What to do in Milan
Many of Milan's tourists are in the city for just one reason - La Scala , Via dei Filodrammatici 2 (box office open daily noon-6pm, plus 15min after the start of each performance for ticket collection only; tel 02.7200.3744, fax 02.887.9297, www.lascala .milano.com ), one of the world's most prestigious opera houses. The opera season runs from December through to July, and there's usually also a season of classical concerts between September and November. Not surprisingly, seats for the opera sell out months in advance, but you can book tickets via their Web site if you get in early enough. The average price of a ticket is about L75,000/38.74. There is also often a reasonable chance of picking up a cheaper seat in the gods on the day, or one of around 200 standing places; get there an hour or so before the performance starts.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the mother of all shopping malls, upscale shops in splendid 19th century palace of a mall.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Biblioteca Ambrosiana historical library with treasures such as drawings by Leonardo on display.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Via della Spiga and its neighborhood is the center of high-class shopping, where almost every luxury brand can be found.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Porta Ticinese and the surrounding area is a very old fashion quarter nearly untouched by WWII bombings. At night Milan people like to have a walk near Colonne di San Lorenzo (S.Lawrence's coloumns).
Of Milan's theatres , the Teatro Piccolo, Via Rovello 2 (tel 02.7233.3222, www.piccoloteatro.org ), is a classical theatre, with a traditional repertoire, and is reckoned to be one of Italy's best. Teatro dell'Elfo, Via Ciro Menotti 11 (tel 02.716.791), reachable on bus #60, puts on more original plays. Count on paying around L30,000/15.49 for a seat at either of these places.
As for cinema , Sound and Motion Pictures ( www.anteospaziocinema.com ; L9000/4.65) show a selection of original language films at the following cinemas: the Arcobaleno, Viale Tunisia 11 (tel 02.2940.6054; MM Porta Venezia), the Anteo, Via Milazzo 9 (tel 02.659.7732), and the Mexico, Via Savona 57 (tel 02.4895.1802). The Fondazione Cineteca Italiana is based at the Spazio Oberdan , and has an excellent programme of international arthouse films. In the summer months outdoor cinema is organized at several venues, including the Parco di Villa Ghirlanda, Cinisello Balsamo Via Frova 10 (tel 02.617.3005; www.comune.cinisello-balsamo.mi.it ); see newspaper for listings.
Pinacoteca di BreraÃ‚Â (http://www.brera.beniculturali.it/), on Brera Street. Reach by bus or tram
Poldi Pezzoli MuseumÃ‚Â (http://www.museopoldipezzoli.it/), on Manzoni Street. Reach by subway, line MM3, Montenapoleone Station, or with many buses and trams.
Egyptian Museum, in Sforzesco Castle. Reach by subway, line MM2, Lanza Station, or with many buses and trams.
Modern Arts Museum (PAC)Ã‚Â (http://www.pac-milano.org/main.htm), in Palestro Street, near Porta Venezia Gardens. Reach by subway, line MM1, Palestro Station, or with many buses and trams.
Science and Technology MuseumÃ‚Â (http://www.museoscienza.org/) on S.Vittore Street. Reach by bus or subway, line MM2 Sant'Ambrogio Station.
Triennale di MilanoÃ‚Â (http://www.triennale.it/) on Alemagna Street. Reach by bus 61 or subway, line MM2 Cadorna-Triennale Station.
The Palazzo RealeÃ‚Â (http://www.comune.milano.it/palazzoreale/index.html), behind Duomo, always hosts a different exposition. Usually expositions are very interesting.
Some of the most beautiful churches one can see in Milan are:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ The Duomo, in Duomo Square, is Milan's main Cathedral, a massive late Gothic church in white marble, with hundreds of spires and thousands of statues on its exterior. Currently the famous facade is covered in scaffolding. Don't miss the chance to climb up onto the roof. Great views between the Gothic spires. Reach by subway, lines MM1 or MM3, Duomo Station, or with many buses and trams.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Saint Mary of the Graces ('Santa Maria delle Grazie') , where the Last Supper ('Cenacolo Vinciano') by Leonardo da Vinci is housed. You must make a reservation several days in advance as tickets are usually sold out, recently by as much as three weeks or more. Tickets can be only be reserved by phone (02.8942.1146). Reach by tram 20-24-29-30 or by subway, line MM1 and MM2 Cadorna Station.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Saint Ambrose, in Sant'Ambrogio Square, a beautiful early romanic church which was almost destroyed by allied bombing in World War 2.