Friday, 18 November 2016 21:51

24 Hours in Milan, the Fashion Capital of Italy

Your 24 hours in Milan,the fashion capital of Italy can be a memorable one if you know exactly where to go says Nicholas Lim, President for Trafalgar (Asia) and President of the Travel Corp. (India) 

Milan is Italy’s financial centre, and is a major city for both fashion and design. An epicentre for amazing food, fascinating history and mosaic of cultures, it draws all types of travellers – culinary connoisseur, travel-hungry adventurer, cultural explorer, or natural wanderer – there’s so much to do and explore in this colourful and energetic city. With 70 years of experience, guest feedback and local knowledge, here’s Trafalgar’s recommendations on how to spend 24 hours in Milan.

For the culinary connoisseur


Start your day with breakfast at Milan’s most fashionable breakfast address – Pasticceria Marchesi, owned by Prada features instagram-friendly pretty interiors and top-quality delicious salty and sweet delicacies of Milanese tradition. Originally founded in 1824, the pastry shop is well-loved by Milan residents and Miuccia Prada, who was born in Milan chose to support the family-owned local business with an affinity for craftsmanship as she wanted to preserve an important piece of Milanese culture.

Open Mon - Sun 7.30am – 9.00pm.

A Special Treat!

Taste delicious flavours at Cioccolati Italiani, a Gelateria located close to the Duomo. They serve artisanal ice-cream with six types of chocolate flavours, and they sell their own chocolate bars, chocolate pralines and chocolate drinks.

Open Mon – Fri 7.30am – 12.00am, Sat - Sun 8.30am – 12.00am.

Larte is not just a restaurant, but also a chocolate shop, osteria, café and, an art gallery! Located close to Piazza Duomo and La Scala Opera House, it’s a great place for lunch and it combines fine Italian dining, art, fashion, design and culture. Savour fresh pasta dishes created by talented young chef Gennaro Immobile, known for fusing modern regional flavours with a taste of time-honoured Italy.

Open Mon – Sat 8.00am – 11.00pm, closed on Sundays.


When in Milan, do what the Italians do and enjoy an apertivo. The Camparino, historically known as the bar of the Campari brand was first opened in 1915, and is the historic home of the Campari brand. Located at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, this is a perfect place to try Americano, the bar’s original creation in the 1860s, then known as the "Milano-Torino" (the Campari came from Milan, the sweet vermouth from Turin). The cocktail eventually became known as the Americano due to its popularity with American expats during prohibition.

Open Tues - Sun: 7.15am - 8.40pm Close on Mon.


Known for its canals, all-night bars and top-end restaurants, the Navigli district located in the south of Milan is a great place to try out some of Milan’s finest cuisine. Al Pont de Ferr is a Michelin Star rated restaurant and is known to serve dishes that are described as culinary artworks, featuring seasonal sourced ingredients. With a 30-year history of serving customers, enjoy an authentic and traditional menu with a modern twist. 

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

For the travel-hungry adventurer

Head over to Piazza Duomo to visit the city’s famous landmark – “Duomo di Milano”. An incredibly detailed gothic cathedral, you should head up to the terrace on top for the best views of the city. We recommend you skip the stairs and take the lift up to save some time which can be better spent visiting the shops around the Duomo.

Open Mon-Sun 8am to 7pm – €2 for admission to the Cathedral, museum and San Gottardo in Corte Church,  €9 for the stairs and €13 for the lift.

Visit Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. A true architectural marvel, don’t forget to look up as your walk through the mall, and admire the vaulted ceiling, glass dome, cast iron roof and mosaic tiles. Considered one of the best destinations for luxury shopping, shops include Prada, Gucci and Louis Vuitton. If you plan on returning back to Milan, tradition suggests that you have a spin with your heel on the mosaic bulls “attributes” that make up the pavement of the Galleria’s splendid central octagon.

Close to the mall, you will find La Scala Opera House.  Inaugurated on 3 August 1778, the opera house has hosted many of the finest singers from around the world. Don’t forget to take a photo of yourself at the opera house and for Italian opera lovers, consider booking a ticket to one of their performances in advance.

For the cultural explorer:

Visit Pinacoteca di Breara, a world-class museum as extensive as Paris Louvre. Advanced reservation is required for a free guided tour that starts at 11.00am. Visit the museum’s gallery rooms, learn about the history of Brera Museum and its collections, with special attention the great masterpieces which include Pieta by Giovanni Bellini and The Marriage of the Virgin by Raphael.

Open Tues, Wed, Fri - Sun 8.30am -7.15pm , Thur 8.30am to 10.15pm. Closed on Mon. €10 for admission.

Art lovers should plan a visit to Sforzesco Castle which houses several of the city’s museums and art gallery collections, including Michelangelo’s statue of the Pieta Rondanini. Don’t forget to visit the  Sala delle Asse (Room of Wooden Boards), the castle’s most iconic room which showcases Leonardo da Vinci’s painting its frescoed ceiling. Leonardo worked there as a military and civil engineer and only later as an artist.

Open Tues- Sun 9.00am - 5.00pm. Closed on Mon. €5 for admission.

For the Natural Wanderer:

After your visit to Sforzesco Castle, stay on to wander around Parco Sempione, Milan’s city park where the castle is located within. Constructed in 1888, the park is also home to other attractions including an aquarium, a design museum, a neoclassical stadium open to the public dating back to 1807 where you can run around its historic track, and the “Arch of Peace”, a historical monument built as a tribute to Napolean’s victories. For incredible views of the city’s modern skyscrapers, take the lift up the Torre Branca for €4. The tower is open until midnight so you can return later at night if you prefer an evening cityscape.

Catch a ride on Milan’s vintage trams complete with wooden seats and iconic fluted glass lampshades.  Hop aboard the number 1 tram(€1.50 for a single trip of up to 90 minutes) to take in some of Milan’s most symbolic monuments

For picturesque views, take a boat trip through the Navigli water canals designed and engineered by Leonardo Da Vinci.  There are five itineraries to choose from and you can book online.

Get transported into a time capsule world of immaculate taste when you visit Villa Necchi Campiglio, a 1930s-house constructed by Milanese architect Piero Portaluppi. Relax in the garden café beside the outdoor swimming pool after you’ve explored the beautifully preserved house which features art-deco furniture.

Open Wed-Sun, 10.00am to 6.00pm €9 for admission.

For those who want to squeeze in some shopping, visit Milan’s famous boulevards, via Montenapoleano, Via della Spiga and Via Sant’Andrea. Here you can browse high-fashion boutiques from Fratelli Rossetti and Boggi to Valentino and Versace. The number one department store to visit in Milan is 10 Corso Como department store, which houses the designers who are setting the current trends. Via Vigevano in the Navigli district is also great for visiting high-end vintage, authentic Italian boutiques and antique shops – perfect place for shopping for gifts.

For hotel stays, try The Yard a modernised and renovated town house which has just 14 suites. This boutique guest house is located close to the Navgli district and its suites are all individually decorated and inspired by a classic sport Each suite comes equipped with a range of modern amenities, including Wi-Fi, flat-screen satellite TVs with PlayStations, iPod docking stations and Nespresso machines. The Duomo and shopping districts are all within walking distance. Or try ultramodern Hotel Straf located close to the Duomo. It has a 24-hour gym and its rooms have large bathrooms with luxurious bathrobes and slippers.

Nicholas Lim 

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