Renowned as the capital of design and fashion, Milan is located in Italy’s northern Lombardy region. This charming city abounds with art and culture, and here are 5 tourist spots not to be missed:
Duomo di Milano
Milan cathedral, dedicated to the Nativity of St Mary is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan. The second-largest cathedral in the world, Duomo di Milano is a breathtaking structure that took 6 centuries to construct.
The exterior of the cathedral is predominantly Gothic with modern stained-glass windows. It is characterized by dramatic ornamentation with myriads of spires and statutes. Workers from all over Europe participated in the construction and this is overall a fitting representation of the stylish Milanese heritage.
Located about a mile from Duomo, Castello Sforzesco was the former residence of the rulers of Milan. It is now a campus, the home to 12 art and history museums. For example, you will find the museum of Decorative arts here, the Egyptian museum, the Picture Gallery, the Museum of Musical Instruments, and many others. Each museum has a different gated entrance.
While you are here, head to Parco Sempione, a large beautiful park with flowers and lots of greenery.
Ambrosiana Library and Picture Gallery
The library is a treasure trove of artwork, most of which was donated by the former archbishop of Milan Frederico Borromeo. He was also the founder of the library. He gifted the facility with all the statutes, paintings, and drawings that made up his private collection.
The masters whose works are displayed in the gallery include Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian and Boticelli. The Library also houses relics such as the gloves won by Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo.
This is a cemetery with a difference and is a must-see because of the striking architecture found here. The cemetery is the site of Greek temples, life-like sculptures, and obelisks. Designed by Carlo Maciachini, the cemetery opened in 1866 and features mausoleums of prominent families.
‘The Temple of Fame’ is the main entrance and it features a large impressive building made of marble and brick.
Parts of the cemetery were once reserved for the wealthy which explains the ornate adornment of the burial sites. The plots have been turned into artistic masterpieces. You will see images of angels standing guard over graves and other memorable sights.
The designs of the tombs range from contemporary to classical, and you get the feeling that you are in an open-air museum.
The Last Supper
Milan’s Santa Maria Delle Grazie church is home to Leonardo da Vinci’s work ‘The Last Supper’. Travelers flock here to view the painting depicting Christ and his apostles partaking their last meal together before his betrayal.
A masterpiece that is rich in detail, those who observe the faces of the apostles are impressed by the way each one of them has a different expression.
This late-15th century mural was meant to capture the moment before Jesus revealed that he would be betrayed. The duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza commissioned the mural. Through the centuries, however, it has suffered damage and has undergone several restorations. It remains in a fragile state, hence visitors can only view it in small groups.
Milan is a city that is modern, classy, and less touristy than other Italian cities. It is definitely worth a visit.