Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Milan

Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:38am EST
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By Mark Meadows

MILAN (Reuters) - When people think of Milan they immediately conjure up images of catwalks, skinny lattes and pizzas but the true face of Italy's second city is actually very different.

That is not to say Milan is a let-down, instead travelers are often pleasantly surprised by the huge, free-to-enter but little-known castle or the canal district of bars.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a 48-hour visit.


7 p.m. - Good value hotels are hard to come by given Milan is often seen as a business city but there are several options around the city's main train station and the area is less sleazy than it was.

The train station, Stazione Centrale, is a destination in itself because of its enormous scale and startling architecture. Influenced by Washington D.C.'s Union Station and the input of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, the station is up there with the greatest in the world.

From there grab a taxi and head to the pedestrianised part of Via Brera where you can indulge in a Milanese institution -- the aperitivo.

People in Milan are not big drinkers so to tempt customers bars offer free food -- pasta, rice, little paninis etc. All you have to do is order a rather overpriced drink and it is all you can eat. Sitting outside, even in late autumn, also appeals.   Continued...

<p>A man walks in downtown Milan November 11, 2011. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo</p>