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Milan - Italy's Most Cosmopolitan City

Situated on the flat plains of the Po Valley, Milan is Italy's most cosmopolitan city.

Noted as being epicentre of Italian haute couture  fashion, designers, super models and paparazzi descend upon the city twice a year for its spring and autumn fairs.

A worthwhile visit here in Milan is the museum where Leonardo Da Vinci's famous Last Supper painting is on display.

Coffee culture is prominent in Italy and especially in Milan. As you walk around the city there seems to be a never ending supply of quaint little street baristas for you to rest your weary feet at and watch the world go by.

If you are an avid sports fan then Milan will welcome you with the famous San Siro stadium, home to

the AC Milan and Inter football teams. If motor racing is more your sport however the F1 Grand Prix Circuit at Monza may be more to your liking.

And if you are looking for a fine dining experience Milan has several world-renowned restaurants and cafés.

Top 5 things to do in Milan

Milan Cathedral

The Duomo di Milano is dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente and is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan.

Taking five centuries to complete, Milan Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral and the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world.

Construction started in 1386 and was officially completed in 1965.

The inside of Milan Cathedral hosts various monuments and artworks including the Archbishop Alberto da Intimiano's sarcophagus overlooked by a large copper crucifix, the Trivulzio Candelabrum which has a 12th century base engraved with vines, vegetables and imaginary animals and the very impressive 225-rank pipe-organ (the largest in Italy).

Perhaps the best part of visiting the cathedral is getting access to the roof, by ticket only. Seeing the 135 spires up close is fascinating and of course you get a great rooftop view over Milan city centre down below.

Castello Sforzesco

The 14th century Castello Sforzesco used to be the seat and residence of the Duchy of Milan.

Originally built in 1368 to defend the city from attack, the building is now home to many of the city's museums and art collections.

Some of the most prominent collections include works of art such as Michelangelo's last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà, Andrea Mantegna's Trivulzio Madonna and Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Trivulzianus manuscript.

The Castello complex also includes The Museum of Ancient Art, The Furniture Museum, The Museum of Musical Instruments and the Applied Arts Collection, The Egyptian and Prehistoric sections of the Archaeological Museum and the Achille Bertarelli Print Collection.

Open daily from 7am until 6pm, the complex is free to enter however you will need to purchase a ticket for any of the museums you wish to see.

Parco Sempione

Built in the late 19th century, Sempione Park is built on the former parade ground behind castle.

The large park area is dotted with lakes, meadows and little bridges and is a popular spot for locals to hang out and get away from the city bustle.

Within the park grounds are monuments such as the Arena Napoleonica, the Tower designed by Giò Ponti and the Triennale di Milano.

Among the important buildings in the park, are the Art Palace, and the Civic Aquarium which was built for the Milan Expo of 1906.

The park has also become a popular venue for hosting various city events.

La Scala

The La Scala, properly known as Teatro alla Scala, opera house saw its first performance in 1778.

La Scala was originally illuminated with 84 oil lamps mounted on the palcoscenico and another thousand in the rest of the theater. To prevent the risks of fire, several rooms were filled with hundreds of water buckets.

Today, the theatre is still recognised as one of the leading opera and ballet theatres in the world and is home to the La Scala Theatre Chorus, La Scala Theatre Ballet and La Scala Theatre Orchestra.

For a full list of what's on visit the website where you can also make a booking for the performances you want to see.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is an indoor arcade connecting the Piazza del Duomo to the Piazza della Scala.

Designed in 1861 as Milan's first indoor shopping mall, the central layout is octagonal covered with a large glass dome. The streets stretching out from the central area are also covered over by an arching glass and cast iron roof.

The Galleria is famous for being home to some of the oldest shops and restaurants in Milan, such as the historic Biffi Caffè, founded in 1867.

Today, the Galleria is the site for many luxury goods' shops, including Prada, Massimo Dutti, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.

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