Sightseeing around Milan is a breath of fresh air in comparison to Italy’s other popular destinations. Due to the millions of visitors they get every year, walking around Venice’s streets can be a chore sometimes, as is finding a place to relax in Rome. Although you will find thousands of tourists, particularly during the summer, the streets aren’t as full here.
Another of Milan’s advantages is that, as well as the endless cathedrals and museums from Medieval and Renaissance times, modern art and culture is more prominent here. There are only so many churches, fountains and statues you can visit before sightseeing begins to get tiresome. This city still has endless museums, churches and cathedrals to visit, but unlike other Italian cities it also has a unique fashion culture and modern art museums.
The Piazza del Duomo is where Milan’s heart lies and this square is seldom quiet. All walks of life pass through this area at any time of the day. Watch the local kids hanging out discussing their most recent shopping sprees, avoiding the rushing office workers billowing from the metro station. In the middle of all these are hundreds of tour guides selecting their prey. The Duomo is the world’s largest Gothic cathedral and one of Italy’s most spectacular, ornamented with 135 pinnacles and over 200 marble statues. Looking over the square, or piazza, from on top of the highest pinnacle is a statue of Madonna.
From the square treat yourself to some designer clothes, and if can’t provide the funding for them, a quick stroll down the premier shopping streets for some window shopping is a must. The Via Montenapoleone and the Via della Spiga are the best places to do this. If you feel the need to buy something after teasing yourself with some extremely expensive clothes, look a bit further and you should come across some bargains.
Before you leave Milan don’t forget to visit the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Leonardo da Vinci’s infamous painting ‘The Last Supper’ is housed here.
Via San Vittore 21, Milan, Italy
Born on 15th April, 1452, this museum is dedicated to da Vinci's work and ideas, some of which were truly remarkable considering when he lived.
Open Tues-Fri 9.30am-4.50pm. Sat & Sun 9.30am-6.20pm; admission €6.20. Closed Mondays.
Between Via Daniele and Corso Porta Venezia, Northeast of city centre, Milan, Italy
Public gardens lined with with trees and great when looking to get away from the city streets.
Piazza del Duomo, Milan, Italy
Milan's, and arguably Italy's most impressive cathedral will have you enthralled for hours. Begun in 1386, building wasn’t complete until 1813. This cathedral is constructed from white marble and is one of Milan’s most visited attractions. After gazing at the décor inside the cathedral, relax in Piazza del Duomo outside. If after being inside the cathedral you still want to learn more about the Duomo, visit Museo del Duomo which chronicles the six centuries the cathedral was built over.
The museum is open Tues-Sun 9.30am-5.30pm; admission free.
Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie 2, Milan, Italy
Crowds gather here every day to see Leonardo da Vinci's most famous work, The Last Supper was painted over a four-year period. Da Vinci's most famous work had undergo had to undergo extreme restoration in order to be viewed by the public again so don’t leave Milan without seeing it.
Open Tues-Sun; admission €7.
Via Brera 2, Milan, Italy
To see the work of some of Milan's impressionists and sculpturists pay this gallery a visit. Good to see some of the local's work.
Via Brera 28, Milan, Italy
This gallery is located in the old Monastery of the Humiliated Monks. Founded in 1803 during the Napoleonic Period, the museum is home to masterpieces by Raphael and Pierro della Francesca.
Open 9am-9pm Tues-Fri, until 11.40pm on Sat and until 8pm on Sun; admission €7.
Via Pontaccio, Milan, Italy
This castle situated in the Parco Sempione makes a change from visiting the churches and museums. The central tower, Torre del Filarete, dominates the area.
Via Senato; Corso Venezia;, Via Montenapoleone;, Milan, Italy
If you are on a tight budget you mightn't be able to splurge out on some of Prada and Gucci’s latest designs, but window shopping is free! All the biggest names in designer fashion have branches here, renting out some of the most expensive real estate in Europe.
Via Palestro 16, In the Villa Reale, Milan, Italy
This museum dedicated to late 19th century and 20th century is worth a visit and a nice change from looking at old churches and museums.
Open 9am-5.30pm Tues-Sun. Closed Mondays.
Via Carducci 14, Milan, Italy
One of Milan's more unusual museums documents different ways in which to torture human beings. One of the gorier methods is a device which was used to tear victims' limbs from their body. Not for the squeamish.
Open Mon-Sat 10am-7.30pm.