Milan, the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of North Italy, is an exquisite blend of timeless charm and contemporary allure. Renowned for its rich history, magnificent architecture, and unrivaled fashion scene, Milan has something for every traveler. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a fashion addict, or a travel lover, Milan has a myriad of experiences to offer. I have already written a post with ideas in case you only have a few hours to visit this city. Here, I’ll explore 10 compelling reasons why Milano deserves a spot on your travel bucket list.
1. The Magnificent Cathedral
No visit to Milano would be complete without marveling at the breathtaking beauty of the Milan Cathedral, locally known as Il Duomo. This architectural masterpiece took nearly six centuries to complete and stands as one of the world’s largest Gothic cathedrals. Climb to the rooftop terraces to enjoy panoramic views of the city or explore the intricate details of the cathedral’s stunning interior. Book your visit in advance and check opening hours and dates here.
2. Leonardo’s Last Supper
Art enthusiasts will find sheer delight in visiting the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. In fact, here is Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic masterpiece: The Last Supper. This incredible fresco, depicting the final meal of Jesus with his disciples, is a testament to Leonardo’s genius and artistic prowess. Make sure to book your tickets in advance, as access to this priceless artwork is limited.
3. Royal Palace and Its Exhibitions
Right next to the Cathedral, you can find the Royal Palace of Milan. Explore its grand halls. The palace hosts numerous exhibitions throughout the year, offering visitors a chance to delve into diverse themes ranging from history and art to fashion and design.
4. Stroll Along Via Montenapoleone.
Indulge in a luxury shopping experience by taking a leisurely walk along Via Montenapoleone, Milano’s most prestigious fashion district. This iconic street is lined with high-end boutiques, designer labels, and flagship stores, attracting fashion connoisseurs from around the world. Even if shopping isn’t your top priority, the elegant atmosphere and stylish ambiance make it worth a visit.
5. Triennale: A Celebration of Design
For lovers of contemporary art and design, a visit to the Triennale di Milano is a must. This cultural institution hosts exhibitions, installations, and events that showcase the latest trends and innovations in the world of design. Immerse yourself in the creative realm of visionary artists and designers, and gain insights into the cutting-edge ideas shaping our modern world.
6. Explore the District with Igloos
Experience something truly unique by venturing into the district of Maggiolina, where you’ll find a surprising sight: igloos! In the so-called Village of Journalists, you will spot houses dating back to 1946 with a round shape. They were conceived by engineer Mario Cavallè who imported the technique from America. These private houses represent a really unusual spot in Milan.
7. Wander in the Brera District
Quaint, picturesque, and full of character, the Brera district is a charming neighborhood with narrow cobblestone streets. Admire the elegant buildings, charming cafés, and boutique shops that line the streets. This area is particularly beloved by artists and intellectuals, and it exudes a bohemian atmosphere that is truly captivating.
8. Visit the Brera Pinacoteca
Art enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to visit the Brera Pinacoteque. This public art gallery is housed in a former Jesuit college. This renowned institution showcases a vast collection of Italian Renaissance and Baroque artworks, including masterpieces by Raphael, Caravaggio, and Mantegna. Moreover, do not miss the renowned Hayez’s Kiss. The gallery’s impressive collection and serene ambiance make it a true haven for art lovers.
9. Explore a Famous Market: Mercato di Via Papiniano
To experience the vibrant local culture and sample fresh Italian produce, head to the Market of Viale Papiniano. This bustling open-air market offers a sensory delight, with stalls selling an array of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and much more. Engage with friendly vendors, taste local delicacies, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this lively marketplace.
10. One More Attraction: Sforza Castle
Visit the majestic Sforza Castle, an imposing fortress that has witnessed centuries of history. Marvel at the castle’s imposing architecture and explore its vast courtyards and gardens. Finally, visit its various museums, which house remarkable art collections and historical artifacts. The castle also provides a tranquil escape from the bustling city, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll.
11. Enjoy the Chinese District
I’ve already talked about Via Paolo Sarpi, where you can find the famous hand made Chinese Ravioli. The streets feature a lot of shops, restaurants, and bars where you can find Chinese products and delicacies. It is particularly recommended during Chinese New Year’s Eve. In that period the streets get packed with decorations, musicians, performers, and visitors. Crowded but worth the experience!
12. Salone and Fuorisalone
And finally, the last reason to visit Milan is not really a place but a period: that of Salone del Mobile, the Fair dedicated to furniture. Although the fair takes place at Rho’s exhibition centre, the whole city organizes many events called Fuori Salone. The city thus becomes a global setting for parties, presentations, and exhibitions. One of my favourite moments to be in Milan. If you have to work there, book a year in advance as prices can really go crazy.
Milano is a city that effortlessly blends tradition and modernity, offering an array of captivating experiences for travelers. From its awe-inspiring cathedral to its world-renowned artworks, fashion districts, and cultural institutions, Milano truly has it all. So, pack your bags, embrace the allure of Milano, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey of art, culture, and style.