Art-Hopping in Milan
Collected by Erica Firpo, AFAR Local Expert
Forget about fashion for a second and focus on art. Milan is a hub for centuries of visual art, from ancient to contemporary—you can spend the entire day art-hopping from one place to the next. Since Milan is Italy’s center of design and fashion, there are great exhibition spaces and showrooms that focus on interior design and fashion history, placing Milan at the center of form and function.
Via Brera, 28, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The Pinacoteca Brera is Milan's public painting gallery with an enviable collection of early Renaissance to late Baroque paintings by the very best of 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Though Bramante, Rubens, Raphael, Piero della Francesca and...
Piazza Pio XI, 2, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
The Ambrosiana Library is an oasis for book lovers. Founded in 1609, the library contains over 800,000 books and 35,000 manuscripts, including writings by Dante and Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus. The pinacoteca art gallery is a treasure as...
Via Palestro, 16, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
GAM bridges the gap between Baroque and Modern art with a collection of Italian and European artwork from the 18th to the 20th century. Van Gogh, Manet, Cezanne and Gaugin hang with Balla, Boccioni, Canova and Segantini. Best to make it double...
Via Guglielmo Marconi, 1, 20122 Milano MI, Italy
The Museo del Novecento (Museum of the 20th century) is a visual lesson in one century of Italian art history. Housed is the 1930s Palazzo dell'Arengario by Rationalist architects Piero Portaluppi and Giovanni Muzio. The Novecento also houses an...
Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
The Sforza name is well known even to those of us not intimately familiar with Italian history. Originally built in the 15th century, this massive citadel was at one time one of the largest in Europe and even today you can just imagine the...
Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Besides the fashion and the Duomo, another great reason to visit Milan is the famous Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, located at the Santa Maria delle Grazie. It's better you reserve the tickets ahead of time since they only have limited time...
Viale Emilio Alemagna, 6, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Lovers of furniture from past and present cannot leave Milan without stopping by the Triennale Design Museum. The permanent collection holds an interesting cross-section of Italian furniture and housewares, including the 1957 Superleggera...
Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
The artist appears to have wanted to showcase something about putting faith back into humanity, represented by this apple (the one that Adam and Eve took a bite from), which shows the missing piece reattached in its original position. The...
Corso Magenta, 15, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Sometimes called "Milan's Sistine Chapel" because of its profusely--and beautifully-- decorated walls and ceilings, San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is well worth a visit. The Renaissance paintings commissioned by the Sforza family (the primary...
Via Stilicone 19, 20154 Milano, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Galleria Lia Rumma is a very progressive art gallery with contemporary exhibitions and installations by international artists. The gallery's clever indoor/outdoor space and location on via Stilicone make it part of an ever-growing artsy...
Via Giulio Cesare Procaccini, 4, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Fabbrica del Vapore is an easygoing arts center in Milan, occupying an old steam factory: a place where many different exhibitions, performances, and casual social gatherings take place year-round. It is best to check the website for specific...
Via Antoine Watteau, 7, 20125 Milano MI, Italy
Leoncavallo is both a cultural center and a concept. The buildings lining the run-down road are covered in amazing art by epic artists and upcoming writers. During the day, you'll find photographers documenting the work or shooting for fashion...
Via Chiese, 2, 20126 Milano MI, Italy
Located in a former rail services warehouse, Hangar Bicocca is a contemporary art space for site-specific projects funded by tire giant Pirelli. The space is more like a contemporary art concept that extends from the boards of its brick structure....
Via Neera, 24, 20141 Milano MI, Italy
Artist Dan Flavin's last installation is the Church of Santa Maria Annuciata in Chiesa Rossa, fondly known as simply Chiesa Rossa. Flavin's light installation is a technicolor dream of electric hues across the main nave and central apse.
Piazza Pio XI, 2, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Most people know Leonardo da Vinci and Milan go hand in hand. I would have loved to go to the Leonardo da Vinci Museum when we visited, but it was closed. Even if you don't make it to the museum, there are plenty of other da Vinci related finds in...
Piazza Sant'Ambrogio, 15, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
Saint Ambrose, the first Bishop of Milan, was a lawyer by training, and a diplomat by nature. Legend has it that bees swarmed to his honeyed voice--the patron saint of Milan is also the patron saint of beekeepers! One of the most influential...
Via Cola Montano, 15, 20159 Milano MI, Italy
Matteo Donini, aka the Don, opened his hidden art gallery in 2008 as a celebration of street artists, many of whom are his friends. If you find yourself in the Isola neighborhood in the late afternoon, ring the bell and see what happens.
Via Giorgio Jan, 15, 20129 Milano MI, Italy
In the 1930s, architect Piero Portaluppi was the toast of the town, designing the most innovative and beautiful houses and buildings in Milan. Walking through Casa Boschi di Stefano, you find a great example of early twentieth century Italy, from...
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