Milan is a bustling, cosmopolitan city with plenty to see and do. However, it can also be a bit overwhelming. If you’re looking for a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, there are plenty of strange but beautiful places to visit in Milan. From secret gardens to abandoned hospitals, these 8 places are sure to give you a sense of peace and wonder.
Just north of the city center is the Brera district. Brera is a charming neighborhood filled with narrow cobblestoned streets and colorful buildings. As you wander around the neighborhood you can’t help but feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale. The quaint streets are dotted with art galleries, cafes, and boutique shops. Brera is also where you’ll find the Brera Botanical Garden, which is the oldest botanical garden in Italy. The garden is home to over 1000 species of plants and is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
2. Quadrilatero D’Oro
Just next to the Brera district is the Quadrilatero D’Oro or Golden Quadrilateral which is a shopping district located in central Milan. The district is home to some of the world’s top fashion houses such as Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Versace. The streets of the district are lined with designer stores, trendy cafes, and upscale restaurants. Shopping here is something out of a dream as you can find some of the best fashions, jewelry and accessories in the world. If you’re looking for a luxurious experience, Quadrilatero is the place to be.
3. Basilica Di Santa Maria Delle Grazie
At the entrance of the city lies the impressive Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie. It is a 15th century Roman Catholic Church listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The basilica was designed by Donato Bramante, an Italian Renaissance architect and its construction began in 1464. The church’s interior is filled with beautiful frescoes and sculptures. The highlight of the basilica is the Last Supper painted by Leonardo Da Vinci on its walls in 1495. Although it has been damaged several times due to wars and restorations, the beautiful painting still mesmerizes visitors. The basilica has a peaceful atmosphere and should be visited by anyone looking to experience the beauty of Milan.
4. Parco Sempione
Situated in the historical city center, Parco Sempione is a popular park in Milan. It was established in 1888 and covers an area of 134 acres. It is bounded by the Castello Sforzesco, the Arco della Pace and the Arena Civica. The park is home to several monuments, statues and a neoclassical colonnade. You can find many activities being held in this area during the weekend, from street art and concerts to shows. The park is also a great spot to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city. For adventurous souls, the park also features a large net stretched between the two pavilions which you can climb and find yourself a nice spot to enjoy the views. It is definitely worth exploring, and is one of the best places to soak up some of the local culture and beauty of Milan.
5. Chiesa Di San Maurizio Al Monastero Maggiore
Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is a 16th-century church located in the Monguzzi district of Milan. Built between 1562 and 1572, this beautiful church is a perfect combination of components from the Renaissance and Renaissance period. Its interior is decorated with several frescoes depicting the life of Christ and his disciples.
The church houses several relics, some of which were brought from the Holy Land. Sacred items such as a relic of the Holy Cross, vials of the Virgin Mary’s milk, and the relics of both Saint Luke and the Maccabees are found here.
Another highlight of the church is the Loggia of St. Paul, adorned with a fresco of the saint surrounded by several angels. It’s a beautiful, peaceful place – perfect for a few moments of reflection and contemplation.
6. Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is a 17th century art gallery located in the centre of Milan. It is home to some of the most renowned artists of the Italian Renaissance, such as Caravaggio, Da Vinci and Titian. But it’s not just the works of traditional masters that delight visitors; the collection includes a range of styles and concepts.
The Pinacoteca’s best-known work is the “Basket of Fruit” by Caravaggio, but visitors are also sure to find other treasures. The Pinacoteca also houses “The Virgin of the Rocks” – a Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece – and a Madonna of St Sebastian by Titian, among many other works.
The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is a must-visit for art lovers and history buffs alike. This hidden gem, nestled in the heart of the city, is an incomparable treasure trove that illuminates the riches of Renaissance Italy.
7. Biblioteca Ambrosiana
As if the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana wasn’t enough, Milan also boasts the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, or Ambrosian Library. Founded in 1609, this library is well known for its amazing and historical displays of books. It has some of the rarest and oldest pieces, such as a copy of the Litterae Nonnullae Abscisae of 1608 and a manuscript of Homer’s Iliad perhaps written in Alexandria in the fourth century AD.
The Ambrosian Library is located just a few steps from the Pinacoteca. It is a great place to explore if you’re into art and culture. In addition to its impressive manuscript collection, the library also houses the Borghese Collection of 17th century books and manuscripts, the Cammian Collection of manuscripts, a rare collection of coins, medals and engravings, and a large collection of 16th century “incunabula” or books printed on handmade paper.
Visitors to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana will be surprised and delighted by the wealth of treasures the library keeps. It is truly a must-see destination for anyone looking to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of Italian art, culture and history.
8. Teatro Alla Scala
If you’re looking for an experience that feels truly Italian, then the Teatro alla Scala is the place to go. This historic, opera house is located in the heart of Milan and has been staging the world’s best operas since 1778. The theater boasts a bevy of famous performances, including the operas of Verdi, Rossini and others.
The Teatro alla Scala has also been the site of some of the most legendary operatic performances in history. Pavarotti and Caruso both sang on its stage and illuminated its 1,800 seat auditorium with their breathtaking performances.
Visitors to the Teatro alla Scala can take in a performance or take a tour of the theatre to learn more about its illustrious history. The tour showcases the theatre’s ornate, 18th-century architecture and its impressive acoustics. It also provides an in depth look at the theatre’s costumes, makeup, and set design, giving guests an inside look at one of Italy’s most celebrated cultural landmarks.