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A vibrant art scene and a trailblazing Armani hotel put a new spin on Italy's fashion center

Word of Mouth"Milan: under-rated, IMO. In one day we saw the Duomo (DH attended Mass), La Scala (rehearsals in progress) and the Last Supper, through an afternoon tour I booked a couple of months ago," Fodorite annw recalls of her recent visit. "The piazza del Duomo was buzzing with activity and pigeons, reminiscent of San Marco in Venice."

Why Go NowIt’s not only the shopping that draws us to Milan this year. The oft-overlooked international design capital (fashion weeks aside) burgeons today with a new cutting-edge hotel, a restored Duomo, the new Museo del Novecento (a 20th-century art museum), and avant-garde galleries like Spazio Rossana Orlandi and Hangar Bicocca. That said, Milanese pastimes like window-shopping the Corso Como and Via Montenapoleone and bar-hopping for apertivi along Naviglio’s canals are still as tempting as ever.

Where to StayThe much-anticipated Armani Hotel Milano opened last November with 95 smart rooms and suites, some with their own gyms and kitchens; a rooftop spa; and a fitness center overlooking the Duomo and Teatro alla Scala. Last fall also saw the debut of E.c.h.o. Milano, whose seriously eco-conscious slant and 143 rooms meet the highest environmental standards. On the horizon: A new W Milan is slated to open in Brera in 2013. See more Milan hotel reviews.

Insider TipPlan ahead to attend a performance at Teatro alla Scala and see Da Vinci’s Last Supper at the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (tickets for both can be sold out weeks and even months in advance).

When to GoApril through June, and September through October are our favorite months to visit, thanks to warm weather and fewer crowds.

Plan Your TripVisit Fodor's Milan, Lombardy, and the Lakes Travel Guide for the latest hotel, restaurant, and shopping reviews for Milan and beyond.

Photo: Luciano Mortula/shutterstock.com

Member Comments (5)  Post a Comment

  • filippos_sdr on May 27, 13 at 06:23 AM

    Some fantastic pools! I have been in Santorini's pool and it was a great experience! What a scenery! I can't describe. Now, I want to visit the rest of them!!!

  • abbeynichols13 on May 12, 13 at 08:39 AM

    !!!!!!

  • LoungeLizardess on May 11, 13 at 09:45 AM

    Some luscious pools, but I strongly disagree with the "urban pool" choice. The pool at the Mandarin Oriental in Singapore is fantastic -- a serene oasis with a view of Singapore's skyline. Outstanding poolside service makes the picture complete. And for rooftop urban pools, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel's pool is unbeatable (also in Singapore).

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  • GenevieveCeleste on Jan 11, 12 at 10:29 AM

    While in Milan, a lovely excursion to make is to the Franciacorta wine country, known for its high end bubbly. It´s near the woefully under-visited interesting town of Brescia and can either be a day excursion or overnight trip (there are many nice places to stay near Lake Iseo and right amid the vineyards

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