Overview

Introduction

A stylish, bustling and wealthy city famous for its fashion, finance and football, Milan is also served by three international airports and has excellent road and rail connections to access the rest of Italy. From here, it is very easy to hop on a train and combine this frenetic city with the serene surrounds of the iconic Lake Como.

History is in abundance here with a vast range of churches, museums, palaces and even a castle. There is a wide range of trendy bars, cafes and boutique shops, many of which can be found in the narrow streets and squares.

Visit the colossal Duomo, constructed in Italian Gothic style in 1386, which dominates the self-named Piazza del Duomo in the centre of the city. Admire Leonardo's fabulous 15th century mural of 'The Last Supper' located in the Santa Maria Della Grazie church and, for opera lovers, book a performance at the world famous La Scala. These are just some of the many delights that the city has to offer.

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Highlights

  • The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, dating back to 1495-1498, is well preserved in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Please note that you have to pre-book your visit here. It is open daily but closed on Mondays.
  • Follow in the footsteps of Leonardo by visiting his secret vineyard. La Vigna di Leonardo is located opposite to the Santa Maria delle Grazie Church, tucked away in the gardens of Casa degli Atellani – a private Renaissance residence. The vineyard was tended by Leonardo right up to his death and gave him respite whilst he painted the Last Supper.

‘’Originally born in the Tuscan town of Vinci in 1452, Leonardo was one of the most prolific and avant-garde masterminds the world has ever known. A veritable Renaissance man, his talents extended far beyond the fields of art and science to include astronomy, cartography, engineering, geology and even botany. He honed his skills in Florence before he moved up north in 1482 to work for Ludovico Sforza, the visionary Duke of Milan who would become one of Leonardo’s most important patrons. The artist spent a productive period in Milan working on numerous projects for the Duke over twenty years. He engineered the city’s canal district, drew thousands of sketches preserved in his Codex Atlanticus notebook and painted The Last Supper (1495-1498), housed within the refectory of the convent of the Santa Maria delle Grazie church. To demonstrate his gratitude, Ludovico Sforza gifted Leonardo a small vineyard which the artist tended to while he painted The Last Supper. Leonardo himself hailed from a family of winemakers and took great care of the vineyard, even including it in his will at the end of his life.’’

  • Window shop at the Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II - an extravagant indoor shopping arcade and one of the oldest shopping malls in the world. 
  • Discover Leonardo da Vinci’s National Museum of Science and Technology – a huge collection of important scientific and technological displays from model cars created from his drawings, reconstructions of his flying machines, and many of his drawings, blueprints and sketches.
  • Experience a night at the opera at La Scala (pre-booking essential) - one of the finest opera houses in the world renowned for its acoustic qualities.
  • Visit the 15th century castle of Castello Sforzesco set in extensive gardens and housing a vast art collection.
  • Explore the Brera district with its distinct Bohemian atmosphere full of art academies, galleries and upscale restaurants and bars.
  • Wine and dine in the Naviglio Grande district – Milan’s canal neighbourhood bordered by many shops and restaurants. It really comes alive at night and provides the perfect spot for a relaxed ‘aperitivo’ by the water whilst watching the sunset.
  • The concept of having an aperitivo took off in the 1920s in Milan - the birthplace of the bitter spirit Campari. Although you can enjoy an aperitivo all over Italy, it is a ritual in Milan between 6-8pm, the whole city seems to be enjoying an Aperol spritz (prosecco, aperol and soda water).
  • Scale the Torre Branca, a large observation tower (108.6m high) which affords unparalleled views of the city of Milan and beyond. 
  • Stroll through narrow streets and discover old churches, designer shops and restaurants to suit all tastes. 
  • Experience a dining extravaganza (5-courses) on a vintage tram all whilst circulating the centre on a city tour.
  • Marvel at one of the largest gothic cathedrals in the world – Il Duomo, with magnificent rooftop views of the city and, on a clear day, the Alps. Napoleon was crowned here.
  • One of the best views of the Duomo cathedral comes from the top of the Museo del Novecento, a modern art gallery.
  • Dine at Pasticceria Cova, a historic Milanese spot which has been serving cappuccinos and tiramisu under grand chandeliers for over 200 years.
  • The city is famed for its risotto alla Milanese, a warm, hearty dish that can be enjoyed in the winter months. Make sure you also try cotolette alla Milanese (breaded veal cutlet) – a local speciality.
  • The fashion world looks to Milan's catwalks twice a year (Feb-Mar and Sep-Oct) for the season's fashions. 
  • For some retail therapy head to Serravalle Designer Outlet - Europe’s largest shopping mall with around 180 designer shops offering discounts of between 30–70%. Set up like a village, the streets are made up of designer shops - Versace, Bulgari, Prada, Valentino, Gucci and Fendi, with plenty of places to eat and drink to provide a great day out.
  • Hop on a train for a day trip to Bergamo (36 minutes) – an historic town located at the foot of the Alps and surrounded by medieval walls. Be sure to try the famous Stracciatella ice cream created here.

Transport

The city of Milan is served by three airports.    

Milan Malpensa, 45km from the centre, is the city’s main airport. You can access the airport by bus, train, car or taxi. Buses depart every 20 minutes. The Malpensa Express service departs every hour and connects the main stations of Milan (Bovisa, Cadorna, Porta Garibaldi and Centrale) directly with Malpensa’s Terminal 1 and 2. 

Milan Linate, 7km from the centre, is the city’s second airport. You can access the airport by bus, car or taxi. Buses depart every 30 minutes.

Bergamo Orio Al Serio, located 50km from Milan, is serviced by the low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and has a regular bus service to the city. Alternatively, you can take a taxi from Bergamo airport to Bergamo train station (c.10 minutes) and then a train in to Milan (c.1 hour)

 

MilanoCard is the Milan City Pass, which offers free public transportation and free or discounted entry to over 500+ Milan tourist attractions, including more than 20 top Milan museums, shops, and restaurants. The card is personal and not transferable. Everyone needs their own card. Children under 10 years are FREE.

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Yasmin Zaidi
Yasmin Zaidi
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Rosanna Melaragni
Rosanna Melaragni

Rosanna is the head of our Discovery Department which covers tailor made holidays to Portugal and the Azores, Italy and Sicily, Scandinavia and the new programme to Spain. She is our longest serving member of staff having joined in 1994 after completing an honours degree in French and Italian and subsequently working for a tour operator in Yorkshire. She is responsible for brochure writing, contracting accommodation, programme costing, computer inputting and generally troubleshoots where necessary. She has global knowledge of our tailor made programme.

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

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