Milan is the fashion capital and financially the most important city in Italy. A paradise for shopping, football, opera, nightlife and the marketplace for Italian fashion which means no visit would be complete without a visit to the fashion quarter and shopping for the latest looks. Apart from fashion and shopping Milan is equally famous for its wealth of historical and modern sights. Milan represents the “new” Italy. It is the most modern of all Italian cities, and it still keeps most of its past history intact.
Cold and foggy in winter and very hot and humid in summer, Milan is a unique city with a singular weather. But the best time to visit would be anytime between April and October when you are likely to get good weather. The city of Milan never sleeps and there is always something happening in this vibrant city, pack your bags anytime of the year and you’re bound to have a good time.
Its climate is typically Mediterranean: the mountains to the north shield the city from the worst of the Arctic chills, but there are the occasional cold snaps to watch out for. Equally uncomfortable are occasional summer heatwaves.
Sights of attraction:
Cathedral: Famous for its more than 3400 statues, it is the third largest Catholic Church in the world after St Peter’s in Rome and the Seville Cathedral. The construction of this church started in 1386 and took almost 600 years to build. At the time it was built it could hold the entire population of Milan, 40,000 people. Exploring this amazing antic church is a divine experience in itself. Climbing up onto the roof of the iconic Italian Cathedral is a must-do. The entrance (Duomo info point) is located to the left of the Duomo entrance and on the roof there is no dress code.
Castello Sforzesco: Castello Sforzesco is build with a square plan laid out around three inner courtyards. This castle is dominated by its many towers and there are four imposing towers at each corner: two round towers at the main façade facing the city and two square towers at the other end. At the rear façade are two more conventional towers, the Torre Castellana and Torre Falconiera. Being a main attraction of the city this place is a must see and almost every Milan visitor come to explore this place.
Fashion District: Milan is very famous for its fashionable spirit and you can find the best of clothing rand here. Fashion District is an area which includes such famous streets as Via Montenapoleone, Via Della Spiga and Via Manzoni. Most of these streets are pedestrianized, making this area perfect for an afternoon stroll. Each of the streets has its own list of design houses. And for those who live with style and fashion this place is a dream come true. Every year lots of designers and models come Fashion District to explore the latest trends of fashion.
Places to change money in Milan:
ATM services are available everywhere in Europe. Tell your bank and credit card company before your visit to Europe so that they doesn’t freeze your cards for what it thinks is unauthorized use. You may want to increase your daily ATM withdrawal limit so you can withdraw money less frequently and thus pay fewer transaction fees.
In local there are many other places where you can go and exchange your currency. The one on the Champs-Elysees across from the Gap store gives pretty good rates. There are several on rue de Rivoli near the Louvre and you’ll have to compare rates also. If by any chance you are in Montparnasse, there is a good one at 95 bd Montparnasse with excellent rates.
Apart from that, some of the foreign banks around the opera give decent rates (like an Italian bank or something). If you only have a small amount, it doesn’t really matter that much.
Clothes to Wear:
Not everyone goes around with the latest butt-exposing low-cut jeans in Milan although it is world’s fashion capital. You’ll find people very well-heeled and not so style conscious also. Looking out over the Piazza del Duomo for example, you’ll see tons of sloppily dressed tourists, immigrant communities selling their wares or just generally congregating, business people rushing around – there are all kinds of dressing. It depends on where you go (dress up for a night on the town and go casual for walking around the city). Wearing clean, white, shiny sneakers is a tip off that you are a tourist. While wearing shorts is absolutely fine for walking around, you’ll also stand out as a tourist. But don’t be very hyperactive always about your dressing, just wear what you like and you feel comfortable with.
It is strongly recommended by The Department of Foreign Affairs that you should obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Italy. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
You do require your passport, valid for the duration of your stay in Italy. You are required to carry photographic ID with you at all times as per the Italian law. A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) must be obtained by the travelers before travelling to Italy. Take the usual precautions while using ATMs in Milan, such as checking that the machine has not been interfered with before use and don’t disclose your PIN number to anyone at any cost.