While it’s probably the city’s most expensive area to eat and drink, Milan’s historic centre can be a wonderful place to splash the cash and enjoy a cocktail surrounded by many of the city’s top sights.
Centro Storico is right in the middle of the action. With the dominating Duomo next to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and some of the city’s most important galleries and museums, it’s first up on most people’s visit to Milan. If you fancy an aperitivo after your art viewing or shopping, this glitzy location puts you right in the thick of the best of Milan.
This pub feels as if it has been transplanted from a corner in London, yet it’s just around the corner from the Duomo. There’s always football on the TV, if that’s your thing, and all the usual British beers are on tap. The staff are friendly and there are plenty of regulars propping up the bar. Kudos for the toasties, too.
The Aperol-branded bar has one of the best views in the city, and the interior is fresh and fun. Of course, the spritz is a speciality here and if you’re feeling drained after walking the cobblestone streets of the Centro Storico, it’s perfect for a refreshing cocktail. Food is not an afterthought here, so come for aperitivo, when the Milanese flood in after work.
Terrazza Martini is another branded bar terrace experience that boasts seriously impressive views of the city skyline. Located on the 15th floor of the skyscraper in Piazza Diaz, the venue has been at the centre of Milan’s social life since the ’50s. If vermouth is your thing, then it’s perfect for a negroni or any of the splendid array of other Martini-based concoctions. The decor is ultra-modern with a special attention to design, which always feels so Milan. It’s definitely a place to dress well and put your best foot forward.
You can almost reach out and touch La Madonnina, the brass icon that sits atop the Duomo, from the terrace at Il Bar – it’s that close. The outdoor seating on Il Bar’s terrace offers the perfect refuge from the teaming masses of shoppers and tourists below. Fresh, cool decor allows you to unwind when the summer heat is overwhelming and provides a cosy feel in the colder months. Open all day and offering breakfast, aperitivo and tapas, Il Bar is a great spot to slow down, unwind and let the chaos of Centro Storico slip away.
Nestled in an off-street courtyard, everything about this cocktail bar is inspired by the Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana. From the dark, lush interiors to the fabulously well-presented bar staff, the place is both upscale and understated. A favourite of fashionistas who prefer to avoid the in-your-face glamour of some of the other fashion-themed bars, it’s the type of place where an aperitivo leads into a long, lazy evening with friends.