What to see in Milan: the 15 best attractions and things to do

It is considered the Italian capital of economy and fashion . It is home to two of the main football clubs in our top league. Milan is not just the Duomo and Navigli, it is one of the most famous Italian cities in the world that has a lot to offer its tourist: entertainment, history, culture and unbridled shopping.

1 – Duomo

You cannot go to Milan and not visit the symbol par excellence of the city: its imposing Duomo!
The construction works of the famous Gothic-style monument, dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente, began in 1386 at the behest of Gian Galeazzo Visconti. So ethereal as to seem almost unreal, the Cathedral, a perfect synthesis of Lombard and Nordic architecture, houses some 3,500 statues inside ; the rather curious note is that among the statues there are also illustrious but secular characters, such as Dante Alighieri and the boxer Primo Carnera.
Inside, the presence of the relic of the Sacred Nail, placed in the main apse, should be noted. Its spiers are 135: on the largest one, 108.5 meters high, is the famous Madonnina, a gilded copper statue about 4 meters high.

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2 – Palazzo Reale

It is the masterpiece of neoclassical architecture that was born in the twelfth century as the seat of the municipal administration in the period in which Milan became the political center and managed by the noble families of Torriani, Visconti and Sforza. It underwent the Spanish domination, becoming the residence of the governor Ferrante Gonzaga; Royal Palace under the Spanish governor Antonio de Guzman, it was enriched by the Hall of the Caryatids under the Austrian domination.

Finally, it was enriched with showy decorations and frescoes by Hayez and Appiani during the reign of Napoleon. Today it is the exhibition center of the city of Milan, in fact it hosts all the great traveling and non-traveling exhibitions, if you go to Milan, don’t forget to always consult the official website to find out which exhibition will be set up during your visit to the city.

3 – Museo del Novecento

Just to the right of the majestic Duomo stands the particular building used as the Museo del Novecento: it is located inside the Palazzo dell’Arengario and houses some 4000 emblematic works of art from the entire twentieth century.
There are several to mention, but the most famous are for example the ” Quarto Stato ” by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, the “Composition” by Vasilij Kandinskij, “Béatrice Hastings” by Amedeo Modigliani, “La Signora Virginia” by Boccioni etc.

This large museum is divided into several floors, each of which is emblematic of a specific artistic period: on the first floor are the works of the Jucker and Futurists collection, on the second you will find the classicists of the twentieth century and abstractionists, the third floor is dedicated to conceptual art, finally the tour ends with arte povera.

4 – Pinacoteca Ambrosiana

A visit to the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is a must if you are in Milan: you will dedicate part of your time to visit a museum whose exhibition itinerary includes, for example, the ” Madonna del Padiglione ” by Botticelli, the ” Basket of fruit ” by Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci’s ” Portrait of a musician ” or Titian’s ” Adoration of the Magi “. It really made the history of Milan, it was founded in 1607 by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, then starting from 1618 it began to enrich itself with works of great value; it was the Cardinal who decided to donate his collection of statues, drawings and paintings to the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana.

Today it is divided into 24 rooms where, in addition to onehuge collection of Renaissance works , there are important collections of authors of the Lombard seventeenth century, of the eighteenth century, and finally numerous works by nineteenth and early twentieth century authors.

5 – Navigli

The ancient Navigli of Milan today are the most “romantic and traditional” part of the city, the best known canal is the Naviglio Grande , a destination every day for tourists ready to immortalize themselves in photos in this romantic postcard setting and where the Milanese go to their daily aperitif.

The Navigli are the result of a project by the famous Leonardo da Vinci and became a fundamental hub of Milanese trade from the 1500s on; over the centuries the project has gradually expanded and the Navigli network extends beyond the border of the metropolitan city. Also on the Naviglio Grande there is the Casa delle Arti – Spazio Alda Merini, the Armani Silos and the MUDEC. This and much more is the favorite place of the Milanese for their happy hour! You can reach them by metro M2 up to Porta Genova, Porta Romolo..

When to go : we recommend a walk at dusk , to enjoy a typical aperitif and above all to see the lights of the clubs reflected on the watercourse. If you visit Milan at the end of the month, take a daytime tour of the counters of the “Mercatone dell’Antiquariato”, which is held every last Sunday of the month along the canals.

6 – Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio

A great example of Lombard Romanesque architecture, it is considered the second most important church in Milan after the Duomo. It was consecrated in 387 to the saint from which it takes its name; it is a sacred place that today can boast an important reputation: it is a basilica that perfectly preserves its original appearance, despite being severely damaged by war in the past.

It is particular and original compared to the others built in the same style, because it has an external aspect in which two brick towers of different heights predominate and then a large atrium where some archaeological remains are preserved. This basilica also houses the skeletons of Sant’Ambrogio, San Gervasio and San Protasioinside the crypt, while under the pulpit is the Sarcophagus of Stilicone, a work dating back to the fourteenth century in which religious scenes sculpted in relief are portrayed. Another peculiarity is certainly the chapel located at the bottom of the southern nave, added only later, and dedicated to San Vittore.

Curiosities and legends : do not forget to admire the “devil’s column” on the left of the portico; so called due to the presence of two holes caused by the devil’s horns, during a clash with Sant’Ambrogio. Skeptics will tell you that they are nothing more than the signs of the removal of a large gate … but we like to believe in legends.

7 – Santa Maria delle Grazie e il Cenacolo Vinciano

In the heart of the Milanese metropolis there is an authentic, and almost unexpected, jewel erected starting from 1460, when Gaspare Vimercati gave the Dominicans a chapel with a frescoed image of the Madonna, called “of the graces”; a church and a convent were then built, later enriched by Ludovico il Moro with a splendid mausoleum for his family and by Bramante. But the Dominican convent is considered a must. The reason? Inside the former refectory next to the monument is jealously preserved the Unesco Heritage The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece also known as the ” Last Supper “.

The painting, which is 9 meters long and 4 meters high, is located on the north wall of the great hall. Made between 1494 and 1498, it is known not only for the strong religious theme (the last supper held between Jesus and his apostles, before the dramatic betrayal of Judas) but also for the innovative ” dry ” technique preferred from the artist to the usual fresco technique.
Its severe deterioration has made it the subject of an impressive restoration campaign, which has restored colors and details, albeit partially.

Book the visit : if you plan to visit it, booking at least 1 month before the visit is strongly recommended: the Last Supper is known all over the world and if you decide to buy the ticket only on the day of the visit, you risk not being able and be disappointed.

8 – Teatro alla Scala

One of the temples of Italian opera is undoubtedly the famous Teatro alla Scala, built by Giuseppe Piermarini at the behest of Maria Theresa of Austria. The theater, which kicked off its still prolific musical season in 1778 with the music of Antonio Salieri, was destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt in record time.

There have been numerous well-known names of Italian opera and not only to tread the stage of the Scala, also home to a very important and well-known Academy that aims to train complete artists in the fields of dance, music and theater.

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9 – Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

The beating heart of the city , where it is possible to meet students, businessmen, tourists and simple passers-by. Colors, sounds, flavors, everything echoes inside the suggestive Gallery, inside which it is possible to “undergo” the classic ritual of the Milanese city, or rotate on oneself three times with the right heel pointed on the private parts of the bull. which is portrayed on the floor of the Octagon in the mosaic of the coat of arms of the city of Turin: it is a sign of good luck and must be done absolutely if you go to Milan!

Historic cafes, high fashion boutiques, fast food chains, everything here comes together thanks to the project by Giuseppe Mengoni, who won the contract in 1859 but died when the work was completed. You can visit the Gallery at any time, it is located in Piazza Duomo just to the left of the Cathedral (reachable via the M1 metro in – Get directions ).

Chicca for locals : a few steps from the Gallery there is “Panzerotti Luini”, a small place where you can taste the best panzerotti in Milan

10 – Quadrilatero della moda

Photo of Geobia.From the sacred to the profane, it is appropriate to say it. The ” followers ” of the latest trends in terms of style cannot fail to make a leap into the famous Quadrilatero della Moda ! Via Montenapoleone, via Manzoni, via della Spiga and Corso Venezia are the four Milanese streets that form an ideal ” polygon ” of good taste, unfortunately not always within reach of all budgets. But watching (and daydreaming), as is well known, costs nothing.

Many people, Milanese and not, even if they do not intend to go shopping come here for two reasons: the high possibility of catching some VIPs , famous celebrities from entertainment and sports, andsee in advance what fashion trends will be . In these streets, in fact, brands such as Versace, Prada, Gucci, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Cavalli and so on, not only present their collections, but in practice it is here, in the Milanese quadrilateral, that the fashions will be anticipated. and trends! You can reach the Quadrilatero via the M1 metro from Cadorna to San Babila .

Events and anniversaries : events and temporary exhibitions are periodically proposed in the streets and boutiques of the Quadrilatero. Among the most famous exhibitions we remember the “Vendemmia di Via Montenapoleone”, an event held in the first weeks of October and celebrates the Italian wine and fashion excellence by offering tastings in the most luxurious shops.

11 – Pinacoteca di Brera

Founded in 1776, the Pinacoteca di Brera is a real museum born from the collection of works by the state and politicians. It was Napoleon who, when I proclaimed Milan the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, used this former Jesuit college as a deposit for the expropriated paintings from churches and aristocrats.
Inside the picture gallery are housed some of the most important Italian and international works , such as The Marriage of the Virgin by Raphael, Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus , the Dead Christ by Mantegna. But the symbolic painting of the entire structure is Hayez’s The Kiss .

The Pinacoteca also boasts a vast collection of works of art, which extends up to the twentieth century, with Picasso, Modigliani, Braque, De Chirico, Morandi and many others.

Visiting time : reserve half a day free to visit it, it is huge and if you do not want to miss any works or collections you will need at least 4-5 hours.

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12 – Castello Sforzesco

Another symbolic place of the city of Milan and emblem of the transformation, from a military stronghold to an important center of culture. The Sforzesco Castle was built between 1358 and 1368 and was the favorite residence, among others, of Ludovico il Moro and Beatrice d’Este.
The guided tour is highly recommended as it allows you to deepen the history and curiosity of one of the largest castles in Europe , and the works of eternal value kept in the museums inside.

Today the former military citadel houses numerous museums inside ; among the best known, the Pinacoteca, the Museum of Ancient Art, the Egyptian Museum and the Museum of Musical Instruments.
Inside the castle there are some of the most famous Italian works of art, such as Michelangelo’s Pietà Rondanini and works and frescoes by Leonardo da Vinci, Bramante and Mantegna.

Stop outside : right at the entrance of the building, practically every afternoon, real improvised shows of street artists are held who entertain passers-by with dancing or singing. At the end of the visit we advise you to stop for a few minutes and attend one of these shows.

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13 – Parco Sempione

Just behind the Castle is the Sempione Park , a real green lung of the city with an area of ​​386,000 square meters, where Milanese families and sportsmen go to relax in the shade of majestic centenary trees, or stroll among the lakes. artificial.

It was built between 1890 and 1893 and inside you will find some interesting buildings such as the Palazzo dell’Arte de La Triennale, the Civic Aquarium which has 36 tanks where more than 100 species of fish live, the Civic Arena inaugurated in 1806 under Napoleon and the Arch of Peace built in 1807 to commemorate Napoleon’s victories.
The Branca Towerit is another remarkable building inside, from whose terrace it is possible to admire one of the most beautiful views in all of Milan ( about € 6.00 per person ).

Activities and Entertainment: In addition to being able to do all kinds of outdoor activities, you may also come across real shows! Few people know that every afternoon, more or less shortly before sunset, many artists and amateurs gather to play excellent Jamaican or African music.

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14 – Stadio e Museo San Siro

San Siro Stadium : La Scala del calcio ” is the home of Milan and Inter and today it can accommodate over 80 thousand people. Inside there is also a museum , a favorite destination for fans or simple enthusiasts of the most beautiful sport in the world; inside there is a selection of the shirts of some of the most important footballers who have played at San Siro over the years. You can also visit the “behind the scenes” of the stadium: you will enter the changing rooms of Milan and Inter, reaching through the tunnel access, the field from which you can then access the view over the whole of San Siro.

One of the symbols of “sporting” Milan boasts remote roots, in fact in 1925 the President of Milan, Piero Pirelli decides to urge the construction of a football stadium; this was the input for the following year, in which on 19 September 1926 the stadium was officially inaugurated with the Milan-Inter derby. From that moment on, the stadium underwent a continuous process of expansion and growth until it took the form we know today.

15 – Cimitero Monumentale

Un luogo di raccoglimento, all’interno del quale riposano alcuni tra i nomi più importanti della storia milanese, personaggi noti dello spettacolo, dell’arte, della cultura, della politica e della vita civile che hanno reso grande il capoluogo: Alessandro Manzoni, Giuseppe Verdi, Salvatore Quasimodo, Giuseppe Meazza…

Il Cimitero Monumentale, esteso su circa 250mila metri quadrati, è stato costruito da Carlo Maciachini e costruito seguendo i canoni dello stile Neoclassico, strizzando l’occhio agli stili bizantino, lombardo e gotico.

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Altre attrattive da visitare

Foto di Museo nazionale della scienza e della tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, Milano.Se avete a disposizione diversi giorni per visitarla, ci sono altre attrattive interessanti! Ad esempio il Museo nazionale della Scienza e della tecnologia è un must per le famiglie, espone circa 30 modelli delle formidabili invenzioni del genio Leonardo da Vinci, oltre ad altre aree dedicate all’aviazione, alla ferrovia, all’automobile, allo spazio.

C’è poi la Chiesa di San Maurizio e il Monastero Maggiore, un esterno abbastanza semplice che nasconde quella che viene definita la Cappella Sistina di Milano. Ci si può recare a Piazza Mercanti: durante Medioevo fu il centro commerciale e amministrativo di Milano, oggi è un incantevole angolo medievale dove vedere il Palazzo della Ragione o la Loggia degli Osii.

Il luogo perfetto per vivere appieno lo shopping tutto milanese è Corso Buenos Aires. C’è poi Chinatown: un vero e proprio quartiere, tra Moscova e Cimitero Monumentale, ricco di tratti caratteristici della cultura cinese; il suo fulcro è via Paolo Sarpi e a febbraio viene addobbata per i festeggiamenti del Capodanno cinese.

Infine potrete esplorare i dintorni con comodi tour giornalieri, ad esempio in Franciacorta, al Lago di Como o al famoso Outlet Village di Serravalle.

8 cose da fare a Milano

  1. Passeggiata rilassante a City Life: è un enorme complesso residenziale innovativo e con un parco ricco di panchine, prati e sentieri, perfetto per la vostra foto con alle spalle la Torre Hadid o la Torre Isozaki.
  2. Aperitivo alla Terrazza Aperol: godetevi un aperitivo relax ammirando l’imponente maestosità del Duomo.
  3. Serata in Corso Como: se volete vivere la vera movida milanese, non si può non bere un cocktail presso uno dei numerosi e costosissimi locali alla moda di Milano
  4. Ammirare il panorama da Palazzo Lombardia: se volete ammirare Milano dall’alto, salite fino al 39° piano di questo palazzo per una foto mozzafiato e originale!
  5. Visitare Milano durante la Milano Fashion Week: la famosa settimana della moda che si tiene due volte l’anno (a febbraio/marzo e a settembre/ottobre). Non perdete in quest’occasione la famosa Via dei Fiori Chiari!
  6. Partecipare alla Prima della Scala: è uno degli eventi più importanti della città meneghina e ogni 7 dicembre si tiene il debutto della stagione teatrale; se riuscite ad accaparrarvi un biglietto (solitamente carissimo) non dimenticate di rispettare il dress-code!
  7. Assistere al Derby di Milano a San Siro: detto anche “Derby della Madonnina” che vede contrapporsi i nerazzurri dell’Inter e i rossoneri del Milan.
  8. Tour a Casa Milan: Siete tifosi del Milan o grandi appassionati di calcio in genere? Allora non perdetevi il tour di Casa Milan, dove potete ammira cimeli storici del club italiano più titolato in Europa. Biglietto online da €15,00 a persona

Organizza il tuo soggiorno a Milano: voli e hotel

Milano è facilmente collegata ai suoi 3 aeroporti di riferimento (Orio al Serio, Malpensa e Linate) e servita da numerosissime compagnie. Come ogni metropoli che si rispetti, offre numerose modalità di pernottamento davvero a portata di tutte le tasche, i quartieri da preferire sono Brera e Moscova per gli hotel di lusso; Porta Romana, Loreto e Navigli per B&B e appartamenti; Navigli e Corso Como per la movida milanese!

Vi sposterete facilmente con la metropolitana da un capo all’altro della città, preferite però una bella passeggiata per le attrattive del centro storico. Il periodo perfetto è quello tra Aprile e Maggio e Settembre e Ottobre: clima non troppo freddo, prezzi nella norma e tantissime attività da poter fare. Tra le attività da fare gratuitamente a Milano potrete: passeggiare per la modernissima City Life, visitare i musei convenzionati ogni prima domenica del mese, ammirare la Milano elegante di Via dei Fiori Chiari, passeggiare per la Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, visitare la Biblioteca Braidense e la meno conosciuta Biblioteca Umanistica dell’Incoronata oppure il Cimitero Monumentale.

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