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Milan - Italy
The Beautiful Historical Centre of Milan, Italy
Galleria - Milan - Italy
Historical Centre - Milan, Italy
Incredible Architecture and Sophistication in Italy's Fashion Capital

Milan

Cities and Towns in Lombardia

Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital of Lombardy. The city proper has a population of about 1.35 million, while its urban area is the 5th largest in the EU and the largest in Italy.  The city is at the center of a huge metropolitan sprawl, the most dense in all Italy, where over 4.5 million Italians make their home.  It is a muscular city that is the financial, industrial and commercial heart of Italy. Indeed, Milan ranks, with New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles and Toronto as one of the world's great "alpha" cities.

As readers of www.italygroupspecialists.com are aware, our mission is to present the "off-the-beaten-track" places in Italy.  Strangely, from the point of view of tourism, Milan - or Milano as the Italians know it, is not one of Italy's most popular destinations.  So, we did feel an obligation to dip our editorial toes into the city and give you a good sense of what the place is all about.

Milan is not perceptibly quaint or immediately charming.  Nor is it located in a landscape that stirs the imagination.  It is a city of the plain, situated in the vast, fertile prairie that extends from the foothills of the Alps on the North, to the River Po to the south.  To enjoy Milan and discover its abundant delights, you must penetrate, by car, train or bus, to its ancient core, which rubs shoulders with the ultra-modern "new city".

Once there, you can explore on foot, or use local buses and an efficient "subway" system to get around.  From time to time a cab will suffice to get you to a site that is a bit further out than a good walk.

The city was founded, presumably by Celts as long ago as the 7th Century BC.  In its long history it has been ruled by Romans, then by the invading barbarians, first the Ostrigoths, then the Longobards.  Milan, like other Italian cities, operated under the commercial oligarchy commune system for a time, but also like other cities, came  under the despotic rule of Signoria, with the Visconti family dominating for several decades, followed by the Sforza family. 

The city was conquered by France in the 15th century, but the French were displaced by the Spanish, who, in the 18th century were overthrown by the Austrians, who, in the 19th century were defeated by Napoleon.  Ultimately, of course, Milan became part of the Kingdom of Italy, which merged with the rest of the Italian peninsula to form the modern country of Italy in 1861.

This long, complicated history makes it unsurprising, therefore, that the architecture of Milan incorporates at least a few fragments from its early tribal settlers, as well as churches, palazzi, and government buildings that reflect the Roman, Gothic and Renaissance styles, sometimes all in one building.  Nor is it surprising, given the wealth of the Milan's rulers and merchant families, that the artistic works scattered around the city include works from the best of the best, including works by Leonardo Da Vinci who's very famous painting, The Last Supper, hangs in the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

There are countless churches in Milan, but the one that you will not, cannot and should not miss is the Duomo - the Cathedral - which is the 3rd largest cathedral in Europe featuring  a golden Madonna at its peak, over 140 spires, many of which you can see if you take the "roof walk", and 2000 statutes.  The Duomo is a Gothic building, constructed in the 13h Century, sitting in the main square of the oldest part of Milan.

Nor will you want to miss Castello Sforzesco, the seat of power for the mighty Sforza family who ruled Milan in the 14th and early 15th Centuries.  The building was started in 1368, but was extended and renovated continually throughout the family's reign.

Other landmarks, old and new, that we recommend for your "must see" list, include:

 

  • Arco della Pace (The Arch of Peace) – Piazza Sempione
  • Archi di Porta Nuova (The new gate) on Via Manzoni, in the old medieval wall.
  • Porta Ticinese (Ticinese Port)Via Molino delle Armi.  During Roman times, this gate opened to a small port at the convergence of the Norone and Seveso Rivers.
  • Stazione Centrale - Piazza Duca d'Aosta.  Done in the Art Nouveau style, this is one of the largest and most impressive train stations in all Europe.
  • Grattacielo Pirelli (Pirelli Tower) - Piazzale Duca d'Aosta.  Built in the 1950s on the site of the original Pirelli tire works, the tower is a symbol of the modern city.
  • Teatro alla Scala (La Scala Theatre) Piazza della Scala.  Built in 1776, the theatre is used for live theatre, ballet and, of course, opera.

While the architectural heritage of Milan is of considerable interest, Milan is also a paradise for those who enjoy haute cuisine and haute couture.  Along with Paris and London, Milan is one of Europe's most powerful fashion centers.  The importance of design, however, is not limited to fashion, but extends to furniture and industrial design of all kinds.  Shoppers, with money to burn, will not be disappointed with what they find in the beautiful shops that line the central commercial zoneMilan is Italy's most important financial center, featuring international-scale banks and  brokerages, and also Italy's largest bourse - or stock exchange.  Most of Milan's major media groups, advertising agencies, and commercial head offices are located in Milan.

To top it all off, Milan is also one of Italy's most important educational centers, with more than a dozen universities and a Polytechnic Institute of international repute.

As we said at the outset, Milan is a city of muscle.  But, it is also a city of considerable refinement and sophistication.  It is, as some say, a European city, not an Italian city.  But, that is a superficial assessment.  Milan and the Milanese are Italian, through and through.

 

Map

 
 

City Sightseeing Hop On / Hop Off Bus Tour (48 Hours Validity)

Our red open top double-decker buses have already become part of the city of Milan and they are becoming more andmore appreciated by tourists from all over the world and by those people who want to know Milan from a different perspective, without having to cope with the hectic pace of this metropolis.

 

Full Day Tour Bernina Train & St. Moritz (Approx. 10 Hrs)

Enjoy the dreamy beauty of the Alpine landscape complete with high mountains, glaciers, serene blue lakes, lush meadows with cows grazing in them and quaint farmhouses.

 

Full Day Tour Dolomiti & Renon Train (Approx. 14 Hours)

The Dolomites in the northern Italian Alps, feature some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere in any season of the year, numbering 18 peaks which rise to above 3,000 meters. The Renon rack railway, survived the war and historical changes, still gives us breathtaking views of the stunning peaks of the Dolomites, covering a drop of nearly 1000 meters.

 

Full Day Tour In Lake Maggiore

Visit Lake Maggiore, bordered by Piedmont, Lombardy and Switzerland. Visit the town of Stresa and take a boat to the Borromean islands.

 

Full Day Tour In Venice

This small group sightseeing tour of Venice departs from and returns to Milan. It is the perfect option for those looking to experience Venice who do not have a lot of time and yet want to experience the city in the most convenient way. This tour includes the highlights of Venice, including the Bridge of Sighs, Mark's Square and a comprehensive city tour.

 

Full Day Tour of Lake Como including Bellagio from Milan

This is a full day tour of Lake Como, that departs from Milan. We leave early to travel North from Milan up to Como town and U visit to the beautiful Villa Olmo and Saint Abbondio Church followed by free time in Como for shopping. At mid day you will take a panoramic cruise on the Lake. Along the shores, in particular from Cernobbioto Gravedona, you will see wonderful villas and gardens with plenty of flowers as well as exotic and rare plants.

 

Full Day Tour To Genova & Portofino

Visit the old district of Genova, which is known for its Romanesque churches and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore Santa Margherita Ligure, a community full of historical buildings, and the charming village of Portofino. Departure from Milan at 07.30 and arrival in Genova at 10.00 approximately.

 

Full Day Tour To Genova & Portofino (Approx. 12 Hours)

Visit the old district of Genova, which is known for its Romanesque churches and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore Santa Margherita Ligure, a community full of historical buildings, and the charming village of Portofino.

 

Full Day Tour to Venice (Approx. 14 Hrs)

Venice really needs no introduction. The watery city, home to gondoliers in stripy jerseys singing in front of the Bridge of Sighs, has been a fabled holiday destination for centuries. Anyone who has visited Venice, has marvelled at St Mark's Square and exploring the city's maze of canals.

 

Full Day Tour Verona & Lake Garda

The beautiful lakeside towns charmed foreign visitors for centuries, this area was a summer resort area for the ancient Romans. The pretty town of Sirmione is on the southern shore of Lake Garda, perched on the end of a long promontory. You will see narrow medieval streets bustling with life and colour, the famous summer residence of Roman poet Catullus and the ancient castle Rocca Scaligera. Take home some great pictures of the serene blue waters of Lake Garda surrounded by mountains and lots of greenery.

 

Half Day Best Of Milan Walking Tour & Da Vinci Last Supper (Approx. 3 Hours)

Milan is one of the top 3 fashion cities in the world, but there is much more to this hip, urban metropolis – it is also home to an incredible patrimony of art and culture which includes Leonardo DaVinci‟s greatest masterpiece: the Last Supper. On this Skip the Line walking tour of the Best of Milan – we‟ll take to the city by foot starting with a visit inside the famous „Duomo‟ located in the most central point of the city. An impressive & beautiful cathedral – it is often described as one of the most beautiful churches in the world.

 

Half Day Brera Museum Tour (Approx. 2 Hours And Half)

The Pinacoteca di Brera is located in the great palace of Brera, which also houses other institutions including the National Library Braidense, the Accademy of Fines Arts and the Astronomical Observatory. The Art Gallery occupies the top floor of the large building, but is waiting to expand in nearby Palazzo Citterio. The fame of the Pinacoteca is due to large canvases by Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna schools. Stand out in particular the famous masterpieces by Piero della Francesca, Giovanni Bellini, Mantegna, Raphael,Tintoretto and Caravaggio.

 

Half Day In The Footsteps Of Leonardo Walking Tour & Last Supper Visit(Approx. 3 Hrs)

A unique opportunity to discover the artistic genius of Leonardo daVinci life and works through his Milanese masterpieces: the rooms of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana dedicated to Leonardo, feature his famous “Portrait of a Musician”, his incomparable Last Supper (housed in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie) and the Codex Atlanticus exhibition, a collection of astounding drawings on various topics including science, weaponry and astronomy created by the Renaissance master and unveiled to the public for the first time at this sensational show.

 

Half Day Milan Fashion History Walking Tour

This is a fantastic tour of Milan that is focused on the unique history of Italian fashion. Our expert guide will enlighten you about the most interesting facts and unusual characteristics of the brands showcased in the Quadrilatero,

 

Half Day Milan Food Walking Tour (Approx. 3 Hours)

This new 3-hour Milan Food Tour is a unique and memorable tasting experience through the historic district of Brera, which is one of the oldest and fascinating neighborhoods of Milan. Brera is the quarter of Milan where the old world charm meets a trendy and youthful downtown vibe. On your Food tour in Milan, you will taste delightful Italian foods from local shops that specialize in traditional recipes using century-old techniques.

 

Half Day Morning City Tour & Da Vinci Last Supper (App. 3 Hours And Half)

Guided bus and walking tour for a panoramic view of the city with two-language speaking tour guide. The tour begin with 1 hour walking tour including the breathtaking Duomo (one of the world's largest, most striking gothic cathedrals) then the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (you may even stop for an espresso in the same cafe that composer Verdi frequented), and at list the well known Teatro alla Scala.

 

Half Day Tour Medieval Bergamo (Approx. 5 Hrs)

The old town lays amongst the greenery, to the advantage of the landscape. This strip of rush vegetation connects the historical town with the hill region extending westward.

 

New -Half Day Milan Skyline Tour (Approx. 3 Hours)

An exciting tour in discovery of one of the largest building site seeing Europe: the Porta Nuova & Corso Como district. A unique project in the field of eco-sustainability involving the creation of anew hub of fashion, design and culture.

 

Tour Milan By Night With -Happy Hour- (Approx. 3 Hrs)

As the sun sets over Milan, watch the night life emerge to a backdrop of illuminated lights on a guided coach tour,perfect for introducing you to the city‟s lively social scene.

 

Exclusive: Rome - Florence - Tuscany - Milan - Lake District & Venice

This is an exclusive tour that we offer which covers Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Milan, the incredible Lake District and Venice. It is perfect for those who want to sit back, relax and enjoy the very best of what Italy has to offer without having to worry about driving, long-lines or the crowds. This is an exclusive, one-of-a-kind tour offered by us that will leave you coming back to Italy for more!

 

Half Day Private Morning Tour of Cenacolo Vinciano - Leonardo Davinci's Last Supper - Milan Italy

During this private tour of Milan, you will experience Milan's incredible historical center followed by the Leonardo DaVinci's Last Supper at the Cenacolo Vinciano. It's a great way for visitors with a short time in Milan to experience the very best of Milan and one of Italy and the word's most important masterpieces.

 

Milan - Lake Como & Lugano Switzerland

This is a perfect tour for those who want to experience the very best of Northern Italy, including Italy's design capital - Milano and the amazingly beautiful Italian Lake District, home to Lake Como and the picturesque town of Bellagio. The tour also takes up to Switzerland and Lugano, home to stunning plant varieties, beautiful gardens and wonderful shopping.

 

Private Tour of Venice, Milan and Italy's Magnificent Lake District

This is a unique package that we offer for couples or groups of friends who want to experience the very best of Venice, Milan and Italy's unique Lake District - including the towns of Bellagio, Como and some of the famous gardens which surround the lake. It's a terrific package which includes all private transfers, luxury rail and the finest accommodation in each destination.

 

Ideal Classic Tour - From Rome

Journey through Italy's Art cities and then up into the fantastic Lakes district, before heading back south through Milan to Rome. Enjoy scenic drives along the beautiful Autostrada del Sole, the Tuscan countryside, and the medieval towns of the Emilia Romagna region, land of world famous “prosciutto” and parmesan cheese. Also enjoy the Veneto region, world famous for its Villa of Palladio, and of course the Italian Alps.

 

Italian Indulgence - From Milan

Travel, live and eat as the locals do in this 8 day luxury small-group journey which features Venice, Milan, Verona, the Lakes District, Florence, Pisa,Rome and more! Features superior 4* boutique hotels and special gourmet dinners throughout.

 

Italian Indulgence - From Rome

Travel, live and eat as the locals do in this 6 day luxury small-group journey which features Assisi, Venice, Milan, Verona, the Lakes District, Florence, Pisa and more! Features superior 4* boutique hotels and special gourmet dinners throughout.

 

Italian Indulgence - From Venice

Travel, live and eat as the locals do in this 8 day luxury small-group journey which features Venice, Milan, Verona, the Lakes District, Florence, Pisa,Rome and more! Features superior 4* boutique hotels and special gourmet dinners throughout.

 

Milan - Lake Como & Lugano Switzerland

This is a perfect tour for those who want to experience the very best of Northern Italy, including Italy's design capital - Milano and the amazingly beautiful Italian Lake District, home to Lake Como and the picturesque town of Bellagio. The tour also takes up to Switzerland and Lugano, home to stunning plant varieties, beautiful gardens and wonderful shopping.

 

Northern Italy from Venice Including Verona, Lake Garda, Lake Como and Milan with Complementary Transfer to Rome if Needed

Our min-stay in Northern Italy short-stay option starts in Venice and ends in Milan.and runs from April 2017 to October 2017, departing every Thursday. The package includes one night in Venice which is perfect for those coming into Venice or already in Venice as the first night we meet is a group orientation dinner.

 

Hotel Galles Milan

Strategically located, in front of the underground, few stops from the Duomo and Fiera, within walking distance from Centrale Station and on the corner of Corso Buenos Aires, one of the main shopping streets in Milan, the hotel is the perfect solution for your business or leisure trip to Milan city.

Cities and Towns in Lombardia

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