Thanks to its strategic location at the centre of European trade routes since the Middle Ages, Milan and its hinterland have been the country's economic engine since the 1950s.
Over the decades, it has evolved from an exclusively industrial capital into a must-see destination for anyone who loves art, design, fashion, sports and all kinds of leisure.
The answers to the question What to see in Milan? are potentially countless, but some places are truly a must: let’s start with its symbol par excellence, the Duomo, the largest Gothic building in Italy, which dominates the square of the same name with its unmistakable silhouette, overlooked by the golden Madonnina.
A few steps away is what has been the meeting place of the city's and country's cultural elite for centuries: Teatro alla Scala, one of the world's most famous opera houses.
These two key points of interest are connected by Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, whose iconic structure made of glass and iron domes is a worldwide symbol of luxury and style, also thanks to the presence of the most renowned international fashion and jewellery brands.
While discovering Milan, from Piazza della Scala along Via Verdi, your steps will come across the unmistakable cobbled lanes of Brera, the city's historic artistic quarter, built around the famous Pinacoteca: welcomed by the statue of Napoleon Bonaparte sculpted by Antonio Canova’s skilful hands, visitors will enjoy the incredible beauty of timeless masterpieces by Mantegna, Hayez, Caravaggio and Raphael.
The austere structure of Castello Sforzesco - built as a military bulwark and later converted into a refined court by the city's lords, the Sforzas - casts its shadow over the greenery of Parco Sempione, home to the Triennale and the Aquarium, and it opens onto the monumental Arco della Pace.
Another must-see destination for culture enthusiasts is the treasure housed in the church complex of Santa Maria delle Grazie: the Cenacolo Vinciano, a Unesco World Heritage Site with Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, the Last Supper.
Not far away is the second most important church in the city, the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio: dedicated to the patron saint of Milan, it is distinguished by a Romanesque structure embraced by a large four-sided portico.
Passing by the well-known Colonne di San Lorenzo, a meeting place for Milanese youth and not only, you cross Porta Ticinese and arrive at the Darsena, from which the Navigli branch off: the complex system of navigable canals - used in the past as a trade route to connect Milan to Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Switzerland - is nowadays an evocative stop for anyone wishing to see Milan from a different point of view.
Since the 2000s, Milan's skyline has been transformed, with the construction of the new districts of Porta Nuova - with Piazza Gae Aulenti and Bosco Verticale – along with Tre Torri and its futuristic CityLife complex.
A metropolis with a rich offer of attractions and services, but at the same time on a human scale in terms of size and infrastructure: Milan is connected to the world's major cities by three international airports - Linate, Malpensa and Orio al Serio - and is also easy to reach by car from all over Europe and by train thanks to the high-speed railway line and the presence of three big railway stations: Centrale, Garibaldi and Cadorna.
The city is provided with an efficient and constantly expanding public transport system, consisting of underground lines, buses, trams and sharing services for bicycles, scooters and cars.
The stay of thousands of tourists who pass through its streets every day is made unforgettable by a solid food and accommodation offer, consisting of more than a thousand hotels, 6 thousand restaurants and 5 thousand venues.