While it can be easy to sink into the modern conveniences and things to do in Milan and its surrounding areas, there is a rich history to explore as well. Culture and art abound in sightseeing Italy – especially in Milan as the creative influences continue to affect the people and the architecture (and the tourism). As you begin to plan your upcoming Milan vacation, it might be difficult to choose, but if you give each traveller a day or days sightseeing to plan, then you can see everything without missing what you came for.
Milan Sightseeing Travel Guide
As in many European towns, the castles and the cathedrals are beauteous sights to behold, and tours are easy to find. Places like Castello Sforzesco and Cathedral Duomo offer great backgrounds to the hundreds of pictures you will take. You can start in the historical centre of Milan, or work your way inward to ensure that you haven’t missed one taste of the town. Footballing fans may want to check out San Siro Stadium or to see if they can catch one of Milan’s great teams playing a match. For info on the Last Supper look at the Tours section of this guide.
1. Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio
Piazza Sant’Ambrogio 15 Phone: 02/86450895 Hours: Mon.-Sat. 7am-12pm, 2:30pm-7pm, Sundays 3pm-8pm
This picturesque church was consecrated by St. Ambrose and has served as a model for Lombard Romanesque churches. Take pictures at this site and see how everyone else compares.
2. Castello Sforzesco
Piazza Castello Phone: 02/88463700 Hours: Tues.-Sun. 9am-5:30pm
Although the style of this castle has been changed throughout the centuries, this museum is home to works of timeless culture and the Castle itself charts the history of Milan. Michaelangelo’s unfinished Rondanini Pieta as well as a frescoed room thought to be the work of da Vinci are truly highlights for any traveller. The Castle is named for who made it his ducal palace in the 15th Century though it was built in the 14th Century.
3. Museo Civico Archeologico
Corso Magento 15 Phone: 02/86450011 Hours: Tues. – Sun. 9am-5:30pm
This former monastery holds pieces of Milan’s Roman history that any history buff will enjoy. And it’s free of charge, so you can spend hours looking at the everyday pieces to the ornate jewelry and feel a touch of ancient times.
4. Museo Poldi-Pezzoli
Via Manzoni 12 Phone: 02/794889 Hours: Tues. – Sun. 10am-6pm
This museum holds pieces that clearly define Italy and Italian art. Artists like Botticelli and Bellini have paintings and other art works housed here. Don’t forget to see Pollaiolo’s “Portrait of a Lady” before you go.
5. Cathedral Duomo
Piazza del Duomo Phone: 02/86463456 Hours: Mid February to Mid November, daily from 9am-5:45pm, Mid November to Mid February, daily from 9am to 4:15pm
Words can not do justice to the splendour of Cathedral Duomo and it dominates the center of Milan. Inside you will find amazing Gothic structure as well as over a hundred spires and thousands of marble statues. This is a living church and so your visit to parts of the Cathedral may be curtailed if there is a religious service.
6. Latin Quarter
Akin to New York’s Greenwich Village, this narrow street holds hours of shopping pleasure with boutiques and cafes. With the wandering artists and musicians, you may feel like you are part of the heart of creation, rather than a tourist and here you can get a first hand glimpse of the fashionable Milan.
7. Teatro alla Scalla
Piazza della Scalla Phone: 02/86077 box office Hours: Daily from 9am-6pm
You don’t need to be an opera expert to find an appreciation for the majestic halls of Teatro alla Scalla. Although the inside looks more like a cathedral than an opera house, you can lose yourself in newly renovated surroundings and find the opera lover inside. Even if you can’t catch a performance a tour of the building is well worth while.
8. Navigli District
South of Corso Porto Ticinese
Back in history, Milan used to have miles of canals that one could travel on. Although most are now covered over, two remain-Navigli Grande and Navigli Pavese. Along these canals, you will find boutiques and other places to pick up Milan goodies, while also being close to nightclubs and restaurants and other Milan sightseeing.
9. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
Piazza del Duomo
Sometimes called Il Salotto (The Living Room), this is truly the centre of Milan sightseeing, Italy style! With its amazing glass dome, Galleria Vittorio is wondrous to behold as it is to shop.
10. Leonardo’s Horse
The once unfinished work of Leonardo da Vinci in commemoration of Ludovico Sforza has been restored with the aid of once-lost drawings. This bronze masterpiece was reworked and presented to the city by Nina Akamu-a Japanese-American sculptor.