Milan uncovered

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Iconic neighborhoods and must see attractions

Milan is globally renowned as a fashion and design capital, yet this Italian metropolis offers visitors much more than couture and runways. Behind Milan’s polished exterior lies a city brimming with culture, history, art, and irresistible charm.

ATTRACTIONS

Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral)

This awe-inspiring Gothic cathedral is the largest church in Italy and third largest in the world. It took nearly 600 years to complete the intricate facade adorned with 3,400 statues and 135 spires soaring upwards. Visitors can climb to the roof terrace for stunning panoramic views across Milan. The interior dazzles with its five wide central naves, ornate stained glass windows by 15th century masters, and the apse containing the altar and choir stalls. Underneath the altar is the crypt displaying ruins from the original church.
ATTRACTIONS

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

This glamorous 19th century shopping arcade connects the Piazza del Duomo to La Scala theater via four stories of magnificent architecture. The vaulted glass ceiling soars upwards as natural light streams through. Mosaic floors depict the coat of arms of major Italian cities while luxurious boutiques like Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Armani line the promenade. Historic cafes and restaurants like Savini and Biffi serve upscale Italian cuisine inside. The Galleria is always bustling with shoppers, diners, and street performers.
ATTRACTIONS

Sforza Castle

Constructed in the 15th century as a grand fortress, the castle grounds now contain multiple museums and exhibits showcasing works by Michelangelo, da Vinci, Carracci and more. The Ducal Courtyard features a central fountain, statues, and four towers representing the Sforza family. The stunning Renaissance architecture of the castle can be seen up close or from afar while strolling through Sempione Park.
ATTRACTIONS

Teatro Alla Scala

Dating back to 1778, this world-famous opera house continues to host premieres of classical operas and ballets along with a season of symphony concerts and recitals. A museum located inside displays historic costumes, paintings, manuscripts of scores and letters documenting La Scala’s rich history. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the ornate six-tier interior with over 2,000 red velvet seats and 200 lavish boxes adorned with gold trim.
ATTRACTIONS

Pinacoteca di Brera

Located inside a 17th century Jesuit monastery, this fine art museum houses influential works of the Renaissance. See masterpieces by Raphael, Piero della Francesca, Caravaggio as well as 20th century artists like Modigliani. The works are arranged chronologically so you can see the progression of painting styles and techniques through the centuries.
ATTRACTIONS

Piazza dei Mercanti

This picturesque medieval square is located in the historic heart of Milan. The 13th century Palazzo della Ragione with its arched logarithms now houses temporary exhibitions. Underneath the Gothic Loggia degli Osii arches you can find cafes and shops. The town hall building features a Corinthian marble colonnade atop a high staircase.
ATTRACTIONS

Milan Natural History Museum

Located inside a beautiful palazzo, this museum has an extraordinary collection of animal dioramas portraying wildlife around the world in detailed habitats. Plus there are large displays of fossils, dinosaurs, and rare minerals and gemstones. The Botanical Garden adjacent to the museum contains plant species from around the world plus 20,000 varieties of orchids.
ATTRACTIONS

La Triennale di Milano

Located inside Palazzo dell’Arte in Sempione Park, this contemporary art and design museum hosts innovative temporary exhibitions, events and lectures. The permanent collections include significant works related to Italian design and visual arts from the 20th century to today. There is also an art library, theater, and Michelin-starred restaurant onsite.
ATTRACTIONS

Cenacolo Vinciano

Leonardo da Vinci’s masterful mural The Last Supper is located on the wall of the dining hall inside the Santa Maria delle Grazie church and Dominican convent. The mural’s brilliant perspective and emotive depictions of Christ and his disciples during the feast are awe-inspiring to behold in person. Make sure to purchase tickets far in advance due to limited capacity and high demand.
NEIGHBORHOOD

Brera District

Situated near the Brera Pinacoteca art gallery, this charming historic neighborhood has a laidback, artistic vibe. Narrow cobblestone streets are lined with indie boutiques, creative workshops, cool cafes, and lively bars that draw students and bohemian types out at night. An afternoon wandering Brera’s shops and cafes is a perfect way to see Milan’s artsy side.
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Navigli District

The most scenic neighborhood in Milan is set along central canals constructed in the 12th century as a transportation system for goods. Today, the atmospheric docksides are lined with cafes, restaurants, bars, boutiques, and art galleries. Come during aperitivo hour in the early evening to sit waterside and watch the boats glide by. On weekends, Navigli has a lively nightlife scene and hosts a popular antique market.
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Ticinese District

Situated just south of the Duomo, this neighborhood centers around the picturesque Naviglio Grande canal. Ticinese offers restaurants and pizzerias serving Italian cuisine al fresco, street food vendors, vibrant nightlife, and shopping outlets. Visit in the evenings when the canal promenades fill with locals and tourists dining outside.
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Garibaldi District

As Milan’s modern financial hub, this revitalized district features contemporary high-rise buildings housing major corporate headquarters. By day, employees flock to restaurants and upscale shops around Piazza Gae Aulenti. At night, Porta Garibaldi transforms into a lively nightlife zone with trendy bars and clubs catering to young professionals. The iconic Unicredit Tower, Bosco Verticale, and innovative Biblioteca degli Alberi are must-sees.
NEIGHBORHOOD

Moscova District

Northeast of Milan’s center, this prestigious residential area charms with its early 20th century architecture and tranquil surroundings. Must-see sights include the antique bookshops on Via San Vittore, the grand Rotonda della Besana, Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli park, and the Literary Museum House hosting poetry readings. For shopping head to the boutiques on Corso Garibaldi or enjoy an afternoon caffè on pedestrian-only Via Moscova.
NEIGHBORHOOD

Isola District

The Isola neighborhood is a trendy place characterized by graffiti and alleys full of fashionable boutiques, organic food stores and vintage shops. Alongside cozy family-run taverns there are stylish cafés housed in leafy courtyards, while informal bars in the area’s former warehouses are frequented by motorcyclists, punks and students. On weekends, around the Renaissance Church of Santa Maria alla Fontana, there are flea markets.
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Porta Romana

Just outside Milan’s historic city walls, this upscale neighborhood teems with designer boutiques, chic cafes and wine bars that come alive at aperitivo hour.The cultural hub features stately palazzos, the grand Corso Lodi boulevard, historic churches, and proximity to one of Milan’s prettiest parks, Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli.
NEIGHBORHOOD

Porta Nuova

Milan’s modern business district features contemporary high-rises, sleek shopping outlets and dining concentrated around the Piazza Gae Aulenti. The newly-revitalized area buzzes with young professionals and the after-work crowd heading to cocktail bars and clubs after hours Monday through Friday. On weekends it transforms into a hub for brunch and leisurely strolling.
NEIGHBORHOOD

Chinatown

Centered around Via Paolo Sarpi, this multi-cultural district features Chinese restaurants dishing up dumplings and noodles, traditional medicinal shops and grocers importing exotic goods from Asia. Chinese New Year celebrations bring ornate parades, music and street food to the neighborhood. The community library and museum offer insight into Chinese history and traditions.