P.za del Duomo, 1, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
The Milan Cathedral, also known as the Duomo di Milano, is a magnificent Gothic cathedral and one of the most famous landmarks in Milan. Construction of the cathedral began in 1386 and took nearly six centuries to complete. It stands as a symbol of Milan's rich history and religious devotion, with its elaborate spires, intricate sculptures, and stunning stained-glass windows.
Not only is the Milan Cathedral a testament to architectural grandeur, but it also boasts remarkable features.
As the largest church in Italy and the fifth-largest in the world, it commands attention and awe. Its roof is adorned with more than 3,400 statues, including the renowned golden statue of the Madonna atop the main spire. To make the experience even more breathtaking, visitors can climb to the rooftop terraces and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
P.za del Duomo, 21, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Named after the first king of Italy, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a stunning 19th-century shopping arcade. Showcasing Milan's status as a fashion capital. It stands as one of the world's oldest shopping malls and beckons visitors with its elegant boutiques, charming cafes, and fine dining establishments. Within the Galleria, you'll find a host of prestigious luxury brands that epitomize Milan's reputation as a fashion destination. Names such as Prada, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton grace the storefronts.
The Galleria's allure lies not only in its luxurious offerings but also in its architectural splendor, featuring a magnificent glass roof and intricate mosaic floors. As you explore the Galleria, you'll be captivated by the remarkable details that enrich its atmosphere, such as the mosaic at the center of the floor, which depicts the coat of arms of the Savoy dynasty, the historic ruling family of Italy.
Don't forget to spin on the bull mosaic for a touch of luck! This fascinating tradition has emerged within the Galleria for both locals and tourists alike: spinning three times on the mosaic of the bull. This act is believed to bring good luck to those who partake in it, adding an element of charm to the experience of visiting this iconic landmark.
Piazza della Scala, 5, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Teatro alla Scala, commonly known as La Scala, is one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world.
With a captivating history that spans over two centuries, La Scala Opera House has witnessed an array of remarkable moments. From its grand opening in 1778, it has hosted legendary composers, iconic singers, and groundbreaking premieres, solidifying its status as a cultural beacon in Milan.
Over the years, La Scala has endured fires, reconstructions, and even survived World War II bombings, standing as a resilient symbol of passion, artistry, and the enduring power of opera.
As well as opera, La Scala is also home to the Ballet School of the Teatro alla Scala, where aspiring dancers train. Up to 1,800 people can sit inside the six-story building to catch a show or play. The theater's opulent interior and exceptional acoustics continue to attract both opera and ballet enthusiasts from around the globe.
Via Giuseppe Verdi, 13, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
As you walk down this charming street, you can get the bohemian chic feel of the Brera district. While this part is mostly boutiques, as you continue down you'll see more places that will make any coffee lover happy. Lots of local artisanal coffee shops inspire freshly brewed creativity. This district is where boho-hipsters roam freely. Full of delicious eats, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and rooftop bars to make any foodie happy.
Tourists can snap a selfie in front of the graffiti walls or in streets dotted with colorful buildings.The Brera neighbourhood is the perfect place to curate your Insta-worthy pictures. We'll continue through the streets of this district on our way to the next site.
Via Brera, 28, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Welcome to the Brera Art Gallery courtyard. The Pinacoteca di Brera is a prestigious museum nestled in the captivating Brera district of Milan. The courtyard serves as an outdoor exhibition space. Hosting temporary art installations and adding a dynamic element to the gallery's atmosphere.
In the center of the courtyard you will notice a bronze Statue of Napoleon Bonaparte. This is because of the French emperor's role in establishing this gallery as an academy for artists and a hub for scientific research. The gallery has evolved into one of Milan's foremost cultural institutions.
Here, you will discover a rich collection of Italian Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces, including renowned works by Caravaggio, Raphael, and Titian.
The gallery's collection includes The Kiss by Francesco Hayez, one of Italy's most iconic paintings.
Via Pontaccio, 17, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
This is Pontaccio Street. Translated into English, it means "ugly bridge". Keep walking down the street as we learn about its history.
So why is it called "ugly bridge"? This is because, in the 1800s, Leonardo Di Vinci was to create a canal system to the regional rivers for the best method of transportation at the time: boats. The only existing canals still in the city are in the Navigli district of Milan, but this street that runs perpindicular to Via Brera once had a canal, with an "ugly bridge" to connect pedestrians to this part of the city. The inner ring of Milan's canals were filled again, and became roads like the one you are standing on to accommodate the next best transport method: automobiles and cars.
If you have time, there is a remaining empty canal that shows this unique history just a few blocks to the north on Via San Marco, where you'll see The Incoronata Lock: a set of wooden gates and a bridge crossing an empty canal.
Keep continuing on and follow the navigation to the next view point.
F5CJ+8C Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
Before we continue to the front of Sforza Castle, let's take a moment to discover the different architectural styles of Sforza Castle: some Medieval, additions of Renaissance and Gothic were added later.
To the left we have the Torre del Carmine with its distinct round shape. Its tower was used at one point in time as a prison.
To the right we have the Ponticella di Ludovico il Moro with its square shape. It served as a hidden entrance to and from the Castle and, in times of siege, as a secret escape route.
Let's continue to the front of the Castle to learn more about the history of this building.
F59J+R6 Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
The Sforza Castle has an impressive exterior including a fountain and architecture that transports visitors to the medieval era with hints of Renaissance and Gothic era elements. Although it was originally built in 1360, it gets its name from the Duke that commissioned its restoration in 1450, Francesco Sforza. The castle showcases a blend of architectural styles, with its imposing walls, battlements, and towers. The towers that we passed are 2 of the 5 distinct towers that make up the Castle. In the middle of it stands the Filarete Tower, which is 70 meters (or 230 feet) tall with a square shape. We'll continue into the courtyard and Parco Sempione.
V.le Gadio, 3, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Welcome to the Ducal Court within Castle Sforza. This was the administrative and social center of the duchy, where the Sforza family and their advisors conducted affairs of state, held meetings, and hosted events and celebrations. It was a place where political decisions were made, cultural activities thrived, and the courtiers and nobility gathered.
Today, the Castle Sforza hosts five different museums, ranging from the Museum of Ancient Art to the Museum of Musical Instruments.
Piazza del Cannone, 1, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Behind Sforza Castle lies Sempione Park. Designed in the late 19th century, the park covers 38 acres and offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling city. It features lush green spaces and charming walkways. Visitors can relax on the lawns, play sports, take a leisurely stroll, rent rowboats, or enjoy a picnic.
Within its grounds are many other notable attractions, such as the Torre Branca, Triennale Milano Museum, a historic sports arena, and Lake Smeraldo.
Viale Enrico Ibsen, 4, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
If you'd like to stop and take a photo of the beautiful Sempione Park, this bridge is perfect for it. Originally, this bridge was over a inner city canal, but when the canals were converted back to roads, the city moved this bridge to the park. Today, it's a beautiful spot for couples to relax near and is known as one of the most romantic spots in the park.
Let's continue walking to see some of the other offerings within the park.
Viale Luigi Camoens, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The Branca Tower is a steel tower designed by Gio Ponti in 1933. It offers stunning panoramic views of the city from its 108-meter height. Visitors can ride the elevator to the top and enjoy views of the park and Milan skyline.
Triennale Milano is a cultural institution dedicated to promoting art, design, and architecture. Since 1933 it has provided a setting for exhibitions and events. Inside, visitors can explore engaging exhibitions showcasing contemporary creativity in various artistic disciplines.
Piazza Sempione, 1, 20145 Milano MI, Italy
The Arch of Peace, or Arco della Pace, is a grand triumphal arch located at the entrance of Parco Sempione. On both sides of the arch you can see two minor rectangular buildings that, at one point in time, were used as customs offices
The construction of the Arch of Peace was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1807 as a way to honor his victories and celebrate the Treaty of Pressburg, which marked the end of the Napoleonic era in Milan. The arch was designed by Luigi Cagnola, an architect known for his neoclassical style. However, due to political changes and disruptions caused by Napoleon's defeat, the arch's construction was delayed, and it was finally completed in 1838, several years after Napoleon's reign and decades after the peace treaty of 1815.
The arch's design was inspired by ancient Roman architecture and features intricate reliefs and sculptures. The arch is beautifully illuminated at night, creating a striking visual spectacle against the backdrop of Parco Sempione. Today, it stands as a symbol of peace and a popular meeting point for locals and tourists.