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Milan (Milano)
  Milan (Milano)
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The dynamo behind the country's "economic miracle", MILAN is a city like no other in Italy. It's foggy in winter, muggy in summer, and is closer in outlook, as well as distance, to London than to Palermo. This is no city of peeling palazzi, cobbled piazzas and la dolce vita , but one in which time is money, the pace fast, and where consumerism and the work-ethic rule the lives of its power-dressed citizens.

Because of this most people pass straight through, and if it's summer and you're keen for sun and sea this might well be the best thing you can do; the weather, in August especially, can be off-puttingly humid. But at any other time of year it's well worth giving Milan more of a chance. It's a historic city, with enough churches and museums to keep you busy for a week - the Accademia Brera, duomo and the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie - but there are also parks and cafés to relax in, and the contemporary aspects of the place represent the leading edge of Italy's fashion and design industry

The City
Historic Milan lies at the centre of a web of streets, within the inner Cerchia dei Navigli , which follows the route of the medieval city walls. Piazza del Duomo is the city centre's main orientation point: most of the city's major...