Little time and many things to see? Here is a guide to the 10 places not to be missed
to discover Milan in one day.
At first glance, Milan may seem like a very large city, but in reality its historic center is easy to cross in no time. On a sunny day, walking through the most central streets is the best thing to do, to enjoy Milanese life and visit the main attractions. To better understand the frenzy that characterizes the soul of the city, we have thought of an itinerary for those who do not want to waste time, but still grasp every beauty that is hidden in the neighbourhoods of Milan.
If you arrive in the city by train, reaching the Porta Garibaldi district from the central station is very quick. You will immediately immerse yourself in the Milanese skyscrapers, where the large multinationals are based, discovering corners that recall the most famous metropolitan cities in the world. Adjacent to Piazza Gae Aulenti, which is surrounded by the majestic Unicredit Tower, is the Biblioteca degli Alberi di Milano, a park that preserves over 100 botanical species. Then walking down Corso Como, a street that comes alive with young people in the evening, you arrive at Porta Garibaldi, one of the six main gates of Milan.
MONUMENTAL CEMETERY AND CHINATOWN
Coming from Corso Como, turning right into Viale Pasubio, and then right again into Via Ceresio, you will arrive in front of the Monumental Cemetery. This open-air museum preserves the remains of famous people for scientific, literary or artistic merits, such as the famous Alessandro Manzoni. The cemetery is open to the public and can be visited both independently and through an expert guide for more information see the official website.
Retracing Via Ceresio in the opposite direction, you reach the beginning of Via Paolo Sarpi, considered the Milanese China Town. This is a perfect place to taste some excellent oriental street food, ideal for a quick lunch before reaching the next destination.
ARCO DELLA PACE AND SEMPIONE PARK
Arriving at the end of Via Paolo Sarpi, you can easily reach the Arco della Pace, a triumphal arch dating back to the first half of the 1800s. This imposing monument overlooks the Sempione Park, the most important green lung in Milan. Inside the park there are historic buildings such as the Civic Arena, the Palazzo dell’Arte and the Civic Aquarium, but also numerous paths to follow to discover every panoramic point of the park. Here is also the Torre Branca, which we talked about in this article: one of the places to see Milan from above.
At the other end of the park is the Sforzesco Castle, built by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan in the 15th century. This complex represents one of the symbols of the city, with its Renaissance architecture and cultural presence. Today, in fact, it houses historical archives and museums open to the public, for which it is possible to buy tickets on the website,
Here during the year various events, temporary exhibitions and musical initiatives take place, promoted by the city of Milan to create a cultural offer for its citizens and visitors.
The itinerary then continues through the alleys of Brera, a romantic neighbourhood where cobblestone streets and elegant buildings blend to create a suggestive atmosphere. Here is the Pinacoteca di Brera, an art museum that collects masterpieces by Tintoretto, Mantegna, Caravaggio and Raffaello; the visit takes time, but if you want more information, we recommend you visit the official website.
Inside the complex, there are also the Academy of Fine Arts, the Lombard Institute of Sciences and Letters, the Astronomical Observatory, the Braidense National Library and the Botanical Garden, a true secret garden among the Milanese palaces.
PIAZZA DELLA SCALA
Leaving the Palazzo Brera and following the homonymous street, you reach Piazza della Scala, where the famous opera house is located. Inaugurated in 1778, today the Teatro alla Scala is one of the most technically avant-garde and boasts a globally recognized corps de ballet and orchestra. For a short visit or to enjoy a show, the theatre is open to the public; by consulting the calendar on the official website, it is possible to purchase tickets for admission to events or guided tours.
VITTORIO EMANUELE II GALLERY
Crossing Piazza della Scala you find yourself in front of the entrance arch to the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, also called "Milan's living room" due to the frequent meetings of the bourgeoisie that took place, since its construction, on this covered pedestrian street. Recognized as a shopping centre, it houses less than a hundred bars and luxury shops distributed in a cross plan. Crossing the gallery, it is possible to focus on a small but significant detail: a mosaic depicting a Bull, placed on the west wing of the gallery. This brings with it a superstitious ritual, for which it is said that doing three turns on the bull's balls with the right foot brings good luck.
PIAZZA DEL DUOMO
Once you have walked through the Gallery you finally arrive in front of the most awaited
destination, the Piazza del Duomo. This is the meeting point of the Milanese par excellence, where The main city events take place. The surface of the square is bordered by historic buildings, among which the Duomo stands out, with its marble architecture and neo-Gothic decorations. The ascent to the terraces is one of the must-do things in Milan, so in this article we reported this panoramic viewpoint among the best to see the city skyline. The cathedral and the entire monumental complex can be visited by purchasing tickets on site or online at the website.
VIA TORINO AND PORTA TICINESE
Before setting off again, some shopping is a must, so a quiet walk along the windows of Via Torino, which starts right from Piazza del Duomo, can be a great way to add it to your itinerary. Here you can find all the main brands of clothing and objects, up to Corso di Porta Ticinese where some independent and very original boutiques find their space. Along this road there are also the Columns of San Lorenzo, an ancient Roman ruin that overlooks the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore.
DARSENA AND NAVIGLI
Finally, in time for a quick aperitif or a more relaxed happy hour, you reach the Darsena with its two canals. This area is the most popular with young people who want to spend an eventful evening among the clubs of the "Milan to drink", in fact here there are numerous bars where you can have a few drinks and munch something until late at night. If you arrive in time for sunset, you can enjoy an indescribable spectacle from here; between the sky that turns pink and the streets that are filled with life, you can say goodbye to the city by toasting the day just passed.
These ten stops enclose the essence of Milan in one day, capturing both its historical and modern sides. Given the short distances, it is possible to reach every point of the itinerary on foot or by rental vehicles. In our last article we reported different ways to get around the city in a quickly and comfortable way, enjoying the view from the street and without impacting the environment. We like to think that this path can only be the basis of a more personal experience, built in detail on your needs and preferences, so we would like you to leave a comment and tell us what you really shouldn't miss when visiting a new city, and if you want come back for more tips on Milan.
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