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Language: Italian | Currency: Euros (€) | Local time: CEST | Avg. Flight time: 1.45 hrs
Deal pricing is accurate as of 9:00am GMT today.
Milan excels at many things, but, above all, it excels at fashion. The city hosts numerous events and trade fairs, is inhabited by often dauntingly dapper locals, and boasts boutiques by everyone from Armani to Zegna.
There’s also serious financial oomph: as well as being home to a battalion of bankers, Italy's stock exchange is located here.
The industrial powerhouse scores too for football (calcio) – multi-European champions AC Milan and Inter Milan share its legendary San Siro stadium – and food, with a raft of newly Michelin-starred chefs making it one of 2017’s culinary must-visit destinations.
Milan also has a reputation for being reserved, a stereotype that’s based upon the city’s often grey, modern buildings and business-like locals. Give a holiday in Milan a chance, however, and you’ll encounter culture, charm, flamboyance and beauty.
There’s La Scala, a world-leading opera house, the Pirelli tower, a triumph of 1960s modernism, and grand Gothic cathedral Il Duomo, one of the world’s finest buildings.
And then there’s the Santa Maria alle Grazie Basilica, home to Leonardo da Vinci's mural ‘The Last Supper’. Art doesn’t come any more vital than this masterpiece.
This is also a place where incredible galleries hide in plain sight and where fantastic cocktail bars are squirreled away in unpromising courtyards: a place that rewards exploration and enterprise.
Stroll districts such as the canal-filled Navigli or raffish Corso Como and you’ll encounter Milan’s own dolce vita (good life).
Here, gelaterias, aperitivi bars and cheap pizzerias accompany high-design furniture stores and impressive, plant-swathed high rises.
Another plus of cheap city breaks in Milan is the dreamy location. Lake Como and ski slopes are both within reach as a day-trip, as are vineyards, beaches and all-inclusive resort hotels.
Spring and autumn are perfect for holidays in Milan: the weather’s warm and the city fizzes with fervour. Hotel rooms can be difficult to find and prices soar during the various fashion and design shows, so book well in advance.
Winter climes sometimes dip below 0C (32F), although pretty windows and fairy lights make the Christmas period magical and ideal for a short Milan city break.
Humid summers see many shops close in August as everyone takes long vacations.
Milan city breaks are cheapest in winter, Christmas aside, and in August when holiday package deals are common.
If you’re coming for a long Milan weekend in 2017, beware that many museums shut on Mondays.
The pre-eminent fashion show is Milano Moda Donna, with invitation-only catwalk shows taking place around the city. ‘Autumn-Winter’ takes place in February, and ‘Spring-Summer’ in September. Prada’s newly converted airport hangar will be the city’s hottest venue for shows in 2017.
Involving a half marathon and a shorter (15-kilometre/9.3-mile) race, Stramilano effectively shuts central Milan for a weekend in March. Corso Sempione is the best viewpoint.