All SEE in Lombardy

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, here is a list of Italy’s best-known attractions and sights…

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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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    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 [...]