One Night in Milan

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Marco Brescia / Teatro Alla Scala / AP

A night at La Scala
Jacket most certainly required

Lisa Corva, 45, novelist and fashion journalist
Aperitivo hour is sacred in Milan. I'd have a glass of Falanghina, a full-bodied white wine, at Fioraio Bianchi, tel: (39-02) 2901 4390, in the Brera district. It's a favorite with the fashion pack. Then I'd seek out some real Milanese cuisine at Trattoria della Pesa, tel: (39-02) 655 5741, in Garibaldi. The risotto al salto is a delicious pancake of crispy rice made with leftover saffron risotto. After dinner, I might head to Blue Note, tel: (39-02) 6901 6888, the Milan outpost of the New York City jazz club. It's a great place to unwind.

Alessandro Rosso, 50, hotelier
At aperitivo hour, I love to wander through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II at the Piazza del Duomo. It's a fairytale setting for the free classical piano recital held there every night. A few minutes' walk away, next door to La Scala, is my favorite restaurant, Il Marchesino, tel: (39-02) 7209 4338. Try deep-fried sole with tempura vegetables in sweet-and-sour ginger sauce, or have oysters and champagne as a pre-theater snack. Afterward, a ballet at La Scala, tel: (39-02) 7200 3744, is a magical experience. Then I'd walk around Piazza Castello beneath the medieval fortress, Castello Sforzesco. With the fountain sparkling under the illuminated ramparts, it's the perfect end to the evening.

Luigi Garbini, 41, priest, author and composer
I would start at twilight with a scotch on the rocks in the top-floor bar of La Rinascente department store, tel: (39-02) 88521. With its curving glass walls and terrace, it's like being on the deck of a glamorous ship; you can almost reach out and touch the statues that crown the roof of the Duomo. My favorite place for listening to classical music is the Sala Grande at the Conservatory, tel: (39-02) 7621 1012, which has a slightly decadent air, as if it was a private sitting room. Afterward, I might drop into Bar Jamaica, tel: (39-02) 876 723. Opened in 1921, it was renamed after Alfred Hitchcock's 1939 film, Jamaica Inn. The haunt of writers and artists such as Piero Manzoni and Allen Ginsberg, it's a taste of the bygone, bohemian days of the Brera district.

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