Milan Churches And Museums, Italy
From the ancient Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio to the huge, majestic
Duomo: the greatest symbols of religion in Milan:
The most outstanding example of Gothic-Lombard architecture, the
Duomo dates back to 1300. It was built on the wishes of Gian
Galeazzo Visconti. This imposing religious building, second only to
St Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, houses almost 3500 statues that are
spread over an area of almost 12,000 square meters. The tallest
spire, which has the famous “Madonnina” on top of it, is 108 meters
high. The statue of the Virgin Mary, the “Madonnina”, is covered in
3900 pieces of gold leaf.
Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio
This is the symbol of Milan’s religiousness. It was built in 379
A.D. in the Romanesque-Lombard style, and was consecrated by the
famous Bishop Ambrogio, who lent his name to the Ambrosian Church.
Inside there are valuable artifacts and works of art that tell the
story of about 1600 years of Milan’s history.
Basilica of Sant' Eustorgio
A wonderful medieval religious building that was built at the
beginning of the fourth century on the wishes of the Bishop
Eustorgio who brought the remains of the wise kings here from
Constantinople, that can still be seen in the Chapel bearing their
name today. Basilica of San Lorenzo MaggioreThis wonderful basilica,
located opposite the Roman columns that are the only remains of a
third-century temple, includes many different architectural styles,
due to the various renovations that the building has undergone. The
main elements are Paleo-christian (for example the mosaics) but
other more recent styles also stand out, including ones from 1600
(the dome) to 1800 (the façade).
Santa Maria delle Grazie
This church was built in the second half of the fifteenth century.
It was only completed years later by “il Bramante” on the wishes of
Ludovico il Moro. The famous architect designed the wonderful apse,
the cloisters and the old sacristy. Leonardo da Vinci painted “The
Last Supper” in the refectory, which is one of the most famous works
of art ever painted.
A selection of the most interesting museums in Milan that must be
Between 1495 and 1498, Leonardo da Vinci painted the whole wall of
the refectory in the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie
with a fresco of The Last Supper, one of the most famous
masterpieces in history. This work of art has undergone a
restoration that lasted twenty years and which was only recently
finished, bringing it back to its full glory and halting the
deterioration that was turning it into a faded, shapeless stain.
Pinacoteca di Brera
The Pinacoteca di Brera is a picture gallery set up in 1809 by
Napoleone Bonaparte. It houses a great number of works of art that
were “confiscated” from churches and convents throughout Europe.
Works to be seen range from the fourteenth to the twentieth
centuries, and include masterpieces by artists such as Piero della
Francesca (Pala d’Urbino), Raffaello (Sposalizio della Vergine),
Mantenga (Cristo Morto), il Bramante and Caravaggio. The courtyard
holds a wonderful statue of Napoleon that was created by Canova.
This is Milan’s oldest museum, which was opened in 1609. This
picture gallery is home to some masterpieces by artists such as
Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello and Botticelli. The
Ambrosiana also houses an important library which contains some
ancient codes, illuminated manuscripts, and ancient books.
The Museum of Ancient Art
This interesting museum is housed in the splendid Castello
Sforzesco, and is home to some of the most important sculptures that
help to understand Lombard history and culture. The works come from
a period ranging from the 4th to the 16th century. They include the
funeral monument for Gaston di Foix and the “Pietà Rondinini” by
Museum of Science and Technology
This interesting museum, which is named after Leonardo da Vinci and
which was recently renovated and housed in an old monastery, is one
of the most interesting science museums in the whole world. 40,000
square meters of exhibition space for subjects ranging from
astronomy to computers. The models and machines built to the design
by the great Tuscan genius cannot be missed.
Milan Historical Buildings And Monuments, Italy
Buildings and monuments that bear witness to the history
of this city, the economic and cultural center of Italy.
The original center dates back to 1450, which was built
on the wishes of the Duke Francesco Sforza. Over the
centuries, the castle has undergone various changes,
also due to the particular ups and downs that have
seriously affected the structure. At the end of the 19th
century, a major renovation was made on the whole
building. Castello Sforzesco is a majestic building.
Inside it has wonderful interior courtyards, built in
Gothic-Renaissance style and incredible halls, designed
by Leonardo, and frescos painted by master painters such
as Bramante, who were commissioned by the court of
Ludovico il Moro. The Castle now hosts important art
The Monumental Cemetery
This great cemetery was built around 1860, in a Lombard
style and some obviously Byzantine shapes. Among the
statues, chapels and other works of art, we can find the
graves of some of the most famous people from Italian
and European culture, such as Alessandro Manzoni,
Salvatore Quasimodo, Eugenio Montale and Maria Callas.
The Royal Palace, in Piazza Duomo, is a very old
building that dates back to 1100 and which has been home
to the most powerful men in Milan over the centuries,
from the Viscontis to the Sforza family, the Spanish
governors and Austrian rulers. Several temporary art
exhibitions are held inside the building today.
Arco della pace
In the middle of Piazza Sempione there is this huge
monument 25 meters high, that dates back to Napoleonic
era. Arco della Pace is built in Neoclassical style, and
is decorated with marble sculpture and Corinthian
columns, and on the top there is a charming bronze “Sestiga”,
a chariot drawn by six horses.
La Scala Theater
A Temple to Opera music, built at the end of the 1700s
over the remains of the Church of Santa Maria della
Scala, from which the theater then took its name. Some
of the greatest names in opera have made their debuts in
this theater: Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Puccini and,
in 1839, Giuseppe Verdi, who moved to the Grand Hotel in
Milan on that date where he continued to live until he
died. The La Scala Theater, famous worldwide, stands on
one side of the beautiful square that carries the same
name. In the center of the square there is a monument to
Leonardo da Vinci and on the other side there is the
wonderful Palazzo Marini.
San Lorenzo Roman Columns
This is the only monument that dates back to the Roman
era, which has managed to survive up to the present day.
These sixteen columns that stand opposite the Basilica
of San Lorenzo are all that remains of an ancient Roman
temple, that probably dates back to the 2nd century.
Milan Places And Charm, Italy
Discovering the most romantic, attractive side of this city:
from the picturesque views of the Navigli to the green oases
in the center of Milan…
The origins of the Navigli date back to about 1100, but this
stretch of water was only made navigable from the Ticino to
the center of Milan at the end of the 14th century, to help
transport the marble that was needed to build the Duomo. The
Milan Wharf, that was an important commercial port for river
transport for many centuries, was still working up to the
end of the Second World War, and then closed permanently in
Today the Naviglio Grande and the Naviglio Pavese (that
connects Milan to Pavia) make up one of the most charming
places in Milan, with the old, typical banister houses,
antique shops and hundreds of clubs standing on each side,
that are invade the banks of the rivers from April to
September with their open-air tables.
This is one of the most exclusive and fashionable places in
Milan, that has an atmosphere vaguely reminiscent of Paris,
with its artists, open-air coffee shops and sophisticated
boutiques - full of wares for the home and handmade dresses
that seem to be creations of sculptors and not dressmakers.
This area, that could be described as “luxury Bohemian”
includes Via Brera, Via Solferino, Via Pontaccio, Corso
Garibaldi and Corso Como. Alongside it there are many
eighteenth century palaces including Palazzo Brera at number
28 Corso Como that houses the famous Pinacoteca.
This park stands behind Castello Sforzesco. It is huge and
fascinating with its lakes, meadows and little bridges. It
is the ideal place to spend a Sunday afternoon in the fresh
air. The Park is home to monuments such as the Arena
Napoleonica, the Tower designed by Giò Ponti and the
Triennale di Milano.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
This was built around 1870 and is called the “salotto di
Milano” (The Milan Lounge): If you walk along its
cross-shaped "arms", topped by the glass and iron structure,
you can see old coffee-shops, restaurants, boutiques and
This characteristic square near the Duomo is surrounded by
very interesting historical buildings that represent
Milanese culture from the middle ages to the seventeenth
century. These include Palazzo della Ragione that dates back
to 1200, the Loggia degli Osii, the seventeeth century
Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine and Palazzo dei Giureconsulti
that stands at the top of Via Mercanti.