Statue and cathedral in Milan

Malpensa International Airport (MXP)

Milan sits proudly below the Prealps, right in the center of Italy's picturesque Lombardy region. The country's second largest city is also its financial capital. And we'd feel as though we let Gucci, Prada and Armani down if we didn't mention the high fashion that walks the runways and the streets each season. But travelers should take note, this beautiful and historic metropolis isn't all business — there's plenty of daydream-worthy Italian culture on display.

The Duomo, a Leonardo and a Michelangelo – Before Lunch

New visitors to Milan should start at the Piazza del Duomo. Easily reachable by the city's subway, the Metro, the square is within walking distance from some of Milan's most impressive sights including the third largest cathedral in Europe, the Duomo. Nearby, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is a shopping center whose architecture will appease your eyes as much as the fashion inside.

One of the fashion capitals of the world, Milan is for shoppers, especially shoppers with expensive taste. Take a stroll down Via Montenapoleone where some of the swankest designers — like Prada, Dolce & Gabanna, Bulgari and Versace — all have boutiques. Lucky for us, window shopping doesn't cost a penny. After spending the day in want, visit the Opera at the storied La Scala just a few blocks away.

Master artists rejoiced in Milan. Nearby, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie embraces Leonardo's masterpiece, The Last Supper. Plan ahead to view this, because reservations are required. Or head to Sforza Castle where Michelangelo's final sculpture, the Rondanini Pietá, is on display.

For an unforgettable day trip, hop a train to one of Italy's most beautiful and tony destinations, Lake Como. In about ninety minutes, you'll be in Bellagio with your toes dipped in water. Va bene!
 

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