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.
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