Milan is the Financial Capital of Italy

By: Douglas Scott

Milan is the countries financial powerhouse, the home of Italys stock exchange, at the heartland of the wealthy and productive north. The affluence of Milan and the Italian version of the good life is everywhere to see. The key is money and Milan is the financial capital of Italy.

The city is vibrant and has many sights of interest, as well as being a good jumping off place for other North Italy destinations, such as Lake Como and the Alps. Its a good spot to spend a city break or a long weekend, or as the starting point for a two centre holiday.

Like many Italian destinations, the city is steeped in history and a must see is the famous Duomo Cathedral and the Last Supper painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

For designer shopping or window shopping, the best area is the Quadrilatero, around Via Montenapoleone and via Della Spiga. For an interesting ramble, try the Navigli, the shabby but fascinating canal district, or the Brera, a picturesque quarter with a trendy, arty vibe. Designer clothes and furnishings are a major attraction for many fashion conscious tourists, but not all Milans pleasures are expensive. Sitting outside a cafe by the fantastic Duomo and admiring the well dressed world go by, or indulging in a spot of window shopping is enjoyable and rather more affordable. The seasonal fashion shows are a big show piece in Milan among the fashion world, the fashion shows promote the worlds top designers and pump the fashion community with next years wears.

Its worth bearing in mind though that winters can be cold and misty and summers very stuffy.

Milan is an expensive place to stay, with most Milan hotels geared for business travellers with expense accounts. However, hotels are usually efficient and comfortable. Budget options do exist, mostly located around the Stazione Centrale area not a great neighbourhood, but acceptable and convenient for travellers. The cheaper hotels are always in demand, and the smarter hotels often full with visitors to conferences and trade fairs, so you should definitely try to book in advance.

Just walking around central Milan, or visiting any of the local bars and night clubs you will see stylish Italians of all ages.

The people embrace tradition, sophistication and ambition in equal measure, they are just as likely to follow their shares on the cities stock market or AC Milan or Inter Milan football teams at the San Siro Stadium. The Milanese is particularly passionate about their football evident by a recommended trip to watch a game.

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