- City life
- One long catwalk
Art, fashion, furniture and football are Milan’s healthy obsessions.
The hub of the designer shopping area around Via Montenapoleone is gold-card nirvana, where you’ll find local heroes Missoni, Armani and Etro, fantastic vintage, and highly covetable design and kitchenwares. Eating and partying here are equally as stylish, with bars and clubs designed to appeal to the crème de la cognoscenti, and sushi fit for the fussiest supermodel.
Find a bargain at the antiques fair in Navigli, 8.30am–6.30pm, on the last Sunday of every month except July and August. Have a treatment at the Gianfranco Ferré spa (+39 02 7601 7526). Walk from the Duomo to La Scala via the elegant shopping arcade Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, window-shopping all the way.
- Taxis are dear, and you’ll need to ring one, or find an elusive cab rank.
- Tipping culture
- In restaurants, the cover charge represents your tip.
- Packing tips
- Your most fashionista outfits; huge, extra-dark sunglasses.
- Recommended reads
- Italian Hours by Henry James; Insider’s Guide to Shopping by Jill Fairchild and Gerri Gallagher. The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni, considered by many to be the first Italian novel.
- Risotto alla Milanese, tomato-and-mozzarella-filled panzerotto.
- Dialling codes
- Country code for Italy: 39. Milan: 02 – code always required.
- Do go/don't go
- Everybody heads out to the lakes in high summer, when the city can feel deserted. The best times are the January sales, or spring, when it’s warm and buzzing.
Don't go home without...
… poking your nose into Milan's foremost fashion mecca, X Corso Como (+39 (0)2 2900 2674): this boutique is to Milan what Colette is to Paris (only better), and stocks probably the best selection of labels you're ever likely to find under one roof. Fashion-forward? This place is beyond next year…