There are no more in-between seasons. Venice is wonderful, but I’d never live there. Blondes are stupid. Milan is ugly.
These are only a few of the many Italian clichés. All of them are, of course, wrong: in April, you keep on putting on and taking off your sweater; you’d die for a home near Piazza San Marco; you found out that Sharon Stone has one of the highest IQs in the world.
Among these many clichés, the one about Milan ugliness seems almost impossible to demolish.
There are some days in which Milan is really like people describe it: the clouds cover the gray skyscrapers dwelled by briefcases and bored faces. If you’re able to cross the thick layer of gray monotony, you’ll find the best part of Milan: its courtyards.
The beauty of Milan is shy, and hides behind intercoms and double locks. It is made of arches, tiled floors and marble benches. You’ll have to look for it.
But where? You have two options. Either you walk around the streets of the Fashion District, of Porta Venezia and Corso Magenta, you pretend to be a postman and pray that somebody opens the door of their houses. Or you head to the addresses you’ll find in this article.
The first twos are little known and, therefore, seldom visited: go there if you are looking for silence.
Via Terraggio 5.
A green door hides a pink corner of Milan. Pink, yes: the courtyard of Via Terraggio is full of bushes with pink flowers stretching out till a brick house. In addition to the Big Babol colorful show, you will also find swings, a slide and a stone sink.
Via Luini 5.
Before entering, look at the opposite side of the road. Hidden among the branches and the dry leaves, you’ll see a Celtic cross, signifying that the abandoned courtyard used to house a church. Via Luini 5 has nothing in common with its neighbor. The cream-colored bows guard a quiet courtyard. On the right there is a stone fountain, and, in front of the porch, the flowered terrace of a house.
Via Manzoni 41.
This courtyard belongs to the Palazzo Borromeo d’Adda, built around 1820 by architect Gerolamo Arganini. You will have to open a wrought-iron gate with the emblem of the Borromeo family. Then, you’ll enter a large courtyard with Tuscan columns covered by the green of the climbing plants.
Piazza Belgioioso 2.
Considered one of the best expressions of the Milanese neoclassical architecture, along with the Teatro della Scala, the Belgiojoso Palace was built by architect Piermarini who was inspired by the Royal Palace of Caserta. The salmon pink walls, the Doric columns and the windows decorated with eagles, palms and festoons are some characterizing traits of the Palace.
Via Gesù 5.
The Bagatti Valsecchi Museum is one of the best-preserved museum-houses in Europe. We recommend you to take a tour inside, but if you have no time, just go to the courtyard: you will not be disappointed.