The now and the next are invented daily in Milan, the engine room of the country's economy. Milan is Italy's city of the future, a fast-paced metropolis where creativity is big business, looking good is compulsory and after-work drinks, aperitivi, are an artform.
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This beautiful hotel is an extraordinary destination in a city recognized for its creativity, where fashion, design, and cuisine come together.
This city is all about worldly pleasures. Shopping is of quasi-religious significance. Theatre and cinema flourish in this fashionable milieu, as does a hopping club scene and a slew of tempting restaurants.
What To Do
There are plenty of ways to keep fit in Milan. As befits a city obsessed with working hard, there are many gyms that provide short-term memberships so you can work out to your heart's content. Cycling is a popular if risky pastime; Milanese tend to drive the same way they live, at full throttle.
What To See
Architectural and artistic wonders within arm's reach.
Beyond the boutiques, there's a trifecta of big-hitting sights: the Duomo (Cathedral), a fantastic Gothic confection topped by the Maddonina (Little Madonna), Milan's protectress. Close by is La Scala, one of the world's great opera houses. And don't overlook Da Vinci's masterpiece, The Last Supper.
Strut your stuff on Planet Fashion's finest block.
Milan ranks alongside Paris and London as one of Europe's greatest places to shop. Fashion is its lifeblood, and the famous Quadrilatero d'Oro (Golden Quad) houses some of the world's most exclusive boutiques; the design-driven city is the world capital of fashion for the home.
Operatic fervor, appetizing aperitivi and stylish, be-seen clubs.
Milan has some of Italy's top clubs and a lavish cultural calendar capped off by La Scala's opera season, which runs from December through July. Don't miss nightly aperitivi, a kind of extended happy hour in which the city's best bars offer a cornucopia of free bar food to go with wine and cocktails.
Milan likes to celebrate the spiritual and material worlds with equal gusto. The Festa di Sant'Ambrogio, on 7 December, is Milan's biggest feast day, and is marked with religious celebrations and a large Christmas fair at Castello Sforzesco. La Scala marks the solemn occasion by opening its opera season on this day.
In February, Carnevale Ambrosiano (the world's longest carnival) culminates with a procession to the Duomo. The first 10 days of June are devoted to the Festa del Naviglio, a smorgasbord of parades, music and other performances. For La Bella Estate, more than 400 concerts, exhibitions and family events are organized by the city government to entertain those who haven't escaped to the beach or lakes during June, July and August.
If you feel the need for speed, Milan has the raceway for you: the Monza Autodrome, 20km (12mi) northeast of the city, hosts the Italian Grand Prix in September.
Glimpse the future of wardrobes worldwide four times a year, when designers parade next season's collections at the seasonal Milan Fashion Weeks. The men's shows head the A/W (autumn/winter) schedule in January, with the women's following in February. Men's S/S (spring/summer) take place in June and the women's in September. The other major trade event, held in April, is Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the world's most prestigious furniture fair.
Food and Drink
From pasta to polenta, every meal is osso good.
Eating is one of Milan's great pleasures. The city has a strong provincial cuisine, featuring polenta, saffron-infused risotto, and pannettone. Bone marrow is elevated from dog's dinner to art form in the traditional osso bucco. There's an endless choice of places to eat, from classic to fusion.