The city without a mask – Milan, Italy.

Milan

Milan (Italy) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main attractions of Milan with descriptions, guides and maps.

The city of Milan (Italy).

Milan is the main city of Northern Italy and the capital of the region of Lombardy. It is a modern metropolis, which is considered the business and financial center of the country. Milan is the capital of fashion and business, the most stylish, expensive and wealthy city in Italy, which ranks on par with Paris and London for entertainment and shopping. But not only that the capital of Lombardy is famous for. You can see such famous sights as: the magnificent Duomo, Sforza Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where the legendary fresco “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci is located, and many other no less interesting historical and cultural monuments.

If Rome is “old Italy”, then Milan is its modern symbol. Despite some similarities with typical Italian cities, it is very different architecturally and atmospherically. In Milan a different rhythm of life, the city itself is quite gray, as many buildings are built from limestone or dark stone, and in the architecture is noticeable influence of Austrian and French styles. But for all its seriousness Milan is still a fun and emotional Italy!

Things to do (Milan):

A walk through the eras of Milan

€160 per tour.

A walk through the eras of Milan

Discover the history, culture and authentic beauty of the city on a guided tour with an art historian

The first walk in Milan

€125 per tour

First tour of Milan

See the main sights and taste the excellent panzerotti on a sightseeing stroll

Geography and climate

Milan is located in northern Italy between the Po valley to the south and the foothills of the Alps to the north. In the immediate vicinity there are large picturesque lakes: Lake Como, Lugano and Maggiore.

On the streets of Milan

The streets of Milan

The climate is humid subtropical. Summer is hot, autumn is rainy, and winter is fairly mild with some frosts. In cold weather fogs are fairly common.

Tourist information

  1. Population – 1 366 thousand people.
  2. Area – 181.8 square kilometers.
  3. Official language is Italian.
  4. Currency – euros.
  5. Visa – Schengen.
  6. Time – Central European UTC +1, in summer +2.
  7. Museums and tourist attractions do not open on Mondays.
  8. The end of July-the first half of August is the traditional vacation time. At this time some small establishments and stores may close.
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Best time to visit

Milan can be visited all year round. Despite the fact that in late fall and winter it is quite foggy and rainy. Very cool the city looks in the Christmas period. In summer Milan is quite hot and humid, so if you do not like the heat, it is better to choose spring or autumn to visit the main city of Lombardy.

History

Milan became part of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century BC. At that time the city was called Mediolanus. In the 4th century it competed with Rome for supremacy in the Western Roman Empire. But after a while it was destroyed by the Huns and the Ostgoths and fell into decline. In the 6th century the ancient Germanic tribe of Lombards settled there, which gave the name of the future region – Lombardy.

Milan's panorama

Milan Panorama

In the 11th century the importance of Milan increased again. It became the capital of an independent state. The strengthening of its position in the region did not please Frederick Barbarossa, who ravaged the city in 1162. Despite this, in 1176 the German king and Holy Roman Emperor was defeated and Milan received privileges which allowed it to become one of the richest cities in Europe. In 1277 the Guelphs and Ghibellines were victorious in the confrontation. Milan became a monarchy, with the Visconti family as ruling dynasty, succeeded by the Sforza family in 1450. During the Sforza period, the great Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante worked and lived in Milan.

Duomo Square

Duomo Square

In the 15th century the Duchy of Milan was under the rule of the French, from 1540 to 1706 under the Spanish Kingdom. During this period there was economic and cultural stagnation. In the 18th century the city became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and was (with a short break) ruled by the Habsburgs until 1859. Milan became part of Italy in 1861. It was even wanted to make it the capital, but in the end the ancient Rome was chosen. During World War II the city was pretty much destroyed.

How to get there

Milan has two international airports: Linate and Malpensa. The main international airport is Malpensa. From there you can get to the city center by train. Some budget airlines fly to Bergamo Airport.

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Milan Central Station receives trains from most major cities in Italy: Turin, Rome, Naples, Florence, Venice as well as from many European capitals and cities: Barcelona, Zurich, Geneva, Paris, Munich, Stuttgart, Vienna, Prague. The railway station has access to the subway. Another important railway station is Cadorna. The express train from Malpensa airport stops here and also has subway access.

The streets of Milan

Streets of Milan

There is a popular saying that “all roads lead to Rome”. Well, all roads in northern Italy lead to Milan. The city has excellent transport accessibility. But it should be noted that the highways are toll roads.

Milan has a well-developed system of public transport: metro, streetcars and buses. There is a single ticket, which can be bought in special vending machines and tobacco kiosks. The fare is 1.5 euros. There are 4 metro lines: red, green, yellow and purple.

Shopping

Milan is one of the main centers of world shopping and fashion. Here you can find everything from fashionable brands to the products of small design studios. The main shopping quarter is the Fashion Quadrangle, which is located between the Duomo, Piazza Cavour and Piazza San Babila. Most of the famous boutiques can be found in Via Montenapoleone, Della Spiga, Vittorio Emanuele, Sant’ Andrea, Porta Venezia and Manzoni. Near Milan there are five large outlet stores, where you can buy designer and branded goods with large discounts. The largest outlet is Serravalle. It is located an hour’s drive from Milan. Buses leave from the Sforza Castle.

Outlets in the outskirts of Milan

Outlets in the outskirts of Milan

Although Milan often follows fashion and modern trends, it is one of the outposts of traditional Italian cuisine. Avoid restaurants around the Duomo; they tend to be popular tourist spots, with low-quality food at inflated prices. Keep in mind that most restaurants charge an additional “service charge,” approximately 2 euros per customer.

Attractions

Although Milan is not the first city with which many tourists associate Italy, it boasts some remarkable sights and cultural monuments. For all its serious reputation as the fashionable, business and financial center of the country, it is a city rich in history and cultural heritage.

Duomo

Duomo

The Duomo, or cathedral of Santa Maria Nacente, is the symbol of Milan, located in the heart of the city in the square of the same name. It is one of the largest religious buildings in the world (holds about 40,000 people) and probably the most beautiful church in the Gothic style. The Duomo was built over 4 centuries from the 14th century. Its roof is topped with 135 spires and its facade is decorated with 2,245 marble statues. The modest interior, in striking contrast to the shiny and richly patterned exterior, makes a strong impression with its 52 giant columns. The Duomo’s stained glass windows and nave are the largest in the world. Inside you can see the 1200 bronze candelabrum, the tomb of Giacomo de Medici and the reliquary of San Carlo Borromeo. A very atmospheric walk on the roof of the Duomo, from where on clear days one can see the snow-capped peaks of the Alps. Near the central aisle is the entrance under the ground where you can see the foundations of an ancient 4th century basilica and baptistery, discovered during the construction of the subway. Entrance to the Cathedral is free. Important: It is forbidden to wear short skirts, shorts or open shoulders.

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Victor Emmanuel II Gallery

Gallery of Victor Emmanuel II

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – located a bit away from the Duomo and connects the cathedral square with Piazza La Scala. It was built in the 1970s and at the time was the largest shopping gallery in Europe. There are expensive boutiques and elegant cafes. The gallery is a magnificent example of 19th century architecture.

La Scala

La Scala

La Scala – one of the most famous opera houses in the world is located in a rather inconspicuous building on a small square. Accommodates 2,800 spectators. Season lasts from December to May.

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Santa Maria delle Grazie is a 15th-century brick Gothic church with an early Bramante Renaissance dome. It is world famous for Leonardo da Vinci’s fresco The Last Supper. Unfortunately, the church and the fresco were damaged in bombing raids during World War II. Leonardo’s fresco was painted in the refectory of the former Dominican monastery in the late 15th century. Unfortunately, Da Vinci’s fresco is constantly being destroyed and restored (Leonardo painted the fresco on damp plaster).

Sforza Castle

Sforza Castle

Sforza Castle is one of the main attractions of Milan, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle was built in the 14th century and was the main residence of the rulers of Milan – Visconti and Sforza. Now there is a magnificent museum with such rarities as the last masterpiece by Michelangelo, paintings by Bellini, Correggio, Mantegna, Berggone, Foppa, Lotto, Tintoretto, Egyptian and other antiquities, medieval weapons. In front of the 70-meter high Torre de Filaret is a large fountain built under Mussolini. Behind the castle is the large neoclassical Park Sempione, one of the favorite places of Milanese.

Cinque Vie Historic District

Cinque Vie historic district

The historic district of Cinque Vie is the oldest part of Milan, located between Piazza Cordusio, Via Meravigli and Via Orefici. In this area you can find many Roman archaeological sites, such as the theater, the imperial palace and the imperial mint. Moreover, there are many ancient churches, such as Santa Maria alla Porta (Baroque gem of Milan), San Sebastiano, San Giorgio el Palazzo, Santa Maria Podone, San Maurizio el Monastero Maggiore.

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Church of San Maurizio

Church of San Maurizio

San Maurizio is a Baroque church whose interior is considered the most beautiful among the religious structures of Milan. It was built in the early 16th century for a Benedictine convent. Inside the church is painted with beautiful frescoes by the best masters of Lombardy. The monastery was built on the ruins of the ancient Roman circus and walls. There is now an archaeological museum that introduces Milan of the Roman period.

Pinacoteca Brera

Pinacoteca Brera

The Pinacoteca Brera is a 17th-century Renaissance palace that originally housed a Jesuit school. Now it is one of the best art museums in Italy. Paintings by the best artists of Lombardy and disciples of da Vinci, Venetian masters, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Picasso and many others are on display here.

Sant'Ambrogio

Sant’Ambrogio

Sant’Ambrogio is one of the oldest churches of Milan, founded in the 4th century by St. Ambrose, who is the patron of the city. The church is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. It was built in the 12th century around the choir of an earlier ninth-century church. Notable is the ancient 9th century altar, located among those built during the Carolingian period.

Monument of Cimitero

Monument of Chimitero

The Cimitero Monument is a monumental late 18th century cemetery known for its rich tombstones and Art Nouveau sculptures.

Da Vinci Museum

Da Vinci Museum

The Da Vinci Museum is the national museum of science and technology located in a former monastery building. Of particular interest is the Leonardo da Vinci gallery with working models of many of his inventions and machines created from his drawings and blueprints. Also on display here are the instruments used by Galileo, Newton and Volta.

Naviglio

Naviglio

Naviglio is an atmospheric place in the canal area of the same name with many restaurants and clubs.

Sant'Eustorgio

Sant’Eustorgio

Sant’Eustorgio is a 12th century Romanesque basilica with a beautiful high bell tower. Nearby is another church, San Lorenzo Maggiore, dating from the early Christian period. The Renaissance dome was added in 1574, the mosaics in the chapel of St. Aquilinas date back to the 4th century. In front of the church is a portico of sixteen Corinthian columns, which is the largest surviving monument of the Roman period.

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Peace Arch

The Arch of Peace

The Arch of Peace is an interesting example of Neoclassical architecture. This triumphal arch was built in the first half of the 18th century and is located in the center of a large square behind the Sforza Castle and Park. Construction of the arch was begun under Napoleon Bonaparte, but was completed after his defeat at Waterloo by the Austrian monarch Francis I, who dedicated it to peace.

Santa Maria del Carmine Church

Church of Santa Maria del Carmine

Santa Maria del Carmine is a red-brick church of the Carmelite order built in the 13th century. The church was destroyed in a fire in the 14th century and abandoned. It was rebuilt in the 15th century by Antonio Solari. It is an interesting example of Lombard neo-Gothic.

San Lorenzo Basilica

Basilica of San Lorenzo

The Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore (St. Lawrence) is a Renaissance style church with an ancient baptistery and a 12th century Romanesque bell tower. The church was founded in the 4th century and is one of the oldest in Milan. There are late antique mosaics and some Roman columns.

Church of San Babila

Church of San Babila

San Babila is a brick church founded in the 11th century. The baroque 16th-century building was rebuilt in the 19th century in the style of the original medieval appearance. The neo-Romanesque bell tower was completed in the 1930s of the 20th century.

Velasca Tower

Velasca Tower

The Velasca Tower is an interesting example of civil engineering. It is a 106-meter skyscraper with an unusual architectural form.

Interesting tours

The Da Vinci Code: To unravel Leonardo's Milan

€165 per excursion

The Da Vinci Code: unraveling Leonardo’s Milan

Exploring the city and its attractions through the artist’s legacy

Milan Express Stroll

€85 per tour

Milan Express Stroll

Highlights, city history and valuable tips on a one-hour walking tour

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