As the capital of Italy’s Lombardy region, Milan moves to a quicker beat than some of its Italian contemporaries, standing out as a fast-paced hub of finance, fashion and food. Yet beyond the businessmen in suits and chic fashionistas, you’ll still find intricate architecture (both old and new), an illustrious literary tradition and plenty of palazzi, complete with oasis-like courtyards (typical of northern Italian design). One thing that the Milanese do take their time over is food, and the city’s 15 Michelin-starred restaurants are testament to its gastronomic commitment. The cuisine
is a far cry from the cucina povera of southern Italy, instead embodying the city’s rich urban culture, favouring rice over pasta and veal over seafood. Happy hour is also a serious affair. Come evening, seek out one of its (many) bustling aperitivo bars, where you can sip on the city’s native Negroni Sbagliato cocktail and snack on delectable nibbles. With the tranquil trifecta of Lake Como, Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore only a couple of hours away by train, your spirited city break can be combined with the laid-back glamour of the Italian Lakes.

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