10 things you need to know about the Milan in Italy
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10 things you need to know about the Milan in Italy

10 Things to Know About Milan in Italy

Milan, Italy's fashion and financial hub, is a city that seamlessly blends the old and the new, the traditional and the modern. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there are some key things you need to know about Milan to make the most of your trip. In this blog, we will explore ten essential insights that will enhance your experience and leave you with unforgettable memories.

1. The Iconic Duomo di Milano

One of the first things you need to know about Milan is that it is home to the magnificent Duomo di Milano. This gothic cathedral is not just a centerpiece of Milan's skyline but also a symbol of the city's rich history and artistic heritage. The Duomo took nearly six centuries to complete and is the largest church in Italy. Visitors can marvel at its intricate façade, explore the stunning interiors, and even climb to the rooftop for a panoramic view of the city. It's a must-visit on any Milan sightseeing itinerary.

2. Fashion Capital of the World

Milan is synonymous with fashion. Known as one of the fashion capitals of the world, alongside Paris, New York, and London, Milan hosts some of the most prestigious fashion events, including Milan Fashion Week. If you're a fashion enthusiast, taking a Milan city tour that includes visits to the Quadrilatero della Moda (Fashion Quadrilateral) is a must. Here, you’ll find high-end boutiques, flagship stores of luxury brands, and cutting-edge fashion ateliers. Don’t forget to visit Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world's oldest shopping malls, for a unique blend of history and luxury shopping.

3. Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper

Another crucial thing you need to know about Milan is that it houses one of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpieces, "The Last Supper." This iconic mural, located in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, depicts the moment Jesus announced that one of his disciples would betray him. Due to its fragility, access to the painting is highly controlled, and tickets often sell out months in advance. Planning ahead is essential to include this in your Milan self-guided tour.

4. Culinary Delights

When in Milan, indulging in the local cuisine is a must. Milanese food is rich and hearty, with famous dishes like Risotto alla Milanese, Ossobuco, and Cotoletta alla Milanese. Be sure to visit local trattorias and ristorantes to taste these traditional dishes. Additionally, Milan is renowned for its aperitivo culture. In the early evening, bars and cafes offer a buffet of snacks and small bites with the purchase of a drink. Navigli, with its picturesque canals, is a perfect spot to enjoy this delightful Milanese tradition.

5. The Heart of Italian Design

Milan is at the forefront of Italian design, whether it’s in fashion, furniture, or architecture. The city hosts the annual Salone del Mobile, the largest furniture fair in the world. Visiting the Triennale di Milano, a museum dedicated to Italian design and architecture, provides insight into Milan's contribution to the global design landscape. For architecture enthusiasts, modern landmarks like the Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) and the Unicredit Tower offer a glimpse into Milan's innovative spirit.

6. Efficient Public Transportation

Navigating Milan is made easy with its efficient public transportation system. The city is well-connected by a network of buses, trams, and an extensive metro system. Purchasing a MilanoCard or an ATM travel pass can save you money and make traveling around the city hassle-free. For those who prefer exploring at their own pace, Milan is also very walkable, especially in the city center. Knowing about Milan's transportation options will help you maximize your sightseeing opportunities.

7. Rich Cultural Scene

Milan's cultural scene is vibrant and diverse. The city boasts an array of museums, galleries, and theaters. The Pinacoteca di Brera, home to a vast collection of Renaissance art, and the Museo del Novecento, focusing on 20th-century works, are must-visits for art lovers. Teatro alla Scala, one of the world's most famous opera houses, offers an unparalleled experience for those interested in classical music and opera. Booking a performance at La Scala can be a highlight of your Milan city tour.

8. Football Fever

Football is more than just a sport in Milan; it's a passion. The city is home to two of Italy's most successful football clubs, AC Milan and Inter Milan. If you are a football enthusiast, catching a match at the San Siro Stadium is an exhilarating experience. Even if there are no games during your visit, the San Siro Museum offers a fascinating look at the history of these legendary clubs.

9. Beautiful Parks and Gardens

Amidst the urban hustle and bustle, Milan offers serene green spaces perfect for relaxation. Parco Sempione, located near the Castello Sforzesco, is a large park ideal for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. The Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli is another lovely spot, featuring beautifully landscaped gardens and a tranquil atmosphere. These parks provide a refreshing break from the city's busy streets and are perfect for unwinding after a day of Milan sightseeing.

historic palazzos, offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling streets. Some notable ones include the courtyards of Palazzo Isimbardi and Palazzo Clerici. Taking a moment to explore these hidden gems can provide a unique perspective on Milan’s architectural beauty and historical depth.

Seasonal Events and Festivals

Milan hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, offering visitors a chance to experience the city's vibrant culture. Some notable events include:

Milan Design Week (Salone del Mobile): Held in April, this event attracts designers and enthusiasts from around the world.

Fashion Weeks: In February and September, the city comes alive with fashion shows, parties, and events.

Oh Bej! Oh Bej!: A traditional Christmas market held in early December, offering local crafts, food, and festive cheer.

Checking the local event calendar before your trip can help you plan around these exciting events.

The Brera District: Art and Bohemian Charm

The Brera district is a haven for art lovers and those looking to experience Milan's bohemian side. Home to the renowned Pinacoteca di Brera art gallery, the area is filled with charming streets, art studios, and quaint cafes. The botanical garden, Orto Botanico di Brera, is a tranquil spot perfect for a leisurely walk. Exploring Brera offers a different vibe from the more commercial parts of the city.

Practical Tips for Visiting Milan

Here are some practical tips to help you navigate Milan smoothly:

Language: While Italian is the official language, English is widely spoken in tourist areas. Learning a few basic Italian phrases can enhance your experience.

Currency: Italy uses the Euro (€). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's good to have some cash for smaller establishments.

Weather: Milan has a temperate climate. Summers can be hot and humid, while winters are cold and damp. Spring and autumn are ideal for visiting.

Safety: Milan is generally safe, but like any major city, be mindful of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and on public transport.

Exploring Milan's Rooftop Terraces

For stunning views of Milan, consider visiting some of its rooftop terraces. These spots offer a unique vantage point to appreciate the city’s architecture and skyline. The rooftop of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, known as the Highline Galleria, provides panoramic views of the city and the Duomo. Many hotels and restaurants also have rooftop terraces, such as Terrazza Aperol and Ceresio 7, where you can enjoy a drink with a view.

Unique Museums

Apart from the well-known museums, Milan has several unique museums worth visiting:

Museum of Science and Technology Leonardo da Vinci: Dedicated to the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, this museum showcases his inventions and technological advancements.

Bagatti Valsecchi Museum: A beautifully preserved 19th-century house museum, offering a glimpse into the lifestyle of Milanese nobility.

MUDEC (Museo delle Culture): A museum dedicated to different world cultures, featuring fascinating exhibitions and artifacts.

Day Trip to the Franciacorta Wine Region

For wine lovers, a day trip to the Franciacorta wine region is a fantastic addition to your Milan itinerary. Located about an hour’s drive from Milan, Franciacorta is renowned for its sparkling wines. Many wineries offer tours and tastings, allowing you to sample some of Italy’s finest bubbly in a picturesque countryside setting.

The Sforza Castle and Its Museums

The Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco) is another landmark you need to know about Milan. This imposing fortress houses several museums and art collections, including works by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. The castle's extensive grounds and courtyards are perfect for a leisurely stroll. It’s an excellent place to dive deeper into Milan’s history and artistic heritage.

Exploring the Local Markets

Visiting local markets in Milan can be a delightful experience. The Fiera di Sinigaglia, held every Saturday along the Naviglio Grande, is a vibrant flea market where you can find antiques, vintage clothing, and unique souvenirs. The Mercato di Via Fauche, held on Tuesdays and Saturdays, is another excellent market offering fresh produce, clothing, and household items.


There is so much to know about Milan that one visit can hardly capture it all. From its stunning architecture and rich cultural heritage to its cutting-edge fashion scene and delectable cuisine, Milan is a city that promises a unique and enriching experience. Whether you’re embarking on a Milan self-guided tour or joining an organized Milan city tour, these ten insights will ensure you get the most out of your trip. So pack your bags, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to discover the many facets of this fascinating city. 

Buon viaggio!

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