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Football and shopping combine in a city of two halves. Words: Maureen Ellis

he parallels are freakishly similar: a shoppers’ paradise. a love of designer labels. a strong football culture and a see-and-be-seen nightlife. Why. a girl

from Glasgow could easily find her spiritual home in Milan. Not wishing to mislead. I should qualify: there are no

comparisons between west of Scotland retail and that of

Milan. A quadrilateml of streets make up the designer core. A good first port of call is San Babila metro station. the home of cmporiums such as D&G. Diesel and Mitt Mitt. 'lhe Via Monte Napoleone veers off to the right. It‘s a dimly lit. narrow side-street. but I defy anyone to tell me there‘s a greater concentration of couture labels anywhere in the world. Gucci. Versace and Annani are all present and correct. but truly inspirational is Dior. Valentino. Fendi. Iceberg and all those name—tags only ever


From beautiful to budget Sheraton Diana

scarves and obligatory sunglasses. More worryingly. most shops are closed on Sundays. If the Sabbath day is kept

hon. Milanese men can be found worshipping at the altar of

the San Siro - the shared home of Inter and A(‘ Milan.

()n a short metro ride ottt to Lotto on match days. you follow the hordes. cram yourself onto a bus. nose-to-nose with boisterous fans. and are transported to the reigning home of football in the Italian league. The San Siro is tremendous in terms of size. noise and passion. If ()ld

'l‘rafford is the ‘theatrc of dreams‘. then the San Siro is like

a scene from xlpur‘rl/ypsr’ Nmiz'

Inter Milan played host to Roma: a volatile league match zealously supported because of rivalry between the two cities. Fireworks were thrown onto the pitch. flares lit from the tiers and ticker-tape debris llew

coveted in glossies.

Tum left past La Scala opera house. and you‘re drawn into the Galleria Vittorio Iimanuelc II. The glass ceilings are colossal. it has a huge Prada store and the atmosphere is buzzing. Next stop the Duomo. which lies just outside the Galleria. The third largest cathedral in Christendom. its neo-Gothic. white marble. sky-scraping structure is striking against the blue sky. Realistically there are three main avenues where non- lottery winners can afford to shop. The Corso Vittorio Emanuele ll leads back to San Babila. and houses Benetton and Spanish clothing emporium Zara. The Via Dante boasts more indigenous labels. A wander there will take you to Milan‘s castle. (‘astello Sforzesco. bookended by a picturesque waterfall and gardens. It was 19°C and everyone was swathed in heavy coats.

Majestic The perfect merge of tradition and fashion. this beautiful hotel is but a stone's throw from the city centre. combining tradition. architecture and a y0ung, hip atmosphere this is the place to see and be seen. To book. email re5053_Diana_Maiestic@S heratoncom, or for general enquiries email sheraton. diana.majestic@sheraton.c om. See wwwsheraton. com/dianainaiestic. Alternatively, if you're looking for something on a budget check out www.all- hotels-in-milancom/ budgethotelsasp for a range of alternatives.

around the cauldron of emotion. And what female couldn‘t appreciate the talent on display - Totti. (‘annavaro and Batistuta to namecheck a few. It ended 3~3z Roma coming back from 3— 1 down to score two in the last ten minutes.

I can't decide what was the greater high: the sporting spectacle witnessed. or the appreciation of consumer opulence condensed into one city. But then. why choose when you can experience the best of both worlds'.’

The List flew to Milan Bergamo with Ryanair - book now at www.ryanair.com - with return travel to Stansted with GNER and stayed at the Sheraton Diana Majestic. Tickets for Italian games can be booked at www.ticketone.it


Festivals, flights and fabulous fares

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I LOOK OUT FOR Trailfinders new spring/summer magazine. brimming with ideas and inspiration for travel to destinations worldwide: from the spectaCUIar variety of southern hemisphere scenery in Australia and New Zealand to the pleasure of discovering the delights of New England on a self-drive holiday.

I GET YOURSELF A history lesson courtesy of Rough Guide Histories (pictured). Each volume is packed with facts, interpretative leads and illustrations and compiled from a global perspective. all priced at £7.99.

The Rough Guide .

History it;

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