Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

There’s more to Milan than Fashion

Milan, capital of the Lombardy region, may be most famous for its fashion industry, with the eyes of the world on its Fashion Week every spring and fall, but there’s more to the city than textiles.

Italy’s second largest city has plenty to boast about. Milan’s proximity to the rest of Europe, and its reputation as Italy’s financial capital, make it appealing to businesses, giving the city a vibrant, metropolitan feel. It’s a reputation built on heritage; in medieval times its location made it the perfect trading post for travellers passing through Europe.

This era of propserity led to the construction of many great buildings which still stand today. From ancient villas, abbeys and churches, to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed cathedral (the 5th largest in the world) Milan offers plenty to experience for the two million tourists that visit each year. Art lovers rejoice at the chance to see works by Caravaggio and Leonardo da Vinci up-close, while sports fans will surely head straight for the San Siro stadium during the football season to see A.C.Milan or F.C Internazionale Milano play – yes the city has two European Cup/Champions league winning teams.

Of course, fashion itself is a big draw. The Italian attention to detail and desire for luxury – not to mention the idea of una bella figura – helped Milan swiftly build a reputation as a design, architecture and fashion powerhouse in the 1950s and 60s. And while Paris has become known for high couture, the style in Milan is more sombre, with the emphasis on quality, simplicity and grace. Today, the merest mention of Milan’s best fashion houses can be enough to make the hearts of die-hard fashionistas quiver.