Milan (Italian: Milano) is financially the most important city in Italy and the second largest in Italy. Milan is famous for its wealth of historical and modern sights — the Duomo, one of the biggest and grandest Gothic cathedrals in the world; La Scala, one of the best established opera houses on the globe; the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a historic and glamorous shopping gallery; the Brera art gallery, with some of the finest artistic works in Europe; the Pirelli tower, a majestic example of 1960s modernist Italian architecture; the San Siro, a huge and famed stadium; or the Castello Sforzesco, a grand medieval castle. So, one has their fair share of old and new monuments. Plus, it contains one of the world’s most famous paintings – Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper.
Here are some tips:
The temperature in October is generally mild enough that spending lots of time exploring outdoor attractions is enjoyable, and you won’t feel like you need to take breaks from oppressive heat. Of course, it’s not unheard of for it to rain more often than not throughout the month
– so this is one of those months when you may get equal use out of your sunglasses and umbrella.
Temperatures in October vary depending on where you are in Italy, but as a general rule of thumb Northern Italy’s temperature that month runs about 45-65°F (7-18°C).
Currency and Banking
The Euro (Single European currency) is the official currency of Italy and 12 EU member states.
The first Euro coins and notes were introduced in January 2002, the Italian Lira was in circulation until 28th February 2002, when it was completely replaced by the Euro. Euro (€) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.
Travelers checks, checks and foreign money can be changed at banks, railway stations and airports, and very often at major hotels (generally at a less convenient rate). Many banks offer differing exchange rates depending on the denominations of currency being bought or sold. Check with banks for details and current rates.
Credit and debit cards in Italy
Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted, as well as Eurocheque cards. Check with your credit or debit card company for merchant acceptability and other facilities that may be available.
Travelers checks are accepted almost everywhere. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take travelers checks in Euros, Pounds Sterling or U.S. Dollars.
Check with the Embassy before departure. Import and export of both local and foreign currency is limited to €10,329.14. If it is intended to import or export amounts greater than this, the amount should be declared and validated in Italy on form V2.
Although Milan is a city that changes its mind as quickly as fashion trends come and go, it remains one of the strongest bastions of traditional Italian cooking, where homemade elements are still very much praised and appreciated. There are trattorias, enoteche (wine bars) and restaurants (including luxury ones) everywhere that offer traditional Milanese and Italian dishes to eat. This city’s traditional cooking is based on filling dishes like osso buco (braised veal shanks) and risotto alla milanese (chicken-broth risotto made with saffron).
Dining times tend to be a shade earlier than in Rome or Florence, with lunch generally served between 12:30 and 14:30 and dinner from 19:30 to 21:30. Dinner, and sometimes lunch, is usually preceded by that great Milanese institution, the aperitivo—a glass of sparkling wine
or a Campari soda in a sophisticated hotel bar.
Roughly from 19:00 to 21:00, many bars offer drinks and cocktails at a fixed price (€5-8 each), accompanied by free all-you-can-eat buffets with snacks, pastas, and many other small appetizers. But be careful not to confuse “aperitivo” with “free dinner”. It’s a snack to be
enjoyed with a drink.
In summer enjoy gelato, an excellent Italian ice cream. The quality mark “gelato artigianale” indicates gelaterias that produce their own ice creams, without industrial processing. Bakeries are open every day, you can enjoy great and inexpensive bread-related food, such as pizza and focaccia. You can find a bakery almost everywhere in Milan, even in the Duomo area, and is a good alternative for a fast lunch.
There is much confusion regarding tipping in Italy. Italians do not typically leave tips anymore at restaurants. In touristy locations there will often be a line left blank for a tip to be added. Just draw a line through it and leave a few Euros. Never leave tips at a bar counter.