Milan is known around the world for its vibrant fashion scene, being home to some of the best designers, shops and catwalks. However, if you’re not a fashionista or haven’t changed your style in years, don’t discard this Italian city, as there are several of attractions here to tempt you to visit.
The city is the second biggest in Italy, so you can be sure you’ll come across plenty to keep you busy, from a huge range of shops, bars and restaurants to modern facilities and historic attractions.
Something that Milan is not short of is sights to see, and you’ll need to make sure your camera has a lot of memory space to ensure you can capture them all.
Here are just a few of the attractions you won’t want to miss:
Il Duomo di Milano
As soon as you set foot in Milan, you’re likely to spot something looming over the skyline. This is Il Duomo di Milano, a huge cathedral that has become one of the most visited attractions in the city.
Thousands of people come to Piazza Duomo, where the building is located, every single day, so expect some hustle and bustle as you make your way through the huge cathedral doors.
If you love Gothic architecture, this is the place to come, with Il Duomo being the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. It is so huge, you’ll struggle to fit the entire height of the building in your photo!
While it is impressive to look at from the outside, go inside and you’ll see some of the 6,000 statues that are housed here.
Once you have taken in the awe-inspiring sights of the huge building, spend some time in Piazza Duomo, as the rest of the square has plenty for you to see, from Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace to you and me) to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is home to some of the city’s most luxurious stores and restaurants.
In the summer months, it is worth simply walking around the square with a gelato (ice cream) in hand, cooling you down as you take in the spectacular old-fashioned architecture of the buildings that line the courtyard.
The region around the city offers views of beautiful mountainous countryside – what with it being near the Alps – so if you book car hire in Milan you’ll be able to take to the open road and visit the small villages in the area, passing olive groves and meadows on your way, and experiencing traditional local life.
However, being in the city centre also affords you the opportunity to immerse yourself in Milanese culture, especially if you head to Brera. This district is in the old quarter and much of its authentic atmosphere still remains.
Its narrow alleys and old churches give the area a rustic charm, which has attracted many painters and writers over the years. This is probably why the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Brera has become so popular, as it is home to some of the biggest art collections in the world, with Raphael and Mantegna being among the artists with works on display here.
There are many other places you might like to visit in Milan, including:
• Castello Sforzesco – an early 20th-century castle, where you can find the art gallery Pinacoteca and the Museo d’Arte Antica.
• Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli – 18th-century architect Giuseppe Piermarini designed this central public park, which is home to the Hoepli Planetarium and the Museo di Storia Naturale.
• Teatro alla Scala – Milan’s opera house, where you can watch some moving productions.
• Palazzo dell’Arte – This was created by 1930s architect Giovanni Muzio and is home to displays exhibiting Italian designs.