Milan is mostly known as a business city, or a shopping temple for fashion victims. All this is true. But Milan can be much more than that.
Happy Hour: if you want to “live like a Milanese“, you can’t miss Happy hour. It’s like a sort of institution. People living in Milan very often meet at happy hour, where you can enjoy a drink and a lot of appetizers (well, in some places Happy hours can become a dinner…). It’s not only a way to share some time with friends. Happy hour happens to act also as a status symbol. “Tell me where you go, and I will tell you who you are”. Fashionable bars change over time, although some seem to be timeless. Among these, the lounge bar at Diana Hotel, with its beautiful garden, and Roialto. Or one of the fashionable bars in Corso Como and surroundings. From spring to autumn you can also enjoy one of the many bars near Arco della Pace, in one of the few pedestrian areas of the city. But there are many others. And being up to date is a real challenge.
Dining: don’t want to scare you, but Milan is generally veeeeeery expensive, too much for what you get. I suggest you to avoid bars and restaurants around the Duomo area. They are very expensive and only for tourist. The only exception is the bar at the top of Rinascente store, where prices are justified by the beautiful view on the cathedral. There are so many restaurants in the city that is really not easy to advise, but if you are looking for authentical Italian cuisine I would recommend you the following restaurants: Al Matarel (typical Milan cuisine), Al Rifugio Pugliese (dishes from Puglia region), Trattoria Torre Di Pisa (Tuscan cuisine) a longtime traditional trattoria in Milano. Instead, if you are looking for a trendy or informal atmosphere, just go to one of the many restaurants along the Navigli (the only water canals left in the city).
Art and culture: Generally speaking, I think that most travellers associate arts and culture with Florence, Rome and Venice, but not with Milano. However, although it has not the same “charme” as other Italian cities, there are number of historical places or Museums that are really worth the visit. Churches: besides the cathedral (Duomo), other remarkable churches include S. Ambrogio (superb romanic style) and S. Maria delle Grazie (beautiful frescoes, mirable architecture), where you can also admire Leonardo da Vinci’s Last supper (reservation is a must, since visits are limited). Pinacoteca di Brera encompasses some of the major works of art of the late Middleage and early Renaissance. If you like design, don’t miss to visit Triennale. Besides the design museum there are often interesting exhibitions. Over there, you can also enjoy a lunch or an aperitif, with a view on the park.