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Exploring Milan’s Top Attractions

Milan is a city of contrasts, with a mix of modern and ancient, chic and grungy, and luxury and budget. There is a wealth of attractions to explore in the city, from the famous Duomo di Milano and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to the lesser-known Biblioteca Ambrosiana and Brera Gardens. Here, we’ll explore Milan’s top attractions and provide you with all the essential information you need to get the most out of your visit.

Duomo di Milano

The most iconic of Milan’s attractions, the Duomo di Milano is an impressive feat of architecture, with its soaring spires, intricate façade, and intricate decorative details. The building was constructed in the late 14th century and is the fourth largest cathedral in the world. It is open to visitors both inside and outside, with a range of guided tours available. Inside, you can admire the grandeur and beauty of the building, as well as the many works of art, such as the frescoes by Bernardino Luini. The roof is also open to visitors, where you can take in the views of the city and the Alps beyond.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Just a stone’s throw from the Duomo di Milano is the stunning Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Built in the late 19th century, it is one of the world’s oldest shopping centres, and a beautiful example of neo-classical architecture. Inside, you can wander through the elegant arcades, lined with designer boutiques and high-end restaurants. There are also a number of attractions to explore, including the Galleria’s impressive glass dome and the symbolic mosaic of the city’s coat of arms. The Galleria is also home to the famous ‘spinning wheel’ which is said to bring good luck to anyone who spins it.

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Biblioteca Ambrosiana

The Biblioteca Ambrosiana is a magnificent library, founded in the 17th century and housing an impressive collection of books and manuscripts. Inside, you can explore the reading rooms and artwork, as well as the library’s impressive holdings. Among the library’s treasures is the Codex Atlanticus, a 12-volume set of drawings and writings by Leonardo da Vinci. Visitors can also explore the library’s extensive collection of artwork, including works by Caravaggio, Botticelli, and Raphael.

Brera Gardens

Located in the heart of the city, the Brera Gardens are a beautiful oasis of tranquillity. The gardens are open to visitors all year round and feature a range of attractions, from the ornamental lake to the centuries-old trees and plants. There is also an impressive range of sculptures and fountains, as well as the famous botanical garden. Visitors can also explore the nearby Brera Art Gallery, which houses an impressive collection of Italian and European art.

Pinacoteca di Brera

The Pinacoteca di Brera is the city’s main art gallery, and one of the most important in Italy. Located in the Brera district, the gallery houses an impressive collection of Italian and European art, from the Renaissance to the modern day. Among the works on display are masterpieces by Raphael, Caravaggio, Canaletto, and Titian. The gallery also houses a range of special exhibitions and events throughout the year, as well as a bookshop and café.

Sforza Castle

The Sforza Castle is a magnificent 15th-century fortification, located in the heart of the city. The castle was once the home of the Dukes of Milan and is now a museum, housing a range of works of art and historical artefacts. Inside, visitors can explore the courtyards, gardens, and towers, as well as the impressive collections of armoury and sculptures. The castle also houses the Pinacoteca del Castello, with works by Titian, Bellini, and Veronese.

Cimitero Monumentale

The Cimitero Monumentale is one of the most unique attractions in Milan. The cemetery is the final resting place of many of the city’s famous residents, and is a fascinating place to explore. Inside, you can wander through the ornate tombs and monuments, as well as the impressive sculptures and fountains. Visitors can also explore the nearby museum, which houses a range of artefacts and works of art.

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Santa Maria delle Grazie

The Santa Maria delle Grazie is a beautiful late 15th-century church, located in the heart of the city. Inside, you can admire the stunning frescoes by Leonardo da Vinci, as well as the ornate architecture and stained glass windows. The church also houses the famous Last Supper fresco, which is a masterpiece of Renaissance art. Visitors can explore the church and its many works of art either on a guided tour or independently.

Cenacolo Vinciano

The Cenacolo Vinciano is a museum dedicated to the works of Leonardo da Vinci, located in the Santa Maria delle Grazie. Inside, visitors can explore the museum’s collection, which includes a range of sketches, drawings, and sculptures. The museum also houses the famous Last Supper fresco, which is one of the most famous works of art in the world. Visitors can explore the museum on a guided tour or independently.

Navigli District

The Navigli district is an eclectic mix of old and new, with a range of attractions to explore. Here, you can wander through the quaint canals, lined with cafés and restaurants, or explore the vibrant nightlife scene. During the day, you can also explore the markets and independent boutiques, or take a boat ride along the canals. There are also a range of events and festivals throughout the year, including the famous Navigli Night Market.

Teatro alla Scala

The Teatro alla Scala is a magnificent theatre, located in the centre of the city. Built in the 18th century, it is one of the world’s most famous opera houses, and the home of the La Scala Opera Company. The theatre is open for guided tours, where visitors can explore the grand auditorium, as well as the many works of art and sculptures. Visitors can also catch a performance of the La Scala Opera Company or attend one of the many concerts and special events.

Parco Sempione

Parco Sempione is a sprawling park, located in the heart of the city. Inside, you can explore the winding pathways, lined with trees and plants, as well as the ornamental lake and sculptures. The park is also home to a range of attractions, including the Arco della Pace, the Triennale di Milano, and the Acquario Civico. Visitors can also explore the nearby Castello Sforzesco, or simply enjoy a picnic in the park.

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Summary

Milan is a city of contrasts, with a wealth of attractions to explore. From the iconic Duomo di Milano and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, to the lesser-known Biblioteca Ambrosiana and Brera Gardens, there is something for everyone in the city. Whether you’re a culture vulture, a history buff, or simply looking for a relaxing day out, Milan has something to offer.