With an history of well over 2000 years, Milan (Italian: Milano) is the capital of Lombardy in Northern Italy and the second most populated Italian city after Rome.
Milan is the largest economy in Italy as well as one of the most multicultural and open-minded cities in the country.
Home to some of the greatest historical figures of all time, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Alessandro Manzoni and Giuseppe Verdi, Milan is now one of the world capitals of fashion, art, design, finance and sport – with A.C. Milan and F.C. Inter as two of the most successful soccer teams in Europe and Olimpia Milano as one of the main European basketball teams.
Location: Lombardy, Northern Italy
Population: 1.7 million
GOOD EATS🍝: Al Garghet, Volemose Bene
If you are looking for a taste of the most authentic Milanese cuisine, from Risotto with saffron to Ossobuco or Cassoela, Al Garghet offers nothing but the best quality dishes, combined with an elegant vintage environment that will make you relive the old Milan.
With typical stone tables in the beautiful garden over the summer, Christmas decorations and a fireplace during the Holidays, and their menu written in Milanese dialect, Al Garghet is a perfect hidden gem that you don’t wanna miss if you end up in the city.
Volemose Bene is an enchanted place where a good glass of wine and a generous plate of Carbonara will take you straight to a breezy spring night under the stars of Rome, sitting on a terrace right in front of the Colosseum, without ever leaving the heart of Milan.
BLOW A BAG 🤑💰
Doing your shopping in the capital of fashion might be confusing and overwhelming, so here’s a quick rundown of three of the coolest spots to get your new Armani purse ... or daydream about the day you’ll finally be able to afford one.
Galleria and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is the go-to place if you are looking for a mix and match of expensive Italian boutiques and way more affordable big Italian and international chains.
Via della Spiga is the north-east boundary of what is known as the Quadrilatero della Moda (Fashion Square), a luxurious shopping district where you can find anything from Prada to Michael Kors, from Tiffany to Moncler.
No matter what your budget is, a walk on Via della Spiga is free and definitely worth your time!
Milano CityLife Shopping District is the largest urban shopping district in Italy. Open since the end of November 2017, it’s part of the newest business and residential district (still under construction) of the city.
With 80 stores, 20 restaurants and bars and 7 movie Theatre screens, CityLife Shopping District will certainly keep you entertained for a while 😉
VIBE CHECK💃🕺: Alcatraz and Hollywood
I know what it sounds like, but no we didn’t suddenly move to California, we’re still in Milan. More specifically, we are in two of the most iconic venues of the city.
Along with fashion, art and design, Milan is well-known for its vibrant nightlife and live music scene.
Alcatraz is one of the most famous disco clubs and music venues in Italy. Located just outside the city center, it has seen memorable performances by some of the most influential international music artists such as Amy Winehouse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marilyn Manson and many more.
Established in 1986, Hollywood has always been the symbol of Milan’s night life and fun. Inspired by the typical New York night club style, Hollywood is famous for being the first venue in Italy and one of the first venues in Europe to use the fashion industry as a marketing strategy – and it clearly worked out pretty well!
MUNCHIES🤤: Panzerotti Luini and Cioccolati Italiani
When it comes to late night eating, Milan probably doesn’t have much more than a few 24/7 McDonald’s to offer.
However, to make up for that, you can literally spend the whole day snacking here and there. So here’s a couple of options to satisfy both your sweet tooth and your salt cravings.
Panzerotti Luini is the street food symbol of Milan, selling these fried dough pockets stuffed with tomato and mozzarella since 1888 – yes, over 130 years – and located right behind Duomo.
For less than 3€ you can choose from a variety of fillings, from the classic tomato and mozzarella, to ricotta and spinach, ham, salami and so many other flavors.
If you’ve ever watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and dreamed about diving into the chocolate river, you’re gonna absolutely love Cioccolati Italiani. (And if you’ve never watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory … I can't trust you)
Go to Cioccolati Italiani and have the best gelato of your life. Start by filling your cone with white, milk or dark chocolate, then choose one to four scoops of gelato between all the amazing flavors they offer (I strongly recommend pistachio, salted caramel and Nutella. Thank me later) and top it up with fresh meringue or whipped cream 😉
Now if you excuse me I’m gonna curl up in a corner and have a quick 5 minutes meltdown about how much I miss home and Italian food.
TAKING A WALK🍄😎: Duomo, Parco Sempione, Navigli
Milan Cathedral, in Italian Duomo di Milano, is one of the main attractions of the city and its most recognizable symbol.
Located right in the city center, its construction began in 1386 and was completed in 1965. Dedicated to the Nativity of St. Mary, Duomo and its symbolic Gold “Madunina” have been the pride of the city for centuries.
Parco Sempione is the perfect spot if you need a break from the city life. Located in the historic center of the city and right adjacent to Sforza Castle and Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace), the park covers an area of 95 acres and offers some of the most amazing views in the city.
Navigli is a charming district located in the southwestern quadrant of the city. Located between Naviglio Grande, Naviglio Pavese and Porta Ticiniese, this is the best area to have a good aperitivo, try typical Italian and international cuisines, or just have a nice walk along the canals.
THE ARTS👨🎨🎨: La Scala, Il Piccolo Teatro
La Scala or Teatro alla Scala is among the most famous opera houses in the world. Inaugurated in 1778, La Scala includes a theatre, an art academy and a museum that’s usually open to the public Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 1.30pm and from 2.30pm to 7.30pm.
For more than two centuries, the greatest singers from all over the world made their debut at La Scala, including Maria Callas in 1951.
Piccolo Teatro (literally: Small Theatre), is way more recent compared to La Scala, but still extremely relevant for the Italian and European entertainment scene.
Founded in 1947 by Paolo Grassi, Nina Vinchi and Giorgio Strehler, Piccolo Teatro was the first public Italian repertory theatre and has hosted productions by the most relevant international artists.
Look out for City Profiles every Wednesday and comment below where you would like to see the next one.