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traveldestination Compiled and written by KAISA LARKAS Mixing business & style in Milan SITUATED in the heart of northern Italy, Milan is ideally located for trade. It's no surprise that this fast-paced city is home to Italy's stock market and is considered to be one of the major financial and business centres in Europe. Milan houses some of the biggest names in Italian banking, such as Mediobanca, Banca Popolare di Milano, Banca Intesa and Unicredito ­ as well as in media, design and fashion. Despite heavy bombing during the Second World War, many of the city's artistic and cultural treasures, such as Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper" in Santa Maria delle Grazie church and the impressive cathedral Duomo stayed intact. The world famous trade fairs and shows that take place in Milan's Fiera district each year attract thousands of people. One of the most popular events is Saloni Internazionale del Mobile, the international design showcase that takes place each April. The twice annual fashion weeks also draw large crowds. As Milan is one of the world's fashion capitals, dress and overall appearance are extremely important when attending business meetings. Do spend time finding a wellfitting suit and ensure that your footwear is in good shape. The same applies to briefcases and handbags. In general, the Italian approach to business is fairly formal in Milan. Appointments should be made in advance and punctuality is respected. A firm handshake is the usual way of greeting in most business situations. Most executives speak English, but it's a good idea to learn at least some basic phrases in Italian. Faceto-face contact is appreciated. Failing that, a phone conversation is likely to be more effective than an e-mail or fax, especially when initially making contact. Pignatelli Massimo/Sime/Skoy Daily life meets art at Milan's Piazza della Scala. When closing a business deal, a dinner or a drink is often preferred to a long lunch or a meeting in the afternoon. When meeting over lunch or dinner, it's best not to talk business unless initiated by the host, as the Italians tend to enjoy their food first and discuss business afterwards. Social chit chat goes a long way in Italy, so ask your contacts about their recent holidays, children or hobbies and never refuse an offer of a coffee or glass of wine. Further info: www.milanoinfotourist.com www.fieramilano.it WHERE TO SHOP Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, Via Sant' Andrea, Via Alessandro Manzoni and the nearby side streets are full of designer boutiques from Helmut Lang and Dior to Kenzo and Chanel. La Rinascente is Italy's first and Milan's most famous department store. You can find anything from briefcases to suits and homewares in its 8 floors. The lobby of Bulgari Hotel. Piazza Duomo www.larinascente.it WHERE TO STAY Bulgari Hotel boasts a haven WHERE TO EAT Sadler, with its two Michelin of luxury and tranquility in a secluded location, but within walking distance of the main shopping streets and La Scala Theatre. Via Fratelli Grabba 7b +39 02 805 8051 www.bulgarihotels.com Enterprise Hotel, close to stars, is an elegant restaurant in an intimate milieu serving unique dishes in keeping with Italian tradition. Via Ascanio Sforza 77 +39 02 8104451 www.sadler.it Bice, a traditional restaurant the Fair, features furnishings tailor-made for the hotel. Corso Sempione 91 +39 02 318181 www.enterprisehotel.com Hotel Principe di Savoia renowned for its Tuscan specialties, features several locations. Via Borgospesso 12 +39 02 76002572 www.bice.ws Boeucc, located in a historic overlooks the Piazza della Repubblica, one of the city's focal points. Piazza della Repubblica 17 +39 02 62305555 www.hotelprincipedisavoia. com palazzo in the heart of Milan, serves traditional Milanese cuisine and is the place to take an important client. Piazza Belgioioso 2 +39 02 76020224 www.boeucc.it Boeucc serves high-end Milanese cuisine. 16 BLUE WINGS OCTOBER 2007 Sadler's rhubarb Savarin with fruit salad and berry salsa.

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