Hi there, nice to be here and yes I am new to this forum, but it does seem interesting and full of nice infos... so here I go giving my first suggestion (hope someone will find it interesting!)
I live in New York City most of the time, but have to travel to Milan, Italy very often for work and feel like suggesting it as a tourist destination. It is not very touristy because people tend to head straight to Venice, Rome, the lakes, etc... but milan it is really worth a visit and more than one and once you get into it you do want to come back again. I would suggest to hang around the main historical center just if you really want a first glimpse of the city in terms of tourist attractions like the huge cathedral Duomo in Duomo Square and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele with the paintings of the four (four know at that time) on the high walls in the main 'navade'. The main square in the center is really nice and powerful, but if you want to have fun and spend less at the same time you should go right out of the main central area in the evening because there is hardly anything there and the real cool life is elsewhere around the following areas: Navigli (with the cute canals), Brera (near the Academy of Art), but the best places in town are here and there one far from the other and they are worth a visit, but you need to take the underground and or buses and or trams and or taxis to get there since at first milan might seem small, but in fact it is in terms of inhabitants the same size of Chicago!. The following are some of the places I like most: 'the plastic' disco pub, 'absolut bar' (sponsored by absolut vodka and made out of ice! they will give you a big esquimo style coat to enter and of course the vodka is faboulous), the 'coquetel' in the 'Colonne di San Lorenzo' area (near a great park with an incredible old church and some roman ruins), the 'Diana Majestic Lounge' at the Sheraton Diana Majestic near Buenos Aires Avenue and if you want a really really delicious meal (really italian - not tourist trap style) for a really affordable price, you should try 'Da Giuliano - Un Angolo D'Abruzzo' around the area near Nino Bixio Rd. milan is a real heaven for music of any kind (of the international high standard) and I would suggest that you go to the 'Blue Note' jazz club (yes owned by friends of the blue note in nyc but bigger and nicer) that often hosts big names like Coltrane etc.... - it serves nice food too, so you can relax in front of a nice beer or wine, eat some good food and listen to the great music - the Blue Note in Milan is in Borsieri rd. in a very lively area referred to by locals as 'The Island' with lots of nice places to go in terms of bars, clubs, venues, restaurants and independent music and theaters as well. In terms of tourist attractions I suggest that you head to the 'PAC' the Pavillion of Modern Art, and the Castle as well is amazing with all those museums as well. You should also see the 'Branca Tower' where you can go on the top and see the full huge extension of Milan greater city, the Branca Tower is in the Sempione Park and in the evenings at the bottom of the tower (but in the evening you can't get the lift to the top) the Cavalli Lounga and Bar (by designer Cavalli) is open and of course (it is still Milan after all) it is full of trendy models and designers having a go with a few martinis and similar drinks and cocktails.In terms of hotels there is plenty of them and some of them are real cool and not necessary expensive if you book on the internet. I tend to book my hotels in the major hotel reservations website that have discounted offers and so on, like http://www.expedia.com or http://www.travelton.com and many others and they all have some great offers in terms of hotel deals. It would take me ages to tell you everything i learned about this great city and well I haven't got that time at the moment, but of course you're more than welcome to drop me a line if you want more inofs about Milan and I suggest that you take the time to discover this city and the infinte options it offers and avoid being stuck in the supposed 'center' because ten minutes there are more than enough and there is not much to do there while the city elsewhere (where not many tourist go) is huge and real fun and interesting. Have a great trip!