Southern Milan is chiefly a residential part of Milan. While you can find a couple of old landmarks in here, there aren't as much of them as in the Centro Storico, and this part of the city is more "local" and "ordinary". If you enjoy greenery, there are several small parks scattered around the area.
Likely the best known attraction here are the canals (navigli) that in former times were used for sailing in from the Lombardian countryside. It's quite popular to sit at the bars along the canals and enjoy a drink, and more watering holes are to be found further east around Porta Ticinese.
Metro lines 2 and 3 connect the area to the central parts but if you are visiting the area around Porta Ticinese and want to walk as little as possible, take the tram.
There's a railway station close to the Navigli; Porta Genovese station. Currently it's only used for local trains from Mortara.
- 1 La Rotonda della Besana. An 18th Century Neoclassical complex. It is now an exhibition space.
- 2 Porta Ticinese. A 19th century gate and the surrounding area is a very old-fashioned quarter nearly untouched by WWII bombings.
- 3 Porta Romana. The southeastern city gate, the "gate towards Rome" is simpler built than Ticinese. However Milan has had a "Porta Romana" as a part of it's city walls already when the city was part of the Roman Empire. It has given the name to the district it's located in and to the nearby Metro station.
- 4 , Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie, 1-2. This landmark at the northern bank of Naviglio Grande bears the same name as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Western part of the country. The current church is just a little over a century old, built in Romanesque Revival style and is the third church built on that place.
- 5 Santa Maria al Paradiso, Corso di Porta Vigentina 2-18. Built in the late 16th century for the Third Order of Saint Francis, much of its interior including decoration and paintings has been preserved.
- 6 Santa Maria presso San Celso, Corso Italia 39. A late 15th century church and sanctuary with many works of Milanese Baroque and Renaissance artists.
Parks and gardens
- 7 Gardens of the Guastalla (Parco della Guastalla). Among Milan's oldest (founded in the 16th century), but quite small gardens, and are very close to the University district. The parks, however, were only opened to the public in the early 20th century. You can have a nice walk inside, and you also have a classical temple-like structure and also a sort of pond with a Baroque railing surrounding it. Reachable via Crocetta, P.ta Romana, Missori or even San Babila metro stations. It's also not that far from the Duomo.
- 8 Basilicas Park (Parco Papa Giovanni Paolo II or Parco delle Basiliche). Named the Basilicas Park as it connects two basilicas: the Basilica of San Lorenzo and the Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio. Formerly a place for drug use and anti-social behavior, it has been cleaned up and redesigned in the last decade and is now more pleasant. It was renamed after the late pope John Paul II.
- 9 Parco Vittorio Formentano (Largo Marinai d'Italia). A park with many different trees in the southeast of Milan at the location of a former market. The park also hosts the building of 10 Palazzina Liberty, where theater performances and concerts are held.
- Navigli Once the hubs of the city's commercial life (the industrial canals), after years of abandonment, these pretty and "quintessentially Milanese" places are currently the location where many night spots are open until late, and today, there is a nice mix of old-world ancient shops and cafes, and funky bars and fashion boutiques. I Navigli (or The Canals) consist of 11 and 12 . On the last Sunday of every month there is an antiques market along the Naviglio Grande.
- 1 Auditorium di Milano, Largo Gustav Mahler. The seat of the Verdi orchestra with an program of both classical and modern music.
For hipsters, there's the elongated 1 Porta Ticinese area, especially on Saturday, when the flea market 2 Fiera di Senigallia takes place near Porta Genova MM2 subway and train station. This is a great place to wander and browse, and save money if you've somehow survived Milan's high end boutiques. Sort through new and second-hand clothes, old furniture, fake art nouveau lamps, perfumed candles and every kind of essence, books, comics, records, videos and DVDs. In the Corso Ticense, several shops, such as Diesel, RVM Orologi, Dress, Energie, Colors & Beauty, Tintoria La Boutique, Blu Max, Le Jean Marie, Brazilian, Ethic, L'Uomo outlet, Les Tropezziennes, Atelier cucine e ..., Panca's Show Room, or Cinius (and loads more) are present. There are also several banks and post offices, such as the Banca Popolare and Poste Italiane, and a CTS Viaggi travel agency. Thus, with so many shops, you can keep your shopping bags full, and browse even further.
The other market in Milan is the Mercatone del Naviglio Grande. This takes place along the 3 on the last Sunday of each month. Dedicated to antiques, the market has over 400 exhibitors, so you're certain to find something that catches your eye.
- 1 Osteria del Gnocco Fritto, Via Pasquale Paoli 2 (off the Grand Canal), ☎ . At Osteria del Gnocco Fritto the €4.50 cover charge includes baskets of fried hand-size pastries (similar to sopapillas) accompanied by meats, cheeses, or jams (€8 to €11). The restaurant has a second location further southwest.
- 2 Cow Burger, Via G. Ripamonti, 19. Very small place with great Italian-style burgers. Customized burgers available.
A concentration of aperitivo bars are located in the area near the Colonne di san Lorenzo and Corso di porta Ticinese, or close by in the Navigli area (subway: MM2 Porta Genova Station). You can also take the #3 tram to "Piazza Ventiquattro Maggio" stop. From Porta Ticinese (the large archway), head west into the canal area of Navigli. There are great restaurants for aperitivo in this area, including:
- 3 La Ringhiera, Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 5.
- 4 Slice, Via Cardinale Ascanio Sforza, 9.
- 5 Mas, Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 11.
A concentration of pizzerie can be found at 6 , on Brera.
- 7 Lacerba, Via Orti 4, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For an artistic dining experience, try Lacerba on via dei Orti, 4, which serves dishes inspired by the early 20th century art movement, Futurism.
- 8 Osteria dei Formaggi, Alzaia Naviglio Grande, 54, ☎ . The Osteria dei Formaggi on the Grand Canal serves all manner of excellent cheese dishes in an intimate dining room heavily decorated with cows.
- 9 El Brellin, Alzaia Naviglio Grande 14, ☎ . For a classic take on Milanese cooking, try Ill Brellin, where you can choose from homey classics such as rigatoni sautéed with pancetta, to modern interpretations on typical ingredients—a pumpkin tart as an appetizer. Outdoor seating makes this a perfect choice on a sunny day, although it is closed for dinner on Sundays.
One popular night spot in southern Milan is the 1 quarter, near Porta Ticinese Avenue and XXIV Maggio Square, where you can find a lot of small pubs, open air cafes and restaurants by the water canals (navigli). In many pubs and bars you can find a free booklet named Zero2 which is a guide to Milan Nightlife: if you don't know what to do or where to go, do grab one!
Another one is 2 Viale Monte Nero, on Wednesday it's packed with people in the piazza in front of a bar called "Momo".
- 3 Rita, Via Angelo Fumagalli, 1, ☎ . It is the perfect place for a cocktail and Edo, the barman and the owner together with the chief Luca, is the grandmaster. They have strict code for preparing cocktails: no syrups are admitted, only fresh fruit. It is also a perfect place to eat.
- 4 Cicco Simonetta, Via Cicco Simonetta 16. — A bohemian pub hosting comics, musicians, and €3 beer on Mondays.
Gay and lesbian clubs
- 1 Hotel Romana Residence Milan, Corso di Porta Romana 64, ☎ , fax: . The Romana Residence modern hotel of the historic centre of Milan, located only 250 metres away from the Duomo. All the 66 bedrooms of the Romana Residence Hotel, divided in double, twin, triple, family, junior suite and suite, come with private bath and modern facilities. Some also have a small kitchen, and many face the garden of the hotel. Double and twin rooms: €159. Breakfast included..
- 3 , Via Angelo Fumagalli 4, ☎ , fax: .