Milan in northern Italy may be a small city compared to the Italian capital of Rome, but it nonetheless plays a vital part in Italy’s economy and tourism. Milan, after all, is one of the recognized global centers of fashion, art and design, and that status alone is enough to draw crowds to the city.
Because Milan is one of the world’s capitals when it comes to fashion and design, it makes perfect sense that one of the many things that you can do in Milan is to go shopping. Italian craftsmanship is highly prized all over the world, and if you have the money to spend on luxury Italian goods, the best place to go and shop for them is Milan.
Where can you shop in Milan? It really depends on what items you want to shop for. If you are on the lookout for the high-end designer labels, the obvious place to go would be Via Montenapoleone and its adjacent streets. There you will find boutiques bearing such names as Gucci, Armani, La Perla, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Valentino, Chanel, Fendi, Dolce and Gabbana and many, many more.
And then there is the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuel II, the grandfather of today’s modern shopping malls. The arcade is an architectural beauty, and it is famous for its roofing that is made out of glass and cast iron. You can also find here outlets selling designer goods, among which are names already mentioned above. The Galleria also connects two of Milan’s foremost landmarks – the Duomo di Milano and the Teatro Alla Scala.
Speaking of the Duomo di Milano, another thing you can do in Milan aside from shopping is to visit religious buildings, and the Duomo is one of them. The Duomo is among the largest churches in the world – in the whole world, it is considered to be the second largest Gothic church, the first being the Cathedral of Seville in Spain, while in Italy, it is second in size only to Saint Peter’s Basilica. The Duomo is also the home of the largest collection of marble statuary in the whole world.
Another church you should go to when you go to Milan is the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio, which is the shrine of the patron saint of Milan. The Romanesque style by which the church was designed may make the church appear stark compared to the Duomo, but it has an appeal of its own. One of the treasures the Basilica contains is its altar, which is made of gold and precious stones.
On a visit to Milan, your itinerary should contain a pilgrimage to the works of Leonardo da Vinci. The foremost stop that you should make in this pilgrimage is none other than the Santa Maria delle Grazie, where the famous and controversial The Last Supper is painted on the back wall of its dining hall. Though already enjoying its share of fame, this masterwork regained international attention due to it being featured in the equally controversial Dan Brown book The Da Vinci Code.
If you want to see more works by Leonardo in Milan, all you need to do is to head off to the Biblioteca Ambrosia. The Biblioteca Ambrosia is an historical library that is home to the manuscripts and notebooks of Leonardo. Other important historical documents are also housed in the library.
A visit to Milan is a journey through beauty that moves through time. Include Milan in your itinerary on your next trip to Italy.
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