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We are now offering apartments in Milan! Our Guide to Milan is currently being produced, so please check back soon to learn all about our newest Red Apple city.

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History

Milan’s history starts in 7th century BC, when Celtic tribes established their community and remained there for five hundred years until romans it was conquered by the Romans in 2nd Century BC and called it ‘Mediolanum’. Till 4th Century AD, Milan became the capital of the Western Roman Empire; and important trade zone between other Roman Empires but it did not last that long because the Empire started losing its significance.
Middle ages were the era of wars and combats between Milan and other rival cities of Italy. Then Lombard League was created in 1167, and Lombard cities gained independence. Milan had an important position in this alliance. In the early 16th century (the last years of Sforza rule) the stated rolled between French and Spanish monarchies until 1703, when French were defeated by Austrian Habsburgs.
Napoleon marched into the city in May 1796, and declared Milan as the capital of The Kingdom of Italy. After Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna restored Lombardy to Austria in 1814. In 1859 the Austrians were defeated by Sardinia and France and Milan became the Kingdom of Italy in 1961. After that Milan saw many ups and downs such as rebellious activities of fascist party, destruction World War II, an internal migration of 1950s and 1960s from southern Italy, years of lead in late 1960s and 70s etc.
After 1980 many fashion based firms in Milan became internationally successful which played a major role in bringing Milan up as a modern municipality. Nowadays Milan is the center of commerce, finance, media, and fashion.

Location and size

Milan is the capital of Lombardo region of Italy. It is spread on the area of 181.76 km2 (70.18 sq mi) in the north-west of the lower Po Valley, between the rivers Ticino and Adda.

Population

The city has a population of about 1.3 million inhabitants; more than 9.7 million live in the metropolitan area.

Language

Milan speaks The Lombard language which is mainly spoken in the rest of Italy. It belongs to the Gallo-Italic group of the Romance languages. The Milanese dialect is its Western variety, also known as Insubric.

General characteristics of the locals

As the City of Fashion the most prominent trait of its people is their sense of dressing. Take the best of your wardrobe when you visit Milan because you just don’t want to look underdressed. Along with dressing they have great business sense. They are very serious with their work and do not mind putting in extra hours of work if they have to. Not many Milanese speak English, so learning a little Italian will help mixing in. Milanese are bizarre people they do not like to queue up still somehow the process goes on smoothly. They like to have meals in a really traditional laid back way drinks are essential part of their meals. Buffets are very popular trend of Milan. Unlike other European cities winters do not stop Milan from having fun. There are a lot of interesting activities, festivals and fashion weeks during winters. So the spirit of Milan never really slows down.

City tours

Milan is a jam packed city. stroll and explore is a convenient idea to get around this city as most of the major attractions, churches, shopping streets and monuments are at walking distance from each other. If you want an over view of the City Duomo roof is the best place to do it where you can see enchanting view of the city with spires and statues in the foreground.

Museums

Milan offers the visitor a large variety of art museums, mainly of Italian Renaissance and Baroque.
Pinacoteca di Brera (Brera Art Gallery): contains many of the historically significant art collections and most important art collections of Italian paintings most religious art.
Poldi Pezzoli Museum: Displays a great architecture and has a broad collection of Northern Italian artist house to ne of the world's richest private art collections by Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli.
Bagatti Valsecchi Museum: A late 19th century aristocratic mansion of the barons Bagatti Valsecchi with his private collection and other Italian Renaissance art collections.
Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology: this museum is devoted to the evolution of science since the 15th century, including transport, metallurgy, physics, and navigation. The Leonardo Gallery contains models of machines and inventions by Leonardo. Other galleries illustrate the aspects of physics, astronomy, optics, and telecommunications.
The Sforzesco Castle: Home to several of the city's museums and art galleries including The Museum of Ancient Art, The Furniture Museum, The Museum of Musical Instruments and the Applied Arts Collection, The Egyptian and Prehistoric sections of the Archaeological Museum and the Achille Bertarelli Print Collection.
Museo del Duomo (Museum of the Cathedral): Displays the 700 year old history of construction of the cathedral, with impressive walk-in wooden models, façade designs, sculptures and more.
Natural Science Museum: It is one of the most important Natural history museums of Europe and the greatest of Italy. It was founded in1838, since then the Museum of Natural History is always updated by obtaining new collections
Hangar Bicocca: It is a Contemporary art museum holds a few permanent sculptural installations along with different temporary exhibitions and events throughout the year.
Museo Teatrale alla Scala: This is a theatrical museum and library which sheds light on the Italian theatrical history. The big part of it is dedicated to the opera house.
Other Galleries and Museums:
Museo d'Arte Paolo Pini: Houses contemporary art gallery collection.
Galleria d'Arte Moderna: Mainly features Italian art from 19th Century.
Pinacoteca Ambrosiana: Historical library that also houses the art gallery.
The Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace): House of many interesting exhibitions.
Museum of Design and Architecture: Holds exhibitions of design, photography or modern art.

Sights

The Duomo: This Gothic cathedral was first started to build in 1386 and took almost six centuries to complete. It is the fourth largest cathedral in the world and the largest in the Italy. It has a famous white marbled façade, with hundreds of pinnacles and statues. Roof of the Duomo is open for everyone from where picturesque views of the city can be enjoyed.
Saint Mary of the Graces: Any one with a little knowledge of art knows about the famous painting “The Last Supper ('Cenacolo Vinciano') by Leonardo da Vinci. ('Santa Maria delle Grazie is home to that painting. Many art lovers flock there every year just to see that wonder of art. Saint Mary of the Graces is declared world heritage site by UNESCO.
Piazza del Duomo: It is a majestic square in the cultural and social heart of Milan. The majestic Duomo cathedral, classy Galleria, Royal Palace and many other ancient buildings are overlooking this Square. Enormous statue of King Victor in the square, surrounded by grand architectures gives the city center a magical touch.
Saint Ambrose (Basilica di Sant' Ambrogio):It was built in 386 by St. Ambrose. It is one of the most ancient Byzantic/Romanic church in Italy. This church was greatly destroyed by bombing in World War 2 but was restored later.
San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is a church and also houses archaeological museum. It serves as a church every Sunday from October to June to celebrate in the Byzantine Rite. It’s truly worth a visit.
La Scala Theatre: It was opened in 1778 but was also destroyed in Wold War 2 but was re-opened in 2004 after renovation. Now it serves as one of the most renowned opera houses in the world.
The Castello Sforzesco: This Castle dates back to 14th century. It served as the residence of the Sforza-Visconti ruling families of Milan and Austrian governor's. Now it is home to many museums and art collections.

Day trip

Lake Como: This is the most famous day trip from Milan. It includes Shopping and dining in Como, a scenic cruise trip in Lake Como surrounded by the picturesque lakeside villas and gardens and a visit to the delightful town of Bellagio.
Pavia: It is a pretty university city on the south of Milan. It’s about half an hour by train from Milan's central station. Pavia is known as the city of 100 towers some of them are still there. It’s a good historic center of Roman and Medieval architecture.
Swiss Alps: It’s a beautiful train journey that takes you along one of the most picturesque railway routes in the world declared a UNESCO world heritage site. It is a guided tour and includes trip to St. Moritz, the 'Top of the World' while enjoying the stunning Alpine scenery.
Verona and Lake Garda Day Trip: Behold the beauty of town Verona and lakeside towns around Lake Garda on this serene day trip. Get a chance to see Roman's Roman arena and Juliet's balcony and be inspired by the charming landscapes of Sirmione on Lake Garda.

For Families

Although Milan might not be the first choice forfamily oriented trips but still it has got many family friendly attractions. Sempione Park is a vast green ground, designed in like a neoclassical landscape. Enjoy beautiful view of Milan from the Branca Tower inside this park. Theres another 18th century park complex known as Public Gardens. These are family friendly gardens containing rockeries, water features, fountains, statues and monuments, and many other interesting features. The Aquatica (Waterpark) is Kids’ favorite place in Milan. The Civic Aquarium (Acquario Civico) will be recreational and educational place for children’s visit.

WHERE TO EAT IN MILAN

The food scene of Milan is quite interesting. From the finest world class Italian cuisines to Cheap Buffets Milan has something to suit every taste and budget. You can treat yourself with a coffee or supper during shopping in any of the corner cafes scattered around all high streets and shopping malls. Some of the major restaurants include Cove, Luini, Cracco-Peck, Marchesi, and Chandelier. For cheap eats dine at any local bar or café during happy hours which usually start from 6pm and stays till 9pm. During these hours you just buy a drink and you get food for free with it and it’s normally in the shape of buffets.

BARS AND NIGHTLIFE IN MILAN

Being a fashion capital of the world one can guess that the night scene of Milan would be quite edgy. High fashion, heavy drinking loud music, it’s a heaven for fervent night creatures. It is always good to reserve your place at bars and pubs especially on weekends because they can get very packed. Navigli area offers lively bars, restaurants and nightclubs with live jazz music in some of them. Famous bars include Alcatraz which does not only serve as a lively bar but also hosts fashion shows, live music, DJ events, private parties and shooting for TV shows etc., so prepare yourself for these pleasant surprises when you go there. Others include Diana Bar famous for its sophisticated garden, an American style club Blue Note, II Foyer, Bar Bianco and many other interesting theme bars.

SHOPPING IN MILAN

Milan being the fashion capital of the world is a shoppers dream but it can get very hard to choose where to shop from here is a short introduction to Milan’s shopping scene.
Fashion streets and shopping malls:
Quadrilatero d'Oro(Golden Quadrilateral): This is the fashion district of Milan areas in the world, filled with jewellers, fashion boutiques and designer wear furnishing showrooms. Some of big the names include; Armani, Krizia, Versace, Missoni, Moschino, Mila Schön, and Trussardi.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele: With striking mosaic floor, and wonderful glass roof, this structure was built in 1877 and named after the first kind of Kingdom of Italy and now serves as a major shopping mall. It has boutiques such as Louis Vuitton and Prada, a McDonald's fast-food restaurant, Biffi or a Gucci cafe and many other, notably art galleries, fashion boutiques, bookstores and restaurants. During Christmas, it’s all robed up with glitzy Christmas decorative and lights.
Corso Vittorio Emanuele: This is one of the most popular shopping high streets in the Milan. Though it keeps up well with the modern high street appearance but also houses some ancient buildings from 18th and 19th century. It contains some great retail stores, including big shopping centers, fashion boutiques, and sporty youthful boutiques.
Via Montenapoleone: A reputable name in fashion shopping streets of Milan. It contains many of the biggest names in designing field and many major fashion boutiques in the world. There are also a some jewellery shops and cafes aswell.
Via Dante: One of the the busiest fashionable high streets in Milan. The Via Dante, is named after a famous poet. There are a lot of street vendors, restaurant and cafes, glamorous boutiques. It is often bustling with locals, shoppers and tourists.

Airport

Malpensa airport is the main airport of the city. Malpensa Express Trains connect the airport to the city centre. Another rather efficient airport is Linate airport which is closer to the city centre. It mostly serves for domestic and some European destinations. Another airport is Orio al Serio airport which is not recommended for people travelling to Milan for the forst time as getting to the city centre can be a bit complicated from there.

WEATHER

With its warm sunny summers and snowy cold winters Milan’s weather is not any different from many other European cities. With the temperatures of 25°C minimum in and 33°C maximum with average maximum, summers are normally warm and clear. A normal summer day lasts for up to 13 hours. Milan is coldest in January when temperature can go as down as -2° with average rate of snow each year. It stays foggy and wet most of the winters. Fall and spring are normally pleasant when temperature stays between 10 °C to 20 °C.

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