In Milan not only the stylishly dressed residents make a “bellafigura”. It is rather the whole city that, with its magnificent buildings and unique flair, unfolds an equally irresistible magic – just like the Giacomo Casanova of the Italian cities. This comparison is justified by the monumental Duomo, the impressive alpine panoramas, the strong shopping culture, a pinch of football madness and a glamorous nightlife. Milan has something for everyone.
It’s true, just approaching Milan has a certain charm. But if you really want to understand why real Milanese feel so proud of their "milanomio", you can start your trip with a tour to Torre Branca. As soon as you arrive at the viewing platform, you will have a fantastic 360-degree panoramic view over the attractions of Milan, which are particularly well presented in its frame of snow-capped Alpine peaks.
After getting an overview from a bird's eye perspective, you are well prepared for an exploration tour to the historic centre. Let's start with the landmark of Milan, the Duomo di Santa Maria Nascente, which impresses with its light marble and about 4,000 sculptures made by master craftsmen. Those who are free from giddiness can even enter the roof and look over the renaissance splendour in the heart of Milan. A real alternative to Torre Branca.
Continue with a ramble through the narrow cobblestone streets and Baroque façades embossed artists' quarter Brera. Enjoy the nostalgic bohemian flair and pay a visit to Palazzo di Brera, where you can admire the most beautiful works by world-famous painters such as Caravaggio, Tintoretto and Rubens. A tip for history fans is a sightseeing tour to the Royal Palace and Castello Sforzesco.
The Milanese and football - this is a very special love story, which tourists can also experience up close. When the two city clubs Inter Milan and AC Milan meet at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in the district of San Siro, the atmosphere gets hotter in Milan. A real highlight for true football fans is the city derby, during which the Tifosi get on fire just like true fireworks. But even away from the "mother of all duels", football fans will get their money's worth with a visit to the football temple and the museum inside.
Off the beaten track, Milan shows its hidden and all the more fascinating side. Or did you know that Milan was once as full of canals as Venice? And did you know that the canal system shares the same architect with many other construction projects in northern Italy? The architect is no other than the great Leonardo da Vinci himself. Although most of the canals are overbuilt today, a walk along the promenade of the Navigli promises unforgettable impressions amongst cafes and handicraft shops.
The Navigli takes you to barely known pathways and also to places such as the medieval city gate of Porta Ticinese and the Colonne di San Lorenzo, a row of columns, which is one of the few visible evidences from the Roman history of the Roman colony of Mediolanum. You can experience a legend when you visit the Basilica of San Lorenzo. The mortal remains of the Biblical Magi were kept there before being stolen by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and transported to the Cathedral of Cologne, where they helped to keep its coffers full of alms for centuries.
No wonder that many Milanese are still not very good at talking to the Rhinelanders. The exploration tour ends at the treasure chest of Milan in the medieval district of San Vittorio, where visitors rarely go. But that's a big mistake, because nowhere else you can see crooked streets, hidden courtyards and enchanted gardens and experience Milan just like it looked like 300 years ago.
Shopping until the credit card reaches its plafond
Before you end the cultural program and go shopping, you should make sure that your credit card has a limit. Otherwise, it can quickly happen that you can get your bank account balance zeroed with all the glitz of designer shops, concept stores and boutiques. So, get ready to enjoy the stroll through the legendary Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the shopping trip at the luxurious shopping temple Excelsior Milano at the Galleria del Corso, where you can dive into the world of exclusive designer fashion. A real insider´s tip for those who are looking for unique pieces is the Boutique Garden K.
Enjoy the glamorous nightlife
Dressed up in style, you are finally ready for the no less glamorous nightlife of Milan, which offers the right location for every taste. A club of a very special kind is the II Gattopardo. When was the last time you have shaken your leg behind the thick walls of a desecrated church until early in the morning?
You can also visit the Lime Light, meet for a stylish chat at Le Banque or rock into driving punk beats at Alcatraz. But if you like it a little quieter, enjoy a cocktail on the balmy evenings on the promenade of the canals of Navigli, while you think about a justification for your bulging shopping bags. But let´s be serious, who would go back home without a few souvenirs from the fashion metropolis?