Top 10 Things to do in Milan

Milan is the capital of the Lombardy region.
It is a large metropolitan city, one of the most populated in Europe.
It’s known for being the economic and business centre of Italy. But especially for its workaholic reputation.
Tourists usually choose other cities to visit but Milan is no exception.
The city is full of history and beautiful places to visit. There you will find restaurants and architectural treasures, art and culture. If you are in Italy, I recommend you to visit Milan and all its beauties.
Follow the Top 10 things to do in Milan to find out more about the city.

A bit of history


 

The city has a history dating back to 590 BC. with the arrival of a Celtic tribe, the Insubri.
But later it became part of the Western Roman Empire. And then become the centre of the political and cultural life of the Renaissance.
In the 16th century, the Spanish Empire conquered Milan. Two centuries later it became an Austrian possession. But also the capital of Napoleon’s Kingdom of Italy. The city became an active centre of the Risorgimento.
And in the end, it was part of the Savoyard Kingdom of Italy.

1. Visit the Duomo and la “Madunina”

View of the Duomo by FotoKalde by Pixabay

The Cathedral is also known as the “Metropolitan Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary“. It’s situated in the heart of Milan and the building was built starting in 1393. But only in 1418, Pope Martin V consecrated the main altar.
Only between 1765 and 1769 Croce completed the crowning of the main spire and the lantern. Only five years later the golden copper “Madunina” (the statue of the Virgin Mary) was then placed. You can climb up the cathedral and have a close look at all the various statues. The facade of the cathedral makes it special and different.
A mix of Gothic and Lombard style with the presence of many statues.
The cathedral is decorated with fifty-five monumental stained glass windows dating back to the fifteenth and late twentieth centuries.

How to reach the Duomo?
From the Central Station, take the yellow metro line (M3) and get off at the Duomo stop.
at Cadorna Station, take the red underground line (M1) and get off at the Duomo stop.
if you are at Porta Garibaldi Station, take the green underground line (M2), change at Cadorna to the red line (M1) and get off at the Duomo stop.

2. Shopping at the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II

The Gallery by Dimitris Vetsikas – Pixabay

 
If you want to do something different and you need to go shopping then you are in the right place.
The Vittoria Emanuele II Gallery connects Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala.
The Gallery was built in a neo-Renaissance style. The first stone was laid on 7 March 1865 and the structure was then finished in 1878.
In the gallery, you will find many different shops and brands. But also restaurants and bars where you can taste the famous aperitif and have some food.
How to reach the gallery?
From the Central Station, take the yellow metro line (M3) and get off at the Duomo stop and walk to the gallery.

3. Experience the Last Supper

The Last Supper by falco – Pixabay

Once in Milan, you can’t miss Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Il Cenacolo”.
This work of art is located inside a refectory. The painting was completed around 1498. You can admire the 12 apostles during the last meal, while Jesus declares that there will be someone who will betray him.
To admire the “Last Supper” you must go to the convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie.  I recommend that you book in advance of at least three months!
 
How to reach the convent?
From the Central Station, take the green metro line (M2) and get off at the cadorna stop and walk to the convent.
 

4. Visit the Sforza Castle 

Castello Sforzesco by Dimitris Vetsikas – Pixabay

This fortified complex is located outside the historic city centre.
The castle was built by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan.
The building was erected over a previous medieval fortification of the fourteenth century.
It was restored between 1890 and 1905 and is still today a great symbol of the city full of history and art.
The Castello houses the Musei del Castello Sforzesco, a series of museums.
Once there you can admire the Sala Dell’ Asse and Michelangelo’s Pietà (the unfinished sculpture). Don’t forget to visit Parco Sempione which connects the castle with the Arena. Take a look at the Arch of Peace built in the 19th century.
 
How to reach the castle?
From the Central Station, take the green metro line (M2) and get off at the lanza stop and walk to the castle.
 

6. Visit Palazzo di Brera

Piancoteca by Dimitris Vetsikas – Pixabay

The Renaissance Palazzo di Brera was built between 1651 and 1773. Was originally a Jesuit college, and was used as an art school. But along with a library and observatory, it contains the Pinacoteca di Brera.
The Pinacoteca is one of Italy’s finest art museums. The museum contains paintings by Italian Masters.
You will find works of art by Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini, Paolo Veronese, Titian and Tintoretto. Don’t forget the portraits by Lotto and Moroni.
Here you will find also works of Correggio of Parma, Piero Della Francesca and Bramante.
 
How to reach the palace?
From the Central Station, take the yellow metro line (M3) and get off at the montenapoleone stop and walk to the palace.

7. I Navigli

Navigli by pippocucu – Pixabay

Once in Milan you absolutely must visit the canals.
The “Navigli” are a system of navigable canals. In the past, they connected Lake Maggiore, Como and the lower Ticino. Allowing connection with Switzerland, north-western Europe, the canton of Grisons and north-eastern Europe.
In this area, you will find bars and restaurants with tables outside. There you can enjoy Milanese risotto and a delicious osso buco!
 
How to reach the Navigli?
From the Central Station, take the green metro line (M2) and get off at the p.t Genova f.s. stop and walk to the palace.
 
 

8. Visit Sant’Ambrogio

Basilica by Dimitris Vetsikas – Pixabay

 
The Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio is one of the oldest churches in Milan.
The church was built between 379 and 386 at the behest of Bishop Ambrose, who dedicated it to the holy martyrs buried in it. The martyrs are Satyr, Victor, Nabore, Vitale, Felice, Valeria, Gervasio and Protasio.
The church dates back to the Romanesque and early Christian times.
It was built between 379 and 386 in the late imperial Roman period at the behest of the bishop of Milan Ambrogio.
Inside you will find the Altar of Sant’Ambrogio. Built between 824 and 859 by Vuolvino commissioned by the archbishop of Milan Angilberto II.
 
How to reach the Navigli?
From the Central Station, take the green metro line (M2) and get off at the s. Ambrogio stop and walk to the palace.
 

9. La Scala theatre

La Scala by Dimitris Vetsikas- Pixabay

Once in Milan, you have to go to the La Scala theatre.
For 243 years the theatre has hosted the best artists in the music and ballet field. The building was designed by Piermarini and was inaugurated in 1778. It became the seat of the corps de ballet, the choir of the orchestra and the corps de ballet. Next to the theatre complex is Casino Ricordi.

How to reach the scala?
From the Central Station, take the yellow metro line (M3) and get off at the Duomo stop and walk to the palace.

 

10. San Maurizio and the Archaeology Museum

Chiesa di San Maurizio – Wikipedia by Di Casalmaggiore Provincia

Once there you will admire the interior of the Church covered by frescoes of biblical scenes. Buil in the early 1500s and used by Benedictine nuns. The monastery was built over the ruins of the Roman circus and walls. Here you will admire the entire story of ancient Milan. Greek, Etruscan and Roman finds and also sculptures in bronze and stone. The long nave of the Church is divided into two sections. One reserved as the nuns’ choir and the rear.

How to reach the church?
From the Central Station, take the green metro line (M2) and get off at the cadorna stop and walk to the palace.