Milan is the financial capital of Italy, and together with Paris it is the fashion capital of the world.
Historically Milan has been the most industrialized city in Italy, and now it is its foremost financial centre.
At first contact Milanese life can seem a bit hectic and Milanese people a bit brusque, especially in respect to the rest of Italy.
The main International Airport is Malpensa (Milan Malpensa, code MXP). It's a two runway airport, well connected to the Center of the City with public transportation.
Malpensa Express trains leave every 30 minutes from the Airport and arrive in Stazione Cadorna after a 40 minutes travel. They're pretty cheap (about 9 euros).
Buses leave every 20 minutes for Centrale Station, costing about 5 euros.
Using a taxi to get from Malpensa to the city centre can be pretty expensive: it may cost 60-75 euros.
Many European or National flights arrive at Linate Airport (LIN). This small one runway airport is closer to the city centre than Malpensa but less well connected by public transport. There is a public transport bus stop for the 73 line outside the terminal building, linking to San Babila Square, in the city centre, which served by MM1, the first underground line. The bus runs every ten minutes and costs one euro. Get an ATM ticket from the newsagent or the ATM vending machines.
Taxis from Linate to the City Centre cost 12-18 euros.
Central Station is served by MM1 and MM3, the first and third underground lines.
In the night hours,parts of it become a sleeping area for vagrants. The main taxi companies are 063570 and 065551.
Another important railway station is Cadorna, served by Ferrovie Nord (North Railways), where the Malpensa Express stops and which is also a stop for the first and second underground lines (MM1 and MM2).
Garibald station, is the stop for most commuter railway lines, and is served by the state railways. It is also a stop for the second underground line and for the Passante (see public transport).
The main highways linking Milan to the rest of Italy are:
The main highway operating firm is Società Autostrade.
The main national bus lines are operated by Autostradale and stop near Garibald Station.
ATM operates a public transport network which is pretty efficient (especially the underground lines and the streetcars).
Taxis are pretty expensive and can be hard to find while walking aroudn, since taxi drivers prefer waiting in long lines near major landmarks.
Some of the most beatiful churches one can see in Milan are:
Milan is a fashion shoppers' paradise.
The main shopping area is the fashion quadrangle, roughly between Duomo Square, Scala Square and San Babila Square. Here, in Montenapoleone Street, Vittorio Emanuele Street and Manzoni Street, all major stylist have their main shops: Giorgio Armani, Prada, Gucci, Versace and so on.
For people wanting to spend a bit less, while still buying beautiful things, other areas are beeter. One of these is Vercelli Avenue, another one is Buenos Aires Avenue.
For artisanal male shoes, you can do much worse than going in Via Belfiore, near Vercelli Avenue.
Eating and drinking
Please, eat italian food. It's great.
Milan is full of pizzerias.
In the last several years Milan has established a local version of the Aperitivo or Happy Hour.
Roughly from 7pm to 9pm, many bars offer drinks and cocktails at a fixed price (5-8 euros each), offering also buffets with snacks, and pasta, rice, and many other appetizers.
It's not difficult to get a dinner's worth out an Happy Hour.
Some of the best places for the Happy Hour are:
Seating down for coffee or for a drink in Duomo Square or in the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery can be nice, but it can also be very heavy on the wallett.
Milan by Night
Milan is a safe place, also for women travelling alone.
As in most big cities, it's better to watch out in crowded public places and in public transport: pickpockets can be lurking, so it's better to keep money and papers in a safe place.