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Best of Milan: A Guide to Italy’s Fashion Capital

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Milan

Milan is the capital of the Lombardy region. Its population number is the second after Rome. Milan served as the northern capital of the Roman Empire and was her political and commercial center. Milan is one of  the fashion capitals, many brands like Prada and Armani had head offices here. Also the city hosts events such as Fashion Week and others. Although Milan is a very modern city, it has ancient buildings and keeps the history of its past. One of its highlights is Milan Cathedral.

Planning your visit to Venice? I have a post about best things to do in Venice. You can read it here.

Milan Cathedral

Milan Cathedral is the center, the heart of the city and the most famous attraction. Milan Cathedral started in the middle ages, but completely finished only in the 20th century. Duomo architectural style is Italian Gothic, it’s different from the classic gothic we saw in France. But we completely can see elements of late classic gothic “the flaming”. Also there is a great view from the top of Duomo to the city. It’s worth climbing to take a photo or see the amazing architecture and sculptures.

Plan your visit to Duomo in advance here.

Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie

The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie was built in the 15th century in Gothic style. It is located at the opposite side of Duomo, at Corso Magenta street. Inside the church are beautiful frescoes by Ferrari, Bramantino, Zenale. But the highlight of the church is the mural The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. Recommend you visit the church and enjoy the moment to see such an ancient masterpiece.

Learn more about Milan with Guided Walking Tour.

Grand Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a shopping gallery in Milan and located on Duomo square.The gallery was built by architect Giuseppe Mengoni during 1865 and 1877. It is named after the first king of the Italy kingdom, Victor Emanuel II. Here you can find brands like Prada, Versace and other luxurious brands.The shopping here is not cheap, but I recommend you to visit the gallery to get an impression of amazing architecture, mosaic floor, and triumphal arch entrance.

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Castello Sforzesco

Castle of Sforza is a medieval fortress. It was built by the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza in 15th century. In the 16th and 17th centuries the castle became one of the largest in Milan after the restoration. Now the castle is used as a museum and its courtyard is a public park. It hosts small museums and collections that tell us a story about  the castle and Milan.

Explore all the secrets hidden in the Sforza Castle of Milan with a guided tour.

Brera Art Gallery

Brera Art gallery  is a fine art gallery in Brera district that is known as an Artist quarter. The gallery has a huge collection of Italian art from the 13th to the 20th century . Gallery situated in Brera Castle that is close to Duomo square and Sforza Castle. Formerly it was a national library, and became a gallery only in the 19th century. Brera Art gallery hosts masterpieces of Italian artists such Raphael, Bellini, Rubens and Correggio. If you love art and especially Italian art, this gallery is for you.

Enjoy a tour of Milan’s premier art gallery, the Pinacoteca, and witness some of its most famous works.

Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio

Dating back to the 4th century, the Basilica holds historical significance as the city’s oldest church dedicated to Saint Ambrose. Its unique architectural fusion of Romanesque, Lombard, and Byzantine styles, along with complex mosaics and religious artifacts such as the Golden Altar, offer a captivating glimpse into Milan’s rich heritage.

Discover alpine wonders on a day trip from Milan to St. Moritz with the Bernina Red Train

Piazza dei Mercanti

In the Middle ages Mercanti square was the center of Milan. There were markets, fairs  and different seller activities. The square located between the Duomo square and Cordusio square. Mercanti square in the ancient part of Milan. Here you can enjoy the building’s amazing architecture, sculptures and monuments. Recommend you to visit this square to feel the ancient vibes. If you love to draw, you can make amazing sketches here.

Explore Verona, Sirmione and Lake Garda with Boat Cruise.

Milan Archaeology Museum

Milan Archaeology Museum located near the church of San Maurizio Monastery Maggiore. The first part of the museum relates to the history of ancient Milan that was founded by the Romans in 222 BC. The second part contains artwork and sculptures. In the museum you can find archaeological remains, pottery, armor, masks. The museum is very informative and covers centuries of Milan’s life.

About times and tickets you can read here.

Branca Tower

Branca Tower in an observation tower, it is 106.8 meters high. Branca Tower based in the Sempione park  was built in 1933. Formerly the park was named Littoria park and was designed by Gio Ponti. There is an option to climb on the top of the tower and see an amazing view of Milan city. If you are lucky and the weather will be clear you can see the Alps and Apennines.

Plan your visit to Branca Tower in advance here.

Naviglio Grande

There are two channels in Milan and one of them is Naviglio Grande. It was built in 1177 and  connects the Ticino river to the Porta Ticinese dock (Darsena). It  is a nice place for a walk, there are old buildings on the sides of the Naviglio Grande. You can take great photos here or capture some sketches in your sketchbook. Also there are a variety of shops and restaurants.

Milan is a city of style and history. From the grand Duomo cathedral to Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, every part of Milan has a story to tell. It’s a place where the past meets the present, making it a must-see destination for travelers seeking culture and sophistication.

Hotel Gran Duca Di York
INNSiDE by Meliá Milano Torre GalFa
ME Milan Il Duca

Recommended hotels in Milan

Hotel Gran Duca Di York
INNSiDE by Meliá Milano Torre GalFa
ME Milan Il Duca
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