Italy's (and possibly the World's!) capital of fashion, is popular for its trendy scene, nightlife “movida” and also many monuments and museums.
This walking guide of Milan will get you up and running with a great first impression of Milan. From the impressive Piazza del Duomo, through highest fashion streets of the Quadrilatero d’Oro, historic museums and to the cafe lined canals of the Navigli.
Start here at Piazza del Duomo, accessible via Metro.
Let's visit the Cathedral of Milan (Duomo di Milano), one of the largest and most astonishing cathedrals in the world!
The Duomo is symbol of the city. Made of white marble. It has a length of 157 meters and covers an area of 11,700 square meters. The largest spire reaches a height of 108.5 meters.
The construction of the cathedral in Milan began in 1386. Construction work lasted for five centuries and during this period architects, sculptors, artists and craftsmen, both locals and from all over Europe, moved to the cathedral Factory. The result of their work is a unique architecture, a fusion between the Gothic style of the Alps and the Lombard tradition.
See the impressive abundance of decorations: spiers, pinnacles, an immense statuary heritage (about 3,400, of which 1,100 inside and 2,300 outdoors), sculptures in the frames and windows, decorates. The complexity of construction is such that the last part completed is the façade in 1813.
To get into the baptistry and the Treasury Museum, you have to buy the ticket. From the church you can not miss the views from its terrace. You can use the elevator or stairs; this latter option is cheaper and faster, as there are normally long queues for the elevator.
You have to talk a on the terrace.
See the golden statue of Madonnina / St. Mary (4,16 meters high) put in October 1774 by the sculptor Giuseppe Perego.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
One of the world’s most glamorous (and oldest!, built in 1867) shopping areas in Milan.
This is home to luxury shops and the most prestigious brands, famous cafes and restaurants.
This is a nice place for an aperitif or meal after the Opera - if you can afford it!
This is the world’s most famous opera house.
You will need to book plenty (months!) ahead if you want to catch a show here. Alternatively, join a tour of this place and get to see the beautiful interior of the home of opera.
This smaller museum, the Pinacoteca di Brera contains one of the most important art collections in Italy.
Smaller but with important works of art, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana houses instead The Musician, an early painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
Villa Reale (built between 1790 and 1796) is a beautiful villa which now houses the Galleria d'Arte Moderna is a modern art museum in Milan.
The position, represents the physical and symbolic entry for those arriving in Milan from Vienna.
There is a nice park here for a bit of a breather.
It's time to visit the high fashion shopping area of Milan - the "Quadrilatero della moda" (fashion quadrilateral).
See the most prestigious boutiques in the city!
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II
After crossing these streets and the perpendicular paths, we will head towards Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, another famous shopping area, where shops do not have excessively prohibitive prices.
This is a well known department store in the area with a collection of high-end Italian and international brands in fashion, accessories, beauty, homeware, design.
There are plenty of shops, cafés and restaurants here. Find a spot here for some dinner.
Opened in October 2014, near "I Giardini di Porta Nuova", the Bosco Verticale (vertical forest) is composed of two residential towers of 111 meters and 78 meters, respectively.
Two prestigious buildings, with over 900 tree species growing (about 550 trees in the first tower and 350 in the second) on 8,900 m² of terraces, perfectly integrated in the surrounding greenery. A "green" building, where the combination of architectural structure and technological equipment guarantees the highest environmental performance, reducing thermal excursions, contributing to the production of oxygen and ensuring a significant absorption of fine dust.
The grandeur of the tombs makes this cemetery a real open-air museum with truly amazing works of art. For this reason the Monumental Cemetery is an extraordinary outdoor museum. It is as if some of the greatest sculptors of the twentieth century were called together to for an elaborate reflection of death.
This place is huge: a space of 250,000 square meters. A great oasis of peace, silence and tranquility.
The cemetery is has three distinct areas: the central part houses the tombs of Catholics; the one on the right, looking at the façade, is reserved for the Israelites, while the left is an area for the not Catholics.
This renaissance castle dates back to 1358-1368 at the time of Galeazzo II Visconti, who used the Castello Sforzesco as his residence in Milan, but also and above all as a military garrison.
A defensive fortress, residence, military barracks, museums and cultural institutions: different and complex are the transformations that over the centuries have modified the Castello Sforzesco (Sforza castle), one of Milan's most representative and popular monuments.
This castle hosts a masterpiece: the Pietà Rondanini that is the Michelangelo’s final and uncompleted sculpture.
The castle museums are quite interesting and cheap and it is a good idea to visit them.
Inside the Museum Of Ancient Art preserves works of great value such as the Equestrian Monument of Bernabò Visconti and ancient remains of the city.
The Pinacoteca: The Collection of Furniture with Furnishings from the 15th to the 19th centuries; The Museum of Decorative Arts with the vast collection of pottery.
The Oreficerie: The collection of musical instruments among the largest in Europe.
There are a number of other museums here ..
Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
Booking in advance is required!
View the original Cenacle (Last Supper) by Leonardo da Vinci - painted on a wall where the friars came together to eat. The Last Supper was commissioned by Leonardo da Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, in the context of a project of embellishment of the convent and church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio
This is a church that really deserves to be seen from both outside and inside.
This Basilica, together with the cathedral are the centerpiece of the spiritual life of Milan. A great popular devotion revolves around the basilica, always a destination for pilgrimages and visitors.
There are a network of canals which go across Milan: the “Navigli”. These bohemian canals are lined with pavement cafés, vintage shops and the occasional galleries.
Enjoy a stroll the grand canal here.
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