MILAN - NEIGHBORHOODS
At the heart of Milan's historic center is its enormous Duomo, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Locals and tourists alike can be found strolling the main square, the Piazza del Duomo, as well as the adjacent Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping mall and Palazzo Reale. To the north are the renowned La Scala Opera House and the Pinacoteca di Brera art gallery as well as designer shopping around Via Montenapoleone.
Southwest of the Duomo and the historic center are the charming streets of the Navigli/Ticinese canal district. Previously inhabited by 'starving' artists due to the low rents, this area is now fashionable and attractive to visitors, in part because of its interesting boutiques, quirky art studios and funky cafes, but also for its lively apertivo. The two remaining canals boast several floating bars and restaurants and the Saturday flea market draws huge crowds.
Porta Garibaldi and Piazza della Repubblica
North of the Duomo and east of Parco Sempione are the busy Porta Garibaldi district. This area is characterized by the old Porta Comasina, the former city gate on the ancient road to Como, and Piazza della Repubblica, dominated by the Giuseppe Mazzini monument. Hotels in this neighborhood are ideal for businessmen and tourists alike as they are close to the 'Fiera Milano City' International Trade Fair center and only a few minutes from the historic city center.
Stazione Centrale - Corso Buenos Aires - Porta Venezia
Northeast of the Duomo are the bustling Stazione Centrale, the fashionable Corso Buenos Aires and the historic Porta Venezia, which includes the park of Villa Reale and the Museum of Natural Science. South of the station are Milan's Giardini Pubblici (Public Gardens) and the Modern Art Gallery. These popular areas are close to many of Milan's tourist attractions as well as public transportation making any of them an ideal place from which to explore Milan.
Fiera Milano - San Siro
San Siro is a great choice for travelers interested in convenient public transportation, old-town exploration and city walks. It is a highly residential area, close to other residential areas like De Angeli and Wagner. San Siro is also home to the famous San Siro Stadium where soccer matches take place on a regular basis. During the important matches, the crowds come in droves to San Siro to catch their favorite matches or soccer players. The district has beautiful residential complexes and is full of activity such as lively bars, affordable pizzerias and restaurants. If you are looking to be away from the chaos of the hustle and bustle of the city, as well as being able to enjoy the atmosphere of the soccer season, then San Siro is a great place. This district is also very family friendly with many playgrounds around for kids to play in. Fieramilano is the foremost of exhibition venues with top notch hotels catering to businessmen and tourists alike.
Northwest of the Duomo is Milan's largest park, Parco Sempione, home to the majestic Milan landmark, Castello Sforzesco. Staying around the Sempione district can be a great choice. It is a lively area with a number of good restaurants, leafy avenues, and cute cafes in a picturesque setting. This area is used as a district for evening leisure where hundreds of people hang out to drink aperitivo or have a late night drink after a long day at the office. It is also very green because of the fact that it is very near the Sempione park, the heart of Milan. The surrounding area includes beautiful residences, historic monuments, like Leonardo`s Last Supper and Castel Sforzesco and shops as well.
There is a collection of hotel options that branch out from Sempion`s lively local commercial hub of Via Piero della Francesca (that runs somewhat parallel to the major artery of Corso Sempione), bound roughly by Via Biondi in the north down to where the street begins at the junction with the important Via Procaccini slightly less than a half mile to the south.