Milan is the beating heart of Italian excellence, and yet the most international city of the country. A vibrant concoction of flavours, fashion trends, design and industry, it is perfectly balanced between entrenched traditions and a tireless thirst for innovation.

The city is truly a product of its inhabitants – considered some of the best artisans, architects, chefs and fashion designers on the planet – and it clearly does justice to that oh-so Italian detail-oriented capacity to work and create. If the Mediterranean country is a world leader in creative design and innovation, Milan is most certainly its main driving force.

After Expo 2015 in Milan, everyone knew the city had become a lively centre of ideas, projects and intentions, expanding its horizon way beyond the Italian panorama. While the city’s traditional rich industrial and artistic heritage remains intact, it’s now joined by a wave cool restaurants, an enviable cultural agenda and population with an attitude of openness and inspiration. The energy feels unlimited.

From it historical centre to the most upcoming areas, Milan is a city to savour slowly. A little harsh at first glance, it will welcome you with its majestic architecture and world-famous museums, cradling you – gelato cone in hand – along its stylish pebbled streets.

To Stay

Bulgari Hotel Milano

A wonderfully modern hotel with a hidden gem of a garden. Despite the contemporary architecture and interior, this hotel is welcoming, elegant and comfortable. It’s a great place for tea or late lunch in the garden – dinner should not be missed.

Hotel Principe di Savoia

This historical Milanese hotel offers incredible service. Even though the interiors are modern, a sense of history pervades the atmosphere – think: crystal chandeliers, antique furniture and old-school service. It’s simple but timeless.

STRAF Hotel & Bar

A traditional Milanese facade mixed with a modern interior makes STRAF Hotel & Bar the ideal stay for the arty, fashionable traveller. The rooms are sleek and clean – think: mirrored walls, modernist artwork and dark wood furniture. Located close to the Duomo, with a lively bar and Euro-Asian fusion restaurant onsite, this 64 room hotel is ideal for those wanting to explore the city. Breakfast is included.

Hotel Maison Borella Milan

A fairy-tale boutique hotel overlooking the waters of the Naviglio Grande, Maison Borella is located in a typical casa di ringhiera (flats set around a courtyard) and offers a taste of the Italian way of life. Rooms are tastefully decorated, with vintage furniture and exposed-beam ceilings, while the quiet internal courtyard is ideal to sip a cappuccino, living la dolce vita at its best. Here, time truly seems to have stopped.

Room Mate Giulia Hotel

A stone’s throw away from the Piazza del Duomo, this 85-room boutique hotel is an accurate reflection of the city’s eclectic soul. Carrying the unique signature of designer Patricia Urquiola, the historical mid-century building is a paradise for contemporary design lovers – think: retro furnishing, bold colour combinations, fun mismatching textures and quirky details. It’s a fresh and modern hotel with a homely feeling and plenty of character.

3 Rooms

This intimate hotel is part of the iconic 10 Corso Como space. The three suites, each of them reachable by private entrance, are conceived as a home-away-from-home for the weary traveller. Overlooking the greenery-packed courtyard, they’re impeccably furnished with signature designer pieces from the 20th century. Don’t miss the healthy brunch options at the ground floor café.

Armani Hotel Milano

This luxurious hotel sits in close proximity to the Milan Cathedral and a quick jog from Montenapoleone. It’s also conveniently located in Milan’s historical Brera district – a wonderful area in which you can explore the town’s local artisans. The hotel’s chic, modern rooms and suites are all designed by Giorgio Armani. Under the Hotel you can find Nobu, a sleek, minimalist restaurant serving creative Japanese fare & sushi.

Grand Hotel et de Milan

Its name says it all. This elaborate hotel, created inside a landmark 1860s building, mixes old architecture and new vintage-inspired furnishings to create an atmosphere that nods at the hotel’s history. Its bar – Caruso – does traditional Milanese dishes with fresh, new twists. A four-minute walk will get you to La Scala theatre and only six minutes further is the Royal Palace of Milan.

Senato Hotel Milano

What was once the residence of a Milanese family of entrepreneurs is now an elegant hotel right at the heart of the chic Montenapoleone shopping district. The atmosphere is classy and sophisticated; you can walk along sleek marble floors, sit on brass-and-velvet furniture, enjoy the solarium and savour traditional food at Senato Caffè, curated by the brand director of La Cucina Italiana. A true grand palazzo experience.

Hotel Viu Milan

Conveniently located in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Porta Volta, this is the first rooftop hotel in Milan, boasting a seductive outdoor pool and a stunning 360-degree view of the city. Enjoy breakfast on the roof or indulge in traditional Milanese cuisine at Morelli restaurant, from Michelin-starred chef Giancarlo Morelli. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a vertical garden complete the outside look in perfect eco-sustainable style.

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