When it comes to Milan, everyone will generally think of Milan Fashion Week and Milan Cathedral. Milan that is the important transportation point of the southern Europe is not only the second largest city in Italy but also the “design capital”, “art city”, “opera sacred place” and “soccer city”. Milan is a romantic city with warm beauty and elegance. It is said that Milan is the closest city in Italy to Switzerland. The people in Milan are punctual like the Swiss and romantic like the Italian. Please follow me to know the top 10 popular places in Milan.
1. Milan Cathedral
Milan Cathedral is also known as the main church of Milan that was built in 1386 and is the landmark building in the center of Milan. The main body of the church was basically completed in 1812 after more than four centuries, but the last bronze door of the church was installed in 1960. The years not only gave it the vicissitudes of its history but also created a variety of styles for it with the Gothic spires of Baroque carvings that are extremely luxurious. The gilded Madonna statue at the top of the church has been quietly guarding the city, and the Cardinal San Carlo Borromeo who died in 1584 has been sleeping in the glass coffin in the inner basement. In 1805, Napoleon was crowned here and became the king of Italy.
2. Monastery of Santa Maria
The monastery was built by the Sforza family who ruled Milan at the time. The restaurant of the Monastery of St. Mary is an integral part of this complex. It was built in 1463 and was remodeled by Italian architect Bramante at the end of the 15th century. On the north wall of the building, Leonardo da Vinci’s unparalleled masterpiece “The Last Dinner” that completed between 1495 and 1497 is still preserved. Da Vinci’s work declared the arrival of a new era in the history of art.
3. Milan Cathedral Square
The Milan Cathedral Square is also the center of Milan. There is a bronze statue of the first king of the Italian Kingdom – Emanuel II at the center of the square and the arcade that is named after of Emanuel II at the north. The arcade has now become a luxury commercial street. There is Milan Cathedral at the east and a church museum at the southeast of the square. It is important to note that don’t pick the pigeon food if someone wants to give it to you. Once you take it, you will be asked to pay a lot for it. And don’t talk with the hawkers who have the colored braids. The ropes in their hands can’t be untied as long as they are tied to the wrist, and then you have to pay for them.
4. San Siro Stadium
San Siro Stadium also known as Giuseppe Meazza Stadium is only 6 km from the center of Milan. It is the home of AC Milan and Inter Milan, two of the top three teams. It’s also one of the most famous football stadiums in the world. In 1980, the stadium was named Meazza Stadium to commemorate the famous player Giuseppe Meazza in the 1930s and 1940s, but most people still call it the San Siro stadium.
5. Scala Theater
The Scala Theater was the second theatre rebuilt at the site where the first duke theater was burned after a carnival on February 25, 1776. After the accident, 90 Milanese who had a private box in the old theatre wrote to the Austrian Grand Duke Ferdinand I for requesting the reconstruction of a new theater. The Grand Theater was officially opened on August 3, 1778. It was destroyed by air raids in 1943, and the current building was rebuilt in 1946. On the first day, Antonio Salieri’s opera “The Appearance of Europa” was performed. The world famous singer Pavarotti has performed here, and the premiere of Verdi’s famous opera repertoire “Falstaff” took place here.
6. Manzoni Street
The busy and stylish street spans from Scala Square to Gafor Square. There are several famous buildings along the street, such as the Poldi Pezzoli Museum at 12 Manzoni Street and the elegant Milan Grand Hotel. The museum specializes in the collection of works by artists from northern Italy and the Netherlands/ Flanders. The museum was originally a private collection of Pezzoli and was donated to the city of Milan in 1879.
7. Brera Art Museum
The museum is one of the most important places of collections of Italian paintings. It holds Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings such as <the Last Dinner> which is completely different from Leonardo da Vinci. There are other masterpieces of great artists such as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Bellini, and Raphael. In addition, Raphael’s “The Wedding of the Virgin” is an important painting of the early collection. The Brera Academy of Fine Arts is also one of the famous art schools in Italy.
8. Sforza Castle
Sforza Castle is one of the most important buildings in Milan. It is like a historical vicissitude book that records the glory and fall of Milan. There are four high walls and a well-planned park. It was built as a castle in the 14th century by the Count Sforza and later became their residence, which witnessed the entire process from the heyday to the decline of the family. The castle is now a museum including the Museum of Applied Arts and Music, the Archaeological Museum, and the Museum of Ancient Art. The back door of the castle is the Peace Gate that was transformed by the ruler Francisco.
9. Milan Expo Germany Pavilion
The German Pavilion covers an area of 4,913 square meters and is the largest foreign self-built pavilion at the World Expo. Each visitor gets a paper tablet. The visitors can interact with exhibits in the museum using the paper tablet combined with the on-site photography technology. And there are many games for children. At the end of the tour, it is recommended to watch the interactive show and enjoy an exciting trip to Germany. The 16 German federal states not only brought visitors the latest German technology and ideas in agriculture but also German cuisine to the Milan Expo. The traditional restaurant that can accommodate hundreds of people offers the most traditional German cuisine: beer, sausage and pig elbow.
10. Sempione Park
Sempione Park is a large urban green area behind the Sforza Castle. It’s as a public space for walking, horse racing and celebration activities during the revolutionary period. Between Sforza Castle and Peace Gate, there is a picturesque English garden with hills and valleys, irregular parterre and paths, ponds and canals, trees and shrubs. Since its completion, the park is definitely as a leisure center for Milanese. Many exhibitions are held here such as the 1906 International Fair.