All SEE in Milan

One of the most beautiful countries in the world, Italy is well known for its rich art and culture, and for its numerous landmarks. With 54 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than any other country in the world, and an estimated 100,000 monuments of any sort (churches, palaces, museums, fountains, sculptures and archaeological remains), Italy is home to about half of the world’s artistic treasures. And if you are looking for inspiration, find below a list of the most famous tourist attractions in Milan, Lombardy…

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    Cimitero Monumentale di Milano

    Cimitero Monumentale di Milano (Monumental Cemetery of Milan) is a large cemetery in Milan. Famous for the abundance of artistic tombs and monuments, the cemetery is an open-air museum, which definitely deserves to be on the list of the most important tourist attractions of the city.   SHORT HISTORY In 1837, the Austrian administration of the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom requested for the construction of a new cemetery to replace the six pre-existing Milanese cemeteries. The winner of the final competition organized by the Municipality was the project of the architect Carlo Maciachini, designed in 1864 in an Eclectic style, with Byzantine, Gothic and Romanesque references. The inaugural blessing was given by Monsignor Giuseppe Calvi on November 2, 1866, in the presence of the mayor of Milan, Antonio Beretta. On the same day, the first burial took place, that of the body of the composer Gustavo Noseda. The official opening of the cemetery took place on January 1, 1867. Since then, the cemetery was gradually enriched with funerary works of classical and contemporary genre.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE For the high artistic value of sculptures, tombs, funeral shrines and other works inside, the Milan Monumental Cemetery is among the most artistically and Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie

    The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is a church in Milan, located in the square of the same name. The church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for housing Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, which is located in the refectory of the convent.   SHORT HISTORY In 1460, the Congregation of Dominicans in Milan received a piece of land from Count Gaspare Vimercati. On this land, there was a small chapel dedicated to Santa Maria delle Grazie (Holy Mary of Grace), where the Dominicans decided to built a new church. On September 10, 1463, the first stone was laid, and the work began under the supervision of the architect Guiniforte Solari. Thanks to the patronage of the Vimercati, the convent was completed in 1469. Simultaneously with the construction of the convent, the building of the church began. The project was for a basilica with 3 naves, with ogival vaults and a gabled facade. Terracotta was used for the walls, while granite was used for the columns and capitals. In 1492, the new Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, also known as il Moro (the Moor), decided to rebuilt the cloister and the apse of the church. The apse is Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio

    Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio is a beautiful church in Milan, located in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio. One of the oldest churches in the city, it is traditionally considered the second most important church in Milan, after the Duomo.   SHORT HISTORY A first church was built on this place between 379 and 386, at the behest of the bishop of Milan, Ambrogio, in an area where Christians martyrs of the Roman persecutions were buried. For this, it was dedicated to the martyrs and called Basilica Martyrum. Ambrogio wanted to place here all the relics of the holy martyrs Vittore, Nabore, Felice, Vitale, Valeria, Gervasio and Protasio. In 397, he was also buried here, and the church was later renamed in his honor. In the 9th century, the bishop Angilbert II added a large apse to the church, preceded by a room with a barrel vault, under which the liturgical functions took place. In the same period, the apse was decorated with a large mosaic, the Redeemer enthroned between the martyrs Protasio and Gervasio, with the archangels Michael and Gabriel above. The basilica received its current shape between 1088 and 1099, when, at the behest of Bishop Anselmo III da Rho, it was radically Read more [...]

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    Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

    Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a covered pedestrian street located near the Milan Cathedral, which connects Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala, in Milan. The gallery is one of the oldest shopping malls in Italy and one of the most famous landmarks of Milan. Since its inauguration in the 19th century, due to the presence of elegant shops and cafés, the gallery became the meeting place of the Milanese bourgeoisie, being known as the living room of Milan.   SHORT HISTORY The idea of a street that connected Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Scala was first promoted in 1839 by the writer Carlo Cattaneo, as a solution for the area in front of the Milan Cathedral. In 1863, the Municipality of Milan announced a competition for the new street project. The winner was the project of the architect Giuseppe Mengoni, for a cross-shaped gallery and a porticoed building in Piazza del Duomo. The ceremony for the laying of the first stone by King Vittorio Emanuele II took place on March 7, 1865. The works, excluding the triumphal entry arch, were completed in less than three years. The gallery was finished only ten years later, in 1878, when the Read more [...]

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    Milan Cathedral of the Nativity of Saint Mary

    The Cathedral of the Nativity of Saint Mary, better known as Duomo di Milano, is the largest church in Italy and the fourth largest in the world. The Cathedral, which took almost six hundred years to complete, is the most important tourist attraction in Milan and the most famous symbol of the city.   SHORT HISTORY Once, on the place where the Duomo stands today, there was the ancient Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Basilica of Santa Tecla. After the collapse of the bell tower of the cathedral, the Archbishop Antonio de’ Saluzzi, supported by the population, proposed in 1386 the building of a new and larger cathedral. For the new church, both previous churches were demolished. In January 1387, the foundations of the pylons were laid. The chief architect was Simone d’Orsenigo, who, in 1388, began the perimeter walls. Between 1389 and 1390, the French Nicolas de Bonaventure was commissioned to design the windows. In 1393, the first capital of the pillars was sculpted by Giovannino de’ Grassi, who was the main architect of the work until his death, in 1398. In 1400, Filippino degli Orgi took his place, who focused on the construction of the apse Read more [...]

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    Castello Sforzesco

    Castello Sforzesco, one of the largest castles in Europe, was built in the 15th century by Francesco Sforza. Located outside the historical center of Milan, the castle was one of the main military citadels of Europe between the 16th and 17th centuries. Restored between 1890 and 1905, it is now home to cultural institutions and important museums.   SHORT HISTORY Between 1360 and 1370, a fortification was built on this place by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the first Duke of Milan. The fortification was called Castello di Porta Giovia and had a defensive function. Castello di Porta Giovia was a square-shaped castle with 200 meters long sides and four towers at the corners, two of which were particularly imposing, and 7 meters thick walls. The building became a permanent residence of the Visconti dynasty, to be later destroyed in 1447 by the newborn Repubblica Ambrosiana, founded by the Milanese nobles. After the fall of the Ambrosian Republic, the new Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, began the reconstruction of the castle in 1450, to make it his residence. In 1452, the architect Filarete was hired by the Duke for the construction and decoration of the median tower, which is still called Torre Read more [...]

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    Torre Velasca

    Torre Velasca is a skyscraper in Milan, located in the homonymous square. Its name derives from the name of the Spanish politician Juan Fernández de Velasco, Duke of Milan in the 17th century.   SHORT HISTORY The building was designed by Studio BBPR for the company Ri.C.E. (Ricostruzione Comparti Edilizi SpA), which in 1949 obtained from the Municipality of Milan the license to build a multi-storey building for mixed commercial and residential use, following the devastation inflicted by the heavy bombings of the Second World War. The design studies began in 1950, with the collaboration of the Turin engineer Arturo Danusso, and were immediately directed towards the creation of a new symbol of the post-war rebirth of Milan. The final design of the building was completed in 1955, and was approved by the client and carried out by the General Real Estate Company between 1956 and 1957. The construction work lasted 292 days, ending eight days ahead of schedule. Following some changes of ownership in the 2000s, the building passed to the Fondiaria Sai, part of the Ligresti Group and, subsequently, after the merging with Unipol, it became part of the real estate assets of the new company UnipolSai, which Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria del Carmine

    The Church of Santa Maria del Carmine is a beautiful church in Milan, located in Piazza del Carmine, in the Brera district.   SHORT HISTORY In 1268, the Carmelites settled near the Castello Sforzesco, where, starting from the 14th century, they began to build their convent and an adjoining church, which was destroyed by fire in 1330. The current church was built beginning with 1339 on a project by Fra Bernardo from Venice. The works were completed in 1446 by the architect Pietro Antonio Solari. As soon as it was finished, the vault of the church collapsed and, only three years later, the restoration work began. In the 17th century, the presbytery was radically restored in Baroque style and assumed its current conformation. The current facade, built in 1880, is the work of Carlo Maciachini.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church overlooks the square of the same name. Built in 1880 in a rich neo-Gothic style, it is the work of Carlo Maciachini, famous also for the design of the Monumental Cemetery of Milan. The facade is divided by large pilasters, each surmounted by a Gothic canopy. Above the central portal, there is a mosaic lunette with Read more [...]

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    Temple of Victory

    The Temple of Victory (Tempio della Vittoria), known also as the Memorial to Fallen Milanese Soldiers (Sacrario dei Caduti Milanesi), is a monument in Milan, located in Largo Agostino Gemelli, near the apse area of the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio.   SHORT HISTORY The monument, dedicated to the memory of the Milanese soldiers who fell during the First World War, was built on a project by the architect Giovanni Muzio, with the collaboration of Alberto Alpago Novello, Tomaso Buzzi, Ottavio Cabiati and Gio Ponti, between 1927 and 1930. According to tradition, the memorial is located on a site where, in ancient times, there was the cemetery of the martyrs of the early Christian era, to which martyred soldiers of the First World War relate. The monument was inaugurated on November 4, 1928, with a great ceremony, in which the Prince Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta and commander of the Italian Third Army during the First World War, read the text of the Victory Bulletin to the huge crowd present, composed mainly of veterans from 1918. Severely damaged during the heavy bombings of Milan from 1943, the monument was rebuilt after the war. It was expanded in 1973 with the large memorial Read more [...]

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    Columns of San Lorenzo

    The Columns of San Lorenzo (Colonne di San Lorenzo) is a late Roman monument in Milan, located in front of the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore, near the Medieval Ticinese Gate (Porta Ticinese Medievale). The Columns have a particular emotional meaning for the Milanese, testifying the history of the ancient Mediolanum, capital of the Western Roman Empire between the 3rd and the 5th century.   SHORT HISTORY The Columns of San Lorenzo were brought here in the 4th century, to form an atrium in front of the ancient basilica. The columns came from various Roman buildings dating back to the 2nd or 3rd century, probably from a pagan temple located in the area of today’s Piazza Santa Maria Beltrade. Until 1935, in the current square located between the Columns and the Basilica of San Lorenzo, there were old buildings, which were demolished to give greater coherence and monumentality to the basilica. The new square was subsequently occupied by the tram tracks, which in the 1990s were moved beyond the Columns. In 1937, the bronze statue of the Emperor Constantine was placed in the square, a modern copy of the antique original preserved in Rome.   ARCHITECTURE The Columns of San Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore

    Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore is one of the oldest churches in Milan, and together with the Columns of San Lorenzo, located a few meters away, is considered an important Roman monumental complex. The church is dedicated to Saint Lawrence, one of the seven deacons of Rome, who was martyred in 258 during the persecution of the Christians by the Roman Emperor Valerian.   SHORT HISTORY The church dates back to a period between the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 5th century, and was built on the remains of a temple dedicated to Hercules by the Emperor Maximian. The church was damaged by fire in 1071 and 1072, its dome collapsed in 1103, and it was destroyed again by fire in 1124. The church was then rebuilt in Romanesque style, maintaining the original internal layout. During the Middle Ages, the basilica remained a symbol of the Roman heritage in Milan, and a privileged burial place for the city’s bishops. In 1573, the dome of the church collapsed once again during a liturgical celebration. Given the importance of the building, Cardinal Carlo Borromeo comissioned the architect Martino Bassi to rebuilt the dome according to the tastes of Read more [...]

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    Church of San Fedele

    The Church of San Fedele is a church located in the heart of Milan, between Palazzo Marino and the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery. The church was built in the 16th century by the will of the archbishop Carlo Borromeo, to house the Society of Jesus, and is dedicated to Saint Fidelis of Como.   SHORT HISTORY An ancient church located on this place and dedicated to St. Fidelis of Como is mentioned in a bull of Pope Eugene III of 1147. In 1567, the structure was entrusted to the Jesuits, shortly after their arrival in Milan. The Jesuits started some restoration and enlargement works. In 1569, the archbishop Carlo Borromeo entrusted the construction of a new church to the architect Pellegrino Tibaldi, who completed the building in 1579. The consecration of the church took place in the same year. After the suppression of the Jesuit Order in 1773, the church was entrusted to the priests from the nearby Church of Santa Maria alla Scala. After the demolition of Santa Maria alla Scala in 1776 to make room for the Teatro alla Scala, the Church of San Fedele took the title of Santa Maria alla Scala in San Fedele, and was Read more [...]

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    Casa Manzoni

    Casa Manzoni is a palace located in Via Gerolamo Morone, in Milan, famous for beeing the home of the writer Alessandro Manzoni from 1814 to his death. Alessandro Manzoni was an Italian writer, poet and playwright, who is considered one of the greatest Italian novelists of all time for his famous novel The Betrothed, the cornerstone of the Italian literature.   SHORT HISTORY In 1813, three years after Alessandro Manzoni returned to Milan, together with his wife Enrichetta Blondel and his mother Giulia Beccaria, after a five-year experience in Paris, he bought a new house in Via Morone. Manzoni moved to his new home a few months later, starting a series of modernization works, including the reconstruction of the facade oriented towards the Piazza Belgioioso. The current appearance of the facade is owed to the architect Andrea Boni, who, in 1864, at the request of Manzoni, rebuilt the palace in Neo-Renaissance style. The facade, inspired by the Lombard Renaissance architecture, is composed of elaborate terracotta decorations. Above all, the portal and the balcony stand out. Until a few years ago, the Lombard Historical Society and the National Center of Manzoni Studies were housed in the building, on the ground floor. Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Reale di Milano

    Palazzo Reale di Milano (Royal Palace of Milan), formerly Palazzo del Broletto Vecchio, was for many centuries the seat of the government of Milan and a royal residence until 1919, when it was acquired by the state, becoming a venue for exhibitions and events. Originally designed with a system of two courtyards, then partially demolished to make room for the Duomo, the palace is located to the right of the facade of the Cathedral of Milan, opposite to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.   SHORT HISTORY A former palace that stood on the same area in the late Middle Ages, the Broletto Vecchio, also called Brolo di Sant’Ambrogio, was the first documented seat of the Municipality of Milan. The palace, built before the 10th century, ended this function in 1251, when the municipal office was moved to the Palazzo della Ragione. Broletto Vecchio was then demolished, and in its place was built the Palazzo Reale, known at first as the Palazzo del Broletto Vecchio, recalling the name of the pre-existing building. Palazzo Reale became a political center during the lords of the Torriani, Visconti and Sforza families, taking later the role of Palazzo Ducale, the seat of the Duchy of Read more [...]

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    Piazza del Duomo

    Piazza del Duomo is the main square of Milan, and its true commercial center for over seven centuries. The square is the vital center of the city, the meeting point of the Milanese to celebrate important events and, together with the adjacent Cathedral of Milan, a desired destination for tourists from all over the world.   SHORT HISTORY The birth of the square can be traced back to Azzone Visconti, Lord of Milan from 1329 until his death, who, in order to create a useful space for mercantile activities, created the Arengo Square between the Churches of Santa Maria Maggiore and Santa Tecla. Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the first Duke of Milan, further enlarged the square, ordering the demolition of the bishop’s house in 1385 and the Baptistery of San Giovanni alle Fonti in 1387. In 1458, with the blessing of Pope Pius II, Francesco Sforza, the fourth Duke of Milan, obtained permission to demolish the Basilica of Santa Tecla to create a large square worthy of the Duomo, which, at that time, was under construction. In 1548, the architect Vincenzo Seregni created a new project for the Piazza del Duomo, but due to lack of funds, the only work that Read more [...]

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    Arco della Pace

    Arco della Pace is a triumphal arch in Milan, a neoclassical monument located between the beginning of Corso Sempione and the northern edge of the Sempione Park. The arch, inaugurated on 10 September 1838 during a ceremony attended by the newly crowned emperor Ferdinand I of Austria, is dedicated to the peace established between the European nations at the Vienna Congress of 1815.   SHORT HISTORY The first arch was built in January 1806, on the design of Luigi Cagnola, to celebrate the arrival in Milan of the newlyweds Eugène de Beauharnais, Viceroy of Italy, and Princess Augusta of Bavaria. The arch was raised on Corso di Porta Orientale, now Corso Venezia, and was built from canvas, plastic and timber. Given the success of the arch among foreign visitors, the council of Milan, the municipality of the time, decreed on 8 February that a new marble arch will be erected in a more appropriate place. The new work, designed also by Cagnola to celebrate the French victory in the Battle of Jena, was built starting with the autumn of 1807. The works were directed by Cagnola himself and supervised by Domenico Moglia, Nicola Pirovano, Francesco Peverelli and Bai Gio Battista, Read more [...]