Milan is the fashion capital but it was once the Imperial Roman capital. Now the bustling metropolis of fashion, design and history is a delight to visit.
The heart of Milan’s city centre is based around the Duomo. Visiting the main square, Piazza del Duomo, provides easy access to Milan’s major attractions, including the 19th-century arcade Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping mall and the 18th-century Palazzo Reale.
The centrepiece of Milan is the Duomo. The magnificent Gothic cathedral made of pink-veined white marble is the third biggest church in Europe. It took five centuries to construct; the first stones were laid in 1386 and it was completed in the 1880’s. The abundance of adornment is impressive: spires, pinnacles and an immense patrimony of statues. There are 3,400 in total (1,100 on the inside and 2,300 outside). The interior is punctuated by stunning stained glass and it is said you can set your watch by the sundial which was installed in 1786.
From the rooftop are the most spectacular views of the city through the innumerable marble spires and pinnacles that adorn the rooftop. All of this is crowned by the gilded statue of the Little Madonna, the city’s traditional protector.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II became immediately famous as soon as it was finished, the elegant four-storey arcade houses luxury cafes and famous designer shops. It is covered by a glass barrel vault and a beautiful glass cupola. It is a delight to wander through to admire the beautiful shops and cafes.
Milan is known as one of the fashion capitals of the world and the four prestigious streets neighbouring the galleria are full of many beautiful things – my eyes were almost popping out of my head! Navigating through the narrow alleyways and discovering a plethora of exclusive boutiques, chic bars and upscale art galleries – I was I heaven!
The central area of Milan is a treasure trove from the cultural point of view thanks to museums such as the Bagatti Valsecchi, one of the most sumptuous house-museums in the city, Palazzo Morando, home to the Museum of Fashion and Costume and Pinacoteca Nazionale di Brera, the National Art Gallery.
And then there is the La Scala Opera House, one of the most famous opera stages in the world. The Last Supper, painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the Refectory Santa Maria delle Grazie and the Castello Sforzesco, the city’s fifteenth-century fortress.
Stazione Centrale is another of Milan’s spectacular building. Built in the 1930’s the station has the most spectacular glass-topped archway. There is also an extensive metro and tram system in the city.
It is easy to see why Milan has been voted as one of the top European destinations and Italy’s most international city. It is a contemporary city for art, design, fashion, cuisine, theatre and innovative architecture and well worth a visit on any northern Italy holiday.