If you are planning on visiting Milan anytime soon, there are just some sights that you cannot afford to miss out on. This guide to things to do in Milan will show you the best places to visit.
Things to do in Milan
Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper
Within the church of Santa Maria della Grazie is one of the masterpieces of the Renaissance period. The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci captures the dramatic moment when Jesus reveals that one of his disciples will eventually betray him. Like many things the art had very troubled times, especially during the French invasion and World War II, nearly getting destroyed in the process and lost forever. Thankfully this never happened, and we can all marvel at this wonderful creation from one of the world’s most creative and imaginative souls. Recent restoration means that it can now be seen in full colour, so make sure you reserve your 15 minute time slot to visit.
This is the third largest church in the Christendom and stretches high above the piazza del Duomo. Upon the marble structure you will find 3,500 statues, as well as 135 spires, that you must spend time taking each in. The Baroque and non-Gothic design of the church may be comparable to the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, with five bronze doors that have been carved by five different artists. The Duomo took 500 years to complete, however with building work continuing on the church it may actually never be finished completely. The best views of Milan can be found here, just take a lift to the roof and take everything in, and on clear days you may even be able to see the Alps. If you are looking for somewhere to stay, then check this out.
Rectangle of Gold
This is the well known designed shopping area of Milan, after all it is one of the world’s fashion capitals. The Rectangle of Gold (Quadrilatero d’Oro ) is made up of a number of boutiques that fit into one square, bordered by via Montenapoleone, Sant’Andrea, Manzoni and della Spiga. You will recognise some of the well known, high-fashion, brand names that occupy the Rectangle of Gold. Brands such as Prada, Versace, Chanel and Armani are just some of the designers that have boutiques here.
Think of this museum as containing 12 mini museums all in one area. It is a great place to visit if you want to brush up on all your history, as it contains relics and archives from Palaeolithic history right the way through to 1950s furniture. The Castello Sforzesco highlights great minds and thinkers like Da Vinci, Bellini and Mantegna.
Milan may not be Venice, but it still has plenty of canals and water pathways for you to discover. Canal cruises give you a vantage point and views like nothing else, so it is a great place to go and view the different variety of architecture and dwellings that sit along side the canals themselves. The Darsena port, built in 1603, also gives you the chance to do some riverside shopping with a host of traders operating out of it. You can also enjoy plenty of fresh food and drinks whilst taking in the views.
Dining in Milan
The restaurants in Milan serve the most varied of all of Italy’s regional cuisines. In case you did not know, Italy is famous for its pasta dishes, diary and meat products. Not only will you get to sample some delightful Italian dishes, Milan also caters for the international market and provides foods such as curry and maki.
The Lepri Spa
After all the walking, taking in the sights, shopping and dining, it may be time for you to have a little ‘you time’ and relax in the Aveda-based Lepri. This salon and spa complex, owned by Fabrizio Lepri (famous hairstylist) is one of the best places to go to unwind and relax. Of course, this is just one of the spas on offer in Milan, there are many others that you can choose from. If you are looking for a small, intimate spa you should head over to ESPA at Gianfranco Ferré, or if you are looking for something a little more hot and steamy the try out the Hammam della Rosa.
Pinacoteca di Brera
This art museum in Milan covers all the exquisite works by all the major Italian artists. Covering the 13th to the 20th centuries, the museum includes some of the most inspiring works from Giovanni Bellini, Piero della Francesca and Caravaggio. That’s not all. You can also see works by Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese too.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
This is one of the oldest shopping malls in the world and is located near the Duomo, which has already been covered. You are probably thinking ‘two birds, one stone’, and you would be very right to do so. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II was opened in 1867, a full 20 years before the Eiffel Tower in Paris was built, and is made up of a mix of iron and glass. The ceiling is decorated with mosaics that represent Europe, Asia, Africa and America, giving it a truly global feel. Prada has its flagship store here, which has been in business since 1913. More recently, designer shops such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton have opened up here too.
Opera at La Scala
Having opened its doors in 1778 for its first opera performance by Saliera, all opera lovers will hold you in higher regard if you have managed to see anything here. It has been home to many great works, including Bellini, Puccini and Verdi. Tickets can be expensive but, as they say, you get what you pay for. It currently holds 2,015 seats and has some of the best acoustics in the world.
Milan should be up there for everyone to go and visit at least once. There is so much to do in this Italian city that all of it could not be squeezed in to this guide. With a blend of history, art, food, music and religion, Milan does offer all people a little something.
Milan makes everyone’s Italian experience unique.