Places to visit in Milan I
Updated: Aug 28, 2018
Being here for more than a year now, there is so much to go around in Milan if you are a design student and want to explore Italian design scene. But as a tourist there are very few places. Every time any of my friends or family member come to Milan, I have to think of places to take them. I will split this list in two, one for the tourists and the other one is for the design students (this list will have all the must visit museums and exhibitions centres in Milan).
Let's get started:
1. Duomo di Milano
Offcourse the duomo, wherever you go in Italy, the very first thing to be visited is the Duomo. In old times, duomo was supposed to be the highest building in the city and will always be in the city centre.
This duomo is the first largest cathedral in Italy and third largest in the world (after the Saint peter's Basilica in Vatican and the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil). The magnificent architecture in white marbles with the breathtaking size, when you see the duomo for the first time, you will be mesmerised.
Construction began in 1386 and took five centuries to complete. Learning that there are 135 spires and nearly three thousand statues, you can understand why it took this long.
It is filled with beautiful sculptures, glass paintings and architecture. Don't miss the opportunity to take a rooftop tour. It costs around 21 Euros. You can book it here.
2. Gallery Vittoria Emanuelle
This is the 18th century shopping mall, it is the house of many famous and beautiful luxury brands, cafes and restaurants. The dome of the gallery is filled with paintings and the mosaic floorings representing the main cities of Italy (Milan, Turin, Florence and Rome).
It is said that if you want to return to Milan you have to keep your heel in the bull sculpture in the floor and rotate 3 times. This bull is the emblem of the city Turin.
Every Christmas this area beneath the dome is beautifully decorated by Swarovski with Christmas tree filled with crustal and the whole dome shining as if the sky.
3. La Scala
Teatro Alla Scala is one of the oldest theatre in Milan. It was build in 1778 and from then many famous singers and actors have performed here in world famous plays and orchestras. It is hard to book the tickets for performances here since they are always almost full, but you can try your luck by visiting this place and asking at the box office. They also have many tours in the Museo Teatro Alla Scala, where they also take you to the box in the theatre, form where you can look down at the stage.
4. The Last Supper
Off course, how can we miss this? The world famous last supper is here in Milan. It is hanged in the monastery attached to the famous Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. To reduce deterioration, admission is strictly limited to 25 people every fifteen minutes. Thats why it is hard to get the bookings, you have to book it at least 2 months in advance. The tours can be booked form their official website here.
5. Castello Sforza
A few minutes of walk from duomo you can reach the Castle Sfroza. This is castle commissioned and completed during the reign of Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza. Currently it houses many famous art pieces and is surrounded by the beautiful Parco Sempione. One of these galleries houses the unfinished masterpiece by Michelangelo "The Pietà Rondanini".
Around the castle you can take a stroll through the Parco Sempione where you can see many Milanese people sweeting and working out, children playing and beauty of the place. At the opposite end of this park is the "Arco della Pace" (The arch of peace) dedicated to peace between European nations reached in 1815 with the Congress of Vienna , erected in 1838 with a grand ceremony chaired by the newly crowned Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria.
This is a famous hangout place for students. Here you can find the cheap and expensive Apritivos and greta Italian cuisine, unlimited booze and like minded people You should see this place during the football matches with Milanese teams. Its a havoc and place to be at the same time. On weekend the small alleys and the roads are filled with people of all colors and nations.
Have you dinner here, then take a bootle or two of beers from the supermarket and go sit beside the canal at Darsena. I love that place.
For me these are all the places any tourist should visit when they come to Milan and if you are here to stay for more than a day or two, you can also try the museums and exhibitions in next post. And you have time to go around even after that, you should travel somewhere around the Como lake like Como, Lecco and Bellagio. Those are picturesque places.
There are many free walking tours. This is a good way to get acquainted to the city and its history. What I usually do is attend a free walking tour of the city in the morning get he basic information and after the tour talk with the guide a bit and ask about more places worth hanging out and then visit those. You can also ask for suggestion for food and drinks and have a local feel of the city food.
You can also take a Milan Pass, which gives you free entry to many famous monuments and museums in Milan, this pass costs around 69 Euros and is valid for 48 hours. You can find more details here.
If you are new to Italy, remember you can take the travel tickets at any tabacherria (Tobacco shop) or the mobile app and once you board the train, tram or the bus you have to validate this ticket. Until and unless you validate this ticket onboard, it is sam was not buying one and you can be fined heavily for not doing that.
Was this helpful? Let me know in comments below.