Milan Cathedral is usually the number one answer to the question: What to do in Milan? It rises from the ground on Piazza del Duomo like a delicately crafted fairytale tiara. A true vision dressed in pink marble, the cathedral reflects the city’s ambition for elegance, style and creativity. Its construction started in 1386 and took over 600 years to complete. You see, not only was the structural design initially impossible to build (invention of new techniques and tools was crucial to the process) but there was also that issue of style. Having taken so long the build, fashion changed and so did the ornamental decor ideas.
There aren’t many buildings around the world to have hosted as many great artists and masters of their arts as Milan’s Teatro alla Scala. In fact, it has been one of the most famous opera domes in Europe since its founding. When was that? Archduchess Maria Theresa, the Hapsburg, passionate patron of arts and culture, established the opera house in the second half of the 18th century. It sits north of the Duomo and east of Castello Sforzesco. The interior will dazzle you with sumptuous gold and crimson decor charming you into a royal fairytale. You can visit La Scala as part of a guided tour but, if you can, go and see a show.
Its roots lie in 1930s Milan and are available to explore at the Design Museum displaying the works of the best Italian designers. Plus, you can peek in some of the major design showrooms or take advantage of a fashion fair. However, Milanese la vita moda (the stylish life) isn’t just about what you wear but also about how you live. The stylish lifestyle extends to cocktail bars, restaurants, boutiques, galleries, hotels or spas giving you the perfect opportunity to pamper yourself.
Despite the futuristic flair, Milan has its share of history. Having lived under rulers such as Caesars, Napoleon, Austro-Hungarians, and Mussolini, the city has a rich cultural history and boasts stunning old palazzos and churches. The city’s art collections showcase genius and skills of old masters as well as the mind-bending creations of contemporary art. Furthermore, in Milan, you can enjoy both elegant operas and performance in La Scala and the pulsing club and nightlife scene featuring international musicians and DJs.
Whatever your passion, you won’t be disappointed by things to do in Milan.