Milan is one of the largest cities in Italy and one of the most highly developed areas of all of Europe. If you like to be in a city when you go on vacation then you must visit Milan when you are in Italy. It makes for a great combination of a city vacation amidst cultural and historic relevance. There are over one million people living in Milan. Not only is this where you will find Da Vinci's famous painting "The Last Supper" but this city is also one of the best shopping centers in the world. Many fashion designers have their houses here and you will find opportunities for a lot of window shopping or real shopping while in Milan for your Italy vacation.
The Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II (shown above) is said to be the oldest shopping mall in the world. It was designed and built in the 1800s and features a huge glass and steel arch covering a long street. At its center is a large glass dome and to this day the oldest shopping mall in the world continues to be a bustling retail center with shops selling everything from books to haute couture and numerous restaurants serving tourists and residents of Milan. During your Italy vacation in Milan, you will find that the Galleria Vittorio Emanuel II connects 2 of Milan's most popular attractions. These are the Duomo and the Teatro Ala Scalla.
The Duomo is the cathedral of Milan that you may visit while on vacation in Italy. This is where the Archbishop of Milan resides. With its amazing gothic architecture, this cathedral played an important role in establishing Catholic traditions and spreading the Catholic faith. In Italy, the only church that is larger than the Duomo is St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City in Rome. Most guided tours of Milan will feature a visit to the Duomo and you will get a chance to see this beautiful feat of Italian history.
The Teatro Alla Scala (shown above) is a world-famous opera house in Milan that you must visit on your Italy vacation. It was built in the late 1700s after a carnival fire destroyed the previous opera house. It was known to be the gathering place of the rich in Milan and had a gallery area above the boxes where the less wealthy were allowed to come to also enjoy the opera performances. After much controversy, the theatre was renovated a few years ago. Most of the controversy was regarding a concern with whether the historical details would be lost. But during your Italy vacation here if you see the Teatro Alla Scala you will find that an excellent job was done in preserving the history of this great opera house.
When in Milan on your Italy vacation, you must also visit the Sforza Castle (shown above). It took 10 years to build this in the 1300s. It was built to be a defensive fortress and has undergone several reconstructions, additions, and transformations over the centuries. There are several museums here that you can visit on your Italy vacation and most of them feature castle art such as defensive armor and furniture from its royal inhabitants. This castle also holds Michelangelo's final work of art, a marble sculpture known as the Rondanini Pieta.