7 Day Itinerary in Milan

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If you're lucky enough to have seven days to spend in this shopping mecca, you could easily spend the entirety of it scouring the shops for the perfect pair of Prada shoes. But if you're looking for a more cultured-not to mention varied-Milan itinerary, you can't go wrong with the following sights that offer glimpses into all of Milan's many sides.

Day 1: Shopping

As you stroll along the Corso Buenos you can wander in and out of the shops and boutiques that line the street. As you get closer to the city center the Duomo (cathedral) will come into view. As the cathedral gets bigger, the prices get higher. Finally you'll come to the Rinascente, the first shopping mall in all of Europe. The glass-ceiling mall is an upscale shopping experience that brings culture and couture together in the best possible way.

Day 2: The Duomo

While you'll definitely have gotten a glimpse of the famous Milan Cathedral while shopping the day before, it's absolutely worth the time and effort to tour the building properly. Be sure to dress appropriately, as bare shoulders and knees are not permitted in the church. When you've gotten your fill of the gleaming white marble statues outside, head inside to see the bronze meridian line on the floor and the immense columns and stained glass windows. The organ is a major draw, as is the trip to the top of the spires for a closer look at the architecture and a fantastic view of the city.

Day 3: Sforza Castle

Milan's castle was once the temporary home of Leonardo da Vinci among other famous artists, as well as the local aristocratic family. The castle itself seems unimposing, but inside the tower you'll find artwork by the Italian master himself. The grounds also house several museums which showcase art, antiques and archaeology.

Day 4: The Last Supper

Once you've had a small taste of Da Vinci's artwork, it's time to see one of his masterpieces: The Last Supper. The giant fresco is located within the monastery at the Santa Maria delle Grazie church. Book well in advance, as visitors are limited per day, and tickets sell out quickly. If you're stuck, though, you can always join a city bus tour that includes guaranteed tickets to view the painting.

Day 5: Portofino

Take a break from the city and head out on a day trip to beautiful Portofino. This picturesque town is set on the coast with incredible seascape views and brightly colored boats in the harbor. Frequent trains run between Milan and Santa Margherita Ligure, with Portofino being a short boat or bus ride further. It's a tad on the pricey side, but definitely worth the visit for its natural beauty and charm.

Day 6: Natural History Museum & Planetarium

The Museum of Natural History is the oldest museum in Milan and is located in the scenic Public Gardens. The gardens themselves are extremely popular for jogging, biking or just sitting on the park benches to relax. In the museum you'll find displays of animals and insects as well as exhibits that focus on paleontology, geology and other earth sciences. Also on the park grounds in the planetarium.

Day 7: La Scala

The most famous opera house in the world is located in Milan, and is definitely worth a trip. Book your tickets for shows well in advance, as they always sell out. If you were unable to get tickets, you can join the 5 p.m. line at the building for standing tickets that are only 5 Euros a piece. There is also a museum on the premises that details the history of La Scala Theater.

November 18, 2009 new by tiffanymparker

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