Pick up your hire car at Milan airport and head for the super-chic fashion capital of Italy.
"We're the spiritual home of the most fashionable, most beautiful, most cultured people in the world."
Don't be intimidated - it's not all about pouting in designer sunglasses. Milan is the ideal place for a city break with the perfect combination of sightseeing, shopping and, being Italy, amazing food and wine.
Buzzing. From the streets to the bars to the museums, there's an amazing atmosphere in Milan and the gorgeous setting makes you feel like you're in a movie.
Super chic. Ladies cycle in six-inch stilettos, men take exquisite pride in their grooming.
Freezing winters and rather muggy summers - otherwise, it's standard Mediterranean weather. The summer has spectacular thunder and lightening storms that are worth braving the rain to witness.
For such a glamorous city, traditional Milanese food is suprisingly simple. Try the classic risotto alla Milanese, made with beef broth and saffron.
Fabio Lanzoni or, to swooning women around the world, simply Fabio. This hirsuite male model and 1990s sex-hunk, with a lucrative sideline in racy romance novels, hails from Milan.
Ancient law requires citizens of Milan to smile at all times, unless they are visiting patients in hospitals or attending funerals. There's a €100 fine for grumps.
"Retire me to my Milan, where every third thought shall be my grave." - Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest
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See Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece in situ - in the refectory of the Santa Maria Delle Grazie - and give your two pence worth to the 'is it a woman is it a man?' debate.
The nearest public parking is on Via Ruffini. It will cost you €1.50 per hour. This is within the eco-pass area, so the traffic congestion charge applies.
Bang in the heart of the city and the place to meet and relax, in between bouts of sightseeing. Best not to eat here, though, unless overpaying is your idea of a good time.
There's a multi-storey car park on Piazza Diaz. It costs €3 per hour for up to four hours and €1 thereafter.
This impressive glass-domed arcade runs between the cathedral and La Scala. It's the shopping experience the weather can't spoil.
In the city centre you can park in the areas marked by blue lines. You'll need to buy a Sosta Milano scratch card from a tobacconist or a newsagent.
Football fans will find it hard to resist a trip to the world famous home of both AC Milan and Internazionale. You might even catch a glimpse of David Beckham at the moment.
Park your hire car close by Palalido or Piazzale Lotto. From there, catch the tram to San Siro.
By day, a high-class fashion store. By night, the coolest nightclub in town. Throw some shapes on Milan's celebrity scene and show the Italians how it's done.
There is paid parking on the streets nearby although it can be busy. There are also various small car parks that are just a short walk away.
Holiday spot for Milanese city slickers. Try and catch an eyeful of George Clooney who has a pied-a-terre here.
It takes around an hour and 45 minutes to get there from Milan. Head north on the A9 and take the Como Nord exit onto the SS340.
Grab a Cornetto and hop on a gondola before the whole place sinks. Don't worry, it's not as smelly as people always make out.
Head east on the A4 then take the SR11 into Venice. It'll take you about three hours and 20 minutes.
Devotees of the prancing horse can go on a pilgrimage to the Ferrari museum and eat at the Ferrari restaurant where 'the family' have their own dining room.
It'll take you about two and a half hours to drive to Modena. Head south-east on the A1.
Swash your buckles at these mini palaces built by the Mazzardites, the pirates who lurked in Lake Maggiore in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Head north-east on the A8 and the A26, which will curve north as it skirts around Lake Maggiore. Take the SS34 and head for the Cannero Riviera, where you can see the castles.
" Unlike most other large Italian cities, we don't have a ZTL (limited traffic zone) based on where the car owner lives. Instead we have a congestion charge somewhat like London's, where you have to pay to enter the eco-pass area. All you need to do is pay a daily fee ranging from €2 to €10, based on how polluting your car is. Parking can be a little tricky in the city centre, but not impossible if you're in the know - look out for areas marked by blue lines, where you can park if you buy a Sosta Milano scratch card from a tobacconist or a newsagent. "