Milan Booking Hotel e Touristic Information
Search hotels in Milan
Milan – city of history and fashion
A Short History
Capital city of the province of Milan in the region of Lombardy. In terms of population, the largest city in Italy, fifth largest in Europe.
First inhabited by Celtic tribes in 400 BC, Milan was later conquered by the Roman Empire. In 293 AD, under Emperor Diocletian, it became the capital of the Western Roman Empire. Milan would later be taken into the Byzantine Empire in 313 AD.
Continuously besieged, destroyed or occupied by conquerors like the Visigoths, Huns, Ostrogoths, Lombardi, Charlemagne's Franks, and Frederick I Barbarossa. Eventually gained independence as a duchy in 1183.
From the 15th to the 19th centuries, Milan again changed hands from the Spanish Habsburgs, Austrian Habsburgs, and the French occupation by Napoleon.
Milan became the center of politics in the 20th century when Benito Mussolini founded the Fascist Black Shirts there. From Milan, he lead the Fascist march to Rome. Germany occupied the city in 1943-45. Ironically, Mussolini and some Fascist leaders were caught and executed in Milan.
Today, Milan is known for its historical and art attractions and a global fashion designing center. Fashion shops, shopping malls and traditional restaurants stand side by side with museums, palaces, and churches.
Tourism and Tourist Spots
Milan's history, scenic architecture, outstanding museums, rich fashion and shopping has attracted every tourist from all over the globe.
It is ranked 7th best city in Europe to visit and 52nd among the most visited cities in the world.
A few of the most popular tourist spots in Milan:
Milan Cathedral or the Duomo di Milano is the Cathedral of Milan. It is one of the principal attractions in the city. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Mary Nascent, and is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan. This gigantic Gothic cathedral took five centuries to complete. It is the 4th largest cathedral in the world.
The very large Piazza del Duomo is the main piazza in the city centre. The square takes its name after the dominating Duomo Milan Cathedral. It is a good place for photography. Pigeons and tourists often crowd the piazza vying for each other's attention, and food.
The Santa Maria delle Grazie or “Holy Mary of Grace” is a church and Dominican convent. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located in the refectory of the convent inside the church is Leonardo da Vinci's famous mural, Last Supper.
Commonly known as the San Siro, the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza is a football (soccer) stadium located in the San Siro district. It is the home of two of Italy's and Europe's top football clubs, A.C. Milan and F.C. Internazionale Milano. The stadium name is in honour of Giuseppe Meazza, a two-time World Cup winner (1934, 1938) who played for Internazionale, and briefly for Milan, in the 1930's and 1940's. It holds a European five-star stadium status.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a double arcade covered and formed by two glass-vaulted arcades at right angles intersecting in an octagon. Prominently located at the northern side of the Piazza del Duomo. Named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of united Italy.
Due to its numerous shops and importance as a common Milanese meeting and dining place, today, it is the site of many luxury shops like Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, as well as fast food outlets.
Via Monte Napoleone, nicknamed ‘Montenapo,' is an elegant street in Milan, famous for its shopping arcades and arcaded boutique shops. Shops serve ready-to-wear fashion, jewelry and shoes. Part of the Milan Fashion District where many well-known fashion designers have their boutiques and stores from all the world famous brands. Exclusive Italian shoemakers have their boutiques here. The street is regarded as the most important ‘street in fashion', and several of the world's top fashion houses have their headquarters, major offices or large stores here.
Milan has hundreds of hotels ranging from the ultra-luxurious to 4 and 3 star hotel to bread and breakfast type accommodations. Hostels and guesthouse accommodations also dot the city. The world's first seven-star hotel, ranked officially by the Société Générale de Surveillance, and considered one of the leading hotels in the world is even found in Milan.
The city also has newly constructed boutique or fashion hotels situated in the in the Via Monte Napoleone fashion district, and is built in 1930's buildings.
Cuisine and Restaurants
Milan is typical of Lombardi menus using rice and pasta, breaded veal, butter fried foods, sausages and vegetable salads. Some meals are served like toppings. Milanese bread, cakes and cheese are considered the best in Northern Italy.
Public Transportation Around the City
The Milan public transport system operates a mixed transport network of 3 metropolitan railway lines, tram lines, trolley-bus and bus lines.
If you decide to get a rental car, take note that the SostaMilano parking card system is used for all interchange parking lots and on-street parking spaces in historic centre and commercial zones.
The city also has a three subway lines system aside from its Suburban Railway Service Lines.
All of Milan's taxi's are colored white and run by franchises. There is a set fare upon flagging down and additional fare based on distance travelled. Finding a taxi may be difficult during rush hours or rainy days.
There are two international airports, the Malpensa Airport – 2nd biggest in Italy – and the Linate Airport which mostly handles domestic and international short-haul.
Security and Safety
Italy continues to be one of the safest tourist destinations in Europe, averaging over 1.7 million a year per major Italian city. This is not to say that tourists should not be vigilant; to ensure tourist safety, vigilance is called for, especially against petty crimes of property.
The Carabinieri (Dial 112 for emergency), Guardia di Finanza, Polizia di Stato, the Polizia Provinciale and the Polizia Municipale are always on alert to help out tourists in trouble, especially those who cannot speak Italian.
Milan is the 10th most important city in the European Union for business and finance, and 26th world's richest city.
The Panettone Christmas bread cake (fruit cake) and Risotto Rice dish (rice toppings) all originated in Milan, not China as most people think.
Milan will host the 2015 Universal Exposition.
Milan is only around 50 km. away from the French and Swiss borders and the outer edges of the Alps.
Aside from football, other major Italian sporting events include the Formula One Circuit, Milano Armani basketball, Rugby Milano, and Ice Hockey.
So for a modern day vacation mixture of the historic past and arts, museums, churches, fashion, and shopping…