera Academy, one of Italy’s oldest art schools.
The Novelli district used to be a working-class area of ancient docks, canals, and warehouses. It is now home to some of Milan’s most scenic restaurants, liveliest bars, and innovative shops. Make sure you booked months in advance to view Leonardo’s the Last Supper. You will only have 15 minutes to gaze upon Da Vinci’s masterpiece, so make every second count before you deposit it back onto Corso Magenta.
The Milanese does not have time to play nice for visitors but they are happy to share their own intoxicating round of pursuits, be it precision shopping or downing an expertly mixed cocktail. Milan is sometimes called ugly but if you are willing to dig below the surface, you will find a vibrant city full of unique characters.