Milan, the capital of Lombardy, has a population of 1.3 million people. It is the biggest industrial city of Italy with many different industrial sectors. It is a magnetic point for designers, artists, photographers and models. Milan has an ancient city centre with high and interesting buildings and palazzos, which is why so many people from all over the world want to see the city of glamour.
In some ways, Milan has more in common with Paris or London than with other Italian cities. It's a business-like city with a work-hard, play-hard ethos. Rome may be the capital and the seat of government, but Milan is the business heart of Italy, the place where deals are made.
The city has always been important, occupied by successive powers, and like most important cities it has been rebuilt many times. Consequently it lacks the medieval informal charm of other Italian towns, and is sometimes overlooked as a holiday destination.
But in fact Milan has a lot to offer the visitor. The city is vibrant and has many sights of interest, as well as being a good jumping-off place for other North Italy destinations, such as Lake Como and the Alps. It's a good spot to spend a city break or a long weekend, or as the starting point for a two-centre holiday.
Milan's designer clothes and furnishings are a major attraction for many fashion-conscious tourists, but not all Milan's pleasures are expensive. Sitting outside a cafe by the fantastic Duomo and admiring the well-dressed world go by, or indulging in a spot of window-shopping is enjoyable and rather more affordable. In Milan's museums and galleries are some great works of art, while more simple pleasures include climbing up to the Duomo's roof and enjoying the tranquillity and the view over the city to the mountains. The Brera and the Navigli (canal) districts are both appealing for evening strolls.
Milan has two main international air gateways, Linate airport and Malpensa airport. Sometimes referred to as Milan's additional airports, Bergamo's Orio al Serio airport (45km East) and Parma airport (100km South) mostly host budget airlines.
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By Air: Most European and other international flights
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Places to visit in Milan
The best times to visit Milan are April to May or late September
Festival of Sant’Ambrogio takes place once a year, on
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