The city centre drives the economy of the entire country, and over time has strengthened its undisputed role of economic capital. Milan, city of fashion, design and new technologies, finance and art, busy city reaching European targets.
Here, the ideas that inspired the great personalities of the past, artists and writers, scientists and musicians were born, from Sant’Ambrogio to Leonardo, from Parini to Manzoni.
And to understand this, you just have to admire the Last Supper by Leonardo (in the refectory of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie), spend some time in the Pinacoteca di Brera, take a walk around the Castello Sforzesco or get involved in a night at the opera at La Scala.
Its spirit is to be found starting from Navigli, from the old streets of Porta Ticinese and Porta Romana, from the alleys of Brera, then moving to the streets of refined and elegant palaces around Piazza del Duomo, Piazza San Babila and Viale Majno, via Torino and Corso Italia and the most impressive historic buildings.
It is the centre of Milan, where one can admire, in addition to the Cathedral, the Royal Palace, with the scalinata dell’Arengario, the monument to Vittorio Emanuele and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the elegant and beloved town lounge, built starting from 1864 by Giuseppe Mengoni, which ends in Piazza della Scala, next to Palazzo Marino.
It is the symbol of the town church dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente. Started in 1386 and built by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the Duomo stands on the site of the early medieval basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. It is the most important example of international Gothic architecture in Italy, renowned for its blend of Nordic features and Lombard elements. The building is crowned by a spire that ends with a statue of the Virgin Mary, made of gilded copper, 4 meters high, built in 1774. The sculptures include 3500 statues, including 96 giant gargoyles.
Built in 1450-66 by Francesco Sforza, as a fortress and residence, where the fortress Visconti stood, the Castle now has a form that is derived from the restoration with which Beltrami saved it from demolition. In the Piazza d’Armi remains of ancient buildings are collected. Two towers characterize its massive structure, that of Bona di Savoia and the Rocchetta, refuge in case of danger, and now home to the treasure room, which houses the Argo painting, by Bramante.
The castle is surrounded by the installation of the semi-circular Foro Bonaparte and the wide green area of the Parco Sempione; strolling through the park you will run into huge lakes and woodlands, meadows, and bridges, and inviting its lighting at night offers a truly impressive sight.
The gallery, which is considered the lounge of Milan, is an arcade covered by a structure of iron and glass, in the shape of an octagon with a cross in the centre, whose construction began in 1864. The beautiful windows of restaurants, bars, cafes, bookstores and clothing stores draw citizens and tourists.
Adjacent to Piazza Duomo, it houses a group of buildings dating back to the Middle Ages and the seventeenth century. Here stand the Palazzo della Ragione (1228), a witness to the Age of Commons, the fourteenth-century Loggia degli Osii (1316), the seventeenth-century Palace of the Palatine Schools and the House of Panigarola (XV century).
Built on the perimeter of the previous Martyrum Basilica, it dates back to the end of the fourth century. The reconstruction of the church began in the late ninth century, a period which the bell tower right in pre-Romanesque style dates to. The main body was built by the end of the XI and XII centuries in Romanesque style. At the entrance there is a large quadrangle which is one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Italy. Among the works of art inside it, there is the famous golden altar, built in the ninth century by Volvinio and other goldsmiths, and the Crypt, which preserves the bodies of Sant’Ambrogio, Protaso and Gervaso.
Piazza Sant’Ambrogio 15, tel. 02.86450895
The church was built between 1466 and 1490. Later, Bramante rebuilt its apse, cloister and Old Sacristy. On one of the walls of the refectory of the Dominican convent, Leonardo painted the famous Last Supper completed in 1496. On the opposite wall there is the Crucifixion by Giovanni Donato Montorfano.
Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie
Web Site: http://www.grazieop.it
San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is a church in Milan, once home to the largest nunnery in the city, belonging to the Benedictine order, placed at the corner of Via Luini and Corso Magenta, of early Christian origins, rebuilt in the sixteenth century. It is internally decorated with a vast cycle of frescoes of the school of Leonardo, and is referred to as the “Sistine Chapel” of Milan or Lombardy
Near the castle there is another architectural jewel of Bramante: it is the Church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro. Despite being a bit hidden and small, the internal truly admirable. Its origins date back to the early Middle Ages: during its construction it was incorporated in the chapel of San Satiro.
Address: Via Torino
Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore. Fronted by sixteen Roman Empire columns on the outside and the statue of Emperor Constantine. The church interior is impressive, with a large circular room surrounded by chapels among which the most important is that of St. Aquilino, of the fourth century. The original part of the church dates from the late fourth century, but after several fires and damages it has been subject to numerous restorations. The facade is from the nineteenth century and the huge dome is the largest of Milan.
Corso di Porta Ticinese 39
Web Site: www.sanlorenzomaggiore.com
Near Porta Ticinese there is the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio, house to the tomb with the relics of the Magi, which the Saint himself brought from Constantinople, but were stolen by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in the year 1162, it is one of the oldest churches in Milan: it was founded in the fourth century and rebuilt in the nineteenth century. From the thirteenth century, however, the church played an important role: in 1227 it became the main seat of the Dominican Order in Milan. Address: Piazza Sant’Eustorgio
Overlooking one of the most elegant squares of Milan is one of the most famous theatres in the world. It was built towards the end of ‘700 with the design of architect Giuseppe Piermarini, at the behest of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. During the theatre season, which is one of the most important events in the life of Milanese society, there are operas, concerts of classical music and ballet. Address: Piazza della Scala