All over the world Milan means Fashion, Design, Finance, Advertising, Business … If this is true, of course, we can’t forget art and culture anyway! In 2016 Milan was the third most visited city in Italy, and not only due to shopping!
This tour will let you discover the highlights of Milan, starting from the Castle Sforzesco, the huge fortified residence of the Sforza, the lords who invited here some of the important artists of the 15th century, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Donato Bramante, transforming the city into a cultural capital of the Reinassance. Nowadays the Castle is a museum and it houses a number of important masterpieces, among them the well-renowned “Pietà Rondanini” by Michelangelo, as well as the famous “Sala delle Asse” painted by Leonardo da Vinci from 1498 to 1499, during his first stay in Milan.
Behind the massive architecture of the Castle, you can admire the beautiful Park Sempione, the biggest one in Milan, with the majestic Arch of Piece, the triumphal arch built at the end of the 18th century and wanted by Napoleon, as well as the slender panoramic Tower Branca, where you can take a lift, reach the top floor and enjoy a great view of Milan, the Design Museum of “La Triennale“, the huge Arena Amphitheatre, and the Sea Life of Milan, where you can see many different kinds of fish.
The itinerary continues to reach the city centre, either walking or by bus or van, where you can admire the medieval Market square, with the massive “Broletto” building in the middle, the old city hall of Milan, as well as the “Loggia degli Osii” and its beautiful double-colored façade, the restaurant “Al Mercante“, located in the ancient House of the Panigarola family, the House of Notaries, nowadays the Chamber of Commerce of Milan.
After crossing the square, you will enjoy the best and most complete view of the Duomo cathedral, with its massive architecture, that combines different stiles, its many pinnacles, each one topped by a statue and its fantastic decorations, that look like an embroidered-work. The Duomo is one of the biggest churches in the world, its construction lasted hundreds of years, and its strictly linked to the history of Milan. Inside its enormous with its many columns, as well as statues and stained-glass windows. Underground there is an archeological museum, that houses the rests of what was here before the construction of the cathedral, i.e. The Basilica of Santa Tecla, as well as the Baptistery of Saint John, and many others. You can’t miss reaching the rooftop of the Duomo, either by lift or on foot, where you can enjoy a great view of Milan and the surrounding area, and where you will feel like in a forest of marble!
Afterwards, we will cross the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the elegant covered passage that joins the Duomo with the Scala Square, the very first Shopping Mall of Milan, built at the end of the 19th century, with its elegant cafes and restaurants, and its wonderful shop-windows! The Galleria is an amazing place, and nowadays you can even climb on its rooftop, and walk on it, to enjoy another great view of the city as well as to see its particular covering, highly technological at the time it was built!
Last but not least we will reach the Scala Square, with the Statue of Leonardo da Vinci in the middle, and the beautiful façade of one of the most famous opera houses in the world. Built at the end of the 18th century, the Scala was renovated many times and it even suffered the bombings of World War II, but after the last refurbishing at the beginning of the 21st century, it stands out again nowadays for its great acoustic and the many famous singers, as well as dancers and orchestra directors that perform on its stage. Inside there is a small but rich museum, full of music instruments, as well as objects that belonged to the box owners or to the artists, many portraits of famous singers, dancers and composers as well, who worked here.