Milan’s Unique Neighborhoods

From hipster to haute couture and small palazzo to skyrises, Milan’s unique neighborhoods have unforgettable personalities that make the city an incredible adventure at every metro stop. One-of-a-kind shops, fabulous street art, clever galleries, trendy restaurants, and vibrant nightlife are the essential characters that define Milan’s neighborhoods and contribute to the overall vibe of Milan as a city not to be overlooked.

Piazza del Duomo, Milano MI, Italy
The historic and modern center of the city, the Piazza del Duomo (the square surrounding the cathedral’s base) remains a popular meeting place, hangout and hub of Milanese life. Local vendors setup shop (selling fresh coconut in the summer, toys and tourist wares), kids run and play (free from traffic) and shoppers trickle in from the walking street surrounding the huge plaza. The statue of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of Italy, is the best place to meet, sit, recharge and watch the city go by.
Naviglio Grande, Italy
While few in number, Milan‘s canals can be charming. Naviglio Grande, the largest, is my favorite to walk along. Lined by shops, outdoor cafes and bars, there is life alongside the water anytime of day. If you’re lucky you’ll catch the Antique Market that fills up the walkways on some Sundays. It is a treasure trove of pottery, jewelry, vintage designer clothes, and Murano glass—Milanese have impeccable taste for both the old and new.
Piazza Sempione
Parco Sempione is Milan‘s biggest park and it has everything- cute caffès, picturesque setting, a medieval castle, a modern museum, a pond and charming foot bridges. If the sun is shining, this is the perfect place for a morning or afternoon walk, a lazy picnic or just a day off. The surrounding area includes beautiful residences, historic monuments, like Leonardo’s Last Supper and the Castel Sforzesco, restaurants and shops. Expect some interesting developments as the city gears up for World Expo 2015, including a super-contemporary visitor’s center in front of Castel Sforzesco.
Piazza Duca d'Aosta, 1, 20124 Milano MI, Italy
Whether you have time to kill while waiting for your train or you simply like architecture, Milan’s main train station, Stazione Centrale, is worth a walk through for its epic 20th-century architecture. Originally designed at the turn of the century, Stazione Centrale has beautiful, monumental Liberty and Art Deco ornament in its main hall and entrances, while the platform area is covered in a gorgeous rooftop of iron arches. If you have a few more minutes, the Stazione also has some great shops, a traditional Motta caffe, and one of the best newsstands in the city.
Via Montenapoleone
The Bermuda Triangle and Kansas Rectangle may be places of mysterious disappearance, but Milan‘s Fashion Quadrilateral is a small area of style where you will definitely want to get lost. With Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga, and Corso Venezia defining the sides of the quad, the internal area is a fashion lover’s oasis. The best shops in the world fill up the area, and the Quadrilateral is considered the most important fashion district in the world.
Via Strabone, 20159 Milano MI, Italy
When you walk around the Isola neighborhood, make sure to look out for street art. The colorful neighborhood is a tableau vivant for urban artists.
Via Antoine Watteau, 7, 20125 Milano MI, Italy
Leoncavallo is both a cultural center and a concept. The buildings lining the run-down road are covered in amazing art by epic artists and upcoming writers. During the day, you’ll find photographers documenting the work or shooting for fashion mags and street art aficionados snapping the latest work. The building inside also gets painted by artists, local and international. Best way to get a peek is to visit for a project or concert.
Via Ernesto Breda, 20126 Milano MI, Italy
Located in a former rail services warehouse, Hangar Bicocca is a contemporary art space for site-specific projects funded by tire giant Pirelli. The space is more like a contemporary art concept that extends from the boards of its brick structure. The art gallery offers bicycle tours of the Bicocca area, as part of the “Bicocca Project,” a neighborhood reclamation project intent on showcasing the former industrial zone as vibrant neighborhood and equally vibrant arts scene.
Piazza Tito Minniti, 20159 Milano MI, Italy
Isola is Milan‘s sleeper neighborhood because of its great location, hip shops and local vibe. It is also a great area to hang out in because, well, it feels like a neighborhood. Weekend street markets, clever graffiti, cute boutiques, artisanal shops and great bars. Add in there a strong sense of AC Milan fans and lots of people to meet, you’ve got your weekend.
Viale Piave, 1, 20129 Milano MI, Italy
Italy’s No.1 chef Massimo Bottura described Nottingham Forest as a blend of “Hemingway and the TV show C.S.I.” for its eclectic vibe. But for its cocktails, Bottura and many others feel Nottingham Forest is Milan‘s main innovator. Mixologist Dario Comini just happens to be considered one of Italy‘s best bartenders, thanks to a great mix of creativity and risk.
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Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
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