This city of fashion and banking in our modern world captures my heart. But Milan is also a city that surprises for the wealth of its cultural offer. An offer capable of meeting the requirements of those who love culture, art, and beauty. Even known people from the past who visited Milan expressed their respect and admiration for the city.
“Milan is a second Paris. Wonderful arcades and galleries; all the town white stone and gilding.” – Oscar Wilde
“The old Piazza Borromeo is still as it used to be – the grand dark brick walls and door of inlaid marble. But this town is given up to modernism – yet it has a look of prosperity which is better than the frantic desolation of Venice and Verona.” – John Ruskin
So if you are in Milan for a short visit, here are the city attractions that you shouldn’t miss.
1. Duomo – Cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente
It is one of the largest cathedral in the world, and able to accommodate up to 40,000 people. It was begun in the 14th C and to complete the magnificent “Duomo” it took more than five centuries of work. If you buy the ticket then you will be able to get up on the roof of Cathedral Terraces. Views from the roof of Duomo are stunning. Then you can take a closer look at the city’s symbol – the golden Madoninna, or little Madonna, who sits atop the Duomo’s tallest spire.
“Milan with the Pope, might rival Rome for the title of holy.” – Pierre Jean Grosley
2. Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper in Santa Maria delle Grazie
“Went also to the Convent of Maria della Grazia to view that most famous picture of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, painted on the wall at one end of the Refectory, a very large hall, hung along the sides with smaller pictures and, at the other end, that painting of the crucifixion of which we had seen a copy at Lugano.
This Refectory was used in the days of Buonaparte as a military storehouse, and the mark of a musket-ball, fired in wantonness by a French soldier, is to be seen in one part of the painting of Leonardo da Vinci. Fortunately the ball hit where the injury was as small as it could have been ; and it is only marvellous that this fine work was not wholly defaced during those times of military misrule and utter disregard of all sacred things.
It is perfectly notorious that this picture suffered more from conversant in pictures, I cannot take upon me to describe this, which impressed my feelings and imagination more than any picture I ever saw, though some of the figures are so injured by damp that they are only just traceable.
The most important are, however, happily the least injured ; and that of Our Saviour has only suffered from a general fading in the colours, yet, alas ! the fading and vanishing must go on year after year till, at length, the whole group must pass away. Through the cloisters of the monastery, which are shattered and defaced, pictures are found in all parts, and there are some curious monuments.”-Dorothy Wordsworth
3.Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele – The bull’s balls
Right underneath the glass dome in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele is the emblem of Turin, a bull, on the mosaic floor. It is meant to bring you good luck if you spin around on your right heel on the bull’s most treasured possession – his testicles!
4. Castello Sforzesco
Castello is a large brick castle that has undergone many constructions and rebuildings over the last 700 plus years. Originally developed as a fortress to defend the city in the late 1300’s it was significantly rebuilt by Frances Sforza around 1450. Sforza was the Duke of Milan and used the castle not only to fend off attacks from Venice but also as his private residence.
Admission to castle itself is free. If you wish to visit the museums of castle then you are required to by a ticket. Price of the ticket is 3 Euros.
Tuesday – Sunday: closed on Mondays (holidays included)
9 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. (admission until 5 p.m.)
5. Naviglio Grande
A little bit of history:
There are two canals: the Naviglio Grande (the first canal to be built) and the Naviglio Pavese (the last canal to be built).
The ingenious hydraulic system that still governs the water flow today was devised by Leonardo da Vinci around the end of the 15th century.
Another all-time great, Napoleon, decided to build what today is called the Naviglio Pavese, which connected Milan to Pavia and allowed reaching the city from the sea via the river Po and Naviglio Pavese, from Lake Maggiore via the Ticino river and Naviglio Grande and from Lake Como via the Adda river and Naviglio della Martesana.
This is the canal area, once a busy industrialised district and now a centre for nightlife.
6. San Siro Stadium
The most beautiful and for me the friendliest stadium of the world was inaugurated as a gift of Mr. Pirelli for AC. Milan on 19 September 1926.
San Siro is a perfect sanctuary of the soccer, home of the teams FC. Internazionale (Nerazzurri – the Black-Blues) and AC. Milan (Rossoneri – the Red-Blacks)
It holds a capacity of 85,000 people. Entrance is 12,50 euro for adults and 10 euro for children.
If you park at one of the parking places around the stadium you pay 10 euro. But you can also park the car in a street 5 min. walking distance away from the stadium for free which was: via Federico Tesio, in front of a cafe.
Opening hours stadium: 10.00-17.00
Milan has almost everything you might ask for except a beach and ocean. (which is only 1 1/2 hour away) There are still so many places to see that I did not include on my list. The list above are suitable places to anyone who wants to feel the city. Wether you are a fashionista, a party person, a sport lover, or an artist, you can always find a special spot in Milan that fits to you.