Milan can often be said to be underwhelming and not much to see. However, I would have to disagree. Milan has been well rebuilt since the second world war and has some fascinating sights to explore. Also allow yourself to soak up the shopping capitals atmosphere to get the most out of your visit.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
“Galleria” as it is more commonly known as, is the most famous shopping mall in all of Milan with its designer brands. In prime location in the city centre, next to the biggest Duomo in all of Italy, it has its fancy cafes and big designer labels everywhere you turn.
The Milan Duomo is the biggest church in all of Italy. It was hard to believe there is one bigger than the one in Florence that I visited a few years ago. I recommend paying the fee to go inside the Duomo. It is definitely worth it. The stone work is amazing, the led light windows breath taking. So much detail has gone into this church, you can understand why it took so long to build! When you enter the organ is playing and makes it feel very majestic!
By climbing to the roof of the Duomo, you get a fantastic view of the whole city. You can see the intricate detailing of the stone carvings, not just the roof but the sides as well. To keep it all nice, clean and free of pigeon poop, the little statue like carvings had wire sticking up all over the top of them so that they could not possibly land on it. Very creative! You can sit on the roof for as long as you like and enjoy the sunshine, whilst watching those below you in the square.
Teatro alla Scaia
One of Europe’s most impressive Opera houses. If you fancy, come here to enjoy a night of traditional culture and entertainment. Make sure you allow enough time to have a look around and explore the inside!
Santa Maria delle Grazie
The Church Santa Maria delle Grazie is a UNESCO World Heritage sight where you can view the famous painting of “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci. If you wish to see this painting, I recommend booking a ticket in advance. Also be aware that you are unable to take photos inside.
Chiesa di San Bernardino alle Ossa
This is a chapel that you must definitely visit to see something different that you wouldn’t normally stumble upon. This little chapel’s walls are mainly made from human bones and human bones decorations along with some nice paintings. Bit creepy but very interesting! Hang around and you will hear a story or two!
Pinacoteca di Brera
Milan’s public art gallery. This gallery contains the painting of many Italians artists of the course of history. Please note that it is closed on Mondays.
The University of Milan
There is only one main University in Milan, and it’s speciality is Law. However, during the war period, these buildings were used as hospitals.. There were two possible parts of the Hospital you could be sent to. You were either sent to the recovery section, or the other section. You wouldn’t want to be sent to the “other section” as this was where the left you to die from your illness/wounds. I would have definitely been praying to be delivered to the recovery section. The square’s lawn is rumoured to also be a grave of those who died. It is also believed that you cannot walk on the lawn until the day you graduate, as if you do so beforehand, the prophecy says that this will be impossible!
Always have a Gelato
One can never go to Italy and not buy Gelato, even if it is a freezing cold, wet day!
Drinks and Nibbles on the Canal
To end of a fabulous day in Milan, head down to the local canals were there are many bars and little family restaurants. If you go down around 6pm-9pm (mainly in summer), you can pick up a great deal and Milano tradition called Aperitivo. Aperitivo is where you order a discounted drink, it could be a cocktail or wine for example, and receive a small side of food for free. This is tradition is referred to as opening up the palate. On my night down here for 7 Euros, I received a French Martini and a plate for which I could fill from the tapas buffet. What more could you ask for?
Shop ’til you Drop
When you are sick of sight seeing or have run out of things to do, SHOP! After all you are in the fashion capital of World! Who knows what deals or treasures you might find to take home with you!
Anything else to add? Comment below and share your insider tips with other MOW readers!