Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and an important commercial, economic and scientific centre. It is located in the northern part of the country, in the Lombardy region, and is divided into nine districts. The population is just over a million people, but this figure is constantly growing.
Milan is a recognized centre of fashion and style. Literally from the first minutes, you can feel its difference from the ancient and solemn Rome - an active life is in full swing here, contracts are signed, companies are created, new branches of production are opened. However, at the same time, there is a clear signature of glorious history on everything. Those who come here for the first time will be amazed by the diversity of the city - antiquity and modernity are so closely intertwined that without any detail, be it an office building or a medieval statue, this ensemble will not be complete.
Despite the modern appearance of Milan, the historical past is still impressive. For example, around the corner of a small street, you can unexpectedly stumble upon a 5th-century church, and in the very centre of the metropolis, surrounded by boutiques, the majestic Milan Cathedral rises. At the same time, Milan is very different from other tourist places, especially from Rome and Florence - to get to know it, you need to be patient and take a lot of time.
The main attraction of Milan is the Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica of the Nativity of Saint Mary (Duomo di Milano). It is made in the Gothic style of white marble and strikes with the beauty of its external design. The facade is ornamented with turrets, statues of saints, compositions depicting biblical stories, figures of outlandish creatures, including gargoyles. The interior of the cathedral is no less enjoyable. High ceilings, graceful arches and columns create an impression of lightness and airiness. Be sure to climb to the roof of the Duomo for a fabulous view of the city. Tourists who decide to see the Cathedral should learn that visiting it is possible only in clothes that meet the standards of decency.
There are also ancient castles in Milan. The most famous of them is the former residence of the Dukes of Sforza. Leonardo da Vinci himself took part in its decoration, but his works have not survived to this day. Nowadays Castello Sforzesco has been turned into a museum - its halls contain unique paintings and statues.
Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci is a place that will be of interest to both adults and children. Here, on the huge squares of the medieval monastery, a variety of examples of mechanisms are collected: real steam locomotives, ships with all equipment, military aircraft and countless more. The exposition dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci is of particular interest. Tourists will have the opportunity to see his manuscripts, sketches and other machines.
Another must-see place for those who are fond of classical painting is the Ambrosiana Art Gallery (Pinacoteca Ambrosiana). This museum is the oldest in Milan: it was created at the beginning of the 17th century. There are paintings by Titian, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Rembrandt. The large hall is reserved for the works of Leonardo da Vinci. The collection of jewels of the illegitimate daughter of Pope Alexander VI - Lucretia Borgia deserves special attention.
Milan is the world capital of haut fashion, home to one of the most popular shopping districts, called the "Golden Quadrangle" and "Fashion Square" (Quadrilatero D'Oro). Here you can find shops from Ferragamo, Gucci, Versace, Hermes, Dior and Burberry, Valentino, Prada, Fendi, Armani and other brands. In addition to clothing, it sells designer shoes made of Italian leather, the quality of which is known far beyond the borders of the country. A particularly large selection of shops can be found on Via Marghera. Jewellery stores and antique shops cannot be ignored. Few people manage to leave the fashion circuit with a full wallet.
Also, Milan is famous all over the world for its restaurants. Here you can taste both traditional and experimental dishes. However, there are a few things you should try. First of all, this is a panzerotti from Luini. These pies, or, as tourists call them, closed pizza, are a kind of gastronomic symbol of the region. The crispy crust can have a variety of fillings: eggplant and mozzarella, salami and tomatoes with cheese, spinach, ricotta, jam. There are more than fifty varieties of this dessert in local cafes. Those who are not afraid of experimenting can try the cinnamon-chilli-flavoured sorbet.
Most tourists coming here decide to book a hotel room. In all districts of the city, you can find a huge number of establishments of various classes and levels of comfort, so that anyone will find an apartment to their liking and affordable. When choosing, you should focus on the location and number of stars.