Since its days as capital of the western Roman Empire from AD 286 to 402, Milan (pop. 1,300,000) has embraced modem life more forcefully than any other major Italian city. The pace of life is quick, and il dolce difar niente (the sweetness of doing nothing) is an unfamiliar taste. Although Milan’s growth has brought petty crime and drugs, the city remains on the cutting edge of finance, fashion, and fun.


Flights: Malpensa Airport (MXP; 02 74 85 22 00), 45km from town. Handles intercontinental flights. Malpensa Express leaves Cadorna Metro station for the airport (45min.r ‚9). Linate Airport (LIN; 02 74 85 22 00), 7km away, covers Europe. Take bus #73 from MM1: P.S. Babila (‚1).

Trains: Stazione Centrale ((01) 47 88 80 88), in P. Duca d’Aosta on MM2. Info office open daily 7am-9:30pm. Every hour to: Florence (22hr. ‚22); Genoa (lVihr. ‚8); Rome (4V2hr. ‚39); Turin (2hr. ‚8); and Venice (3hr. ‚13).

Buses: Stazione Centrale. Intercity buses tend to be less convenient and more expensive than trains. SAL, SIA, Autostradale, and other carriers leave from P. Castello and nearby (MM1: Cairoli) for Bergamo, the Lake Country, and Turin.

Public Transportation: The Metro (Metropolitana Milanese, or MM) runs 6am-midnight. ATM buses handle local transportation. Ticket booths (toll free 800 01 68 57) are open M-Sa 7:15am-7:15pm. Single-fare tickets ‚1, day passes ‚3, 2-day ‚5.50.


The layout of the city resembles a giant target, encircled by a series of ancient concentric city walls. In the outer rings lie suburbs built during the 1950s and 60s to house southern immigrants. Within the inner circle are four central squares: Piazza Duomo, at the end of V. Mercanti; Piazza Cairoli, near the Castello Sforzesco; Piazza Cordusio, connected to Largo Cairoli by V. Dante; and Piazza San Babila, the business and fashion district along C. Vittorio Emanuele. The duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele constitute the bull’s-eye, roughly at the center of the downtown circle. Radiating from the center are two large parks, the Giardini Pubblici and the Parco Sempione. From the colossal Stazione Centrale train station, farther north-east, you can take a scenic ride on bus #60 or the more efficient commute on subway line #3 to the downtown hub. Via Vito Pisani, which leads to the mammoth Piazza della Repubblica, connects the station to the downtown area.

Tourist Office: APT, V. Marconi 1 (02 72 52 43 00;, in the Palazzo di Turismo in P. Duomo. Pick up the comprehensive Milano e Milano as well as Milano Mese for info on activities and clubs. Open M-Sa 9am-lpm and 3-6pm, Su 9am-lpm and 3-5pm.

American Express: V. Larga 7 (s02 72 00 36 93), on the corner of V. dell’Orso. Walk through the Galleria, across P. Scala, and up V. Verdi. Holds mail free for AmEx members for 1 month, otherwise ‚5 per month. Handles wire transfers for AmEx cardholders. Also exchanges currency. Open M-F 9am-5:30pm.

Emergencies: 118. Toll-free Operator: 12. Medical Assistance: s38 83.

Police: 113 or 02 772 71. Carabinieri (tourist police): 112.

Hospital: Ospedale Maggiore di Milano, V. Francesco Sforza 35 (s02 550 31).

24hr. Pharmacy: Galeria at Stazione Centrale. (02 669 07 35).

Internet Access: Enjoy Internet, V. le Tunisia 11 (02 36 55 08 05). ‚2 per hr. Open M-Sa 9am-midnight, Su 9:30am-ll:30pm.

Post Office: V. Cordusio 4 (02 72 10 41). Address mail to be held: First Name SURNAME, In Fermo Posta, Ufficio Postale Centrale di Piazza Cordusio 4, Milano 20100, ITALY. Open M-F 8:30am-7:30pm, Sa 8:30am-lpm.


Every season in Milan is high season except August. A single room in a decent establishment for under ‚35 is a real find. For the best deals, try the city’s southern periphery or the areas south and east of the train station. When possible, make reservations well ahead of time.

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