If you have traveled in Lombardy, Italy, then it would be a huge mistake not to visit Milan. Lots of people think Milan is all about fashion, boutiques, shopping and style. Well, they’re extremely wrong! Milan is not so full of tourist attractions like Rome, for example, but here are lots of places of beauty and interest which you must visit. And some people know about these places: e.g., if you want to enjoy Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, then you should know that access to The Last Supper is strictly regulated, and only one group of 25 people can visit the refectory every 15 minutes, pre-booking your ticket in advance is a must.
Interesting facts about Milan
Many things can be said about Milan, its beauty, food, culture, museums, restaurants etc, but then it would be a huge post while our goal is to tell you about the most interesting facts in our humble opinion and things which you might be interested in.
- Milan is the second-most populous municipality in Italy and the capital of Lombardy;
- The municipality has a population of 1.353.882 while its urban area is the 5th largest in the EU with an estimated population of about 5.257.000;
- Milan is home to many cultural institutions, museums and art galleries, that account for about a tenth of the national total of visitors and receipts;
- The Milan Cathedral (Duomo) is the fourth largest cathedral in the world;
- Milan has been the capital of Italy;
- The city is a major world fashion and design capital;
- Milan is a home for two of the strongest soccer teams in the Italian league: Inter and A.C. Milan. In 2010, Inter won both the Italian Cup and the European Champions League Cup. The latter team, A.C. Milan is owned by Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a huge soccer fan. Both teams play at San Siro Stadium, the largest stadium in Italy;
- Unlike other cities in Italy, Milan is not all about pasta when it comes to food. In fact, some of Milan’s staple dishes don’t even include pasta. Here are some typical staple dishes that Milanese are known for: Risotto alla Milanese (yellow-saffron rice), Ossobuco (veal shank) and Cotolettaalla Milanese (fried beef chop);
- Milan is the business home for 12,000 companies, 800 showrooms, 6,000 sales outlets, with four weeks dedicated to fashion shows and other events; and therefore, it is ranked as the 12th most expensive city in the world;
- Every day from 7 pm to 9 pm, Milan celebrates Aperitivo time to eat finger food. Usually many lounges, cafés, and bars offer a buffet that includes food which can be eaten by hands/fingers. It is merry time for people as they chit-chat, mingle and enjoy the great food.
The main railway station of Milan is one of the largest in Europe. However, its unusual external view stands him out from the rest similar buildings. During the reign of Mussolini’s fascist regime, there was a competition for the new building design of the Milan train station. The architecture Ulisse Stacchini won the competition and designed the railway station in ancient Rome style including some Mussolini’s remarks about the design project. As a result, the building has become more grandiose and majestic. Construction of the station lasted for about two decades and was completed in 1931.
You might be terrified and admired by this building at the same time. It is so huge and terrific that there is no chance you can ignore its beauty. By the way, be aware – it’s easy to lose there because of labyrinths.
Milan is a cultural capital of Italy
Lombardy’s capital is also the main cultural city in Italy. There are so many cultural places to see that visiting them might take unexpectedly a lot of time, but next places are the must for travelers:
The Pinacoteca di Brera is one of the most important art galleries of Milan. It exposits one of the foremost collections of Italian painting, including masterpieces such as the Brera Madonna by Piero della Francesca.
The Castello Sforzesco hosts numerous art collections and exhibitions, especially statues, ancient arms and furniture, as well as the Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco, with an art collection including Michelangelo’s last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà, Andrea Mantegna’s Trivulzio Madonna and Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Trivulzianus manuscript. The Castello complex also includes The Museum of Ancient Art, The Furniture Museum, The Museum of Musical Instruments and the Applied Arts Collection, The Egyptian and Prehistoric sections of the Archaeological Museum and the AchilleBertarelli Print Collection.
Duomo di Milano, the fourth largest cathedral in the world, is located at the centre of Milan on Pizza del Duomo. Work on it was started by Gian Galeazzo Visconti (then the Duke of Milan) in 1385 and it took nearly 600 years to finish. It was opened to public in 1965. Its construction has a lot of variations in style, but the end product is just simply marvelous and impressive. Beyond all doubt, Duomo di Milano is the architectural dominant of the city. Looking at its exterior and huge dimensions it’s easy to catch yourself thinking about reverence for the talent and skill of ancient Italian architects. Just imagine that the construction of this gothic miracle took more than six centuries. Such a long period of construction could not be reflected in the appearance of the cathedral. And if you know the basics of architecture you can easily identify the influence of different architectural styles which were relevant to the particular period of time. Interesting but inside of Duomo there are about 3400 sculptures of different sizes and the building can host about 40 thousand parishioners – the same amount of people lived in Milan when the construction had begun.
One of the largest and most prominent opera houses in Europe can be found in Milan. The Teatroalla Scala seats over 2,000 people at any given time. The theater is recognized as one of the leading opera and ballet theaters in the world. It is home for the La Scala Theater Chorus, La Scala Theater Ballet and La Scala Theater Orchestra. The theater’s academy, l’Accademia Teatro alla Scala provides professional training in the arts: dance, music, stage craft, etc. The Teatro alla Scala is situated near Piazza del Duomo. Exterior of the opera house looks decently in comparison to Duomo. But when you enter the building, you are impressed by its beauty which can’t be seen outside. And we can assure you that it is going to be an unforgettable moment.
You need to remember that if you want to visit one of the performances in La Scala you have to book tickets in advance. Also, think about your outfit in advance, there is a dress-code you should follow.
Center of the fashion world
For those who didn’t know it, Milan puts its best foot forward when it comes to fashion. Yes, all of the biggest players in the fashion world have set up shop here. Gucci, Prada, Armani, Versace, and Dolce & Gabbana have their headquarters based in Milan, making the city as the fashion capital of the world.
Milan’s main upscale fashion district, quadrilatero della moda, is home to the city’s most prestigious shopping streets (Via Monte Napoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Sant’Andrea, Via Manzoni and Corso Venezia), in addition to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. It’s the glass-roofed arcade near the Duomo. It opened in 1867, which makes it one of the oldest shopping malls in the world. Prada’s flagship store has been in business here since 1913, joined more recently by Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is an important showplace of Milan, it is a covered shopping arcade, made in the form of a Latin cross. Giuseppe Mengoni was an Italian architect who designed the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. He died by accident, falling off the roof of the gallery he had built.
The Milanese joke that only tourists shop at the Prada flagship store in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Locals, on the other hand, prefer the city’s many outlet stores and are prepared to elbow their way through rack after rack of cut-price catwalk fashions to find the best bargains.
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.
There are lots of showplaces to see, enjoy and spend time with the pleasure in Milan. The most appropriate time for visiting the cultural capital of Italy is late spring and early autumn – you will get soft and warm weather what can make your trip to Milan much better! Discover the World with tripAtom – and you’ll definitely know where your next destination for visiting should be ^).