Milan is Italy’s second largest city after Rome, but it is the country’s fast-paced financial and fashion capital. Wealth resides here among the couture boutiques of Prada, Armani and Gucci.
It is a compact city with landmarks that span centuries. Milan sustained heavy damage during bombings in the Second World War, however, it’s most beloved structures were restored. The gothic spires of the Duomo, Milan’s main cathedral consecrated in the 16th century, dominates the heart of a city filled with architectural gems. The Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II, the covered arcade of glass and iron that’s a magnificent shopping destination; La Scala opera house; and Santa Maria delle Grazie, the church that is home to Leonardo da Vinci’s mural, “The Last Supper” are central to Milan’s cultural heritage. Its skyline reflects the future, most notably the new Porta Nuova district and the highly anticipated CityLife complex in the Fiera Milano district. A residential and business development, CityLife features the sculptural and fluid towers of two of the world’s most celebrated architects, Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind.
The city is divided into nine zones. The historical core, Zone 1, is its essence where generations of Milanese aristocracy have lived in grand palazzos and is home to icons like La Scala; Brera the artist community with a bohemian atmosphere, which lies within the old medieval walls along with the Zone 1. Milan’s other zones circle clockwise around it like a sunburst. Zone 5 is home to the Navigli area with its new Darsena and is now a lively charming neighborhood full of trendy bars and restaurants Throughout the city of flats, villas and townhouses are enclaves of striking Palazzos with grand facades and hidden gardens on gracious, tree-lined streets.Milan is also a gateway to the beautiful Lakes District of Northern Italy: Lake Como, Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. The region is a popular second-home destination for wealthy Milanese as well as for luxury vacation homebuyers who hail from all points of the globe.