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MILAN – MILANISIMO! Italy’s Creative Capital of Style


he city of Milan has dominated Italy’s prosperous northern region of Lombardy since Renaissance times. In the last two centuries it has spread far beyond its mediaeval walled heart to become a metropolitan area of around seven million people – second only to Rome in its size and influence. Faced with stiff competition in a country known worldwide for its photogenic urban landscapes and numerous cultural attractions, Milan has been able to draw on its energetic northern heritage, to reinvent itself as one of Europe’s thriving cosmopolitan business capitals. It hosts Italy’s main Stock Exchange, and manages to combine commercial efficiency, modern engineering and buzzing market-savvy creativity with a typical Italian lifestyle that values football, shopping and local cuisine as much as opera, the fine arts and its own colourful historic past. Milan’s latest innovation is the futuristic CityLife district. It will be fully functional as part of Expo 2015, featuring the best in urban architectural design.


here’s no need to tell anyone you got that special little something for less. Why would you, when Milan will always end up leaving you looking like a million dollars?

What to See For high culture, head for the Piazza del Duomo at the core of the town. Dominated by the vast wedding-cake-Gothic of its Cathedral (Duomo) and the ramparts of the Castle of the Sforzas (once Milan’s ruthlessly ambitious ruling dynasty), it’s an open-air museum of different architectural styles. Also vying for attention here are Renaissance palaces, the Napoleonic Peace Arch and what could be the world’s earliest upmarket shopping mall – the gorgeous 19th century Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. With its elegant glass dome and floor mosaics depicting the signs of the Zodiac, it’s something of a museum piece in itself, yet remains an opulent retail showcase for Milan’s passion for fashion. Nearby is one of Europe’s best-known opera houses, La Scala, now restored and enlarged, always a magnet for famous names in the musical world. The city museums are crammed with artistic treasures, but fine art fans, not to mention Dan Brown fanatics, will find their way to something truly inspirational by the master of them all – Leonardo da Vinci’s mysterious, iconic Last Supper in the convent refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie.

Ethiopian flies to Milan, Italy 5 times a week.

photo © Deagostini Picture Library

Shopping This is the city that can claim more than any other to have brought the designer label and the shopping mall within range of the world’s high streets. Milan’s ‘Golden Quadrangle’ reigns supreme in its conviction that retail therapy can also be an art form. It is bounded by the Via Montenapoleone, with outlets for Versace, Prada, Gucci, Ferragamo, Valentino and Cerruti), the Via Sant’Andrea (more Prada, as well as Fendi, Chanel, Kenzo and Armani), the Via della Spiga (Bulgari, Ferré, Byblos, Dolce & Gabbana) and the Via Gesù. Along with impeccable designer clothes are to-die-for Italian shoes – a legacy of the city’s ancient expertise in leather goods which blossomed into gloves, briefcases and more recently into an intercontinental obsession with fabulous handbags. Exquisite writing paper, antique furniture, fine china, and the very latest in fashion jewellery and kitchenware make every side street here a stylistic revelation.


Photo © Fototeca Enit

With most museums closed on Mondays, strolling and window-shopping in the chic streets of the central area is a real pleasure, with frequent breaks at pavement cafés to admire the styleconscious Milanese themselves.

Food and Fun Like every Italian city, Milan has its own unique cuisine reflecting not only regional produce, but a pride in traditional cooking combined with a willingness to try exotic ingredients. The fertile Lombardy countryside now grows rice and maize as well as wheat, so expect risotto alla Milanese and (unusually for Europe) polenta, a savoury maize-meal porridge served instead of pasta. Panettone, once a Christmas speciality, is a dome-shaped, sweet loaf; light, but fragrant with candied fruit and lemon zest. Now it’s available all year, and also comes in chocolate. The city lets its (well-groomed) hair down at night, when the scene is as lively as anywhere, and especially when its two great football teams, A.C Milan and Inter Milan are keeping up their reputation. When to Visit Milan is virtually an all-year-round destination. Early autumn and late spring are particularly pleasant, with mild, usually sunny days that bring out the city’s colours. In summer, it can be rather hot and humid, with the odd rainstorm. Shops are open in July, but in August many businesses, shops and venues shut down when the locals take their annual holiday. With Alpine winter snows never far away, November to March can be surprisingly cold (often around freezing), with some fog, rain, even snow flurries. But Christmas makes the city glow, with the main sights stunningly flood-lit, a huge decorated tree in front of the Duomo, and seasonal markets everywhere. Carnival time (pre-Easter) where people dress up and parade as only Italians can, and Easter itself, are also great times to visit, although don’t expect Mediterranean temperatures. Getting There and Getting Around Milan has two international airports, Linate, and the larger Malpensa where buses leave approximately every 20 minutes for Milano Centrale Station and Linate airport. From Terminal 2 (Malpensa), the Milano Centrale bus (which departs when it’s full) is preferable to the slow airport internal shuttle bus to catch the train for the same destination. Milano Centrale, the main railway station, is a masterpiece of rationalist-style architecture. Regular express and fast trains depart from here for all major destinations.

Ethiopian flies to Milan, Italy 5 times a week.

From Terminal 1 (Malpensa), the Malpensa Express Train to Milano Cadorna (leaving every 30 minutes) is recommended as the easiest and fastest connection to the city centre (or vice versa), although it can be crowded in rush hours. Money There are currency-exchange offices at both airports and a couple on the western side of Piazza del Duomo. American Express (02 721 04 010; Via Larga 4; 9 am-5.30 pm Mon-Fri) Banca Cesare Ponti – Good rates, and a 24-hour automatic banknote-exchange machine. Banca Commerciale Italiana - A 24-hour booth with currency-exchange machine and ATMs. Health and Safety Milan is relatively safe, but beware of pickpockets (even young children) in the main shopping areas, train stations and busiest public transport routes. Keep your belongings safe at all times. Emergency Foreigners police office (02 622 65 58; Via Montebello 26). Police station (02 6 22 61; Via Fatebenefratelli 11).


Photo © Fototeca Enit/Gino Cianci

The New Spirit of Africa Ethiopian Airlines (‘Ethiopian’) is the flag carrier of Ethiopia and one of the longest-running airlines in Africa. Founded more than 65 years ago, Ethiopian is recognized as one of the continent’s leading carriers, unrivalled in Africa for efficiency and operational success, turning profits for almost all the years of its existence. It commands a lion’s share of the pan-African network including the daily east-west flights across the continent. Operating at the forefront of technology, it has also become one of Ethiopia’s major companies. Ethiopian’s modern fleet serves more than 60 international destinations worldwide. To provide a wider choice of destinations for travelers, Ethiopian has entered into code share agreements with several international airlines. The airline has ordered the most modern, environmentally-friendly aircraft to meet the growing demand for increased capacity and ensure the comfort of its customers. The orders include ten 787 Dreamliners and ten 737-800s from the Boeing Company and twelve A350-900s from Airbus. Recognizing cargo as part of its core business, Ethiopian has established a state-of the-art cargo terminal with an annual capacity of 350,000 tons, positioning Addis as a regional hub. Ethiopian Cargo provides extensive services to customers in the export and import business. This is a pioneering endeavour by the airline to encourage and promote Africa’s export business to Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The Ethiopian Aviation Academy has become a powerful source for African aviation training. The Academy is committed to developing and providing a competent workforce for the airline and the wider aviation industry. The Academy runs training and development programmes for pilots, cabin crew and technicians, and conducts comprehensive courses in marketing, finance as well as leadership management. Ethiopian’s Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility is recognized as one of the finest aircraft engine and components maintenance and overhaul centres in Africa and the Middle East, meeting approval standards of Ethiopian Civil Aviation and the US Federal Aviation Administration. Ethiopian’s membership was accepted by Star Alliance, the leading global airline network in 2010. The membership requires compliance with the highest industry standards of customer service, security and technical infrastructure. Ethiopian will be a fully-fledged member of Star Alliance before the end of 2011.

Ethiopian flies to Milan, Italy 5 times a week.

Ethiopian recently formulated a 15-year strategic plan, dubbed “Vision 2025”, to transform itself into an aviation group that provides world class services to its customers. The core of the strategic plan is to become the most competitive and leading aviation group in Africa. Ethiopian Airlines regularly receives accolades from the travel industry, and continues to upgrade its services and products to meet international standards and, more specifically, the needs of its customers. At present, it operates one of the most up-to-date fleets in the world. It is, indeed, Africa’s World Class Airline – the New Spirit of Africa!




With its maiden flight to Cairo on April 08, 1946, Africa’s oldest and most reputable airline was born. Over the decades the airline has made tremendous progress in all aspects thereby taking customer safety and comfort to a higher level. With its unparalleled route network covering the width and breadth of Africa, it has lived its motto “Bringing Africa Together” and further raised the bar by modifying this motto to “Connecting Africa to the world.” Today with over 60 destinations, state of the art technology, and a friendly service, the management and staff of Ethiopian Airlines have once again confirmed their leading position in African aviation. Ethiopian’s immeasurable contribution to the development of aviation in the continent makes it a beacon of success for all to look up to. VISIT US AT FOR CONVENIENT BOOKINGS.


Milan Milanisimo