What to Do in Milan
Collected by Tommy Alexander, AFAR Staff
Piazza del Duomo, Milano MI, Italy
The historic and modern center of the city, the Piazza del Duomo (the square surrounding the cathedral's base) remains a popular meeting place, hangout and hub of Milanese life. Local vendors setup shop (selling fresh coconut in the summer, toys...
Via Santa Margherita, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Milan is a different city at night, when the inky blue skies and warm orange street lights reflect on the grey facades of the city's buildings. The architecture- bombastic, monumental and sometimes even modern- is like a page out of Ayn Rand's The...
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...
Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
At a nondescript church in an unlikely neighborhood in Milan rests one of the greatest works of art ever created, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. The 15th century mural was part of a renovation project at the Convent of Santa Maria della...
Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 34, 20144 Milano MI, Italy
While few in number, Milan's canals can be charming. Naviglio Grande, the largest, is my favorite to walk along. Lined by shops, outdoor cafes and bars, there is life alongside the water anytime of day. If you're lucky you'll catch the Antique...
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 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...
Piazza del Duomo, 8, 20123 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...
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...
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 Brera, 28, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Though they are admittedly tiny, the Botanical Gardens in Brera, located behind the Pinacoteca di Brera and the University of Milan, is a hidden oasis in a crowded city. Originally used in the 17th century by the Jesuits to grow and teach others...
Piazzale Angelo Moratti, 20151 Milano MI, Italy
Welcome to the hallowed walls of AC Milan. San Siro is the first and quite possibly only stadium in Italy to have a museum on its premises. For die hard red and black fans, this is only place you'll want to come to when you visit Milan. You get to...
Strada Statale Sempione, 28, 20017 Rho MI, Italy
Milan's Salone del Mobile—or Salone, as it is fondly known—is a nearly weeklong design fair held at the Milan fairgrounds and celebrated across the city in satellite events. Designers of all kinds (textiles, furniture, products) and from different...
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 Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Parco Sempione is Milan's biggest park and it has everything- cute caffès, picturesque setting, a medieval castle, a modern museum, a pond and charming foot bridges. If the sun is shining, this is the perfect place for a morning or afternoon walk,...
Piazzale Cimitero Monumentale, 20154 Milano MI, Italy
Don't think it morbid. This cemetery is one of the most extraordinary places in Milan. Put it on your list as a must-see if you are interested in sculpture, history and some truly breathtaking architecture. Only a mile from the city center it is...
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