Risotto, Giorgio, Alfa Romeo, Milano! Welcome to the heart of Italian wealth and style, where the removal of sunglasses is a surgical procedure and popping to the shops without stilies is simply illegal. The streetscape ain’t exactly pretty, but who cares when the people strutting it are SO fabulous. Put your fash foot forward!
Milan radiates from centro, the epicentre of label-lusting. North of the Duomo and La Scala are arty Brera and hip Gribaldi, while genteel Magenta, home to The Last Supper, sits West. Far east is buzzy Lambrate, and fan south for local fare at Porta Venezia, Porta Vittoria and Porta Romana.
Need to Know
When to Visit: Apart from August, when everyone flees and the city pretty much shuts down, there’s no bad time to visit Milan, though multiple fashion weeks (check calendar at fieramilano.it) and the Salone del Mobile Furniture Fair in April make Milan a hectic (and pricey) signorina.
Transport: Taxis generally can’t be hailed. Either catch one from the stands on main roads, or call, but note that they charge from the time the call is made
Dress Code: Restaurants are more about the scene, and although actual dress codes are non-existent, your outfit matters
Coffee Etiquette: Caffe/espresso is a single shot, doppio is a double shot, americano is a long black. Milk in coffee after midday puts an ‘L’ on your forehead
Culture Goss: Clear your calendar for Milano’s Autumn/Winter wind-up, with Fashion Week kicking off in mid-Jan through to late Feb. Stiletto and cappello crescendo!
Events: Milan Design Week (Apr) brings design divas and fash-ologists a-flocking to Brera, Tortona and Lambrate for a week-long extravaganza of events, exhibitions and presentations. Salone Internazionale del Mobile (mid-April) is a fine furny frenzy
Art Smart: Many of Milan’s palazzi and monuments open to the public before closing their doors for the year in late Mar/early Apr. MiArt also lands in early April, when mod art mavens descend for one of Europe’s biggest shows + a flurry of cultural events
Local (non-political) Kickoff: Inter or AC Milan? Derby della Madonnina sees the city’s finest footballers go head to head in April