CityTips by Sheraton

CityTips Guide to Milan

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Welcome to the city of fashion, business, and luxury. Works of art such as the Duomo and Leonardo's The Last Supper, exclusive hotels and great food are just some of the attractions in this cosmopolitan city.

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Local Overview

Milan is divided into 9 distinct zones that radiate out from the Historical Center (Zona 1) to the periphery. They are identified numerically by the local council, but also have names, and each zone includes many different neighborhoods and quarters. Although every area is not listed here, each plays its own special role in the history of Milan; from the importantissimo historical center to the modern "dormitory quarters" of San Siro.

Centro Storico & Brera

The Historical Center incorporates the fashion district (called the Quadrilatero d'Oro), Castello Sforzesco, the glorious Piazza della Scala, the inviting neighborhood of Brera, and other areas of historical and commercial interest. Many people actually live in the city center, but they find that there are some disadvantages involved in living there, e.g. lack of parking spaces, supermarkets and dry cleaner's, and the rent can be incredibly high. On the upside, there is always plenty to do: there are many excellent restaurants and bars within walking distance, and a summer's evening stroll through this area is absolute bliss.

Corso Buenos Aires

Northeast of the center are some well-known streets which are popular with residents, businessmen and visitors: Corso Venezia and its intersecting roads are lined with noble families' palaces; in some cases these are still used as residences, in others, they have been converted into luxury offices. The gardens of Porta Venezia make up a small, enclosed park, which is one of the most beautiful in Milan. Further north, is Corso Buenos Aires, one of the largest commercial main roads, which is easy to reach and is well-served by the metro; it has a cosmopolitan feel, many immigrants live there, and because of this, there are many different ethnic restaurants.


Corso Magenta begins at Porta Magenta and leads into the center; this corso is "healthy and wealthy": one half has hardly any shops, but many gorgeous palazzi with exquisite, hidden gardens, while the other half has a multitude of shops, some of which are very prestigious. There are also several interesting churches and museums in this area. The corso is well served by public transport, and it has lots of traffic and few parking spaces during the day, but becomes a great deal more peaceful at night-time.


Southwest of Milan stands the Ticinese-Navigli area, which is a mixture of old and new. Many of the original residents (or their descendants) still live in Ticinese and there are many case di ringhiera - apartments with wrought-iron balconies that face inwards. Blue-collar workers lived here at the beginning of the 20th Century. The apartments have undergone renovation and some now house architects, artists, fashion designers et al. This area is full of bars and shops selling new and vintage clothes, antiques, furniture, as well as basic necessities. The Navigli, the city's canal system, includes two canals: the Naviglio Grande and the Naviglio Pavese. A short way down the Naviglio Pavese is Via Chiesa Rossa, characterized by the wave of immigration which took place here in the 50s and 60s. The area by the Navigli teems with nightclubs, bars, and pubs, which means that it is always lively and chaotic, especially during the summertime. The Naviglio leads to the autostrada, or highway, for Genova. The Assago complex, where the Datchforum is situated, can be seen on the A7 highway.

Amendola-Fiera & San Siro

Another district that is famous for its exhibitions and trade fairs is Amendola-Fiera; this is a residential area as well, with many tree-lined streets and tall palazzi, or large residential buildings. Most of these palazzi were constructed after 1930, and so they are still in good condition. San Siro is famous for its Stadio San Siro football ground, an important spot for fans of the AC Milan team. 

Porta Vittoria & Porta Romana

Vittoria is also a popular residential area that has a working/middle-class feel; Viale Lazio (one of the streets in this area) is predominantly made up of residential, leafy avenues; Corso Lodi reverberates with the hum of commercial activity; Viale Umbria is residential and Corso XXII Marzo is filled with shops. Some fashion houses have their headquarters in Vittoria, around Viale Umbria and Corso Lodi. There is still some industrial activity to the east, on Viale Mugello and towards Viale Molise (the large complex of Macello Comunale) and further out, and nearby is the famous wholesale market, Mercato Ortofrutticolo. Further east, between Forlanini's verdant park and Taliedo (heading towards Linate Airport), is the Idroscalo, a large dock filled with water where you can swim, sunbathe, and sail. 

Città Studi

Città Studi is located in the east of Milan and as the name suggests, is the University district, home to the Polytechnic and several chemistry, biology and pharmaceuticals departments. Many of the buildings here were constructed in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s and the overall feel is that of a charming residential area with trees on every street.


To the north of the city lies Isola, located just behind the Stazione Centrale, other zones in the vicinity are home to large hospital complexes, such as Ospedale Maggiore di Milano Policlinico and CTO.

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