Despite the fact that the capital of Lombardy is the second largest city in Italy, the historical center of Milan is quite compact, and all the main places can be easily circumvented in a day. Moreover, transport here is even better developed than in Rome. Well, to make it easier for you to plan your busy day in Milan, BlogoItaliano has specially prepared a list of 7 of the most interesting places in the city center.
Helpful advice: even if you plan to spend only 1 day in Milan, install a mobile audio guide around the city for the iPhone.
The application has a ready-made route with a map on which all the main places are marked in the order in which they are best to pass. GPS will allow you to track your location, and an audio tour works even without the Internet.
The first 5 points of the tour can be listened to for free, and the full version of 60 objects will cost only about 5 Euros - this is many times cheaper than even the most budgetary live guides. You can install the application on your iPhone on this page.
The most honorable place in the very center of Milan is the Duomo. The monumental cathedral in the style of “flaming Gothic” is entirely made of white marble, and the construction of the main city temple took a total of about 7 centuries.
White marble Duomo made in the style of “flaming Gothic”
Known as one of the largest Christian cathedrals in the world, the Duomo of Milan is also famous for its huge number of sculptures. There are more than 3,000 of them here.
The cathedral is also kept by one of the most important relics of Christianity - the nail that was used to crucify Jesus Christ.
If time permits, be sure to climb the Duomo terrace to take a bird's eye view of the center of Milan. BlogoItaliano wrote about what else is famous for the Cathedral of Milan and what is definitely worth a look here, in a separate article.
- Address: Piazza del Duomo
- Opening hours: daily 8.00-19.00
- Tickets: 3 euros (a complex ticket with the possibility of visiting additional premises of the complex - from 8 to 25 euros)
Gallery of Victor Emanuel II
Vittorio Emanuele Gallery in the very center of Milan was once one of the first shopping arcades in the world. The name of the gallery is associated with the name of the first king of a united Italy.
The gallery is lavishly decorated with statues and frescoes, and the floor is tiled with emblems of the main Italian cities.
Coat of arms of Turin - a bull on a blue background - has become a place of pilgrimage for lovers of making wishes. For the wish to be fulfilled, you need to step with the right heel on the causal place of the bull and scroll around yourself.
Vittorio Emanuele Gallery - one of the first shopping arcades in the world
In addition to numerous boutiques of leading Italian brands, one of the most expensive hotels in the world is located in the Gallery Vittorio Emmanuele II.
A particular pleasure will be a walk under the glass arches of the gallery at night, when shops close and shoppers go home.
- Address: Piazza del Duomo
- Work time: round the clock
- Tickets: free admission
Pinacoteca Brera is known as the largest collection of paintings by European artists in Milan. Here are stored the masterpieces of Raphael, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Pietro della Francesca, as well as paintings by Rembrandt, Goya, El Greco and many other painters of the XV-XIX centuries.
The gallery is located in the historic center of Milan and is in every way disposed to a leisurely acquaintance with the best works of art of past centuries.
Here are stored the masterpieces of Raphael, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, El Greco ...
At the exit of the gallery, behind the glass wall, there is a restoration workshop, so that you can personally observe the process of revival of old paintings.
- Address: Via Brera, 28
- Opening hours: Tue-Sun 08: 30-19: 15, Monday - day off; the museum is closed on January 1 and December 25
- Tickets: Available on Weekendinitaly
Refectory of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
The name of this church is familiar to every admirer of the genius Leonardo da Vinci, because behind the walls of her refectory is hidden one of the masterpieces of the master - the fresco “The Last Supper”.
Mural inspection tickets are considered the most scarce in Italy. Although officially at the box office they cost 10 Euros, catching them here is almost impossible. Tickets are bought back several months in advance by hotels and tour operators, and therefore ordinary visitors often leave with nothing.
Behind the refectory walls lies the famous “Last Supper”
That is why, going to Milan, it is better to take care of the tickets for the inspection of the murals in advance. Most often they can be found on the Getyourguide website. If there are no tickets separately, be prepared to consider a guided tour.
- Address: Via Giuseppe Antonio Sassi, 3
- Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 10: 00-12: 55, 15: 00-17: 55; Sun: 15: 30-17: 55
Sforza’s castle had a difficult fate: repeatedly surrounded by frescoes of the geniuses of the Renaissance, soldiers were stationed here, and the ongoing struggle for power was certainly accompanied by the looting of the fortress walls.
However, the castle survived and was finally restored by 1956. In the architecture of Sforza Castle, you can catch an unexpected resemblance to the Moscow Kremlin - Italian architects also designed the Russian fortress.
Sforza Castle was finally restored by 1956.
The castle is included in the TOP list of places that you should definitely visit in the center of Milan, especially since it is located within walking distance from the Duomo, and its entrance is free.
- Address: Piazza Castello
- Opening hours: Mon-Sun 7: 00-19: 30
- Tickets: admission is free, entrance to the exhibition is paid
La Scala Theater
It is difficult to imagine, but once in the building of the most famous opera house in the world, not only magnificent performances were organized, but also bullfighting. At the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries, the theater became the center of social life, the premieres of the greatest operas took place here, and opera divas fought for the title of prima.
You can appreciate all the luxury of the La Scala theater not only at the performance, but also as part of a special tour (details and tickets). They will show you the backstage of the theater and take you to the workshops where they make magnificent opera decorations.
The theater hosts not only performances, but also excursions
You can also visit the museum at the theater and see Verdi's death mask, mock-ups for the most famous performances, portraits of great artists and many other exhibits.
- Address: Via Filodrammatici, 2
- Opening hours: daily 9: 00-17: 30
- The museum is closed on December 7, 24-26, December 31, January 1, May 1, August 15 and on Easter
- Tickets: museum - 9 euros, tour of the theater - 25-30 euros
To hide from tourists and the noisy city crowd, it is not necessary to leave the historic center of Milan.
In the relative proximity of the main attractions lies a quiet and cozy area, reminiscent of the fact that once Milan was very similar to Venice with its endless canals. The name of the ancient area of Navigli is translated as “canals”.
The first Grand Canal appeared at the beginning of the XII century, through which white marble was delivered for the construction of the Duomo. By the end of the 19th century, there were 124 canals, but subsequently almost all of them were filled up in order to prevent the spread of epidemics and for the construction of roads.
The name of the ancient area of Navigli is translated - “channels”
Today, only the Grand and Pavian Canals are preserved in the Navigli area. Pradek Lane and other streets keep the atmosphere of the past centuries, the promenade of the former merchant port of Darsen serves as a favorite place for walks, and flea markets are ready to offer memorable gifts that you will not find in any souvenir shop in the city.
- Address: Alzaia Naviglio Grande
- Work time: round the clock
- Tickets: free admission
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