Milan travel guide

While Milan matches Rome or Venice for historical romance, it’s also the heart of contemporary Italy’s style and sophistication, writes Brian Johnston.

By Brian Johnston
Duomo di Milano
Palazzo Parigi Hotel & Grand Spa
This new luxury hotel occupies a renovated 17th-century palazzo in the buzzy Brera district, close to the Golden Triangle fashion district. Its 98 rooms and suites come in two styles, Milanese or Parisian. Running the restaurant is Carlo Cracco, whose other kitchen at Ristorante Cracco has two Michelin stars. Due to open soon is a spa with rooftop infinity pool. Corso di Porta Nuova 1.
Armani Hotel Milano
Lovers of the mono-chromatic Armani wardrobe will appreciate this sleek, almost sculptural retreat, one of several designer hotels in the city. Downstairs is a Nobu restaurant and an Armani concept store. Via Manzoni 31.
Gallerie di Piazza Scala
Though Milan is often overlooked as an art destination, it has several outstanding museums, including the private Museo Poldi Pezzoli, for Bellini, Tiepolo and Botticelli, and Pinacoteca di Brera for northern Italian art. Another is Gallerie di Piazza Scala, housed in several palazzi and focusing on 19th- and 20th-century Italian works. Piazza della Scala 6.
Duomo di Milano
Milan's fabulously ornamented cathedral is an eye-popping 600-year display of architectural styles dominated by Gothic and Baroque inventiveness. Clamber to the rooftop for alpine views or admire the facade over coffee in the square below. Piazza del Duomo.
10 Corso Como
A hipster favourite and brainchild of former fashion editor Carla Sozzani, this Oriental-bazaar-meets-industrial-chic complex in a former garage comprises fashion and design boutiques, a lovely courtyard café and cocktail bar, a three-room hotel and art gallery. Corso Como 10.
Il Salvagente
The Lifesaver is one of several Milan factory outlets where bargain hunters rummage for last season's designer threads. The space is unglamorous, but the prices and range are irresistible. Via Fratelli Bronzetti 16.
La Rinascente
Giorgio Armani honed his style as a decorator's assistant at this department store, still renowned for its Christmas window displays. Located near the luxe Golden Triangle fashion district, La Rinascente is known for its well-priced clothes and stylish household goods. The top-floor café has pigeon-eye city views. Piazza del Duomo 3.
Da Claudio
The on-trend Brera district combines bar life with the city's central fish markets. At fishmonger Da Claudio, prop yourself at the counter for a lunchtime or evening prosecco and a bargain-priced seafood platter piled with tuna, swordfish, snapper and prawns. Via Cusani 1.
Al Peck Ristorante
Eye the ground-floor visual feast at hallowed delicatessen Peck before ascending to the latest addition to this three-storey gastrodome. Fresh pasta and fish are the focus; seasonal surprises might include fish soup with strawberries or raw sea bass sprinkled with flowers. Via Spadari 9.
Nobile Bistrò de Milan
Two-star chef Claudio Sadler's all-day eatery demonstrates quality dining in Milan can be reasonably priced. Try turkey and caponata for lunch, drop in for Mariage Frères afternoon tea later or dine on simple but satisfying pan-seared swordfish or Pugliesi orecchiette with turnip and salami. Corso Venezia 45.
Palazzo Parigi Hotel
  • undefined: Brian Johnston