The historic city of Milan in Italy’s northern Lombardy region is a financial hub that is home to the national stock exchange.
Best known for its art, culture, fashion and high-end restaurants and shops, the metropolis accounts for a large percentage of Italy’s business and hosts three Fortune 500 companies. The city is currently undergoing a major urban renewal and is home to a large number of media and advertising agencies and a growing number of internet companies and start-ups.
It is also an important industrial and manufacturing centre, particularly for the motor industry with Alfa Romeo and Pirelli having a major presence. Additional key sectors include engineering and research in health and biotechnology developments.
Most travellers will prefer to stay in the centre, which provides easy access to most of the city’s major businesses and the central station.
The luxury Mandarin Oriental is centrally based with good transport connections and a range of high-end amenities. Brera Apartments is also located in the centre of Milan close to major attractions. The sleek Armani Hotel Milano is certainly in keeping with the city’s focus on fashion and features a business centre among its amenities. ‘Green’ travellers may prefer the Bio City Hotel, which features the latest eco-friendly technology in a 1920s villa. It is close to the railway station and subway.
Visitors in Milan can expect to eat well. There is naturally a plethora of superb restaurants and historic cafes across the city. Contraste offers fine dining with an experimental twist; Sapori Solari is a delicatessen restaurant with a brilliant selection of cured meats and cheeses; or sample café culture at G.B. Bar with its impressive display of paninis.
Dining tends to be a little later in Milan so pre-dinner drinks are common and there are plenty of happy hours, with spreads of prosciutto, mozzarella and salads.
Bar Martini by Dolce&Gabbana is a trendy option with an interior garden and bistro. Beer enthusiasts may want to head to Birrificio Lambrate, which serves craft ales from the region as well as their own brews. Il Foyer at the Four Seasons Hotel Milan is a relaxed and elegant lounge in a converted 15th-century convent.
Milan is served by three airports. Malpensa is the largest, Linate is a smaller city airport and Orio al Serio (Bergamo) is located some distance from the city. The Malpensa Express train departs every 30 minutes from Malpensa Terminal 1 to the city centre and is priced at €10. If travelling by taxi there is a flat fee of €90 from Malpensa to Milan. The fare from Linate is between €10 and €20. Alternatively, all three airports have regular bus departures offering the best value at around €5.
Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mural, The Last Supper, can be seen in the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie, although booking in advance is required. No visit is complete with out taking in the city’s impressive gothic cathedral, Duomo di MilanoThe world-famous Teatro alla Scala features a superb opera programme while shoppers should make for the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele shopping arcade with its glass and iron dome, mosaics and marble floorways.
There are plenty of flight options between the UK and Milan. Alitalia offers up to 28 weekly flights from London City and Heathrow to Milan Linate. British Airways provides flights between London Heathrow and both Milan Malpensa and Linate airports. EasyJet flies to Malpensa from Gatwick, Luton, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Return flights from London to Milan cover around 951kms and produces 0.18 tonnes of C02. Offset this with the CarbonNeutral starting from £1.80..