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10 Best Attractions In Milan

Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world, and the most popular destinations in Italy are Rome, Florence, Venice and of course Milan. Milan is the second most populous city in Italy after Rome, with a population of about 1.3 million, and is the capital of Lombardy region in northern Italy. The beautiful city is proud to present itself as the fashion and design capital of the world, and it hosts annually the famous Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair. Here are some of the best attractions the city has to offer to first time visitors

1. Milan Cathedral – The Milan Cathedral or Duomo di Milano is the main cathedral of Milan and stands proud in the main square of the city – the Piazza del Duomo (cathedral square). The monumental church is the largest in Italy and 5th largest in the world. Construction began in 1386 and wasn’t completed until 1965, taking just under 600 years to complete! The beautiful Milan Cathedral is the most famous icon of the city and since the famous “Madonnina” statue atop the main spire reaches 108 meters (354 ft) in height, it can be seen from far away

Best Attractions In Milan: Milan Cathedral

Best Attractions In Milan: Milan Cathedral

Best Attractions In Milan: Milan Cathedral

Best Attractions In Milan: Milan Cathedral

 

2. The Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie – The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps the most famous painting in the world along with the Mona Lisa. The 15th century mural is painted on the back wall of the dining hall at the Santa Maria delle Grazie monastery (a UNESCO world heritage site). The painting is 460 cm × 880 cm (181 in × 346 in) and visitors are allowed to enter the room to admire the painting in small groups and for only 15 minutes. Entering the monastery to see this amazing mural in person is an absolute must!

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, one of the best attractions in Milan

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, one of the best attractions in Milan

Best Attractions In Milan: Santa Maria delle Grazie, home of Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper

Best Attractions In Milan: Santa Maria delle Grazie, home of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper

 

3. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Located in the Piazza del Duomo next to the Milan Cathedral, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the oldest shopping malls in the world. Named after the first king of the Kingdom of Italy and built between 1865 and 1877, this structure resembles a palace more than a standard shopping mall. It houses some of the most prestige shops in the world and just walking through it under the incredibly high ceilings will give you a sense of the importance high-end shopping and quality Milan stands for. Many of the streets that surround the galleria have the same characteristics and you can find the most expensive brands in the world on every corner

Best Attractions In Milan: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Best Attractions In Milan: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Best Attractions In Milan: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Best Attractions In Milan: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Best Attractions In Milan: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Best Attractions In Milan: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

4. La Scala -La Scala is one of the most famous and most appreciated opera houses in the world. It was built as early as 1778 and is known for its excellent acoustics. While the building exterior may seem quite simple, the interior is magnificent, and you can take a guided tour inside – or better yet, try to catch an opera performance! La Scala is located with a very close proximity to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the Milan cathedral

Best Attractions In Milan: La Scala

Best Attractions In Milan: La Scala

 

5. Sforzesco Castle – The Sforzesco Castle has a long history that starts at the 14th century as a fortress. It later changed into a castle in the 15th century, and was modified and enlarged greatly over the next centuries. Today, the Sforzesco Castle is one of the largest castles in Europe and holds several museums like the Sforza Castle Pinacoteca (art gallery), the Museum of Ancient Art (which holds the Rondanini Pietà – Michelangelo’s last sculpture), the Museum of Musical Instruments, the Egyptian Museum and more. The entrance to the courtyards of the castle is open to the public free of charge

Best Attractions In Milan: Sforzesco Castle

Best Attractions In Milan: Sforzesco Castle

 

6. Navigli Lombardi – Milan may not be built on 117 islands like Venice, but it has some canals of its own. The canals of Milan date back to the 12th century, when they were built to help irrigation, and the canals system was later expended in the 14th century for the transportation of goods. These canals were commercially used till the 19th century. Today the Navigli Lombardi, which is the canals area and especially the main canal – the Naviglio Grande, are highly popular among tourists. You can take a boat tour in the canals or walk along them, eat Gelato (ice cream, of course) and enjoy the shops and cafes

Best Attractions In Milan: Navigli Lombardi

Best Attractions In Milan: Navigli Lombardi

Best Attractions In Milan: Navigli Lombardi

Best Attractions In Milan: Navigli Lombardi

 

7. Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio – The Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio is one of the oldest churches in Milan. It was built in the years 379-386, and despite the fact that it was modified and changed greatly over the years, it’s importance is not fading. The remains of Saint Ambrose, the bishop of Milan who built the church and after whom it is named, are still housed in the church

Best Attractions In Milan: Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio

Best Attractions In Milan: Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio (source: Marco Bonavoglia)

 

8. San Siro Stadium – The San Siro stadium (formally the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium) is one of the largest stadiums in Europe and can hold 80,018 spectators. It was built from 1925 till 1926 and has been the home stadium for A.C Milan since 1926, and the home stadium for Inter Milan since 1947. The stadium is known as one of the best in Europe because of the proximity of the stands to the field. Watching a game at the San Siro is always a great experience, but it’s even better if you happen to catch the Milan Derby between A.C Milan and Inter, or as it’s called in Italy: Derby della Madonnina

Best Attractions In Milan: San Siro Stadium

Best Attractions In Milan: San Siro Stadium

Best Attractions In Milan: San Siro Stadium

Best Attractions In Milan: San Siro Stadium

9. Pinacoteca di Brera – The Pinacoteca di Brera (Brera Art Gallery) is an art gallery established as early as 1776. It holds a huge collection of paintings done by Italian painters like Raphael, Tintoretto, Veronese and Caravaggio. The gallery is located just above the Accademia di Belle Arti, an art school that was established along with the gallery

Best Attractions In Milan: Pinacoteca di Brera

Best Attractions In Milan: Pinacoteca di Brera (source: source: Paolo da Reggio)

 

10. Brera district – The Brera district is located in the old city of Milan. It is known as the neighborhood of the artists and for its bohemian atmosphere. The main square of the district is the Palazzo Brera, which holds the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Accademia di Belle Arti, as well as the Braidense National Library (one of Italy’s largest libraries), an astronomical observatory and the city’s botanical garden. The district is home to many bars, cafes and restaurants and is a great place to walk around, relax and enjoy the atmosphere

Via Madonnina - one of the main streets of Brera district

Via Madonnina – one of the main streets of Brera district

   

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