Milan – A City of Arts, History and Fashion
There are so many reasons to visit Milan! It is a metropolis that everyone can enjoy: whether your passion is architecture, fashion, history or business, you will find a way to pursue it right here, in Italy’s second largest city. Celebrities and ordinary people love to come here for memorable vacations, glam parties, important fashion events, and romantic getaways. There are more remarkable sights than anyone can discover in just one visit, so planning and prioritizing is a must. But keep in mind that you can always return to see some more.
The magnificent city was founded a long time ago by the Celts, who were later conquered by the Romans. During their reign, Milan became the capital of the Western Roman Empire, and during the Middle Ages it became a renowned financial and economic center. Before being annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1859, the city was under Spanish, Austrian and French domination, taking influences from each of these empires. During the 1900s, it was an important hub of the industrialization era, and after World War II it became a significant center of Renaissance. From that point on, Milan kept on growing and blooming, attracting more and more immigrants and tourists.
One of the city’s most significant landmarks is the majestic Duomo diMilano (Milan Cathedral), which is the world’s 5th largest cathedral, with a stunning gothic style. The hundreds of spires and sculptures that decorate its exterior are all crafted of white marble, making a grand impression on everyone who sees them. The interior is no less impressive, boasting beautiful sculptures and stained glass windows that illustrate various scenes from the Bible. The spectacular cathedral took over five centuries to complete.
Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle) is another major sight that you cannot afford to miss. You will find it in Parco Sempione housing several art collections and museums. Among the many exquisite exhibits that you can (and must) see here there are a number of frescoes by Leonardo da Vinci, his famous Codex Trivulzianus, and Michelangelo’s last sculpture, Rondanini Pietà. The construction of the ‘castello’ began in the 14th century, and in 1447 it was completely destroyed, which means that the current castle is not exactly the same as the original. Later generations brought new elements and various modifications, making this a truly unique citadel.
You cannot leave Milan without making a visit to a very special UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Santa Maria delle Grazie church. You should know that buying your entrance tickets in advance is a must (sometimes 2-3 months before you actually come here). Why is that so? Because this is where da Vinci painted his iconic “Last Supper” mural. Guests can only enjoy the privilege of admiring the painting for 15 minutes, so make sure you take in every second of the experience.
This city holds the world’s oldest mall, which was built between 1865 and 1877. It is actually a covered shopping street – the most popular in the city – and it connects the Teatro alla Scala and the Piazza Duomo. Called Corso Vittorio Emanuelle II, it holds countless shops, boutiques, cafés, restaurants which make it a perfect place for shopping. It is the city’s second largest pedestrian precincts, and a masterpiece of architecture. Superstitious or not, we’re sure you won’t miss the chance to step on the testicles of Torino’s Bull. We are talking about the mosaic on the gallery’s floor, of course. Tradition says that if you put your right heel on the bull’s genitals and turn three times, good luck will come your way!
- When you need to relax after a long day sightseeing, start heading towards one of the city’s many parks. Our suggestion: Giardini Pubblici or Parco Sempione.
- For more fine shopping, visit the grand 10 Corso Como complex. Fashion, art, music, culture, design and cuisine – you can find everything here.
- If you feel like pampering your body a little, try the steamy Hammam della Rosa, or the TermeMilano center.
- Fashionistas will definitely enjoy a good coffee at Caffè Miani (aka Zucca) or at Trussardi Café.