With over 8,81 million visitors per year Milan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. It is placed in 15th position in the world rankings of popular destinations. 80% of visitors say they want to come back. Visitors from Europe make up 56% of the total with Americans, Japanese, and Chinese making up the bulk of the rest.
With such glowing statistics, we have to ask what should a traveler see in Milan, Italy? 7 best places to visit.
1. Duomo di Milano.
Milan Cathedral, or more correctly, Cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente, is frequently just called “Il Duomo” is the fifth-largest cathedrals in the world, and the third-largest in Europe, with a capacity of 40,000 people. They began its construction in 1386, but it was not completed until 1965 when the last gate was inaugurated.
Architecturally, the general public is generally stunned by its beauty, whilst some of those in the architectural world have mixed opinions. The problem is that it took so many centuries to build that there were no fewer than 78 main architects and engineers, with so many influences over the centuries.
John Ruskin is quoted as saying that the Cathedral “steals from every style in the world: and every style spoiled.”
2. Leonardo da Vinci Last Supper.
Leonardo da Vinci most famous work, Last Supper, is painted on the refectory wall of this former Dominican monastery. The painting was completed in the late 15th century. Work was ongoing between 1495 and 1498.
The painting illustrates the Bible verse John 13:22. The painting shows the response to Jesus’s announcement that amongst their number was one who would betray him. The painting is 15ft high and 29ft long.
Unfortunately, during the Second World War, the church and adjoining refectory were badly damaged and the painting was left exposed to the elements. Before this occurred the painting was already starting to flake and the damage to the building only made it worse. There is currently ongoing restoration work will probably continue indefinitely.
Entrance is limited to advanced timed tickets so the best way of seeing the painting is by joining a tour, such as the Milan Half-Day Sightseeing Tour with da Vinci The Last Supper.
3. Castello Sforzesco.
Sforza Castle ( Castello Sforzesco ) was built by the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, in the 15th-century over the top of an earlier 14th-century fortification. The castle hosts a collection of works of art including Pietà Rondanini, Michelangelo’s last great work; which was brought here from Rome.
4. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: Luxury Shops and Elegant Cafés.
One place that really cannot be missed off our list of what should a traveler see in Milan? The 7 best places, is Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is located on one side of Piazza del Duomo and opens out on the opposite end to Piazza Della Scala. It is the oldest shopping mall in Italy. It is one of Milan’s primary landmarks.
It has a four-story double arcade and a massive glass-domed roof, made of iron and glass. The sheer size of the roof was an architectural milestone and is seen as an important point in the history of architecture. In common with other important structures in Milan, a lot of damage was done to the roof during the Second World War. There have been numerous issues with the roof in recent years and major work carried out in the 1980s.
In the early 2,000s the building was upgraded to become a more prestigious shopping and restaurant area and now mostly contains upmarket stores and eateries. In 2012 the city of Milan stopped McDonald’s from renewing its lease, which it had held for 20 years.
They sued the city council but eventually, a compromise was agreed and McDonald’s offered a new lease in property nearby. The McDonald’s store was replaced by a second Prada store.
The classic architecture and the exclusive mix of shops make The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II a worthwhile place to visit.
5. Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology.
The Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology is housed in a former monastery. The theme of the museum is the history of science and technology. It tracks progress from the earliest scientists until the modern era.
Not to be missed is the Leonardo da Vinci Gallery. This gallery has some amazing working models of his inventions and machines. Leonardo Da Vinci was accomplished in many different fields such as civil engineering, chemistry, geology, geometry, hydrodynamics, mathematics, mechanical engineering, optics, physics, pyrotechnics, and zoology.
It is only in the last century and a half that his talent as an inventor has really been recognized.
He was way ahead of his time and had concepts inventions for:
- The helicopter;
- An armored fighting vehicle;
- Solar power;
He had theories on plate tectonics and the double hull. He was acknowledged to have extended the fields of knowledge in Astronomy, Optics, Anatomy, Civil Engineering, and Hydrodynamics.
The museum has 15,000 exhibits in the fields of Italian science, industry, and technology.
6. Opera at Teatro Alla Scala.
Anyone who knows opera will have heard of La Scala. It is quite simply the most famous/prestigious opera house in the world. The auditorium holds 2,800 people and has a season that runs from December through to May.
Tickets are not easy to come by and getting a ticket is something you should investigate before coming to Milan. If you are in Milan your hotel concierge might have a way of getting tickets at short notice.
In the same building, you will find the museum that contains personal items from the opera greats. If there is no rehearsal taking place it might also be possible to have a look inside the opera house.
Finally, there is one place that is an essential destination for the evening. That place is the Naviglio, which are an area containing canal-side eateries and music venues. It is a center for nightlife and has a unique atmosphere.
In the daytime, it also features boutiques and artist workshops and regular special events. It is a great place to unwind.
Once you have visited Milan you will understand why it is such a popular destination for tourists and why they usually want to come back. In this list of what should a traveler see in Milan? The 7 best places, we have attempted to give you a flavor of what the city holds.
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