Milan is a major city, a sea of asphalt punctuated by breathtaking strips of green where the bustle of daily life sometimes overshadows la dolce far niente. But beneath the industrial, fashion-focused lifestyle of Milan is a beautiful, historic district that can easily be overlooked. Whether it’s €2000 Gucci shoes or Da Vinci’s breathtaking Last Supper, here you will be intimidated. This city earns its cultural megatron status from the Renaissance works, awe-inspiring churches, and medieval castles. The Piazza del Duomo alone is built on the four great pillars of the Milanese lifestyle: the church (Duomo), art (Museo Novecento), commerce (La Rinascente), and rich Renaissance people (Palazzo Reale).
Milan is a city where all the women wear heels, where even the least fashion conscious can pick out the knock-off, where art is free and plentiful, and where it’s normal to save up for one €60 meal instead of several crappy ones. The Italian ideal of la bella figura, an aesthetically conscious lifestyle includes everything from food to fashion sense to social prowess, reigns supreme in this sophisticated city.
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The Milan Top 5
Listen to "Heart of Courage" by Invincible to pump you up and mentally prepare yourself for the largest collection of Leonardo’s drawings in the world.
Enjoy, but restrain from shooting pics unless you have some weird “church guard chasing you through a tranquil church” fetish.
The nearly vertical trip triggers cringes from the feint of heart, but provides brilliant views of Como and the lake’s southernmost leg.
Pincoteca di Brera
For a museum originally designed for art students’ studies, the collection is extremely impressive.
Da Vinci is far from the only heavy hitter highlighted in the castle.