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The Centro Storico is the historic centre of the city of Milan, contained within the area once delimited by the medieval city walls and today by the streets forming the Corso Navigli easily distinguishable on the map of the city. Centro Storico encompasses Milan's perhaps most famous landmarks and tourist attractions, including the Duomo (cathedral), Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle shopping arcade and the Teatro alla Scala opera house. Compact in size and easily walkable, the Centro Storico is just as full of historic monuments as it is of designer boutiques and showrooms, restaurants and caffes - you will find almost all one comes to find in Milan for within not more than a quarter's walk.

The defunct old Milan district of Centro Storico included a broader area; the area covered in this guide corresponds to the Quartiere 101 - Duomo of the present-day Zona 1.

Get in[edit]

Map of Milan/Centro Storico

See the Duomo from below....

Reaching Milan by rail, or by air then bus or train to the city, will usually bring you to Milano Centrale station, as described in Milan#Getin. That's 3 km north of Centro Storico. From there you can:

  • Take Metro line 3 (yellow, south for San Donato) to 1 Duomo  M1  M3 , right by the cathedral in the heart of the district.
  • Take Metro line 2 (green, south for Assago Milanofiore/Abbiategrasso) to 2 Lanza   M2  or to Cadorna, and start your tour at Castello Sforzesco.
  • Or walk straight down Via Vittor Pisani, onto Piazza della Republicca and Via Turati, about 45 min to come into the centre.

From Malpensa Airport you can also take the train to 3 Cadorna   M1  M2  next to the Castello. Then for the Duomo walk east, or take Metro Line 1, or Trams 1 or 27.

From Linate Airport, bus lines 73 and X73 run to 4 Piazza San Babila   M1  just east of the centre.


Or from above


  • 1 Duomo (Cathedral), Piazza Duomo (Duomo  M1  M3  and many buses and trams). Daily 08:00-19:00, roof from 09:00. Massive, impressive and slightly mad: the cathedral is a late Gothic confection in white marble, festooned with spires and statues. You can admire the facade free from the piazza; getting inside or onto the roof involves three separate queues that may take over an hour, unless you book online. First locate the ticket office: it's along the street on the cathedral's south flank but has been known to wander, with various pop-up outlets. Here you queue #1 to pick up a number to queue #2 for the ticket desks. Buy your ticket, which will be for a specific time slot that day. When that time approaches (and off-peak it could be immediate) join queue #3 at the cathedral door for security and ticket check. There's a tedious list of what is and isn't allowed, and there's no photography inside. The interior is just as impressive as outside, though if you hate it you'll be in distinguished company. The problem was that construction went on in fits and starts for over 500 years, with every ruler adding bits or disliking previous work. Then in 1805 the conquering Napoleon said "Get this finished tout de suite, and my treasury will pick up the bill" and lo! it was finished. (Though he never paid up.) The Crypt of St Charles is entered within the cathedral, no extra fee, it closes around 17:00. The Baptistery of St John (extra fee) is within the cathedral. The roof (extra fee) can be reached by a lift or by 250 steps. The museum (included in ticket, closed W) is in the adjacent Church of St Gottard in Corte. It displays the story of the construction, with walk-in wooden models, façade designs from several centuries, sculptures and more. Milan Cathedral, officially the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Dòmm de Milan in Milanese dialect, is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Milan. Symbol of the Lombard capital, and located in the homonymous square in the center of the metropolis Santa Maria Nascente. It is the largest church in Italy (the largest basilica of St. Peter is in fact in the territory of the Vatican City), the third in the world by surface area, the sixth by volume. It is the seat of the parish of Santa Maria Nascente. Tecla in the Milan Cathedral. A bit of history: The ancient cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore, a winter cathedral, and the basilica of Santa Tecla, a summer cathedral, once stood in the place where the cathedral stands. After the collapse of the bell tower (1386), archbishop Antonio de 'Saluzzi, supported by the population, promoted the reconstruction of a new and larger cathedral (12 May 1386), which stood on the site of the oldest religious heart of the city. For the new building both the previous churches began to be demolished: Santa Maria Maggiore was demolished first, Santa Tecla at a later time, in 1461-1462 (partially rebuilt in 1489 and finally demolished in 1548). The new church, judging from the archaeological remains that emerged from the excavations in the sacristy, was originally intended for a brick building according to the techniques of Lombard Gothic. In January 1387, the foundations of the pylons were laid, colossal works that had already been designed on a design the previous year. During 1387 excavations of the foundations continued and the piers continued. What was done before 1386 was almost completely undone. During the year, the Duke of Milan Gian Galeazzo Visconti took control of the works, imposing a more ambitious project. The material chosen for the new construction then became Candoglia marble and the architectural forms those of the late Gothic of Rhenish-Bohemian inspiration. Gian Galeazzo's desire was in fact to give the city a grandiose building in step with the most up-to-date European trends, which symbolized the ambitions of his state, which, in its plans, should have become the center of an Italian national monarchy as it was. success in France and England, thus placing itself among the great powers of the continent. Gian Galeazzo made the quarries available and granted heavy subsidies and tax exemptions: each block destined for the Duomo was marked AUF (Ad usum fabricae), and therefore exempt from any passing tax. As evidenced by the rich archive preserved up to the present day, the first chief engineer was Simone d'Orsenigo, flanked by other Lombard masters, who in 1388 began the perimeter walls. In 1389-1390 the Frenchman Nicolas de Bonaventure was commissioned to design the large windows. French and German architects were called to direct the site, such as Jean Mignot, Jacques Coene or Enrico di Gmünd, who however remained in office for a very short time, encountering uncovered hostility on the part of the Lombard workers, accustomed to a different work practice. The factory then went ahead in a climate of tension, with numerous revisions, which despite everything gave rise to a work of unmistakable originality, both in the Italian and European panorama. Initially the foundations had been prepared for a building with three naves, with square side chapels, whose dividing walls could also act as buttresses. It was then decided to do without the chapels, bringing the number of aisles to five and on 19 July 1391 it was decided to enlarge the four central pillars. However, there was a growing concern for the stability of the entire structure, due to insufficient inertial masses to counteract the action of the thrusts. So in September of the same year the Piacenza mathematician Gabriele Stornaloco was questioned to define the cross section and elevation, through a precise geometric and cosmological diagram (Stornaloco was also an astronomer and cosmographer). On 1 May 1392 the shape of the progressively decreasing naves was chosen for a maximum height of 76 braccia. In 1393 the first capital of the pillars was sculpted, based on a design by Giovannino de 'Grassi, who took care of a new design for the windows and was a general engineer until his death in 1398. The presence of the capitals on the pillars clearly differentiates it from the Gothic beyond the Alps, where the ribs of the pillars continue in the arches giving greater vertical momentum to the building. In 1400 he was replaced by Filippino degli Organi, who oversaw the construction of the apse windows. From 1407 to 1448 he was in charge of the construction, which completed the apse and the foot cross, temporarily closed by the recomposed facade of Santa Maria Maggiore. On 16 October 1418 Pope Martin V consecrated the main altar, which was moved to its final position in the center of the new cross between 11 and 12 October. The altar until then had remained in its previous location in the old body of Santa Maria Maggiore, protected by the remains of the old apse, demolished only on this occasion. The ceremony was grandiose and had a huge popular participation, even if the figures proposed by the chronicles of the time (80,000 and 100,000 people) should be considered unlikely, probably corresponding to the totality of the city population at the time. From 1452 to 1481 Giovanni Solari was at the head of the yard, who for the first two years was also supported by Filarete, a Tuscan architect called by Duke Francesco Sforza. Guiniforte Solari, Giovanni's son, followed, and Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, who with Gian Giacomo Dolcebuono built the lantern in 1490. On the death of Amadeo (1522) the following masters made various "gothic" proposals, including that of Vincenzo Seregni of flank the façade with two towers (around 1537), not built. In 1567 the archbishop Carlo Borromeo imposed a diligent resumption of the works, putting Pellegrino Tibaldi at the head of the Fabbrica, who redesigned the presbytery, which was solemnly rededicated in 1577, even if the church was not yet finished. As for the façade Pellegrino Tibaldi designed a project in 1580, based on a two-story basement animated by giant Corinthian columns and with an aedicule in correspondence with the central nave, flanked by obelisks. The death of Carlo Borromeo in 1584 meant the removal of his protégé who left the city, while the construction site was taken over by his rival Martino Bassi, who sent a new facade project to Gregory XIV, the Milanese pope. In the 17th century, the direction of the works saw the presence of the best city architects, such as Lelio Buzzi, Francesco Maria Richini (until 1638), Carlo Buzzi (until 1658) and the Quadrio family. In the meantime, in 1628 the central portal had been made and in 1638 the works on the facade were going ahead, with the aim of creating a shrine effect inspired by Santa Susanna of Rome. To this end, the drawings by Luigi Vanvitelli (1745) and Bernardo Antonio Vittone (1746) arrived in the 18th century. Between 1765 and 1769 Francesco Croce completed the crowning of the lantern and the main spire, on which the golden copper Madunina was erected five years later, destined to become the symbol of the city. Buzzi's facade scheme was revived at the end of the century by Luigi Cagnola, Carlo Felice Soave and Leopoldo Pollack. The latter began the construction of the balcony and the central window. In 1805, at the direct request of Napoleon Bonaparte, Giuseppe Zanoia started the works for the completion of the facade, in anticipation of the Coronation of Napoleon King of Italy, which took place on May 6, 1805. The project was finally completed in 1813 by Carlo Amati . He continued throughout the nineteenth century the addition of statues and the erection of the spiers, by various architects (Pestagalli, Vandoni, Cesa Bianchi), inspired by the fifteenth-century spiers. Among the sculptors who worked there in the early nineteenth century, we can remember Luigi Acquisti. In 1866 the low bell tower that was located in the nave was demolished and the bells were transferred to the lantern, between the double vaults. Throughout the nineteenth century the spiers and architectural decorations were completed, until 1892. Restoration works were also carried out throughout the century, aimed at replacing materials damaged by time. During the Second World War the Madonnina was covered with rags, in order to avoid that the reflections of light on its recently redone golden surface could be used as a reference point for the Allied bombers flying over the city, while the windows were previously removed and replaced by rolls of cloth. Although it was not hit by high-potential bombs, the cathedral was also damaged during the air raids and its bronze central door still shows some "wounds" from pieces of bombs exploded nearby. After the Second World War, following the damage suffered by the air raids, the Cathedral was largely restored, subsequently the remaining wooden doors were replaced with bronze ones, the work of the sculptors Arrigo Minerbi, Giannino Castiglioni and Luciano Minguzzi. The four central pillars that support the lantern were built in serizzo with only the external part in marble. The two parts, internal and external, were held together by broken brick and lime. This lack of uniformity significantly diminished their supportive capacity. Furthermore, the lantern and the spire of the Madonnina were built on rounded arches, positioned above the pointed arches. These arches stressed the pylons unevenly, pushing them outwards. During the nineteenth century, in the fear that they might collapse, there were numerous restorations, which, rather than solving the problems, hid the signs. Towards the middle of the twentieth century, due to the increase in traffic (with consequent continuous vibrations) and the lowering of the water table (which caused the pillars to sink slightly), the static situation of the Cathedral became critical. In 1969, to avoid collapses (pieces of marble, even large ones, had already broken off, falling into the aisles), the area surrounding the Duomo was closed to traffic and the slowdown of the trains of line 1 of the underground was ordered. The static restoration of the pylons began in 1981 and was completed in 1986 on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of construction [7]. Even today, the maintenance of the cathedral is entrusted to the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano whose interventions are continuous enough to give birth to the Milanese expression Longh cumè la Fabbrica del Domm, to mean something interminable. Cathedral: adult €3. Roof by stairs €10, by lift €14; Baptistery of St John €3. Milan Cathedral (Q18068) on Wikidata Milan Cathedral on Wikipedia
And look down into the piazza below
  • 2 San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore (Saint Maurice), Corso Magenta, 15, +390220404175. A must-see! A stunning fully frescoed renaissance church. Most of the paintings are the work of Bernardino Luini. Free. San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore (Q1255890) on Wikidata San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore on Wikipedia
  • 3 Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio (Saint Ambrose), Piazza San Ambrogio (Sant'Ambrogio  M2 ). A beautiful and huge Romanesque church which was almost destroyed by allied bombing in World War II, although some of its mosaics left well preserved. Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio (Q1071570) on Wikidata Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio on Wikipedia
  • 4 Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore (Saint Lawrence) (tram, or the Missori Metro Station). A lovely 4th-century basilica, perhaps is one of the oldest basilicas in Western Europe. It is famous for its beautiful courtyard, with Roman-age columns and statue of the emperor Constantine. The columns, Colonne di San Lorenzo (St. Lawrence's colonnade), are actually a remain of the Roman "Mediolanum", dating from the 3rd century AD. Further south the square you can see Medieval Porta Ticinese (there is also a homonymous newer gate which lies about 600 m south by Corso di Porta Ticinese). Basilica of San Lorenzo (Q810080) on Wikidata Basilica of San Lorenzo, Milan on Wikipedia


  • Museum of the 20th Century (Museo del Novecento), Piazza del Duomo 8 (opposite cathedral). M 14:30-19:30, Tu W F 09:30-19:30, Th Sa 09:30-22:30. "Del 900" but meaning "since 1900", this modern art museum has a rich selection of works by Modigliani, Picasso, Morandi, Boccioni and more. The upper stairwell gives a good view of the Duomo rooftop. Full admission € 10.00 Reduced admission € 8.00 (Adults aged 65 and over Young people aged 18 to 25 University students and students of the Academies of Fine Arts Employees of the municipal administration) Reduced admission € 5.00 (Young people aged 13 to 17 First and third Tuesday of the month after 2 pm Holders of the Lombardy Milan Museums Subscription for the sole visit to the exhibition "Carla Accardi. Contexts" With coupon Exhibition "Carla Accardi. Contexts" With cumulative ticket (entrance to the Civic Museums for three days) Accredited scholars with permission from the Museum Management Officials of the State Superintendencies and peripheral bodies of the Ministry) Free admission (children up to 12 years old Teachers accompanying school groups (max. 4 per class) School groups accompanied by the teacher up to the second grade Tourist guides and interpreters (by showing a valid license) Handicapped persons and a companion Accredited journalists with permission from the Museum Management Holders of the Lombardy Milan Museums Subscription for the visit to the Museum only ICOM members With Esselunga Coupon). Museo del Novecento on Wikipedia
  • 5 Ambrosian Library (Biblioteca Ambrosiana), Piazza Pio XI, 2, fax: +39 02 80692 210, . Historical library that also houses the Ambrosian art gallery with treasures such as Leonardo Atlantic Codex. Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Q815611) on Wikidata Biblioteca Ambrosiana on Wikipedia
  • 6 Civic Archeological Museum (Civico Museo Archeologico), Corso Magenta 15. Roman antiques from Milan and the surrounding area. Archaeological Museum of Milan (Q604908) on Wikidata Archaeological Museum (Milan) on Wikipedia
  • 7 Brera Art Gallery (Pinacoteca di Brera), Via Brera (Lanza-Piccolo Teatro  M2  Station, Montenapoleone  M3  Station, trams lines 1, 4, 8, 12, 14, 27 or buses 61 and 97). One of Italy's most important art collections and one of the foremost collections of Italian paintings. Pinacoteca di Brera (Q150066) on Wikidata Pinacoteca di Brera on Wikipedia
  • 8 Scala Theater Museum (Museo Teatrale alla Scala), inside the La Scala (Duomo  M1  M3 ), +39 02 88797473, . 09:00-17:30; closed Dec 7, Dec 25, Dec 26, Jan 1. A museum dedicated to one of the world's most famous opera houses. All types of memorabilias like dresses and pictures are on display. A glance into the opera hall is also possible. €9 (€6 for students and people older than 65). Museo Teatrale alla Scala (Q51099) on Wikidata Museo Teatrale alla Scala on Wikipedia
  • 9 Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale) (opposite the South side of Duomo; Subway: Duomo  M1  M3 ). Always hosts many exhibitions, usually very interesting. Royal Palace of Milan (Q51105) on Wikidata Royal Palace of Milan on Wikipedia
  • 10 Bagatti Valsecchi Museum (Museo Bagatti Valsecchi), Via Gesù 5 (between via della Spiga and via Montenapoleone; subway Montenapoleone  M3  Station, San Babila Station  M1 , trams lines 1 and 2 Montenapoleone stop). Tu W F-Su 13:00-17:45, Th 13:00-21:00. A late 19th-century aristocratic mansion with Italian Renaissance art collections. €9. Bagatti Valsecchi Museum (Q838986) on Wikidata Bagatti Valsecchi Museum on Wikipedia
  • 11 Poldi Pezzoli Museum (Museo Poldi Pezzoli), Manzoni St (subway MM3 Montenapoleone Station, or with many buses and trams). M W-Su 10:00-18:00 (last entrance at 17:30). One of the world's richest private art collections. €10. Museo Poldi Pezzoli (Q1190657) on Wikidata Museo Poldi Pezzoli on Wikipedia


Corso Vittorio Emanuele II
  • 12 Via Dante. One of the grandest and most frequented fashionable high streets in Milan. The Via Dante, named after the poet, is a beautiful and debonair pedestrian avenue which goes from the busy Piazzale Cordusio, all the way to the Largo Cairoli, just in front of the city castle. With loads of street vendors, restaurant and cafe tables, and often, street art, glamorous boutiques and often bustling with people, it's great for anyone who wants to get to the Sforzesco Castle, but who also wants to do some high-class shopping, observe at some glorious Milanese palaces, and possibly sip at a coffee in one of the many open-air bars. It also contains the Piccolo Teatro, a renowned local theatre. At times, especially Christmas and some of the holidays, it can be chokingly filled with locals, shoppers and tourists. Via Dante is an important commercial street in the center of Milan. It connects the Cordusio with Largo Cairoli and the Castle. Via Dante was opened starting from 1888 as a road connection with the Castle, at the same time as the massive demolition interventions carried out in Piazza Duomo and in the Cordusio which redesigned the city center. The new road was built according to the indications of the Beruto Plan of 1884, which in turn referred to previous projects of the Napoleonic age. In the initial intentions of the speculators, individuals and land companies that governed the building transformations of those years, Via Dante should have constituted the ideal extension in the center of the Simplon axis, built at the beginning of the nineteenth century, which would pass over the Castle , whose demolition was averted by Luca Beltrami. Following the impressive restoration of the Castle by Beltrami, starting from 1905 the street was closed in perspective by the reborn Torre del Filarete, erected in memory of King Umberto I and whose first construction had collapsed following an explosion several centuries earlier. The opening of the new road ended before the end of 1891 with the construction of nineteen lots distributed between the Piazza Ellittica (today Cordusio) and the Foro Bonaparte (today Largo Cairoli) obtained from land that was owned by the Cassa di Grants dei Consenti builders . The buildings were subjected by the Municipality to a special building regulation in derogation from the general regulations of the city of Milan in force since 1889: the regulation of Via Dante determined the height of the buildings in m 23 from the pavement level; the ground floor had to be at least 5 m high, while the upper floors had to measure at least 3.65 m from floor to floor; the mezzanine, just above the ground floor, could have a height of 3 m. In addition, there was the obligation that each internal courtyard had an area of ​​at least 70 square meters and precise rules were dictated on the drains of the latrines which had to easily coordinate with the sewers. The whole operation of building the new artery, however, did not completely coincide with the general aspirations of the primitive project and was in many ways influenced, especially in the distribution of the lots, by the exclusive advantage of the Cassa di Grante which thus created a large speculation. Via Dante is one of the main commercial promenades of the city, enhanced by the street furniture that distinguishes it and by the total pedestrianization that took place in 1996 with the Northern League council chaired by the mayor Formentini. Historically it was crossed by several tram lines, completely diverted in 1958 following the start of construction sites for the construction of line 1 of the underground, which crosses it underground. At the two ends of the road there are the Cordusio and Cairoli stops. The trams, diverted along the Broletto-Cusani route, pass both in Piazza Cordusio and in Largo Cairoli. The tracks coming from via Meravigli are also inserted in Cordusio. Piazza Cordusio is to be considered one of the most important tramway junctions in Milan. Among the elegant late nineteenth-century buildings that form a uniform curtain along the street, it is worth noting the presence at the corner with Via Rovello of the Palazzo Carmagnola, the first seat of the Piccolo Teatro. Via Dante (Q4010601) on Wikidata Via Dante on Wikipedia
  • 13 Corso Vittorio Emanuele II (near to the Duomo; Duomo metro station or that of San Babila). One of the most popular high street shopping arteries in the city. It has a very elegant modern appearance, but too has some well-preserved grand 18th- and 19th-century buildings, including a rotunda-like neoclassical church. The Corso contains some great retail stores, including big shopping centres, fashionable outlets, and youthful, sporty designer boutiques. It is pedestrian. Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, formerly the Servi lane, is one of the most important streets in the center of Milan. It connects piazza del Duomo to piazza San Babila. It is part of a large pedestrian area (which also includes Piazza Mercanti and Via Dante). Numerous international brand shops open here, making it one of the main shopping centers in the city. The road has very ancient origins: in Roman times it was the artery that led to the north-east, subsequently it took the name of lane of the Servi (17th and 18th centuries) and was the first stretch of the road that in Milan connected Piazza Duomo to the Eastern gate. It took its name from the convent of the servants of Mary, who officiated the church of Santa Maria. Alessandro Manzoni, in the Promessi sposi, on the basis of the historical facts that inspired him, places the oven of the Grucce (in Milanese: el Prestin di Scansc) in the aisle of the Servi, attacked by the people in revolt. The ancient lane of the Servants was regularized and enlarged in the 1920s and 1930s: the old houses of medieval origin were replaced by more prestigious neoclassical style buildings. In the middle of the course, around 1830, the most monumental building was built: the church of San Carlo al Corso. After the works, the road took the name of corso Francesco, in honor of the emperor and king of Lombardy-Venetia and, with the unification of Italy, it became corso Vittorio Emanuele II, a name that also remained under the republic. The buildings, mostly bombed, were often completely rebuilt and modified, obtaining a double row of arcades. It was also the first street in Milan to be pedestrianized, in the mid-eighties. In those same years, however, it lost one of its characteristics: that of the concentration of first-run cinemas. Many of them have now been replaced by big fashion brands. About the middle of the course, under the arcades on the north side, there is a marble sculpture from the imperial era, called Stone Man, on which in past centuries there was the custom of posting satirical compositions and invectives against the characters in sight. , as happened with the more famous Pasquino in Rome. At the church of San Carlo the activity of the cultural center "la Corsia dei Servi" was born around figures with a strong charisma such as Father David Maria Turoldo and Camillo De Piaz, who had been the reference point for the Catholics who participated in the Resistance. The same commitment characterized the postwar activity, with the support of the initiatives of Don Zeno Saltini, the founder of Nomadelfia, in which seven friars detached from the convent of San Carlo participated. However, the Church intervened heavily, forcing the friars to return. Under the guidance of Father Camillo De Piaz, the activity continued briefly, but later it continued as a simple private association transferred from its headquarters and with the name of "Nuova Corsia dei Servi". The old name was then taken up again to indicate the Catholic cultural activities carried out at the Servite convent. Corso Vittorio Emanuele II (Q2783782) on Wikidata it:Corso Vittorio Emanuele II (Milano) on Wikipedia
  • 14 Via Manzoni (Montenapoleone metro station or tram). Impressive refined-air street lined with aristocratic apartment blocks and opulent churches. It also hosts the Poldi Pezzoldi museum. Today, it is also one of the city's premier shopping streets, and is noted for containing the Armani Megastore. It is very close to La Scala opera house. Via Manzoni (Q4010663) on Wikidata Via Manzoni on Wikipedia
  • 15 Via della Spiga (short walk from the San Babila  M1  metro stop). Lovely and classy little cobblestone street, with some beautiful ancient buildings. The street and its neighborhood are more famous for the center of high-class shopping, where almost every luxury brand can be found. Via della Spiga is a street in the center of Milan that connects Corso Venezia and Via Manzoni. Considered one of the sides of the fashion district, it is one of the most luxurious areas of the city, as well as one of the major shopping centers for high fashion in the world.
    It derives its name from the "contrada della Spiga", the historic district of Milan which was part of the Porta Nuova district, one of the six ancient subdivisions of the inhabited center of Milan. The origins of the name "ear" are rather uncertain. Some scholars credit the descent of the name from that of the Spighi family, present in Milan at the time of the last Duke Francesco II Sforza, younger son of Ludovico il Moro and Beatrice d'Este. Others propose tracing the origins to the effigy of an ear affixed in front of a tavern of the time. The third reconstruction involves a Latin plaque from the branch of the Ursulines of Santo Spirito. Spica, in Latin, was anagram of Pacis (it. "Peace"). Rebuilt the building that housed the Ursulines, the tombstone disappeared.
    Via della Spiga (Q4010847) on Wikidata Via della Spiga on Wikipedia
  • 16 Via Montenapoleone (Montenapoleone or San Babila metro stations). The city's top high fashion shopping street. It contains many of the biggest names in fashion, and some of the trendiest and famous emporia and designer stores in the world. Today, despite containing mainly fashion boutiques, there are also a some jewellery shops and cafes scattered here and there. Via Monte Napoleone is a street in the center of Milan, considered one of the most luxurious areas and one of the major shopping centers for prêt-à-porter. Via Monte Napoleone is known as the third most expensive street in Europe. A bit of history: Via Monte Napoleone was born following the ancient layout of the Roman walls of Milan, which in turn followed the course of the Seveso, which still flows like Grande Sevese buried under the road surface on the odd side of the street. Until the 18th century, the street was indicated on the city maps as the district of Sant'Andrea or the district of the bars of Sant'Andrea. With the entry of the Austrians into the city, the new administration placed the new city pawnshop in the street, which changed its name to the district of Monte di Santa Teresa. With the arrival of French domination and the birth of the financial institution of the same name, the street changed its name once again to the district of Monte Napoleone, a name that was shortened to the district of Monte with the fall of the Kingdom of Italy. With the unification of Italy and the consequent reform of the name of the streets, the street was renamed, with the aim of canceling from the toponymy the intervention of the Austrians recently expelled from the city, with the current name of Via Montenapoleone;
    The old and elegant building at the corner of Piazza San Babila, later demolished. Over the course of its history, the street has hosted several illustrious Milanese personalities: the writer Carlo Porta lived and died in Palazzo Taverna (street number 2), while on the opposite side, street number 1, was the house where the poet lived and died and writer Tommaso Grossi. Also in this street Giuseppe Verdi would have composed his Nabucco in 1840. Historically, in the past, the street had the nickname of el Quartier de Riverissi, referring to the custom of the Milanese gentlemen to take off their hats as a sign of reverence, to greet a lady who had her home here. The street was the scene during the Five Days of Milan of the insurrection of the patriots against the Austrians: in fact, the coordination of the city forces at stake was located here and from here the orders to the whole city departed. Since the end of the nineteenth century, the street is increasingly characterized as a street of luxury: more and more rich and important families move there, and at the same time several antique dealers and internationally renowned jewelers open one after the other. Among these it is worth mentioning Annibale Cusi, with his jewelry that became the official supplier of the House of Savoy, the Buccellati, Faraone and Pederzani jewelers, the Lorenzi's cutlery, opened in 1929. Starting from the 1950s, Via Monte Napoleone became a one of the most important routes of world trade; the substitution of production activities continues and the definitive expulsion of the most popular component of the street continues: however, the Parini grocery store, the Moretti greengrocer and the Salumaio di Monte Napoleone resist, which in some way have become the strong points of the tradition and identity of the Street. Via Monte Napoleone is characterized today by the very large presence of shops and salons of the most prestigious high fashion houses in the world, entering the famous Quadrilatero della Moda. It is dotted with shops and salons of the most important names in fashion, such as Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Bottega Veneta, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, Versace, Alberta Ferretti etc. Together with its cross and parallel via della Spiga, via Sant'Andrea and via Pietro Verri, it forms the so-called Quadrilatero della moda. It is often associated, not by chance, with the rich or presumed Milanese bourgeoisie; in this way it is represented, for example, in the homonymous film by Carlo Vanzina in 1987. It is a point of reference for personal shoppers as it is full of luxurious shops and showrooms. In 2002 with the Associazione della via the "Media" project was born, with Radio and Portal, with the aim of relaunching the made in Italy and everything that is trendy in the world through Milan, the undisputed capital of fashion. Sponsored by the Department of Fashion, Tourism Major Events of the Municipality of Milan, Sistema Moda Italia, Assomoda is today the first tool for relaunching and providing information on Made in Italy worldwide. Unlike via della Spiga, which is largely a pedestrian zone, via Monte Napoleone is open to car traffic and has a pavement on each side of the road for its entire length. The road is paved and one-way along the entire stretch, but the permitted direction changes at a certain point it is only possible to go towards its ends from its center, but it is therefore not possible to enter via Montenapoleone by car from its ends. From the intersection with via Verri and via Sant'Andrea it is possible to go either towards corso Matteotti (towards piazza San Babila) or towards via Manzoni. Furthermore, given the configuration of via Verri and via Sant'Andrea, car access is only possible from via Verri. Heading northwest, the road ends with a crossroads, with traffic lights, in via Manzoni. Beyond the intersection is the Via Croce Rossa, a street that has taken on the appearance of a small square, today entirely pedestrianized, of which a large part is occupied by a fountain monument, whose taste has often been the subject of criticism. In this same square there are the stairs that lead to the metro station of line 3, called Montenapoleone (whose name is usually written all attached).
    via Monte Napoleone (Q2362714) on Wikidata Via Monte Napoleone on Wikipedia
  • Viale Beatrice d'Este. Viale Beatrice d'Este is a street in the center of Milan, which is a 1 kilometer walk from Piazza del Duomo, begins in piazzale di Porta Lodovica and ends at the ancient Porta Vigentina, continuing with the name of viale Angelo Filippetti. It is a tree-lined avenue, which is connected in its continuation with viale Regina Margherita and viale Majno.
    The street is named after Princess Beatrice d'Este, Duchess of Milan in 1494 and wife of Ludovico Sforza.


  • 17 Piazza del Duomo (Metro Duomo). The grandest square in the city, the Piazza del Duomo is the cultural and social heart of Milan, and contains several of its most famous sights. There's the majestic cathedral and classy Galleria, plus the 18th-century Palazzo Reale and several big, venerable buildings. The square is centred around the statue of King Victor Emmanuel II at Solferino — his horse is skidding to a halt as if it's just clocked the Austrian bayonets. The square is grandiloquent yet softened by its cafes, restaurants and shops, pigeons, and passers-by. Exchange kiosks here offer decent rates, better than those in the VE arcade. Piazza del Duomo is the main square of Milan. It is the vital centre of the city, a meeting point for the Milanese to celebrate important events and, together with the adjacent Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an iconic place of the metropolis and a destination for visitors and tourists from all over the world. The square has an area of ​​about 17,000 m² and is rectangular in shape, also considering the area enclosed by the surrounding buildings, arranged according to the Duomo that closes the background perspective of the square, the surface is 40,200 m² which makes it become one of the largest squares in Italy. Dominated by the imposing Gothic front of the Duomo, and decorated in the center by the equestrian monument to Vittorio Emanuele II erected in 1896, the square is surrounded by various architectures from different square the Southern arcades flanked by the two Arengario towers and the Northern ones accompanied by the monumental entrance to the Gallery are symmetrical. A bit of history: The birth of the square can in a certain sense be traced back to Azzone Visconti, who, in order to create a useful space for mercantile activities to complement the large series of shops that surrounded Santa Tecla, created piazza dell 'Arengo between the cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore and the basilica of Santa Tecla. To create the necessary space for the square, he had the taverns next to the cathedral demolished around 1330. The works for the construction of the square suffered a notable slowdown following the death of Azzone. Gian Galeazzo Visconti, in 1385 had the houses of the bishop and the canons demolished, in 1387 he also demolished the baptistery of S. Giovanni alle Fonti. In any case, few interventions take place on Piazza dell'Arengo, also due to the Duomo, whose works are starting behind Santa Maria Maggiore. In 1458 with the blessing of Pope Pius II, following a papal bull of 11 November, Francesco Sforza and the Fabbrica del Duomo obtained permission to demolish the basilica of Santa Tecla to create a large square worthy of the Duomo. In February 1477 Bona di Savoia granted the square to the Fabbrica del Duomo. In 1548 Vincenzo Seregni created a new project for the Piazza del Duomo. As these years of financial hardship, the only work that is carried out among all those envisaged by Seregni is the demolition of Paradiso and of the new Santa Tecla (built in 1481 by exploiting the surviving facade of the original basilica), thus creating a square square in front of it. to the Duomo. With the opening of the Royal Palace of Piermarini, a second square was born, placed sideways to the first and connected to it. In the Napoleonic era, an expansion of the square was once again thought of, to the detriment of the Coperto dei Figini and the Rebecchino block. The projects presented show the desire to diminish the role of the Duomo in favor of civil buildings, such as triumphal arches, and a large building to be used as a court and seat of professional associations. Again, due to lack of money, the project will be postponed. Also during the subsequent period of the Restoration (1814-1859), a new project was carried out for the square, commissioned by the new emperor Ferdinand I to Giulio Beccaria. Of the various phases foreseen by the project, the only one that is carried out is that in the area behind the Duomo, where the houses of the Fabbrica del Duomo are demolished to build the new Fabbrica building. The square owes its current appearance to the renovations carried out by the architect Giuseppe Mengoni who in the period between 1865-1873 greatly enlarged the previous churchyard of the city cathedral. Following the Franco-Piedmontese victories, and with the approach of the birth of the new kingdom of Italy, the new council, as early as 1860, assumed to completely redo the entire square. In April 1860, the citizens of Milan were invited to present ideas for the new square and for the new street to be named after Vittorio Emanuele II. The projects presented will be used to better determine the outline of the project and to publicly announce a competition on 1 May 1861. The 18 projects presented are examined in the summer of 1862. The commission will award 4 of them, judging them not entirely valid. Although not present among the awarded projects, Mengoni's one received considerable approval. In 1863 a new competition is announced, which will be won precisely by Mengoni, whose project will be approved by the City Council on 15 September 1863. After some changes to the project, approved in 1864, on 7 March 1865 Vittorio Emanuele II can place the first stone of the Gallery, which will be built in just three years. In fact, the opening to the public took place on September 15, 1867. Once the Gallery was finished, the works for the square proceeded, but the winning company of the contract, the London-based City of Milan Improvements Company Limited, began to show signs of financial fragility. forcing the municipality to buy the gallery and the areas above which the new wings of the square were being built, that is the palaces of the Northern and Southern Porticoes. The area to the east of the tunnel was instead sold to private individuals, who remained bound to continue the works according to the provisions of the Mengoni project. The arcades and related buildings were finished in 1875. Only the two triumphal arches remain to be built, on whose fate the municipal authorities immediately appeared rather hesitant, due to the lack of funds. However, Mengoni, yearning to complete his work, was financially committed to the related contract. However, on December 30, 1877, during an inspection, he fell from the scaffolding, in decidedly unclear circumstances. His death was passed off as an accident, but from the beginning there were various rumors about a possible suicide by the great architect, or even a murder. With Mengoni the project and the hopes of bringing it to completion died forever: since his death the square has remained practically unchanged; it was only in 1896 that the equestrian monument to Vittorio Emanuele II was inaugurated in its center. In 1928 the architect Piero Portaluppi created the new churchyard and the pavement of the square. In 1936, in the place where the two triumphal arches should have stood, the Arengario palace was built, covered with pink Candoglia marble, the same with which the Duomo was built, with carved bas-reliefs and used by Mussolini as a place from which look out to harangue the crowd during his Milanese public speeches. Of the original project, the back building remained unrealized, in fact the Palazzo Carminati is still visible today, from which the luminous advertising signs that completely covered the facade have been removed. During the Second World War, an air-raid shelter was built under the square and the flower beds in front of Palazzo Carminiati were planted with wheat, as part of the war vegetable garden campaign. At the turn of the 1950s and 1960s, the underground station was built under the square, first used for the red line or line 1 and then also for the yellow or line 3. With the construction of line 3 of the underground, activated in 1990, the architect Ignazio Gardella designed a monument on the west side, in order to restore the square to the proportions envisaged by the Mengonian project. However, the project was not carried out. Piazza del Duomo is also the point from which the Stramilano traditionally begins. Towards the end of the century, a fountain was temporarily installed on the side of the square whose jets of water took up the shape of the cathedral. Few changes have taken place in the 2000s. It should be emphasized the introduction, for the first time, of trees in the context of the square, planted in 2014 which, not exceeding 14 m in height, do not hide the facade of Palazzo Carminati. Palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) planting work began on February 15, 2017, to which Banana plants (Musa ensete), an operation sponsored by Starbucks, will be added. This renovation, planned for three years, designed by the Milanese architect Marco Bay, has received mixed reviews. piazza del Duomo (Q51108) on Wikidata Piazza del Duomo, Milan on Wikipedia
Piazza Mercanti
  • 18 Piazza dei Mercanti (Duomo or Cordusio subway stations). A truly enchanting and tiny medieval square, hidden by the grand palaces in the central part of Milan. Here, in "Merchants' Square" you get lovely Gothic and Renaissance-porticoed houses, and a well right in the middle. At the one side of the square there is the Palazzo della Ragione (1233), the old town hall, aka Broletto Nuovo. At the other -- Loggia degli Osii (1321) decorated with black and white marble, used to host judicial and notary offices. At Christmas time, the square fills up with markets selling local produce, including mouth-watering panettone, sweets, bonbons and souvenirs. Piazza Mercanti (Q929968) on Wikidata Piazza Mercanti on Wikipedia
Monument to Giuseppe Parini in Piazza Cordusio
  • 19 Piazzale Cordusio (To be reached via Cordusio station, or, the slightly further Duomo). A central and busy square in Milan, right near the Duomo. It boasts some grand and beautiful late-19th-century architecture. Once, and to some extent still today, it was an economic hub of the city, with the headquarters of several companies, and big banks and postal offices. Piazza Cordusio (Q2071624) on Wikidata Piazza Cordusio on Wikipedia
  • 20 Piazza Belgiojoso (Montenapoleone station). A small, yet very impressive square, which hosts the magnificent neoclassical Belgiojoso Palace, built by Milanese noblemen in the late 1700s, and the House of Manzoni, where notable Italian writer and literary figure Alessandro Manzoni lived, and which today hosts a library and the Centro Nazionale di Studi Manzoniani (National Centre of Manzoni-related studies). Piazza Belgiojoso (Q36832507) on Wikidata Palazzo Belgioioso on Wikipedia
  • 21 Piazza Della Scala. The location of the Statue of Leonardo da Vinci and La Scala theatre. It is a small, but grand square flanked by fine palaces, such as the city hall and the commercial bank. Great place for a photograph and right next to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Ticket office is underground in the Duomo Metropolitana stop. Piazza della Scala (Q3902450) on Wikidata Piazza della Scala on Wikipedia
The church of San Babila
  • 22 Piazza San Babila (It can be reached via the Via Montenapoleone, the Corso Vittorio Emanuele or the Corso di Porta Venezia. To visit it, one may stop at the San Babila metro station, right in the middle of the piazza). Busy and modern square just north of the cathedral and near the city's fashion district. Architecturally, Piazza San Babila's buildings are virtually all Art-Deco office blocks from the 1930s, but it has a trendy business and cosmopolitan feel to it, and despite being very modern, boasts a very old sight, San Babila, a tiny, pretty, Romanesque church standing shadowed away by the huge modern skyscrapers. Piazza San Babila also contains numerous banks, post offices, fast-food restaurants and today also a touch of some funky designer stores too. Convenience wise, it's a great place to go, because it connects the Montenapoleone shopping area, with the more central Duomo zone. Piazza San Babila (Q2783781) on Wikidata Piazza San Babila on Wikipedia
  • 23 Piazza del Liberty (The closest station is Duomo, but San Babila is a decent distance too). Small square, which however, is noted for a stunning Art Nouveau palace today called the Hotel del Corso, but once the Trianon. You reach it just off a tiny opening at the beginning of the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Piazza del Liberty (Q36832804) on Wikidata
  • 24 Piazzale Cadorna (Cadorna Square) (Cadorna FN station). Medium-sized, normal square in central Milan with the funky modern North Station and some fine buildings, but notably a set of peculiar modern sculptures in the middle. Piazzale Luigi Cadorna (Q3902479) on Wikidata Piazzale Cadorna on Wikipedia

Historic monuments[edit]

Castello Sforzesco courtyard
  • 25 Castello Sforzesco (Metro M1 Cairoli, M2 Lanza or Cadrona on both lines). "See who's in charge!" The round corner towers of the castle are two fists smacked down on the city plains, while the central square tower stares balefully down towards city centre. Who'd dare challenge the Duke? Yet so confident is he, he's built an extra redoubt within those walls, the military design is already outdated by the 15th century, and that rasping noise is his own family sharpening their knives against him. The Sforza-Visconti dynasty was ousted in the 16th century and the city was ruled by Spain, Hapsburg Austria then Napoleon. The castle encloses a large grassed courtyard which is free to enter. Within are several museums, including museums of applied arts, ancient art, historical musical instruments, prehistory, Egyptian art and fine arts. The Sforzesco Castle is one of the most authoritative monuments as well as an important symbol of Milan and its history. Over the years, it has had long construction events, brutal demolitions, reconstructions, embellishments and restorations, becoming a symbol of the historical, happy and dramatic moments of the city. The great Castle has thus become the monument most dear to the Milanese today, despite the fact that in the past it was a hateful symbol of the power exercised by the Lords of Milan or by foreign rulers in the eyes of the citizens. Only in the twentieth century did it take on the reassuring aspect of a place of culture, destined to preserve the testimonies of Lombard art. Its name refers to the fifteenth century, at the time of Francesco Sforza, who recently became Duke of Milan, who wanted to rebuild it, but the origin of the Castle is older: it was built at the behest of Galeazzo II Visconti in the second half of the fourteenth century. . Between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was one of the main military citadels of Europe; now it is an important center of culture, art and leisure.
    Since 2000, the castle has been equipped with a new lighting system, periodically renewed, which brings out its unmistakable profile: it involves the use of both natural light, capable of strong dramatic effects as for the chapel of the Crucifix, either of an artificial complement, consisting of incandescent or fluorescent lamps; the use of the latter is closely linked both to the highlighting of works of particular importance and to allowing the museum to be used even in the evening.
    In addition, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, short and periodic effects of polychrome light are proposed, as well as new interventions to enhance the space in view of 2015. These were the arguments used by Francesco Sforza, after his rise to power in 1450 , (according to the stories of Bernardino Corio) to convince the Milanese to rebuild the castle that the city had decided to demolish immediately after the death of the last Visconti (because it is a symbol of his oppression). This monumental and defensive value has accompanied this building in the long construction history, made up of multiple transformations and structural stratifications and closely linked to the political, military and cultural history of the city, so much so that the building still maintains a role of great monumental importance in the urban fabric, with recreational and cultural purposes. Marking a precise date of birth for the Castle is a truly complex operation, as the structure that appears today is the result of six centuries of construction, destruction, expansion and restoration. The person responsible for the construction of the "foundations" of what would later become one of the symbolic structures of the city of Milan is Galeazzo II Visconti, who had it built astride the city walls, at the gate called Giovia (or Zobia), a fortification called, precisely, Castello di Porta Giovia. The building built as a defensive fortress in the years between 1360 and 1370 was later enlarged by his successors: Gian Galeazzo, Giovanni Maria and Filippo Maria, who transformed the structure into his own residence. The result was a square-plan castle, with 200 m long sides and four corner towers, with 7 m thick perimeter walls. The building thus became the permanent home of the Visconti dynasty. During the thirty years of the duchy of Filippo Maria Visconti, the Castle underwent an intense construction phase, under the advice of Filippo Brunelleschi for the construction of the so-called "enclosure of the Ghirlanda" that is the external walls that served to protect the residential areas facing the countryside (according to the testimonies of Vasari, even if the Florentine's stay in the city is not documented). Thanks to the interventions of Filippo Maria, the various buildings built over the decades were organically incorporated into the structure that would later serve as a basis for the reconstruction of the Sforza period. Traces of the last Visconti phase are easily recognizable in the bases of the Ducal Court and the Rocchetta as well as massive barrel vaults in the basements; on the contrary, nothing has survived of the sumptuous ornamental apparatuses and the ducal collections, lost in the events that followed the death of Filippo Maria, the last of the Visconti. In 1447 - at his death - the Milanese citizens, proclaimed the Ambrosian Republic, decided to demolish the fortress by reusing the stones to restore the city walls. The rebuilding of the fortress is due to Francesco I Sforza who after having demolished the Republic began its reconstruction in 1450 to make it his residence. The heir Galeazzo Maria moves on the example and in the line of his father: protector of the arts and culture, maniac of pomp and lover of beautiful women. He establishes in the Castle, where he had moved, a stable "chapel" with about forty singers and instruments; he expands the Martesana to a navigable canal and contributes to the development of printing in Milan: on January 3, 1476, the first volume in the world was published entirely in Greek characters. Galeazzo Maria makes a very sumptuous journey with Bona di Savoia, his wife, which the chronicles of his time filled up with: he is followed by an endless procession of ladies, knights, soldiers, buffoons, a thousand carts and carts, trumpets and squires. For the favorite among her lovers, Lucia Marliani married to the patrician Galeazzo Maria Sforza, she reserved an exceptional treatment: with a public ceremony in which she was officially committed to maintaining fidelity to her lover and to her husband who is still allowed to exercise spouse's rights; to Lucia Marliani he grants her the title of countess, she gives her the "weapons" and the surname of the Visconti. The great parable of Galeazzo Maria, who began to see the ghost of the conspiracy a little everywhere, lasts no more than a decade: on December 26, 1476, three young people, for very different reasons, gathered in a plot, manage to stab him on the threshold S Stefano in Brolo. The wife and son of Galeazzo Maria, besieged by the four brothers of the deceased husband, locked themselves up in the Rocchetta, having a new massive tower built. The brothers-in-law are pursuing and to the most energetic of the four, Ludovico Maria known as il Moro, Bona offers to negotiate peace. Cicco Simonetta, the old councilor of the Sforza family, tried in vain to oppose the agreement: after a year in prison in the castle of Pavia, he was beheaded without infamy. At the end of the 1400s the city of Milan was rich in delights and pleasures. However, this grace would not last long: under the apparent splendor characterized by tournaments, parties and hunting parties, political problems and the discontent of the people were agitated, once again being hit by increasingly heavy taxes. The situation worsened in 1495 following an unfortunate move by Ludovico, known as il Moro, who prompted the intervention of the French emperor Charles VIII in Italian affairs. This intervention paved the way for a series of foreign invasions. The descent of Charles VIII was followed by that of Emperor Maximilian, again at the request of Ludovico. Lastly, Louis XII arrived, successor of Charles VIII, who, being the son of a Visconti, claimed the Duchy of Milan as his by right. While Luigi was descending towards Milan, Ludovico went to Germany to ask the emperor for help, preceded by his sons, Maximilian and Francesco. We are in the spring of 1500, Milan remains in the hands of the castellan commander Bernardino da Corte who, for money, opens the doors of the city to the French. The Castle and the old Court near the Duomo are occupied and the equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza, shaped by Leonardo, is destroyed. Il Moro tries in vain to return to the city but is taken prisoner by the French in Novara and later transferred to the castle of Loches, in France, where he will die eight years later. The second French domination over Milan will last only six years. In 1521, while an outbreak of gunpowder destroyed the central tower of the Castello Sforzesco, that of Filarete, the war between Francis I of France and Charles V of Spain also ignited. The Spaniards win at Bicocca and install the last of the Sforza, the last son of Ludovico il Moro, Francesco II, in the castle. Famines and plagues invade the city hand in hand with the invasion of the French Francis I who reoccupies the city even if his dominion ends with the fatal defeat of the emperor during the siege of the city of Pavia, on February 24, 1525. Charles V he then proposes Sforza to the government of the city of Milan. However, the adversities against the Spaniards are not only external but also come from the heart of the city of Milan: the Sforza adviser Gerolamo Morone, weaves a conspiracy against Charles V, creating an anti-Spanish league. The tensions were resolved with the peace of Bologna of 1530 which provided for the restitution of the Duchy of Milan to Francesco II until his death. Later the city would become part of the Spanish state.Francesco II finds himself once again on the throne of the Sforza, in the Castle of Milan, but his power has been greatly weakened also due to his illness. He will die in 1535 without leaving heirs. With him the Sforza dynasty and the chapter of the Italian lordships in the city of Milan will end. After the fall of the Sforza, the castle takes over again entity the appearance and function of a military citadel, which will take on a defensive value in the new circle of bastions, erected by the Spaniards with a purely customs function. The structure will be surrounded by massive fortifications, such as ditches and walls in the shape of a Rocca and Muraglia now form a city within the city (of the perimeter of about two kilometers) which hosts its [?] Six-pointed star, the work of Vincenzo Seregni (this convex shape favored a better protection in case of siege). Inside, arsenals, water tanks, warehouses, barracks, stables, shops, foundries, infirmaries, mills, civilian homes and churches. Even if it was considered impregnable, it will fall under the Austrian siege of 1706 and under the Franco-Savoyard one of 1733. It will be Napoleon who definitively destroyed the six-pointed walls, transforming the remaining parts of the castle into a dormitory for men, horses and mules. Radetzky's cannons will be fired from the battlements of the Castle in a vain attempt to quell the revolts of the Milanese people of 1848; The Mazzinian conspirators of February 6, 1853 will be locked up in the prisons of the Castle and will find themselves alone (under the command of Giuseppe Piolti de 'Bianchi), without any support from the population, to oppose the aristocracy. Six years later, after the departure of Vittorio Emanuele and Napoleon III, what will remain of the castle will resume its function as a parade ground, accommodation for soldiers, stable and arsenal. << [...] A melancholy gloomy mass, stupidly vast, stubbornly uniform; which has only one merit: that of making you want the spring that makes the leaves grow around you. >>. This is the way in which the Castle was described by the illustrious Milanese citizen Cesare Correnti who proposed its complete demolition to the City Council. The scholars of the Lombard Historical Archive rebelled and Luca Beltrami most attic of all who, thanks to his expertise as a lover of the arts and ancient memories, was commissioned by the Municipality to reconstruct the monument on the ancient lines in order to use it for cultural institutions . Beltrami tackles his assignment with a scientific method by carrying out a lot of research in the municipal and castle archives and eventually reinvents the entire front, cleans the internal courtyards of military additions and replaces new airy buildings with the old ones. In 1898 the castle was the site of another important historical event: the trial against the defendants of the workers' revolt. With the opening of the new century, the Sforzesco Castle appears roughly as it was in the times of Francesco, Galeazzo Maria and Ludovico and such it manages to survive up to us, although bombed, it is vaulted from the sky in the tragic nights of the Second World War.
    Often presented as the largest Renaissance building in Milan, the Castello Sforzesco in its current form is nothing more than a brilliant complex of eclectic taste built between the 19th and 20th centuries on the remains of a fortress - built by Galeazzo II Visconti dating back to XIV century and known with the name of "Castrum Portae Jovis" -, first sumptuous residence of the lords of Milan until the sixteenth century and then home to museums and other important cultural institutions, such as libraries and historical archives.
    The first nucleus of the Castello Sforzesco was built around 1368 at the behest of Galeazzo II Visconti and later, in the fifteenth century, it was rebuilt by the Sforza.
    During the parenthesis of the Golden Ambrosian Republic (1447-50), the fortress was destroyed or at least deeply damaged, so that Francesco Sforza took it back and enlarged it. His son Galeazzo Maria made it his residence calling you to work - to make it worthy of a Renaissance court - artists such as Vincenzo Foppa, Cristoforo Moretto and Benedetto Ferrini. This work continued and reached its apex of splendor at the time of Ludovico il Moro (1494-99), patron of architects and painters such as Donato Bramante, Francesco Averullino known as Filarete, Bernardino Zenale, Berardino Butinone and Leonardo da Vinci. With the end of the Duchy of Milan and the advent of Spanish rule (1535), the Castle stopped the appearance of a stately home to acquire more and more military function: defensive walls and imposing bulwarks made it one of the largest and most equipped strongholds on the continent , able to dominate, with its starry plan, the topographical image of the city. The French siege of 1733 left the complex in a bad state, so much so that in 1800 Napoleon started its demolition; however, the demolitions were limited to the external works, without investing the perimeter walls and the buildings of the Sforza age. In 1893, after the armed forces had cleared the fortress, the Castle was handed over to the Municipal Administration and the work was entrusted to Luca Beltrami. The bombings of 1943 of the Second World War caused very serious damage and emerged hence the need for structural restoration. All around the structure there is the dead moat, part of the ancient medieval moat in correspondence with which are the foundations of the castle of Porta Giovia; a door leads to the courtyard of the Ducal Court, rectangular in shape and with a portico on three sides; on the opposite side there is the Rocchetta, the most impregnable part of the castle where the Sforza took refuge in case of attack. In the years following the unification of Italy, the pressing desire to establish themselves from a cultural point of view was born in the various Italian municipalities. In this regard, many civic museums were founded which allowed the municipality both to showcase what the city offered and to affirm the potential autonomy of the new municipal entities. Therefore, even in post-unification Milan, projects for urban renewal are fervent (concerning streets, squares, entire portions of the city and individual buildings) in a continuous debate on the methods of restoration of historic buildings. The Castle and the vast area surrounding it are also at the center of the discussion, as well as the subject of attempts at building speculations. For the arrangement of the Piazza d'Armi, one of the projects developed by Cesare Beruto is considered, who proposes that the Castle and the Arch of Peace become the center of two symmetrical hemicycles formed by well-spaced elegant buildings and wide tree-lined avenues, the current Foro Buonaparte and via Canova and Melzi d'Eril. The formation of the Milanese civic collections dates back to 1862, the year in which materials from the studio of the sculptor Pompeo Marchesi were donated to the municipality of Milan. For the moment they were temporarily placed in the Ambrosiana palace but from 1871 there was an urgent need to find suitable accommodation for the collection. The area between the Castle and the Simplon, which at the end of the nineteenth century takes the shape of the current Parco Sempione, is also planned to be used as public green, according to the project of the engineer Emilio Alemagna. As for the Castle, which the military authority officially handed over to the Town Hall in 1893, part of public opinion would like to demolish it because it is a reminder of the last tyranny, others would like to keep it in part, crossed by the road axis that leads from Cordusio to the Arco of peace. There are also bizarre projects, such as that of Angelo Colla who proposes to completely transform the monument into pseudo-Gothic forms. The first restoration interventions of the Castle were carried out in the years 1893-1894 by the Regional Technical Office for the Conservation of Monuments, established in 1891 and directed, for Lombardy, by the architect Luca Beltrami, who proposes a "philological" restoration based on on the careful study of ancient graphic and literary sources. First of all, the east cylindrical tower is brought back to its original height, which becomes a drinking water tank, then the west one and the Torre di Bona are raised, the earthworks of the moat are started, part of the Ducal Court and of the Rocchetta are arranged, finally demolish the Ghirlanda and the Cavallerizza. In 1894, on the occasion of the Esposizioni Riunite event, hosted at the Castle and in the surrounding area, the interventions carried out were shown to the public and 43,088.50 lire were collected for subsequent restorations. Between 1895 and 1897 windows, cornices, roofs and floors were rebuilt, the ancient rooms were restored, the walls were peeled, and splendid frescoes were rediscovered, finally the rooms of the Ducal Court and the Rocchetta were assigned to cultural institutes and artistic and archaeological museums. , which are opened to the public in May 1900. With the complete reconstruction of the Torre del Filarete, inaugurated in 1905 and dedicated to King Umberto I, Beltrami's work ends and the Milanese can finally take possession of their Castle. And it is precisely from 1905 that the Sforza castle was definitively identified as the seat of civic collections. During the bombings of 1943 the collections were successfully saved except for a few finds. For the post-war restoration a highly philological interpretation was chosen which reorganized most of the museum itineraries. Today the Castello Sforzesco plays an important role as a center of culture, art and leisure.
    Castello Sforzesco (Q23354) on Wikidata Sforza Castle on Wikipedia
  • 26 Old Hospital (Ospedale Maggiore). A Renaissance complex which now serves the university. University of Milan, Ca' Granda headquarters (Q3649076) on Wikidata it:Ca' Granda on Wikipedia

Other sights[edit]

  • 27 Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense (Biblioteca di Brera). A library established in 1770 by the Austrian governor. It has since acquired other historical collections and the archives of RAI (Italy's state television). It is very active in organising workshops and debates on new media and new technologies. Biblioteca nazionale Braidense (Q771894) on Wikidata Biblioteca di Brera on Wikipedia
  • 28 Torre Velasca (Closest metro stations in order are Missori and Crocetta.). A tall, huge, castle-like skyscraper built in the 1950s, and one of the first in Italy. Stunning modern architecture. Unfortunately it is not possible to go on top, since it is a private building. Torre Velasca is a skyscraper in Milan. Made for Ri.C.E. between 1955 and 1957 on a project by Studio BBPR, the building represents one of the few Italian examples of brutalist post-rationalist architecture. Its name derives from the homonymous square in which it is located, a toponym deriving from the name of the Spanish politician Juan Fernández de Velasco who in the seventeenth century ruled the Duchy of Milan. Due to its historical and artistic interest, in 2011 the building is part of the architectural heritage subject to restriction by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage. A bit of history: The building was designed by Studio BBPR on behalf of the client company Ri.C.E. (Reconstruction of Building Compartments), which in 1949 obtained from the Municipality of Milan the license to build "a multi-storey building for mixed commercial and residential use to be set up in an area of ​​public land for reconversion", following the devastation inflicted by heavy Anglo-American bombing of the Second World War. The design studies began in 1950 with the collaboration of the Turin engineer Arturo Danusso and were immediately directed towards the creation of a new symbol of the post-war rebirth of Milan, initially hypothesizing a skyscraper to be built entirely of steel and glass. To further ascertain the feasibility of this project, the BBPR Studio also consulted a New York company specializing in economic consultancy for skyscraper projects, which highlighted that the condition of the Italian steel industry of the time would not have been able to sustain a similar request for raw material; the initial hypothesis of a steel tower was therefore set aside also due to the high costs of the material, therefore the BBPR Studio opted for the solution in reinforced concrete with stone cladding which reduced the costs of a fourth but which would also fit better into the city's architectural context. Between 1952 and 1955 the final design of the building was completed, which was approved by the client and built by the General Real Estate Company through Sogene, between 1956 and 1957. The construction work lasted 292 days, ending with eight days in advance of the contract. Following some changes of ownership in the 2000s, the building passed to Fondiaria Sai, part of the Ligresti Group and subsequently, after the merger with Unipol, became part of the real estate assets of the new company UnipolSai, which took care of a total renovation. In October 2019, a new negotiation was concluded with which Unipol sold Torre Velasca to the American group Hines, for a total economic outlay of €220 million. In 1961, a few years after its inauguration, Torre Velasca was awarded the "Prize for a completed work" awarded annually by the IN / ARCH (National Institute of Architecture) and soon became the coveted seat of prestigious offices, as well as the home of personalities illustrious from the world of entertainment such as Gino Bramieri, who lived for a long time in an attic overlooking the Duomo. Despite the undoubted design value, the building initially aroused conflicting opinions for its unique profile and also became the object of irony of the Milanese who soon gave the tower the nickname of "skyscraper with braces, due to the oblique beams that support the part. The writer Luciano Bianciardi himself was among the first detractors, defining it in his novel La vita agra of 1962 as a "tower of glass and concrete", while outside the national borders the British critic Reyner Banham, close to the brutalist movement overseas, he judged it as "the Italian retreat from modern architecture". However, the debate about the impact of the work on the Milanese panorama did not diminish in the decades to come and still at the beginning of the third millennium, illustrious architects such as Mario Bellini and Gianmaria Beretta appreciated its undoubted stylistic and design interest, defining it " a Milanese skyscraper that rejects the standardization of international architecture "; of the same opinion was his colleague Stefano Boeri for whom "the Torre Velasca is the invention of a new architecture, the first skyscraper designed with that singular" mushroom "shape, no one had ever designed such a building before", thus remarking the its uniqueness on the international scene.;
    Description: The Torre Velasca is the most representative result of the famous group of architects of the BBPR Studio, in which Ernesto Nathan Rogers, former director of the Casabella magazine, represented a point of reference for Italian architecture that sought to overcome rationalism and its reinterpretation. The building seen from below, from which you can see the rounded corner also equipped with windows and part of the red metal structure that forms the frame of the outdoor patio set up on the street level in 2015. The characteristic morphology of the tower is the consequence of an in-depth study of multiple factors that find their origins first in the creation of a new symbol for post-war Milan, then in the search for a vertical momentum opposed to the constraint in which the base of the same building is located, located in the small square of the same name. At the same time, the Torre Velasca is intended to represent the functional response resulting from the reinterpretation of Rationalism, but also an evident reference to medieval Lombard architecture, including the Torre del Filarete of the Castello Sforzesco. The building develops on a plan with a rectangular base and rises for 28 floors, two of which are underground. The main entrance is on the south side and is preceded by a one-storey structure that houses the commercial premises and spaces for the concierge and guardian service, suspended on four central "T" shaped columns and marked by a large glass surface consisting of a repeated series of windows flanked by thin pilasters. All the elevations of the building are similar and marked by the ribs of the deliberately highlighted supporting structure that connect to the oblique beams that emerge from the fifteenth floor. The windows are all rectangular and of equal size, the arrangement of which is based on a grid of apparently random dimensions, suggested by the same structural frame which is buffered by prefabricated panels in cement and pink porphyry grit arranged in an irregular manner. This deliberate asymmetry in the arrangement of the windows and similar openings that conceal the balconies embedded within the elevations creates at the same time uniformity and dynamism, with an alternation of solids and voids that the Portuguese defined "disheveled", or the result of "a more complex re-edition of the dialectic between the structural cage and the wall envelope of Italian rationalism ». The first seventeen floors above ground have a different intended use: commercial activities on the street level, offices and professional studios on the upper floors. The 18th floor houses only technical service rooms, common areas and the accesses to the balcony that runs along the entire perimeter of the building. Right between the 15th and 18th floors you can see the most characteristic structural aspect of the building, that is the load-bearing structure designed by the engineer Arturo Danusso to support the upper projecting module that houses the remaining eight floors for residential use. It consists of twenty oblique trilobate beams that emerge from the external elevations and which at the 18th floor are grafted onto the upper perpendicular pillars and large connecting struts, joined to the "V" anchoring brackets that protrude visibly from the seventeenth flat and which are the terminal part of a dense crossed network of tie rods that run through the entire floor on which the upper projecting module rests. The upper floors, up to the twenty-fifth, are instead intended only for private apartments.The terminal module of the building is in fact made up of a wider plan than the floors below due to the fact that, according to the author of the project, the private houses from the 19th to the 25th floor require a greater depth of the building than the underlying offices and, at the same time, must determine a sort of formal detachment that clearly divides the two areas of the building. The 25th floor houses six duplex residential units arranged on two levels, with the attic floor attic and is characterized by a large terrace that runs along the entire perimeter of the projecting module that distinguishes the top of the structure, albeit divided according to the boundaries of the individual units. housing. In addition to the visible ribs of the supporting structure that taper until they disappear in the elevations of the upper module, the major neo-Gothic references of medieval appeal are the spiers that make up the glass panel balustrade of this top terrace and the roof, consisting of a roof metal with four pitches that houses the second attic floor of the attics, in turn surmounted by a brick core where there are technical rooms, antennas and chimneys.Overall, the building originally had 800 real estate units. Right from the first draft of the project, Studio BBPR outlined a tower in which the upper part was wider than the lower one due to the fact that, according to the designers, the houses from the 19th to the 25th floor needed a greater depth of the building than to the offices present from the 2nd to the 10th floor and to the professional offices with adjoining house from the 11th to the 17th floor. The 18th floor is dedicated solely to technical service rooms, warehouses belonging to the houses, common areas, toilets and two accesses to the recessed balcony that runs along the entire external perimeter of the building, from which it is also possible to periodically inspect the oblique beams of the supporting structure or to intervene for the maintenance of the external lighting installed on the building facades. The more projecting upper module that houses the floors between the 19th and 25th is intended only for the 72 housing units with two to seven rooms plus services, all including a veranda and terrace. The 25th floor houses the most prestigious units, that is 6 duplex apartments on two levels, with an attic floor and a panoramic terrace. Originally all 800 real estate units were already equipped with state-of-the-art technological systems such as underfloor heating and air conditioning in every room, while the 72 apartments were also equipped with permanent furnishings such as wardrobes, specific windows, kitchen with appliances so that the tenants were free to furnish only with furniture proper. Many of these architectural furnishing details have also been preserved in the most recent renovations. The two underground floors house various technical rooms and the large garage for 450 cars with a car wash system, whose access ramp is located on the opposite side of the building's entrance.
    Torre Velasca (Q1156274) on Wikidata Torre Velasca on Wikipedia
  • 29 Expo Gate, Via Luca Beltrami (between Castello Sforzesco and the beginning of Via Dante). Daily 10:00-20:00. Information hub and ticket office for the Expo Milano 2015. The gate consists of two structures designed by Scandurra Studio.
  • 30 L.O.V.E. sculpture (Il Dito), Piazza degli Affari. On the square, where the Italian Stock exchange has its headquarters. The abbreviation L.O.V.E. stands for Libertà, Odio, Vendetta, Eternità (Freedom, Hate, Vengeance, Eternity). L.O.V.E. (Q16570025) on Wikidata it:L.O.V.E. on Wikipedia


Teatro alla Scala
  • 1 Teatro alla Scala, Via Filodrammatici 2 (Reachable by subway: Duomo  M1  M3 ), +39 02 88 79 1. One of the most renowned opera houses in the world. It first opened in 1778 and re-opened in 2004 after extensive renovation. It has seen performances by stars such as Maria Callas and Pavarotti. Since Italy is the birthplace of opera, The Teatro alla Scala would be one of the best places for one to have an introduction to the world of Italian opera. La Scala is also a venue for classical music. La Scala (Q5471) on Wikidata La Scala on Wikipedia
  • 2 Teatro dal Verme, Via San Giovanni sul Muro, 2, . Classical music. Teatro dal Verme (Q1049376) on Wikidata Teatro Dal Verme on Wikipedia


Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Milan's main shopping area is the so-called Fashion Quadrangle (quadrilatero della moda), a set of blocks roughly between Duomo Square (Piazza Duomo), Cavour Square (Piazza Cavour) and San Babila Square (Piazza San Babila). Here in Montenapoleone Street (with prime brand shops), Della Spiga Street, Vittorio Emanuele Street, Sant' Andrea Street, Porta Venezia avenue and Manzoni Street, it contains the most prestigious boutiques and showrooms in the world. Everything reeks of ostentation and the splendor of a chic, fashionable lifestyle. Shop windows shine, exhibiting the trendiest shoes, coolest glasses, funkiest dresses, most glamorous clothes, and most luxurious crystal chandeliers.

The 1 Brera district (Lanza, or Montenapoleone metro stops) is also not to be missed for trendy and young, yet stylish, boutiques. The Brera district is great for other things, such as browsing through ancient rare art stores and galleries, sipping a hot drink at a refined-air cafe, attending a funky disco, or looking for exotic furniture. However, today, there are a lot of young designers who have up-and coming boutiques, which are slightly less expensive than their Montenapoleone counterparts, but are quite fashionable and of high quality. The Brera district is great because it combines chic, old-air shops, with zeitgeist, modernist and youthful ones. Jewelry stores include Papic oro e argento or Alcozer & J. Bijoux, fashion shops include Accessori or Laura Ashley, and furniture stores include Zohar or Lucitalia.

Let us not forget, the 2 Piazza del Duomo, 3 Via Dante, 4 Piazza San Babila, and the 5 Corso Giacomo Matteotti which are excellent shopping places. In the Galleria, you get brand fashion stores, two bookstores (Rizzoli and Libreria Bocca) and a silverware store called Bernasconi plus a Gucci cafe (and many, many more!). In the Corso Giacomo, you can find Abercrombie & Fitch, in Piazza del Duomo you have Grimoldi, Ruggeri, Donna and La Rinascente department store, in Piazza San Babila you can find Upim, Eddy Monetti, Guess and Valextra, and there are loads of shops in the Via Dante, so there are really heaps of shopping opportunities in this area.

  • 6 Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (Get off at the Duomo station.). The mother of all shopping malls: upscale shops in a splendid 19th century palace of a mall, with a stunning mosaic floor, and wonderful glass roof and cupola. Contains boutiques such as Louis Vuitton and Prada, a McDonald's fast-food restaurant, a silverware store called Bernasconi, and eating places such as the Zucca in Galleria, Biffi or a Gucci cafe (and loads more, notably art galleries, fashion boutiques, bookstores and restaurants). At Christmas time, it becomes an enchanting place, with beautiful lights and glitzy decorations. For real Milanese cheap food, go to Luini for a Panzerotti on nearby Via San Radegonda. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (Q51112) on Wikidata Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II on Wikipedia
  • 7 Armani Megastore, Via Manzoni 31 (Metro: Montenapoleone), +39 02-7231-8630. Giorgio Armani's flagship store. Covering over 8,000 ft² (740 m2) with outlets for his high-fashion creations, the Emporio Armani and Armani Jeans lines, plus the new Armani Casa selection of home furnishings, and flower, book, and art shops; a high-tech Sony electronics boutique/play center in the basement; and an Emporio Café and branch of New York's Nobu sushi bar.
  • 8 Abercrombie & Fitch, 12 Corso Giacomo Matteotti (Metro: San Babila). Opened in October 2009, this is one of the most popular flagship stores in Milan, it is the world's first to host Abercrombie kids and A&F together in one shop. It is a big department store, with three floors, and occupies just over 30,000 ft² (2,800 m2). Right near the heart of Milan's top shopping district, and a walk's distance away from the Via Monte Napoleone and other streets in the fashion quadrilateral.
  • 9 Dolce e Gabbana, Via della Spiga no. 2 (Metro: San Babila), +39 02-7600-1155. High-end designer store dedicated to women's wear.
  • 10 Gucci Flagship, Via Montenapoleone, no. 5-7 (Metro: San Babila [Montenapoleone is not to far]), +39 02-771-271. This is Gucci's flagship store in the city, opened in 2002, which has haute couture (high fashion) clothing and accessories. There are also some other Gucci stores in Milan, including the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and even in Milan's Malpensa airport.
  • 11 Prada, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, no. 63 (Metro: Duomo). One of Prada's several boutiques in the city, the one in the Galleria is the closest to the Duomo and the central square. It sells a variety of high-fashion items, such as shoes, perfume, handbags, and accessories, both classical and modern, in a chandelier-filled, multi-floored shop (it is bigger than it looks from the outside).
  • 12 Krizia, Via Sant' Andrea, no. 15 (Metro: San Babila). Popular ever since the 1960s, Krizia is a trendy boutique with funky clothes and swanky designs. Found in Sant' Andrea street, right in the heart of the top shopping district of the city.
  • 13 [dead link] Etro, Via Montenapoleone 5 (Metro: Montenapoleone), +39 02-7600-5450. Boutique store carrying the mens and womenswear line from high end label Etro.
  • 14 Ermenegildo Zegna, Via Pietro Verri 3 (Metro: Montenapoleone or San Babila), +39 02-7600-6437. Luxurious boutique stocking elegant, ready-to-wear men's suits that look custom-tailored.
  • 15 La Rinascente, Piazza Duomo (Metro: Duomo), +39 02-88521. M-Th 09:30-21:00; F Sa 09:30-22:00; Su 10:00-21:00. A big department store in Milan, right in the centre of the city near the Cathedral and Galleria, and very close to the chic Montenapoleone shopping zone. Here you can get houseware, design and appliances, male, female and children's fashion, youthful sports clothes, jewellery, accessories, cosmetics, watches, perfumes, glasses, socks, underwear, lingerie, gifts, table decor, a hair stylist, a restaurant, sushi bar, food market, sandwich, drink and chocolate bar, an enoteca (wine bar) and several other things. Good place to do some shopping of all kinds in a very central location and then stop for a drink, snack or meal at the cafe or restaurant.
  • 16 D Magazine, Via Montenapoleone 26 (Metro: Montenapoleone or San Babila), +39 02-7600-6027. This shop, in one of the most exclusive shopping streets in Milan, and in the world, is an outlet where you can a lot of find designer clothes. Names such as Giorgio Armani, Prada or Fendi can be found.
  • 17 Basement, Via Senato, 15 (Metro: Montenapoleone). This small hidden shopping outlet called Basement cannot be seen from the street above. To reach it, you have to go to the Via Senato no. 15 parking lot, go down a staircase, go to your right, and then you'll see a purple sign, which shows that you've arrived. It contains a lot of designer clothes, including that from Moschino, Prada and Yves Saint Laurent, to D&G and La Perla with huge discounts.


  • 18 Peck, Via Victor Hugo 4, +39 02 861040. Foodies in the Duomo area should not miss this place. It is the Dean and Deluca of Milan, a gorgeous food shop that stocks the finest of just about everything. The prices are high, but since everything is counter service, you can graze a wide variety of delicacies for your money. Speaking of counter service, there is a special way to buy things at Peck. First, you order from the counter. They give you a little receipt. Once you have collected all your receipts, you pay at one of two registers. Then, you return to each of the counters you visited, where the staff have wrapped your treats exquisitely.



There are many budget-friendly restaurants in the city center of Milan.

  • 1 Luna Rossa, Via Broletto, 26. A pizza restaurant
  • 2 G.B. Bar, Via Ulrico Hoepli. Sandwiches
  • 3 Spontini, Via Santa Radegonda, 11. Pizza
  • 4 Il panino del laghetto, Via Laghetto, 7. Sandwiches
  • 5 Bistrot Brun'ora, Via Amedei, 5.
  • 6 Mensa&Pizza.9, Via Lodovico Necchi, 9.
  • 7 Chiosco Squadre Calcio, Piazza Castello, 4.


  • 8 Pizzeria Gino Sorbillo, Largo Corsia dei Servi, 11, 20122 Milano. Probably the best pizza in town at a reasonable price. The restaurant reopens for dinner at 19:00, people will be lining up in front of the entrance beforehand (because the pizza is so good). Come early to avoid waiting!
  • 9 Biffi, Passaggio Duomo, no. 2 (Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II) (Metro: Duomo), +39 02 8057 961. 12:00 - 24:00 (you can have breakfast at 07:30). Opened in 1867, it is an old fashioned restaurant/cafe in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, surrounded by a plethora of interesting shops, which serves drinks, and foods such as spaghetti, veal, steak, fish, and desserts such as chocolate Sacher, Tiramisu, ice cream and fruit salads. The waiters serve in the formal white gloves.


  • 10 Armani/Nobu, Via Pisoni 1 (Metro: Montenapoleone, also accessible via tram), +39 02 6231 2645. Lunch 12:00-14:30, dinner 18:30-21:30. Part of Japanese restaurant chain serving sushi with South American influences in Armani-themed surroundings. Apart from sushi, dishes such as ceviche, spicy tuna, different soups, lobster, seaweed, salmon, or different forms of vegetables and meat (and several others) are on the menu, and you can find desserts such as carrot cakes, tea ice creams, chocolates, exotic fruits, or different, both European and oriental plates. You also get sake and champagne.
  • 11 Boeucc, Piazza Belgioioso 2, +39 02 7602 0224. Milan's oldest restaurant is still traditional homemade cooking that is as fresh and tasty as the day it opened. Great for a special occasion, dessert is served on a special tea cart where they are shown to you before you decide, now try get out of having dessert! Even though the dessert are splendid, they are a bit pricy, so keep that in mind before you pick your dessert.
  • 12 Il Ristorante Trussardi Alla Scala, Piazza della Scala 5 (Metro: Duomo/Cordusio or even Montenapoelone is quite close), +39 02 8068 8201. Lunch (M-F): 12:30-14:00; Dinner (M-Sa): 20:00-22:30. A 2 Michelin-star rated restaurant near the famous La Scala theatre, themed and owned by the well-known Italian fashion house, Il Trussardi Alla Scala has a spacious modern interior, and serves several interesting dishes. It is very close to the Café Trussardi.
  • 13 Savini, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (Metro: Duomo), +39 02 7200 3433. Opened in 1867, the Savini is a fancy and well-established restaurant inside the magnificent Galleria, serving meals such as Milanese-style risotto, spaghetti and ravioli, meat cutlet, lamb and beef, different forms of fish, warmly-made Tirmisu, and other forms of desserts including chocolate cake and tart with strawberries.
  • 14 Cracco, Via Victor Hugo 6.
  • 15 Tram restaurant ATMosfera (departs from Piazza Castello). departures daily at 20:00. ATM, which operates the public transport in Milan, has created a tram restaurant. A tram of the class "Carrello" from 1928 has been transformed into a restaurant on tracks and you can have dinner and see many of Milan's sights at the same time. €65 per person.


Nights are overwhelmingly crowded at the 1 Colonne di San Lorenzo (not far from Navigli quarter), and in the cozy Latin-quarter of 2 Brera.

  • 3 Exploit Café, Via Poppette 3 (near the San Lorenzo Columns, in Porta Ticinese Avenue). If you want to visit a real bar in true Italian fashion, this is a worthy hot spot.
  • 4 Bar Magenta, Via Carducci 13. This popular bar is best visited with a bunch of friends during apperitivo, a time when free appetizers are given out, usually around 19:00. It was said that Bar Magenta coined the now very popular “aperitivo”, and having a drink in here is a classic experience.
  • 5 Caffè Cova, Via Montenapoleone 8 (Metro: San Babila/Montenapoleone), +39 02-7600-5599. Founded in 1817, this pasticceria (pastry shop) relocated to the exclusive Montenapoleone street in 1950, and is a good place for a cake/tart with a hot drink, such as coffee. At Christmas, enjoy the traditional Panettone cake.
  • 6 Emporio Armani Caffè, Via Croce Rossa, no. 2 (Metro: Montenapoleone). Found on the ground floor of the Armani Megastore, this café is all Armani themed. It's a good place to stop for a drink after a day of shopping, since it is really close to the ritzy Via Manzoni and Via Monte Napoleone.
  • 7 Dolce & Gabbana Martini Bar, Corso Venezia, no. 15 (Metro: San Babila). A Dolce & Gabbana themed bar, it is in the posh Venezia avenue, right in the top fashion district. Good place to enjoy a Martini cocktail in Dolce & Gabbana surroundings after some shopping or sightseeing.
  • 8 Zucca, Piazza Duomo, no. 21 (Metro: Duomo). An Art Deco/Liberty bar right at the entrance of the Galleria Vittorio, which serves several forms of drinks. It's next to the Duomo and Galleria, and close to the Montenapoleone shopping district and the Castle quarter.
  • 9 Bar Jamaica, Via Brera, no. 32 (Metro: Lanza), +39 02-876723. A small, trendy and artsy bar in the bohemian Brera district, which in summer times uses its verandah for open-air drinks.
  • 10 Gucci café, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (Metro: Duomo). If you enjoy cafés where you can sip fashionably at a coffee in the city's stunning glass Galleria, right in the heart of Milan, after some sightseeing or general shopping, then the Gucci café is the place to go.
  • 11 Café Trussardi, Piazza della Scala, no. 5 (Metro: Duomo/Cordusio/Montenapoleone), +39 02-8068-8295. M-F 07:30-22:00; Sa 12:00-22:00. Very close to the Il Ristorante Trussardi Alla Scala, the café is a better place for a more casual drink or less formal meal. The menu includes some salads, sandwiches, meat, fish, cheese and vegetable plates (and many more dishes), and also fresh fruit juices, and desserts such as Zuppa inglese (Italian form of trifle), Tiramisu and ice cream. Right in the centre of the city, it is near to the famous La Scala opera house, the Duomo, the Sforzesco Castle, and also to the fashion quadrilateral streets (i.e. Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga, etc.) It is owned and named after Trussardi, the fashion label. Remember that it is not open on Sundays! €10-28.

Gay and lesbians clubs[edit]

  • 12 Hotel Straf, Via San Raffaele 33. Thursdays aperitivo at Hotel Straf near Duomo is well worth a look.




  • 1 [dead link] Ambasciatori Hotel Milan, Galleria del Corso 3, +39 02 76020241, fax: +39 02 782700, . Singles from €190, doubles from €260.
  • 2 Hotel Galileo Milan, Corso Europa 9, +39 02 7743, fax: +39 02 76020584. A four-star hotel with a choice of 89 single, double, triple and VIP rooms, all with private bath. Among the public areas are a bar, restaurant, lounge and reception with free internet connection. €130 for single and €140 for a double. Rates include breakfast..
  • 3 Brunelleschi Hotel Milan, Via Baracchini, 12, +39 02 88431, fax: +39 02 804924. 4-star hotel. From €100.
  • 4 [dead link] Hotel Ascot, Via Lentasio, 3, +39 02 58303300, fax: +39 02 58303203. Single from €83, Double from €124.
  • 5 Hotel Genius Milan, Via Porlezza, 4, +39 02 72094644, fax: +39 02 72006950. content3-star hotel with 38 bedrooms with private en suite service and Wi-Fi. The rates change according to the season: single €88-99, double €120-155.
  • 6 London Hotel Milan, Via Rovello 3, +39 02 72020166, fax: +39 02 8057037. Singles €90-130, doubles €120-170.
  • 7 Hotel Lloyd, Corso di Porta Romana, 48, +39 02 58303332, fax: +39 02 58303365. Offers large meeting rooms and a well-being program. Single rooms from €85, double from €116.



Routes through Centro Storico
West ← Milano Cadorna ←  W Milano linea M1.svg E  → Palestro → North
North ← Turati ←  N Milano linea M3.svg S  → Crocetta → South

This district travel guide to Centro Storico is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.