If you’re with your children in Milan then buy 3 day’s access to the civic museums for just €12 an adult (under-18s don’t pay). You can get it online or, easier, at the ticket sale at the first museum you visit. There are lunch ideas mentioned after every museum.
Rent a different bike for the kids at the park. In the Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli (find on map) and Parco Sempione (find on map)you can rent the beautiful originale 3-wheel take bike Alternative Byki from 1959,it costs €5 for 20 minutes.
Museo nazionale scienza e tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci. The Leonardo Da Vinci museum is a must for children from age 6 and up. There is enoughentertainment to last you several hours on a rainy day.
The most diversely talented person ever to have lived is painter, inventor etc. Leonardo da Vinci, and Italy’s national technical museum, located in Milan, is also his official museum. It combines the chance to actually try out some of his inventions with the more traditional exhibitions.
Ideas for lunch. Eat some pizza or foccacia on the square in front of the musum, Buy it here: Panificio Sant’Ambrogio, 3, Via San Vittore (find on map) Ristoro Monterosso, 11, Via San Vittore (find on map)
Museo di Storia naturale – Dinosaurs and other monsters
Museo di Storia Naturale is yet a perfect place for children from age 6 if they like dinosaur skeletons and everything to do with wild beasts. Unfortunately the homepage for the museum is only in Italian and rather dry but the museum itself is excellent.
It’s located in a great park with a wooden jungle gym and a really cozy outdoor café, BAR BIANCO where you can get coffee, ice cream, frozen yogurt, soft drinks and lunch. The park also houses a genuine old-fashioned merry-go-round, a little train and bumper cars for very young kids.
Milan Cathedral (Duomo)
The city cathedral is very impressive on the outside and rather gloomy on the inside. You should spend your time visiting the roof which has an extraordinary view of the whole city and when the weather is clear you can see the Alps in the background. Either take the elevator up or get a fun experience walking all the way up the crooked old stone staircase
You can go get lunch at either Luini (find on map) or Mama Burger (find on map) – both good cheap lunch places.
The city’s impressive medieval castle Castello Sforzesco where you can choose to just walk right through the beautiful courtyards to the Sempione park, which contains playgrounds and ample lawns where you can have your sandwiches, you can eat at Bar Bianco (find on map) or try the incredibly vast choice of sandwiches at the kiosk on Piazza Castello left of the fountain when coming from Piazza Cairoli.
But you could also visit the inside of the castle, where there are various art museums, displaying historical weapons, paintings, musical instruments and furniture. Especially the weapons tend to appeal to kids.
Take a trip on the tram.
It’s really kind of awesome and cheap entertainment at €2 for adults (it’s a regular ticket for public transport and children under 14 don’ pay. Milan has old, very elegant trams that were built between 1928 and 1932. Remember to purchase the ticket before you get on the tram. You can get them at newsstands (edicole) and some bars.
If you are up to it, you can now get bikesharing bikes for kids at the weekend. Read about the new BikeMi Junior here.
If you are here between the months of June and September there are public swimmingpools in Milan. Read more here.
Check also our post on classic sightseeing here. Milan offers canal tours and double-deckers.
Milan is an amazing city for night life and there are lots of clubs and Piazzas where you meet the young, the rich and the beautiful – and perhaps the famous.
The club scene is very young most places. a good rule is that the average age is higher Fridays (20-25) than Saturdays (16-21), because high school students have school on Saturday (!) here. Remember not to go earlier than midnight/1.00 p.m
\ Cavalli Club – For a more adult crowd (25-40). It’s located in Via Luigi Camoens, right next to Torre Branca and the museum Triennale di Milano (find on map).
Do you prefer bars to clubs If you’re not that crazy about clubs, the area around Le colonne di San Lorenzo (here is the map) is full of cool bars with outdoor service and lots of life on Friday and Saturday nights..
If you want a fun experience and a view of Milan that takes your breath away (don’t worry you won’t have to walk all the way up there is an elevator) then you have to go up in the Torre Branca.
Right next to the museum Triennale di Milano is the 108 m tall Torre Branca which was designed by architect Gio Ponti in 1933. From its top you have a 360° panorama over the whole city. If there are strong winds or the weather is bad they are closed. It costs € 5,00 per person.
Milan has an excellent, well-organized system of public transport, which we want to tell you about here, but let’s first take a look at what you do when you have just arrived at the airport.
If you’ve come to Milan by plane you’ve landed in either Linate, Malpensa or Orio al Serio. There are good connections with public transport from all three.
Remember to buy your tickets before getting on either bus, tram, train or metro, they don’t sell tickets on board. Tickets can be purchased at either the Edicola (newsstand) or at coffee shops. In some airports there are automatic ticket dispensers at the bus stop. 1 ticket is €2.00 and is valid for 90 minutes inside Area 1 (light purple on this drawing), which consists of 21 municpalities and has the codes MI1-MI3, on all means of transport including trains. If you wish to go beyond this area, the price increases by €0.40 for each Area from MI4 to MI9. You can also buy a carnet with 10 tickets at €18.00, but you need one carnet per. person. Children under 14 travel for free. You can also get a 24-hour ticket for €7 and a 72-hour ticket for €12.
If your payment card or phone has the contactless function, you can buy tickets in the metro directly at the turnstile , if you use the same card more than 3 times in a day your ticket is automatically converted into a 24-hour ticket at €7.
(Linate is the airport closest to the city.The easiest is to take Bus 73 (which is a regular city bus that stops frequently along its route and doesn’t have a lot of space for luggage) or X73 which stops very few times and goes to Piazza Diaz (find on map) behind Piazza Duomo, so just a few steps from Duomo metro station.)
Malpensa is Milan’s “new” airport which is about a 1-hour drive from Milan. You can either take the train (Malpensa Express) which goes to Cadorna in the center of Milan, One way tickets are €13 foma both terminal 1 and 2, a return ticket is only €20, if you purchase it online, or you can take the Malpensa Shuttle, which brings you to the central station (Milano Centrale) one way tickets are €10 – return tickets are €16. We recommend that you take the shuttle at the weekend but the train during the week, because you risk getting stuck in traffic jams with the bus.
Orio al Serio is actually closer to Bergamo than Milan and it’ll take you about 50 minutes to get to Milan. There is a shuttle service which goes to Milan’s central station (Milano centrale). Tickets are €5 one way and €9 return. You can also take a the public transport bus (ATB) , which gets you to Bergamo central station in about 10 minutes and here you can get the train to Milan. The trip takes about 40 minutes and one way tickets are between €4-9. Here you must also consider that it’s a better idea to take the train during the week, because of possible traffic jams.
If you want to book train tickets from home you do that here
As in every big city in the world you must keep an eye on backpacks and bags when in the metro, there are many pickpockets that operate there, taking advantage of the fact that it’s crowded. Don’t keep your backpack on your back. Hold it in front of you.
The Central station is another place to be extra vigilant; lots of pickpockets take advantage of visitors’ distraction; one trick, they often use, is to ask if you need help when buying tickets. Refuse politely, but firmly
Get the official app for Milan’s public transport (ATM Milano Official App) – read more about it and find the link to download here.
Taxis with fixed fares Of course you could also take a taxi.There are fixed fares from the airports:
Orio al Serio: €130-150
Linate: €13-15 (normal city rates)
IMPORTANT: Watch out for illegal taxis – the legal ones are white and have the Comune di Milano coat of arms on their front doors.
If you need to call for a taxi and don’t speak Italian the easiest thing is to use the official app myTaxi. Read more about it and find the link for downloading it here.
If you speak Italian the phone number is: +39024040
If, for some reason, you can’t get a taxi or just want a chauffeur in uniform you know is there when you arrive or need to be driven around town you can contact Autonoleggio CAPRIOTTI, mobile number +393482819594 or email address email@example.com. Transport from the airport is the same rate as the fixed fares above.
MilanoCard If you’re in Milan for 72 hours or less and want to visit a lot of museums while here it is a good idea to buy the Milan city pass MilanoCard which allows you to use all public transport for free and gives a lot of discounts to museums and restaurants. You must order it online hereand then you can pick it up at the airport or central station at the specific MilanoCard points upon your arrival
Milan has 4 metro lines, and a fifth is on the way, plus a lot of buses and trams.
The metro lines that connect the rest of the city to and from Milan’s different stations are:
Central Station (Milano Centrale) – the green and yellow lines (M2 and M3)
Stazione Cadorna – the red and green lines (M1 and M2),
Stazione Garibaldi – the green and purple lines (M2 and M5)
The map also shows where to change between the different lines.
Furthermore Milan has the Passante Railway, an underground railway which runs through Milan and connects to the metro lines at the stops Porta Garibaldi (M2 and M5),Repubblica (M3), Rogoredo (M3) and Porta Venezia (M1).Gem
Milan has several museums worth visiting. But if you can – visit them during the week and leave the queues at the weekend to the others.
If you’re in Milan for 72 hours or less, you should consder getting a MilanoCard. Read more here.
You can visit many of Milan’s museums for free on every first Sunday of every month.
Most museums change their exhibitions frequently so it’s a good idea to check out the calendar for each of them. Read more about the best apps, our event calendar and our weekly recommendations for information.
Below is a list of almost all of Milan’s museums with a short description of each one. Please note that opening hours and days are very varied. Send us a message here if you think we have left out some place important.
Admission is valid for both Largo Isarco and Milano Osservatorio within 7 days.
Museum for contemporary art and culture co-headed by famous designer Miuccia Prada. The foundation has operated since 1993 and organizes, amongst other things, film festivals. On May 9th 2015 they inaugurated their new venue in Milan – very impressive architecture. FONDAZIONE PRADA’s Bar Luce is designed by film director Wes Anderson. Bar Luce recreates the atmosphere of a typical Milanese café –> 2, Largo Isarco (find on map)
Admission is valid for both Largo Isarco and Milano Osservatorio within 7 days.
Fondazione Prada’s new location in the center of Milan dedicated to photography and visual arts. It is situated at the top of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II with a view of the glass Octagonal at its center.
–> Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (find on map)
This museum, which was inaugurated on April 30th 2015, celebrates Giorgio Armani’s 40-year anniversary as a designer. The museum has been created by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. 4 floors with historical creations. The museum is located in the Tortona design neighbourhood. –> 40, Via Bergognone (find on map)
This beautiful historical building located within the Quadrilatero della Moda Milan’s exclusive fashion dsitrict houses collections of decorative and fine arts and exhibits about fahsion. The museum is closed on Mondays.
–> 6, Via Sant’Andrea (find on map)
The Diocesan Museum is housed in the antique cloisters of Sant’Eustorgio and contains over 700 art works spanning from the 4th century up till today including some very fine sculptures by artist Lucio Fontana.
–> 95, Corso di Porta Ticinese (find on map)
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece “The Last Supper” is located next to the church Santa Maria delle Grazie in the Cenacolo Vinciano and is a definite must-see, to get in you must book tickets well in advance here. If you cannot get tickets online, don’t despair; you can call this number +390292800360 and press 2 for English. You have to pay by credit card. –> 2, Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie (find on map)
Opposite Santa Maria delle Grazie and “The Last Supper” is a small gem, that has been opened to the public on occasion of EXPO2015; the vineyard, which was given to Leonardo da Vinci by the Duke of Milan Ludovica Sforza in 1498, is located in the garden of the Casa degli Atellanti (Sforza courtiers). The grape variety is the original one from Leonardo’s time . Many days are already fully booked so it’s a good idea to go online (link above in the title) and book a tour. –> 62, Corso Magenta (find on map).
Toti – the first submarine built in Italy after WW2
The Leonardo Da Vinci museum is a must for children from age 6 and up. There is enoughentertainment to last you several hours on a rainy day. The most diversely talented person ever to have lived is painter, inventor etc. Leonardo da Vinci, and Italy’s national technical museum, located in Milan, is also his official museum. It combines the chance to actually try out some of his inventions with the more traditional exhibitions.
–> 21, Via San Vittore (find on map)
This incredibly beautiful church from 1503 is famous for its frescos, which have earned it the nickname the Sistine Chapel of Milan. It is open every day from 9.30 am-7.30 pm except on Mondays. -> 15, Corso Magenta (find on map)
The steam factory (literally) is a cultural centre in Milan that organizes art exhibitions, music festivals, theatre, conferences and more. The building complex is huge and definitely worth a visit. –> 4, Via Giulio Cesare Proccaccini (find on map).
This beautiful building dates back to 1251 and is a permanent space for changing photographic exhibitions. This museum is worth a visit not only for photo enthusiasts but also because of the building’s historical value. It is closed on Mondays.
–> Piazza Mercanti (findon map)
The ultimate art collection in Milan featuring masterpieces by the classical Italian masters; Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci just to mention a couple, the building itself is incredibly beautiful. –>28, Via Brera (find on map)
The museum covers the historic events that led to the unification of the different states on the Italian peninsula to the kingsom of Italy between 1815 and 1871.Admission is free of charge. -> 23, Via Borgonovo (find on map).
One of Milan’s most overlooked museums. This museum and library has an astounding collection of Leonardo da Vinci’s cartoons (charcoal drawings) and notebooks. Definitely worth a visit. –> 2, Piazza Pio XI Between Via Torino and Cordusio. (find on map).
The museum of the twentieth century, at Piazza Duomo, opened in 2010 after the collection’s original home in Palazzo Reale had been closed in 1988. It’s Milan’s municipal collection of paintings and sculpture from the twentieth century. The collection opens with Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo’s fantastic Fourth Estate. –> Via Guglielmo Marconi (South side of Piazza Duomo) (find on map)
The museum of Milan’s cathedral was originally opened in 1953 but re-opened in 2013 after a long period of renovation. It is a record of the history of the cathedral and covers a period spanning from the 15th to the 20th century. –> 12, Piazza Duomo (find on map)
This home belonged to the two brothers the barons Fausto and Giuseppe Bagatti Valsecchi who collected 15th and 16th century art to decorate their home so that it reminded themselves and their guests of princely Lombard homes of the 16th century.It was inhabited by their descendants until 1974 when one of Giuseppe’s sons decided to create the Bagatti Valsecchi Foundation and donated the entire patrimony to it, at the same time the home was purchased by the region of Lombardy that opened the museum home to the public in 1994.
–> 5, Via Gesù (find on map)
One of Milan’s most interesting private museums founded by art collector Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli (1768-1833) it contains works by some of the greatest Italian painters e, g. Botticelli, Belini and Hauez. –> 12, Via Alessandro Manzoni (find on map)
This gem which was the private home of married art collectors was opened to the public in 2003 and contains their private collection by some of the finest painters from the twentieth century. A unique look into a private home. –> 15, Via G. Jan (find on map)
Achille Castiglioni who died in 2002 was an Italian designer of furniture, lighting, radiograms a.o. his studio has been turned into a museum and is run privately by the Achille Castiglioni foundation. You must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to book your viat from Tuesday to Friday at ether 11 am – 12 – 1 pm. –> 27, Piazza Castello (find on map)
Situated in a gorgeous villa in Via Palestro. This villa is one of Milan’s finest examples of neoclassical architecture and hosts both contemporary photo exhibitions and paintings from the 19th century..
-> Via Palestro (find on map)
Milan’s permanent exhibition of more than 300 paintings, drawings, sculpture and engravings by Italian artists starting from 1886 all the way up to today. The museum itself was designed by renowned architect Luca Beltrami and was opened in 1886..
–> 34, Via Turati (find on map).
PAC houses a beautiful collection of contemporary art. It was re-opened in 1979 after a thorough restructuring of the building, (the mafia had a bomb explode here in 1993). The exhibitions are changed frequently..
-> 14, Via Palestro (find on map)
This amazing building was the seat for the local government of the city of Milan and is an important cultural center today and houses important exhibitions and events. -> 12, Piazza Duomo (find on map)
Design museum La Triennale di Milano is the main Italian venue for architecture, visual and decorative arts, design, fashion and audio/video. The terrace of Triennale is very cool and has a breathtaking view, good place for brunch and aperitivo, -> 6, Viale Alemagna (find on map)
One of Italy’s largest banks Intesa San Paolo have opened their private collections to the public on Piazza della Scala, right in the center of the city. It is an impressive exhibiton and there is no admission fee. .–> Piazza della Scala 6 (find on map)
Milan’s most experimental contemporary museum. It’s located in an old factory and houses very interesting exhibits and installations. Take the metro out there (purple line, get off at Ponale)
–> 2, Via Chiese (find on map)
Regrettably the English language version of the museum sites aren’t always neither thorough nor updated. But there is nothing wrong with the art so don’t miss out on some great experiences.
The most obvious thing to do in most European cities when you want a short break from all the hustle and bustle is to sit down at an outdoor café. But that’s not how the Milanese do it. Italy is the homeland of espresso and cappucino, but the prices are a mere fraction of what you see at e.g. Starbuck’s. You can get your coffe exactly as you like it, baristas here are used to special requests.
Most other places a cup of coffee costs the same whether you enjoy it standing up at the bar, sitting down inside or taking it outside at the tables in front of the café. It doesn’t work that way in the south of Europe.
The cheapest version of coffee is €1, if you drink it standing up at the bar, but it can cost up to €5 if you need to sit down and want it served at a table.
Marrocchino – Morocccon (= cortado), a mini cappuccino, here with whipped cream.
There are countless variations of coffee; an espresso can be lungo (long), ristretto (concentrated), macchiato (stained- with a drop of milk) macchiato caldo or freddo (wit warm or cold milk), cappuccino with eiter cow milk, soy milk or rice milk.
You can also get a Latte macchiato, which is the closest you can get to a latte
During summer it is nice and refreshing to get an ice coffee or “caffè shakerato” (shaked coffee) instead of the traditional espresso.Prices range between € 3-7 depending on where you drink it and whether you stand or sit outdoors .
There is also Affogato (drowned) coffee, a coffe based dessert with a scoop of vanilla or tartufo ice cream “drowned” by a shot of espresso coffee. It costs around €4-5.
Then there is Cioccolata calda con panna – hot chocolate with whipped cream, which is a very different drink from the one you are used to, in Italy it is avery dense drink, more like a hot chocolate mousse, it’s delicious bbut be prepared for the difference. It costs around €2,50-3.
Oh, and by the way Barista is just Italian for bartender 🙂
We have lots of suggestions for where to drink your coffee in the different areas in Milan here.
ATMosfera – Milan is proud of its old trams that follow different routes. A special attraction is the ATMosfera trams from 1928, which have been turned into moving restaurants, where you can experience the city while having brunch(only at the weekend) or dinner
Milan’s municipality offers free outdoor WiFi to residents and visitors – It is continuously evolving and the areas that are covered (hotspots) are getting larger and larger.
You get 300mb free outdoor broad band access for per person per day, if you use up all 300mb. you”ll get a slower connection, but it’s more than enough to check emails, read the news, get some tourist information and upload a couple of photos to Instagram.(And why not tag your photos with #appsolutelymilano?).
In order to register (if you have a sim card) go to one of the Open WiFi Milano hotspots and fill in your phone number with country code, you get a free sms with your password and you’re good to go.
If you haven’t got a sim card, in order to register you must go to an ATM Point (see the list below). Remember to bring valid picture ID (e.g. passport).
Besdes this network many shops and cafés have their own open WiFi networks you can access.
You can now charge your smartphone completely for free here in Milan at the public locations for charging batteries. Some have been set up by A2A (Milan’s power company) and others by the municipality.So far Phase 1 has been completed with 15 purple so-called digital islands, where Milanese and tourists can sit down, relax and charge their smartphones.
You can’t say Milan without mentioning La Scala; opera, Giuseppe Verdi, ballet and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala. Here is a real insider trick to getting tickets at only €12.
Below you’ll find the instructions of how to get your hands on the €12 tickets and perhaps you won’t get the best seats for watching the performanceat at this price, the acoustics up under the roof in the highest gallery are amazing and it’s an incredible experience.You are going to need patience to get the tickets and there are only 140 seats available for each performance:
Opera and Ballet Evening Performances. You have to be at the Evening Box Office in 2, Via Filodrammatico (find on map) at 1.00 p.m. (be there at least a couple of hours before then, if the performance is one of the popular ones or on either Friday or Saturday night!) and join the queue, the lucky first 140 (who must bring some kind of official picture ID) will be noted down on a list, every single person who wants a ticket must show up, you cannot book for other people. Then you’ll have to be back at 5.00 p.m. at the Evening Box Office and get your tickets
Symphonic and Singing Concerts. The list will be filled out and tickets handed out at the Evening Box Office (find on map) office at 5.00 p.m. – remember that every person interested in a ticket must be physically present at this hour.
Matinee Performances The list will be filled out and tickets handed out at the Evening Box Office (find on map) office at 12.00 p.m. – remember that every person interested in a ticket must be physically present at this hour.
Normal admissions range from €18-2,000 depending on the performance you are interested in and where you want to sit, you can get more information about this here. It is a good idea to buy your tickets online in advance in case you already know you want to go, reservations and online purchase can be made here.
Another possibility, for the more impulsive opera lover, who likes to live life dangerously, is to go to the central box office in Galleria del Sagrato, Piazza Del Duomo, Metro Station Duomo (open all days from 12 p.m.to 6 p.m.) and ask whether there are any tickets that have not been picked up for that evening’s performance. (find on map) but you should know that the most popular performances are sold out months ahead.
Casa Verdi. Giuseppe Verdi built Casa Verdi as a home for retired musicians and he and his wife are themselvs buried in the crypt. The crypt can be visited every day at.8.30 a.m.-6 p.m., and it also possible for groups to visit Casa Verdi itself and its wonderful art collectionbut you need to book the tour in advance. The visit itself is free but it is custom to leave €3-5 as a a thank you. Casa Verdi is located on 29, Piazza Buonarotti (find on map).
When you think Milan, we bet you automatically think fashion and beauty. Treat yourself to a manicure (Aveda manicure €22 including nail polish/€25 French) or a pedicure that will make your feet look amazing in those new sandals you just got (Aveda pedicure €45 including nail polish).
Italians are incredibly skilled at styling hair but haircuts? Not-so-much. It is actually hard to find hairdressers that can cut other than thick, beautiful Italian hair.
If you absolutely want a haircut, try either Toni&Guy, they’ve got 3 salons in Milan (remember to book an appointment) or Lepri hair spa, who only use organic products.They’ve also got a mini Spa, where you can get facial treatments, massages, manicures etc. It’s also a good idea to book appointments here.
In Milan there is also a great and very beautiful Spa near Porta Romana QC Terme Milano where you can spend the whole day relaxing and swimming in the Thermal Water and get a massage – DaySpa25 includes the whole day in the Spa, a 25-minute massage and free buffet at €80, but you can put together your visit as you wish. You’ll find the center on Piazza Medaglie D’Oro 2 (find on map).
You should definitely visit one of the city’s many Erboristerie (herbalist’s) if you’re into all things natural, they sell great herbal medicine and beauty products and normally the personnel is very skilled and knowledgeable.
When visiting Milan you should be drinking the local wine from Lombardy, which are part of the culinary tradition in the area. Lombardy has five DOCG (di origine controllata garantita – guaranteed and controlled origin) wines and we want to introduce them to you and give you some ideas of what kind of food each of them is good with and what to buy home from your trip. Our wine expert, certified sommelier Luisa Benetti has been an invaluable help here.
A fantastic place for tasting wine in Milan is the historical winebar and -shop Cantine Isola located in Milan’s Chinatown at 30, Via Paolo Sarpi (find on map)
1. Franciacorta spumante, classical method. As the first Lombard DOCG wine we have chosen the very sophisticated white (or maybe even rosé) sparkling wine, a DOCG spumante. classical method – also known as the Champenoise Method that is produced in Franciacorta (Lombardy, province of Brescia).
There are numerous quality wine producers, just to mention some of the most importantVisit the offical Franciacorta websiteones: Barone Pizzini, Bellavista, Berlucchi, Ca’ del Bosco, Contadi Castaldi, Il Mosnel, Monte Rossa.
“Sparkling wine is a versatile wine that can be drunk with most typical Lombard dishes e.g. risotto with saffron and ossobuco, cold cuts and, obviously, seafood but it is actually also outstanding with pizza.” says sommelier Luisa Benetti.
Some suggestions for those of you, who want to buy wine to take home.
Franciacorta Official Sparkling Wine Sponsor at EXPO
2. Sforzato di Valtellina. Our next wine is a red wine and if you like a robust and intensely scented red wine with a deep red glow you need to try out the Sforzato di Valtellina (or Sfursàt as it’s called in the local dialect in the province of Sondrio). This wine comes from the mountains where the so-called heroic viticulture has produced a very interesting DOCG, A wine produced of Nebbiolo grapes, that have first been let to wither , which may sound a little negative, but which results in a very robust wine, locally it is called Chiavennasca.
“Lo Sfursàt is a robust and elegant win, which is aged in wooden barrels. It goes well with strong tasting meat dishes or aged cheese. But you can just as easily enjoy a glass after dinner” says Luisa..
Some of the best known producers are: Assoviuno, Bettini, Caven, Fay, Mamete Prevostini, Nera, Nino Negri, Plozza, Rainoldi, Triacca.
Some suggestions for those of you, who want to buy wine to take home.
Nino Negri Sforzato di Valtellina – Sfursat 5 stelle 2011
Bettini – Sfursat di Valtellina 2011
Fay – Sforzato di Valtellina, Ronco del Picchio 2010
Assoviuno – Sforzato di Valtellina, San Bello 2008
Rainoldi – Sfursat di Valtellina 2010
Triacca – Sforzato di Valtellina, San Domenico 2010
3. Oltrpò Pavese, classical method. Our third DOCG wine comes from the area south of Milan in the hills in the province of Pavia and is another sparkling wine this time . Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico DOCG (Champenoise Method).
The main vine variety used is pinot nero which was brought here from France in the second half of the 19th century.
Our expert sommelier Luisa Benetti says:”This bubbly wine is suitable for vegetarian and vegan dishes e.g. risotto with strawberries or a more traditional pasta e fagioli (pasta with beans). But it’s perfect for an aperitivo with appetizers as well.”
Some producers: Anteo, Cà di Frara, Castello di Cigognola, Conte Vistarino, Giorgi, Montagna , Picchi, Podere San Giorgio, Tenuta il Bosco, Torrevilla, Travaglino, Vigne Olcru
Some suggestions for those of you who want to buy some of this wonderful wine
Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico Brut Rosé Victoria 2008 (pinot nero) – Vigne Olcru
Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico Pinot nero Pas Dosé ‘more rosé 2011 (pinot nero) – Castello di Cigognola
Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico Cruasé (pinot nero) – Anteo
Oltrepò Pavese Metodo Classico Pinot nero Conte Vistarino 1865 – 2008 (pinot nero e chardonnay) – Conte Vistarino
4. Valtellina Superiore DOCG. For the fourth DOCG wine we return to the mountains in the province of Sondrio where we find a close relative to the Sforzato, an important red wine, the Valtellina Superiore DOCG.
It comes from the same vine variety the Nebbiolo, locally called Chiavennasca, from the same valley and the same heroic viticulture as the Sforzato and the Valtellina Superiore is also aged in barrels But an important difference is that the grapes aren’t left to wither.
If the label says ‘Riserva’ it means that it has been aged for at least three years..
Luisa Benetti, our sommelier and wine expert recommends the following five Cru: Grumello – Inferno – Sassella – Valgella – Maroggia.
“The Valtellina Superiore is intense and smooth and goes well with pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese or a dish of meat and porcino mushrooms.” Luisa says.
Some of the most important producers are: AR.PE.PE, Bettini, Caven, Fay, Mamete Prevostini, Nera, Nino Negri, Plozza, Rainoldi, Triacca
Here are some suggestions if you want to take some Valtellina Superiore home:
Valtellina Superiore La Botte Ventitre’ 2002 – Bettini
Valtellina Superiore Sassella San Lorenzo 2011 – Mamete Prevostini
Valtellina Superiore Riserva Signorie 2007 – Nera
Valtellina Superiore Inferno Carlo Negri 2011 – Nino Negri
5. Moscato di Scanzo. Like any self-respecting chef would we finish off with the dessert wine, the smallest DOCG in Italy, a real gem; the Moscato di Scanzo, a sweet red passito wine.
Scanzo is a small municipality in the province of Bergamo, its Moscato is a native Italian vine with an ancient history, the grapes are sun-dried for several weeks and the wine is aged for at least two years.
“The result,” says our wine expert, sommelier Luisa Benetti,”is a sweet wine that you can drink either with a chocolate tart or Marrons glacés – in Milan the most famous ones are from the Pasticceria Galli (find on map)”
Here are some ideas in case you want to buy some to take home:
Locatelli Caffi – Moscato di Scanzo 2011
De Toma – Moscato di Scanzo 2011
Il Cipresso – Moscato di Scanzo Serafino 2010
La Brugherata – Moscato di Scanzo Doge 2011
Biava – moscato di Scanzo 2011
The best known producers are Biava – Cascina del Francès – Cerri – De Toma – Il Cipresso – La Brugherata -Locatelli Caffi
Orange wine is apparently all the rage this year so what is it and which Italian labels produce them?
They are the new rosé but rosé wine gets its colour from the skins of black grapes left to macerate for some time and then removed, so the wine doesn’t become red, whereas orange wines are made from white grapes and the macerating of the skins give them their spectacular colour, it is not a new process but a very old tradition indigenous to the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. They are perfect with raw fish, meat and venison.
It may be hard to find in the wine bars right now but we assure you it is going to be a lot easier this autumn.
Here is list of the producers in Italy:
Abbazia San Giorgio Costadilà
Porta del Vento
In the photo you see Milan’s brand new neighbourhood Porta Nuova, you also find the famous “Bosco Verticale” (vertical forest) behind Piazza Gae Aulenti. You must absolutely visit HightechCargo, a great store with home and lifestyle objects. In the rest of this area you find the quaint, trendy boutiques with the up-and-coming young designers where you can find cool, unique stuff.
Shops:Joost 2, Via Verdi (find on map) great design for both him and her. In Via Solferino is the world’s best men’s shoes shop – Iliprandi (find on map). Thursdays there’s a characteristic open air market here with fruit, vegetables and clothes.
Via Solferino is a treasure trove of amazing, original boutiques (find on map) check out the unique clothes store Goods at 2, Via Castelfidardo (find on map) the concept is exclusivity, they sell their own range of silk shirts but also have other brands from France and Spain they also have bags and shoes they have have frequent discount days and the jewellery is also unique. Also check out the luxury outlet Outlet Matia’s in 4, Piazza Carlo Mirabello (find on map). High tech Cargo (find on map) is on Piazza XXV Aprile , where you’ll also find foodie paradise Eataly, which is housed in the converted Teatro Smeraldo. Here you can get specialties from small producers, it is also a fantastic place to eat or just have coffee with pastries. If you want delicacies to take home with you try also in the Esselunga supermaket situated beneath Piazza Gae Aulenti From here you continue down super chic Corso Como – with the shop 10 Corso Como, which also houses the art gallery Galleria Carla Sozzani which leads you into Milan’s brand new area Porta Nuova. Fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni’s boutique is located in Via Capelli, the short stretch between Corso Como and Piazza Gae Aulenti (find on map). Round the corner you find the great laboratory and shop Arzigogolo, that makes very beautiful and original necklaces, earrings and textile bags at surprisingly affordable prices, it’s at 11, Via Maroncelli (find on map).
Coffee:: Panarello, 52, Via della Moscova, great pastry!! (find on map), at the same address you also find Pattini and and 50 meters from there in the direction of Corso Como there is Radetzky with outdoor couches (find on map).
Lunch: Here is the very original Tramè, Piazza San Sempliciano 7 (find on map) and 22, Via Monte Grappa (find on map), where they prepare classical Venetian sandwiches, the place is cosy and the choice is great We also recommend Fioraio Bianchi Caffè 7, Via Montebello. In 12, Corso Garibaldi you can get organic burgers at Baobab (find on map) Then there is Via Palermo a road wit many interesting eateries (find on map) Panini Durini, 4, Piazza Gae Aulenti (find on map) super delicious sandwiches and coffee to-go, please note that it is situated below the square itself next to the Esselunga supermarket. You can get delicious to-go sandwiches and ready meals at Rossi e Grassi in 4, Via Ponte Vetero (find on map) and Via Solferino (find on map). 10 Corso Como Cozy courtyard, with good lunch. Pizzeria di Porta Garibaldi, 6, Corso Como (find on map). Temakinho 53, Corso Garibaldi (find on map) Pattini, 5, Via Solferino (find on map) although is technically “just” a bakery, they have lots of delicious dishes and pasta that you can eat either inside at the tables or outside on the comfortable benches. Of course they also have great pizza and foccaccia. El Tombon de San Marc, regular Milanese food, 20, Via San Marco (find on map). Café Gorille, 20, Via Gaetano de Castillia (find on map) a really cosy and beautiful café which is rich on atmosphere Panini Durini, 24, Via Mercato (find on map), delicious sandwiches, cakes and coffee to go. Pandenus, 24, Via Mercato (find on map), great lunch and aperitivo, breakfast every day from 7 am.
Italian ice cream: Grom, Piazza Gae Aulenti (find on map) good concept and excellent icecream. Rivareno, 20, Via Mercato (find on map) – absolutely fabulous ice cream made with only fresh, natural ingredients and sweetened with cane sugar.
The famous fashion quadrangle Quadrilatero della moda has its name after the four streets it is enclosed by: Via Montenapoleone, via Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia. This area is a celebration of luxury and beauty and is genuine old Milan and it is definitely worth a visiti. Many of the boutiques are entire fashion shows in themselves.
Shops:Here you’ll find them all; Armani, D&G, Dior, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Valentino, Prada, Versace, Cavalli, Missoni, Hermès, Burberry, Kartell, Alessi, Comptoir des Cottoniers, Trussardi , Paul Smith, (the last 5 are in Via Manzoni). Also check out the luxury outlet Outlet Matia’s in 37, Corso Venezia (find on map).
Coffee: While you’re here go and enjoy coffee at the charming Pastry shop Cova, 8, Via Montenapoleone with courtyard. Pastry shop Marchesi (find on map) one of Milan’s oldest pastry shops has opened a new shop here in 9, Via Montenapoleone.
Lunch: GB Bar, 2, Via Agnello (find on map) Another exclusive and very cosy restaurant in this area is Il Salumaio di Via Montenapoleone at 10, Via Santo Spirito (find on map) – this is also a great place to have a coffee break. Brek good self service restaurant with reasonable prices,1, Piazzetta U. Giordano (find on map) Princi Bakery, Corso Venezia 21 (find on map) in principle this is a bakery but they prepare delicious lunch dishes: pasta, risotto and salads. Go early (before 12.30) because the place is normally packed!! Panini Durini, 26, Via Durini (find on map), small place but they make absolutely delicious sandwiches, soups, salads AND they’ve got incredible coffee (also to go) and cakes.
Coffee: B Café, 20, Via Santa Marta. Caffè della Pusterla, 22, Via Edmondo de Amicis – great atmosphere (find on map).
Pastry shop Marchesi (find on map) one of Milan’s oldest pastry shops located in 11/a, Via Santa Maria alla Porta .
Lunch: Visit foodie temple Peck, (find on map) Milan’s no. 1 delicatessen and get an amazing lunch.
Here you can enjoy a slice of pizza or foccacia.
Then there is Fratelli La Bufala, 16, Corso di Porta Cinese (find on map) Panino Giusto, 1, Corso di Porta Ticinese – quality sandwiches. (Find on map)
Delicious Southern Italian street food at Slow Sud, 4, Via delle Asole (find on map)
In Via Giacomo Mora (find on map) there are also a couple of cosy places for lunch.
For tasty vegetarian food check out La Vecchia Latteria, 6, Via dell’Unione (find on map). Italian ice cream:: Grom, 51, Corso di Porta Ticinese (find on map) good concept and excellent ice cream.
4. San Babila/Corso Vittorio Emanuele #TheHighStreetInItalian – (Find on map)
In this area you are the easy prey for street vendors who will try to make you buy books, bracelets and other stuff. They are really nice but once you start talking to them you won’t get away until you buy something. Ignore them, they’ll try to make you take a bracelet saying it’s a gift – DON’T TAKE IT (unless, of course, you want to buy it)!
We are in the center of the city and here you find for example:
The regular High Street shops i.e. Brian & Barry – department store with an Eataly department. Boggi (great outfits for him), Diesel, Max & Co, Max Mara, Liu Jo,Sephora, Banana Republic, GAP, Intimissimi, Calzedonia, Yamamay, Kiko, La Rinascente – department store, Sisley, Guess, Swatch, Footlocker, Benetton, H&M, COS, … And Other Stories and Zara. #roundTheCorner you find the outlet Diffusione Tessile (if you’re into Max Mara ,Max & Co), very cheap compared with their official shops, it is in 6, Galleria San Carlo). (Find on map) The beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele(find on map) with shops Stefanel, Prada, Borsellini, Gucci, Louis Vuitton Between our areas 4 and 2 you find Abercrombie & Fitch on the corner of Corso Matteotti, where you can find other really great shops, a favourite of ours is Moroni Gomma.
If you’re in the mood for a short walk and a breathtaking experience visit Palazzo Ralph Lauren at 27, Via San Barnaba (find on map) near the lovely Guastalla park
Lunch;Luini – nte that they are closed in August – (they make Panzerotti – a kind of mini calzone either fried or baked, there’s normally a very long queue, but it’s very well organizedand fast and more importantly; it’s worth the wait, you can eat it picnic style on Piazza San Fedele (right behind – find on map), where you can enjoy coffee afterwards in the brand new Lavazza Store. There’s also the Italian version of burgers Mama Burger (find on map). Il Mercato del Duomo (food market, bistrot and restaurant with an incredible view over Piazza Duomo). If you want to see and be seen there are lots of outdoor places on Corso Vittorio Emanuele itself, Italians don’t go here, they are typical tourist traps. Worth mentioning is also Fratelli La Bufala, 8, Galleria San Carlo (find on map). On the same square you have Gino Sorbillo Neapolitan pizza in Milan.
Inside the Museo del Novecento right at Piazza Duomo you find the exclusive Giacomo Arengario with a view on the Duomo Crocetta, 5, Piazza Diaz (find on map) with excellent sandwiches, salads and first courses. Panini Durini, 4, Via Mengoni (find on map), delicious sandwiches, cakes and coffee to go.
On the top floor of department store La Rinascente there are several restaurants, a food market and the most amazing view over Piazza del Duomo and the city.
Coffee:: Try out the delicious coffee with whipped cream at San Carlo al Corso, on Piazza San Carlo (find on map) or sip it at the exclusive Gucci Café halfway in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (find on map)where you also find Prada’s in-store coffeshop/pastry shop Marchesi on the first floor with an amazing view of the Galleria. Hidden behind the scaffolding in Piazza San Babila for the new metro line is a real gem Pascucci at 22, Corso Europa (find on map). They import their own blend of organic South American coffee, you can also get lunch here.
Then there is the Lavazza Store on Piazza San Fedele (find on map).
Shops: H&M, Zara, Conipel, Benetton, Stefanel, Pepe Jeans, Kiko (affordable makeup), JDC, Guess kids, Vergelio sko, Bata shoes, Levis, Antony Morato, Geox , Elena Miro, Freddy, Furla, Desigual, Intimissimi Lingeri, Liu-Jo, Camicissima (shirts for him & her), Celio (for him), Havaianas, Tezenis Lingeri, bassetti (home innovation), Du Pareil (kids’ clothes). OVS (Italian low-cost clothing) have opened their so far biggest store in 21, Corso Buenos Aires The biggest and first shop in the Japanese chain Muji, to have opened in Milan.
#roundTheCorner -Lisa Corti
In adjoining Via Lecco no. 2 (find on map) you find Lisa Corti #roundTheCorner who sells colourful tablecloths, bedspreads, blankets for you couch, ceramics and clothes and in Viale Tunisia there is the very interesting Carpediem shop. And, last but not least, at 6, Via Bernardino Ramazzini is one of the most interesting new openings East Market Shop – a spin-off of Milan’s absolute best flea market East Market – (find on map) – a must-see for vintage lovers.
Lunch: MINT Garden café, 12, Via Felice Casati (find on map) Really delicious lunch and brunch place. Pizzeria Spontini, 4, Via Gaspare Spontini (find on map) Paninoteca, Galleria Corso Buenos Aires (find on map) Panino Giusto, 3, Via Malpighi – quality sandwiches (find på kort) Capatoast, 4, Corso Buenos Aires – a delicious new concept 30 different toasts including vegetarian and vegan ones.(find on map). Pavé, 27, Via Felice Casati (find on map) – delicious lunch and great coffee.
Coffee: you could probably do with a break from the crowds on Corso Buenos Aires, so go into Indro Montanelli Public Gardens and have a coffee break at Bar Bianco (find om map); or go to Panarello, famous for their pastries (find on map)
This area is actually a shopping-route. Start at Via Marghera – via Belfiori – Corso Vercelli – Corso Magenta – check out the luxury outlet Outlet Matia’s in 12, Corso Magenta (find on map) – with a detour to Via Vicenzo Monti and a cultural break to “The Last Supper” (you have to book tickets phone number +39 02 92800360) another must-see is art gallery/design store Spazio Rossana Orlandi at 14/16, Via Matteo Bandello which is just a little out of the way but so worth visiing.
Shops: #roundTheCorner in 5, Via Luigi Sacco (find on map) Io & Meg different jewellery and clothes. Via Marghera here you find several shoe shops and varied clothes shops, outlets. OVS clothes shop H&M style. #roundTheCorner Via Belfiore (find on map) fantastic hardware store, Lo Sfizio clothes, Subdued, in Corso Vercelli you find department store Coin with medium prices, Boggi (stylish outfits for him), Comptoir des Cottoniers, Max & Co, Gallo if you’re into quality and stripes, Furla handbags and wallets, BRIAN & BARRY, IntimissimiGemelli luxury and quality, Sephora makeup, ZARA home, Trussardi, Danza, Zadiq & Voltaire plus Swarovski, Songes, Carré Dartistes. Victoria’a secret, 20, Corso Vercelli (find on map)
Coffee: Biffi pastry shop: Have coffee or #aperitivo old Milan style or try it in the small coffee shop at 36, Corso Vercelli , where you drink coffee while enjoying the smell of freshly ground coffee beans, and you can buy some for your espresso machine at home.
Lunch: Ham Holy Burger, 34, Via Marghera (find on map) great burgers, Pizzeria da Gino,9, Corso Vercelli (find on map) Standing lunch with good pizza and ready meals. Then there is Fratelli La Bufala, 13, Via Cima Rosa (find on map) Panino Giusto, 8, Via Cherubini (find on map) quality sandwiches. Rosticceria Gallo, 8, Corso Vercelli a deli and restaurant for foodies that has delicious ready-to-go meals (find on map) Fru.Eat on Piazzale Baracca (find on map) – lunch based on fruit and vegetables. Panini Durini,7, Via Buonarotti (find on map) delicious sandwiches, cakes and coffee to go. Panini Durini, 31, Corso Magenta (find on map), delicious sandwiches, cakes and coffee to go.
Italian ice creamGrom, 1a, Via Alberto da Giussano (find on map) Good concept and excellent ice cream.
Should it get too hot to wander the streets of Milan you can spend a day in of the city’s outdoor swimming pools. Know that enter the water if you’re wearing a swim cap (and obviously swim suit) but you can buy one for a relatively modest price at the entrance. If you haven’t brought a swim suit at e.g. Calzedonia,Yamamay, H&M which you can find everywhernin the city. Admissions fees are around €7-10. The outdoor swimming pools are open from the beginning of June till the end of August.
Novotel Milan Linate organizes outdoor brunch every Sunday until September 1st from 12-2.30 pm with free access to the hotel swimming pool afterwards, It costs €20 for adults and €10 for kids.You must reserve at least 24 hours in advance at either email address email@example.com or phone number +3902507261. The hotel is located at 121, Via Mecenate (find on map).
You can also go to the outdoor swimming pool in Como by the lake, read more here.
Ferragosto is a very important holiday in Italy but shops are no longer required to close on this day though so most big stores in the center are open. It can be difficult to find a table at a restaurant unless you book because, although it is true that most Italians tradtionally go away on vacation in August, more and more people choose other periods and today Milan is no longer completely empty. Ferragosto is a religious holiday celebrating the Assumption of Mary. According to Italians it is also the hottest day of the year and is celebrated with lots of good food and wine. Below is a list of things taking place on and around August 15th.
August 15th from 9 pm Fireworks – a classical concert by the Giiuseppe Verdi Symphonic Orchestra at Castello Sforzesco (find on map).
On August 13th, 14th and 15th in the Navigli area of Milan (find on map) you can go on the canal boat trips but you must book your seat by August 12th 5 p.m. (read more here).
All the city’s other outdoor swimming pools are open on August 15th, read more about them here.
You can visit almost all museums and all the city’s civic museums free of charge on August 15th. Find out where they are here.
Book a table at Milan’s restaurants well in advance of August 15th because everybody wants to eat out on that day. Check out our recommendations here.
August 15th 6.30 pm grilled food and watermelon foolowed by DJ set with Atomic at BASE at 34, Via Bergognone (find on map).
August 15th 7-11 pm Ferragosto at the Bagni Misteriosi (the outdoor swimmingpool in 18, Via Carlo Botta (find on map) with music at by the percussionists NicoNote and a slice of watermelon for everybody.
If you’re into incredible bargains in clothes, shoes, bags and accessories it is actually worth your while to visit one of the many fashion outlets near Milan. Be prepared to spend a full day on it but most of the places are little villages with restaurants and cafés so you can get a fun day out of it. Fares are around €10,00 roundtrip and most of the companies give you vouchers to either the restaurants or some of the shops on top.
Scalo Milano Visit this newly opened shopping center in Locate di Triulzi (find on map) just 30 minutes from Piazza Reppubblica in the city center by the railroad link S13 (passante) and a 2/minute walk from the station. There are great brands like Karl Lagerfeld G-Star Raw, Twinset, Levi’s, Calvin Klein, Kartell, Alessi and many others at outlet prices. You can also get there by shuttle service from Largo Ciroli three times a day. The center is open Mondays-Wednesdays 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Thursday-Sundays 10 a.m.-11 p.m.