We all know Milan, around the world as the fashion capital, cultural hub and even economic center of Italy. After you have shopped in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and visited iconic Milan Cathedral, you might also want to visit other fabulous venues of this cosmopolitan city and at Epicwander with have 10 tips on what to see in Milan.
Colonne San Lorenzo are prominent Roman ruins, located in front of the Basilica of San Lorenzo in central Milan. 16 tall Corinthian columns were likely removed from the 2nd century pagan temple or public bathhouse. Moreover, Colonne San Lorenzo is a popular hangout spot for students that every evening fills with rhythms of guitars.
Triumphal arch was initially built in the early nineteenth century as part of the ‘Foro Bonaparte’ – a modern version of a Roman forum to celebrate Napoleon’s victories. However, Napoleon never saw the completion, moreover later it obtained a new purpose and reminds of European peace of 1815.
Modern View of the City
Milan has a significant history behind its back and it is hard to associate Italian fashion capital with modern urban landscapes, nevertheless, it does have several such interesting sites to visit. For instance, take a walk to the Piazza Gae Aulenti. In fact, Square was named after the late Italian architect of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, Gae Aulenti, and it is situated at the heart of the Porta Nuova Garibaldi adjacent to the Milan’s main train station. Continuous flowing circle of seating surrounding a vast reflecting pool showcasing colors of the changing seasons and surrounding buildings. Piazza Gae Aulenti is our personal modern getaway in the center of Milan.
Hidden Italian Paradise
Palazzo Invernizzi is an authentic hidden oasis in the heart of Milan. It is not possible to enter the villa, because it is privately owned estate. It became famous for its garden and population of pink flamingos, which you can admire through the iron fence. Moreover, we must admit that because nobody can enter the territory, it gives an additional feeling of untouched paradise. You can find it in the district of Quadrilatero del Silenzio that is a perfect location for silent romantic stroll. You will be able to notice a lot of 20th century villas, palaces and estates closed from the public.
After the Silent District, take a look at Villa Necchi, because it is another hidden gem of luxury Italian estates. Milanese architect constructed it between 1932 and 1935. It survived with rich succession of rooms. Furnishings, decorative arts and architecture gloriously represent history of its past owners.
Milanese Unique Architecture
It is not a surprise that Milan is a famous cultural hub for art appreciators, however, not many know that Art Nouveau style of art had an important impact on Italian, in particular Milanese, architecture and soon developed into something known today as Liberty Style, originating from the Liberty & Co. store in London. You can find buildings of this architectural style all around the city. You cannot miss them among other famous attractions.
Religion and Optical Illusions
Chiesa di Santa Maria presso San Satiro is one of the unusual churches famous for optical illusions. Church is slightly further away from the main walking roads, which brings a mystery feeling into the attraction. Bramante’s altar gives people a fake perspective of distance, yet it is only a drawing. Therefore, church appears to be bigger inside than it actually is. Also, do not miss the terracotta statues of De Fondutis.
Additionally to Chiesa di Santa Maria presso San Satiro do not forget to visit Sant’ Ambrogio Church also known as the basilica of Milan. It is an outstanding example of Lombard Romanesque architecture. Throughout the history, various monks and canons served the basicila, and they periodically had. disagreements. Therefore, communities each had their own cloister as well as their own tower. It is also worth visiting basilica to see a building that became architectural example of proper Romanesque style interpretation for other cultural sites.
In Milan, one of the things to do is going to a library, but not just any library. Biblioteca Ambrosiana is an oasis for book lovers. It contains over 800,000 books and 35,000 manuscripts, including famous works by Dante and Leonardo da Vinci. Additionally, apart from library you can also visit pinacoteca art gallery with paintings from 15th to 20th century focused on such famous names as Botticelli, Titian, Carvaggio and Leonardo da Vinci.
Market With Flair
The internal structure of Mercato Metropolitano presents deli counters and food shops of approximately 2,000 local products. Whereas, the large outdoor area contains a real market that locals sometimes also use for the events. The main purpose of the market was to create an Italian market experience with small food producers and craftspeople. Bread bakers, coffee roasters, or butchers can be found on the Mercato Metropolitano bringing high quality food closer to visitors.
Romantic Boat Trip
After shopping, appreciating historical architecture and tasting amazing Italian cuisine, take your beloved one to the mesmerizingly beautiful district of Navigli. District is situated southwest from the city’s historic center. Navigli is famous for its canals and it is a perfect location for a romantic boat trip surrounded by evening lights of nearby restaurants.
One of the things to do in every Italian city is trying out local dishes. Firstly, we suggest grabbing a plate of Risotto Alla Milanese for lunch. Whereas, if you are looking for a strong, decisive flavor try popular northern winter dish Cassoeula. For fish lovers we would advise ordering Baccalà Fritto. Traditionally served at Christmas it became beloved locals dish all year round. If you visit Milan during Christmas period, or if you decided to include Italian cuisine in this year’s Christmas table, consider trying Panettone. You can find classical dessert Panettone on every traditional Italian Christmas table.
We have found several unique food venues in Milan that we strongly recommend adding to the things to do list. Terrazza Aperol is a perfect combination of historical views and futuristic settings. In Terrazza Aperol you can enjoy an evening drink overlooking iconic Cathedral. Secondly, we would recommend going to Cafénoir, which definitely offers the most original aperitif in Milan. In fact, cocktails and live music will enliven your evening with thousands of emotions. The magic of dialogue in the dark lets you live a sensorial experience that will touch your heart.
We think of Milan as a capital of fashion, commerce and art, but it also has many hidden gems. Optical illusions, hidden gardens, unique architectural style and modern venues define Milan as city of hidden attractions.