Milan: A pocket guide

Milan shopping, Italy
Milan shopping, Italy
Milan Cathedral - Duomo di Milano - is the gothic cathedral church of Milan, Italy. Shot in the dusk from the square ful of people.

In spite of its attractions, Milan has always been one of those cities visited on the way to somewhere else, usually a stopover for tourists en route to Venice or Florence, or for business travelers. But its own attractions are staggeringly impressive, starting with its duomo: One of the mightiest Gothic buildings ever erected, it has roused the wonder of visitors for centuries, starting with Chaucer. (Fun fact: A cross suspended above the altar allegedly contains the bit of Emperor Constantine’s horse, made from a piece of the cross; it is lowered once a year to the floor by a machine made by Leonardo da Vinci.)

Gothic & Musical Masterpieces

Other mandatory sights are the fabled opera house La Scala, with its incredible museum and costume displays; Leonardo’s Last Supper; the medieval Castello Sforzesco; and the Ambrosiana Library, which contains among its treasures a lock of Lucrezia Borgia’s hair (Lord Byron tried to steal a strand, and after that, it was put into a reliquary) and a crystal box with original designs, sketches, and writings of Leonardo.

Italy’s Fashion Capital

The Via Montenapoleone, in the center of Milan’s fashion district, is known for people-watching and chic shopping, and the Brera district around the fabulous Pinacoteca Gallery is a legendary artistic and creative center. Milan is also famous for its cuisine: The heart of the Lombardy region, it is the home of risotto; risotto made with chicken broth, butter, saffron, and parmesan is Milanese specialty.

Meet the Experts for Milan

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