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Getting around Milan

Public transport

Milan has a comprehensive transport network run by Azienda Trasporti Milanesi - ATM (tel: +39 02 4860 7607; www.atm.it). Its integrated ticketing system connects the metro, bus, tram and trolleybus.

The metro has four lines (red M1, green M2, yellow M3 and purple M5) which converge at Duomo, Centrale FS, Loreto, Garibaldi FS, Lotto and Cadorna. and Cadorna. Tickets must be validated by punching them in the SITAM machines onboard buses or at metro stations. Tickets are available from newsagents, tobacconists, automatic vending machines at major metro and bus stops, plus some cafés.

Passes, valid for one or two days, are available from ATM railway offices at Cadorna, Centrale FS, Duomo, Loreto and Romolo. A carnet of 10 tickets is also available. You can load fares and passes onto RicaricaMi smartcards.

Taxis

You can pick up taxis (usually white or yellow) at ranks outside railway stations or book them by phone. The main firms are Radiotaxi (tel: +39 02 6969) and Autoradio (tel: +39 02 8585). Tipping is not expected. Expect to pay another euro for each item of luggage.

Driving

You should avoid driving in Milan if possible. Its streets are congested day and night, and parking is very difficult.

Roadside parking in the historic centre is limited to a maximum of two hours within the blue lines marked by sostaapagamento (pay to stop) signs. A city toll is mandatory on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 0730 until 1930. On Thursday, the toll is mandatory from 0730 until 1800. The best option is to head to one of the park-and-ride schemes run by ATM.

If you’re determined to drive into the city, try the Autosilo Borgospesso 24-hour car park, Via Borgospesso 18, for somewhere to leave your car.

Car hire

To hire a car in Milan, drivers must be 21 years or over and must have been in the possession of an EU licence or International Driving Permit for at least one year. Insurance is included in the price.

Car hire companies include Avis (tel: +39 02 8940 9016; www.avis.com) and Hertz (tel: +39 02 6698 5151; www.hertz.it).

Bicycle hire

Milanese are enthusiastic cyclists and a bicycle sharing scheme called BikeMi (tel: +39 02 4860 7607; www.bikemi.com) operates nearly 5,000 bikes in more than 200 stations. You can get a one-day or one-week subscription, after which the first 30 minutes of any journey are free.

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Famous for fashion and football, Milan also features a magnificent mix of traditional and modern architecture, making it an essential Italian destination

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Hotel Principe Di Savoia

David Beckham, Ben Affleck and Sophia Loren are among the celebrities to have graced this top-notch luxury hotel. With all the hustle and bustle of a large hotel, but the attentive service of a boutique, the swimming pool, spa and impressive bar make Principe Di Savoia one of Milan’s more fashionable stays.

Straf

Like staying inside a contemporary work of art, Straf has 64 individually styled rooms that make the most of texture and colour. This sensual approach extends into its wellbeing rooms, which offer aromatherapy and chromotherapy treatments. The hotel also boasts a small gym and a first-class location just opposite the Duomo.

Hotel Ariston

Only five minutes from the Duomo, this is Milan's first ecological hotel, which offers 52 plain, immaculate but tastefully furnished rooms that are comfortable yet inexpensive. Some come with a Jacuzzi while others offer city views. There's Wi-Fi, and free bicycles are available for guests to use.

Magna Pars Suites

If you want to spend the night as a supermodel might, then these huge stylish suites in a converted perfume factory are just the ticket. Located in the fashionable Forcella district, which is awash with designers in fashion week, this suite-only hotel has every mod con.

TownHouse Galleria

Just a stone's throw from the Duomo, this is Europe's first 7-star hotel. It offers guests an in-room coiffeur and spa service, free Wi-Fi, and a fully stocked minibar that is refurbished daily. They offer a choice of contemporary suites overlook the Galleria. Exclusive and opulent, it gives guests serious bragging rights.

Hotel Lancaster

Located near the calm of Parco Sempione, this simply furnished, art nouveau hotel is a good budget option. The rooms are clean, while staff are friendly and helpful. It is also outside the congestion charge zone, so a good choice if driving. We suggest asking for a room with a balcony for a fantastic view.