Milan is the main industrial, commercial and financial center of Italy. Its business district hosts the Italian Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest national banks and multinational companies. The city is recognized as a major world fashion and design capital, and it has thus been ranked by GaWC as an Alpha world city in 2010, as well as the 42nd most important global city.
Milan's main attraction, the third largest church in Christendom (outdone only by St Peter's in Rome and Seville's cathedral), is truly a joy to behold.
The Duomo of Milan is an amazing sight. Stretching up high above the piazza del Duomo, it's the third largest church in Christendom. A staggering 3,500 statues and 135 spires adorn the marble structure, which has a Baroque and neo-Gothic façade, as well as five bronze doors carved by different artists. It's no wonder that it took 500 years to complete and building work continues today.
Feast your eyes on the Last Supper
The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci in the church of Santa Maria della Grazie is arguably the greatest painting of the Renaissance, capturing the dramatic moment at which Jesus reveals one of his disciples will betray him. It's so realistic that you can imagine the shock, amazement and hostility of the religious followers. The work is testament to a troubled history.
Sample a sandwich of distinction
Business-centric Milan has almost forgotten the good old three-hour pranzo (lunch). Today's workers grab a lite bite in an hour, so businesses can stay open. But that hasn't meant that food-loving Italians have had to suffer. At Bar della Crocetta the humble sandwich has become an art form, with over 100 panini oozing wonderful ingredients, from wild venison to prosciutto.
View the best art collection in the city
The modest but exquisite collection at the Pinacoteca di Brera art museum covers works by major Italian artists from the 13th to the 20th centuries. Highlights include Mantegna's Dead Christ, a moving Pietà by Giovanni Bellini, Piero della Francesca's Virgin and Child with Saints and Caravaggio's Supper at Emmaus. Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese are all here.
Be both cheap and chearful at happy hour:
Bhangrabar serves Indian specialities, and Radetzky ups the stakes with marinated artichokes and oysters on ice. Fresco Art has a selection that includes frittata, smoked salmon pasta, celery and walnut salads. Many bars include garden areas, so you can drink a Campari in the fresh air.
Volo has a traditional English-style walled garden, with wrought iron furniture shaded by trees, whereas the garden at HClub is re-landscaped seasonally. It's a great place in which to lap up free salvers of Russian salad and queen olives. In the cocktail stakes, Nottingham Forest and Cuore are in the premier league.
Shopping in Milan
There are many ways to bag a bargain throughout the city, if you know where to look. Shops selling end-of-season returns, catwalk cast-offs and seconds abound, as do second-hand and vintage clothes boutiques. You'll also find heart-stopping deals in the markets, from Gucci shoes to cashmere jumpers.
Such treasure troves are packed full of end-of-season shop and warehouse returns, stock from boutiques that have closed down, and some factory seconds.
There's one drawback: even at discounts of 50-70 per cent, the price tags can still provoke the occasional 'Ouch!' Also, bear in mind that refunds are pretty much unheard of, so try before you buy.
End-of-season sales: these sales, strictly sanctioned by the local government for a few weeks each January and July, are a bargain hunter's heaven.
Milan is regarded as one of the international capitals of industrial and modern design, and one of the world's most influential cities in such fields.If you want to book Short Breaks To Milan, Please visit www.myvacations.co.uk
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