552km (342 miles) NW of Rome, 288km (179 miles) NW of Florence, 257km (159 miles) W of Venice, 140km (87 miles) NE of Turin, 142km (88 miles) N of Genoa

True, Italy's financial center, business hub, fashion capital, and one of the world's most industrialized major cities is not a traditional vacation spot. It's hot and empty in the summer and damp and foggy in the winter, it's surrounded by bland apartment buildings (it was heavily bombed in World War II), and it's generally less beautiful than its counterparts to the east and south. Milan, though, reveals its long and event-filled history downtown, in monuments, museums, and churches. It sets one of the finest tables in Italy, features art by such towering geniuses as Michelangelo (his final sculpture) and Leonardo da Vinci (The Last Supper), and supports a cultural scene that embraces La Scala, fashion shows, and nightlife, not to mention two top soccer teams, Inter and AC Milan. With its dazzling shop windows, ethnic diversity, proud cocktail hour, and other sophisticated ways, Milan is more cosmopolitan than anywhere else in Italy, an urban treasure that remains hidden from the casual tourist.

Milan was chosen to host the Expo 2015 (, a large international exhibition held every few years in a different country. The theme of the Milan Expo, which will run from May to October in 2015 and is expected to attract millions of visitors to the city, is "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life." As a result, the city has an enormous opportunity to give itself a major makeover that will, among other things, make the city more tourist friendly. A new Metro line is being built, and several very big construction sites are open around town, though they are mostly outside of the city center, so visitors likely won't notice. What you will notice, though, are some recent positive changes that are making the notoriously industrial city more eco-friendly in the run up to the Expo; Milan has implemented a new bike-sharing program and new traffic regulations that discourage drivers from entering the city with their cars during weekdays.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.