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Fly to Milan - the Capital of Fashion, Style and Design, and home one of the world's most iconic images.
- City Guide
- City Guide
bmi regional flies to Milan Malpensa and to Milan Bergamo airports. The city is the second largest city in Italy. Milan is the main industrial, commercial and financial centre of Italy, host to the Italian Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest banks and companies. Milan is also a sporting, fashion and cultural centre, with world famous attractions such as La Scala Opera, Milan Fashion Week, two football teams, Inter and AC, as well as the Monza F1 race track.
Milan remains the marketplace for Italian fashion – fashionistas, supermodels and paparazzi arrive into the city twice a year for its spring and autumn fairs. Its also the home to La Scala, one of the greatest opera houses in the world, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the glamorous shopping arcade, the Brera art gallery, with some of the finest art works in Europe, the Pirelli tower, a living example 1960s modernist architecture.
Milan is bustling, busy, business capital – and feels in stark contrast to other Italian cities. Visit Via Montenapoleone to high fashion in action. It contains many of the biggest names in fashion, and some of the trendiest and famous stores in the world. Via Dante is a beautiful pedestrian avenue which goes from the Piazzale Cordusio, all the way to the Largo Cairoli and is full of restaurant and cafe tables.
Explore the fashionable lakeside town of Como with its stunning scenery on a day trip from Milan, just an hours drive away. The lake is surrounded by snowcapped mountains and picturesque villas. If you can, take along the lake and stop Bellagio or take the funicular up to Brunate for a panorama of the lake below. See if you can post George Clooney along the way!
Take a ride on the Bernina Express, the train journey takes you along a UNESCO World Heritage Site – through the Bernina Pass to St Moritz. The Bernina Express bright red rail car, passes through towering peaks of the Swiss Alps climbing up to 7,330-foot (2,235-meter) high. A coach leaves Milan at 7am and brings you to Tirano where you board the train to St Moritz enjoying eye-popping vistas of stunning scenery from your seat.
Hotels in Milan
Milan Central station area is where many of the decent budget hotels are located, as well as international hotel chains. South of the station is the business and local government area. Milan has plenty of accommodation; however, as the engine room of Italy’s economy, it is not driven by tourism, unlike Rome or Venice. Stylish but cheap accommodation can be hard to find.
The best places to stay in Milan are near Piazza del Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Via Montenapoleone and the Castello Sforzesco, and Teatro alla Scala.
For something differen, try the Ariston Hotel. It is is centrally located in Milan, close to La Scala Theatre. The hotel was created on ecological principles with herbal tea made with purified water, organic breakfast, natural filled mattresses, soaps and shampoos made with natural ingredients, and even freely loaned bicycle at the door. All rooms feature air conditioning, a satellite TV, and a minibar.
Check out the Antica Locanda Solferino, a two star hotel with a difference, attracting a more bohemian type. It has 11understated rooms and decorated in a bygone style. It is set in Milan’s artistic Brera district, there are a number of art galleries and museums in the neighbourhood, as well as theatres, clubs and restaurants.
Restaurants in Milan – a taste of the city
Milan lies in Lombardy, a region with rich culinary fare, with meat a big feature. Make sure you try the local dishes at informal, often family-run trattoria where the authentic flavours truly come to life.
There are trattorias, enoteche (wine bars) and restaurants everywhere that offer traditional Milanese and Italian dishes to eat. This city’s traditional cooking is based on dishes like osso buco (veal shanks) and risotto alla Milanese (risotto with saffron). Rice plays an important part in Lombardy, but in winter polenta is served, often accompanied by hearty stews. Mondeghili are Milan meatballs introduced to Milanese cuisine in the 16th century by the Spaniards, made of sausage, salami with bread soaked in milk, egg and cheese and fried till golden appearance.
Lunch generally served between 12:30PM and 2:30PM and dinner from 7:30PM to 9:30PM. With so many eateries, it hard to pin down where to start. Try it Osteria dell’Acquabella La Dogana del Buongusto offers hearty traditional Milanese dishes in a laid-back informal setting. For real Milanese cheap food, go to Luini near Galleria Vittorio Emanuele for a Panzerotti just on Via San Radegonda.
For breakfast, do as the locals do, and have a café espresso, cappuccino and a brioche for as little as €2.
Lombardy is also one of Italy’s largest cheese-making regions: try Gorgonzola, creamy mascarpone and parmesan-like Grana Padano. The Osteria dei Formaggi on the Grand Canal serves excellent cheese dishes in a dining room heavily decorated with cows!
Expo 2015 is also a great opportunity to discover some of the world’s best dishes. Find out more: expo2015.org
Explore Milan – shopping and sightseeing
There are a lot of things to see in Milan – fine cathedrals, palaces, museums, world class opera houses, striking buildings, and lovely streets and squares. However, not all of them are right in the city centre – some of the most can be found near the outskirts or even outside of Milan.
The largest and most important example of Gothic architecture in Italy is the Duomo, Milan’s Cathedral, and, as Milan’s number one attraction, it should be visited early to avoid the queues. The cathedral reflects the city’s creativity and ambition. It was started in 1387 and finished nearly 600 years later, with its 135 spires and 3200 statues, and huge interior punctuated by the largest stained glass windows. Canals had to be dug to bring the marble to the city and new technologies were invented to cater the colossal scale of the cathedral.
Many of Milan’s cathedrals and churches are free to visit: aside from the Duomo, others include the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio, the Chiesa di San Maurizio and the Chiesa di San Marco (from to 1254).
The city is home to some of the most famous paintings in the world: Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, Caravaggio’s ‘Basket of Fruit’ (Pinacoteca Ambrosiana), and his ‘Supper at Emmaus’ (Pinacoteca Brera).
Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’ is hidden away on a wall adjoining the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie. Viewing time limited to 15 minutes, and English-language guided tours take place at 9.30am and 3.30pm – make sure you book ahead.
For shopping, there is the ‘Golden Quarter’ (Quadrilatero D’Oro), made up of Via Monte Napoleone, Via Sant’ Andrea, Via della Spiga and Via Alessandro Manzoni, has the most ornate stores and upmarket shopping area in the city. Famous buildings include the Palazzo Belgiojoso, former residence of Napoleon, the Porta Sempione (Sempione Gate), and the Palazzo del Governo. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a passage covered by an arching glass and cast iron roof, connects Piazza del Duomo to the square at La Scala opera house. It has a stunning mosaic floor, and a glass roof and cupola.
For industrial scale shopping, try the Terravalle Scrivia, Via della Moda, off theMilan – Genoa autostrada. It’s one biggest shopping outlets in Europe with 180 stores, and has names, such as Dolce & Gabbana, Diesel, Cavalli, Ferragamo, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Prada, Geox, Swatch, Bulgari, Swarovski, and at bargain prices)! T
Milan has two world-famous Serie A football clubs: A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale who both play at the San Siro Stadium, one of Europe’s largest stadiums. Monza Formula One circuit is located near the city, in a suburban park, with capacity over 113,000, generally full of Ferrari F1 fanatics, called ‘tifosi’.
Expo Milan 2015
This year Milan will host the Expo Milan from 1 May until 31 October 2015. Over 140 participating countries will be able to showcase their best technology. The event expects over 20 million visitors to attend the exhibition.
From Milan Airport
bmi regional fly from Bristol to Milan Malpensa (not Milan Linate), which is 48 kilometres from Milan city centre. We also fly to Milan Bergamo. The Malpensa Aeroporto railway station (Terminal 1, basement level) has a service called the MALPENSA EXPRESS service connects with the centre of Milan over 130 trains a day, between 4.28 and 0.28 a.m.
Journey time is 29-36 minutes. See www.malpensaexpress.it for details. The Milan suburban railway service has 10 lines and, when travelling through the city, there is full transferability to the Milan Metro.
Taxis from Milan Malpensa
Taxis are available at gate 6 in front of Terminal 1. Taxis from Malpensa to the city centre are expensive: €90 (fixed fee for a City-Airport trip, without further stops). Only taxis registered in Milan use the fixed fee agreement – taxis from outlying cities have not, and will use the meter.
Motorway to Milan
The airport can be reached by car using the A8 motorway, coming from Milan or north or east of the airport, or the A4 motorway, coming from the west or south.