The best historic places in Milan

For those looking to escape the catwalk and soak up some of the city’s fascinating ancient culture, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite historic attractions in town.
It’s easy to understand, when looking at the beautiful art and architecture of Milan, why this city became a capital of high fashion. Mirroring the stunning haute couture designs, the city offers visitors a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the romantic and elegant design of the past. Make the most of your holiday with our guide to some of the unmissable historic beauties in town.

Duomo of Milan

The Cathedral of Milan, the Duomo, is among the city’s most important attractions for a reason. This pinnacle of Gothic architecture is the largest of its kind in the world and took almost 500 years to complete after construction started in 1386.

Take an elevator to the top and stroll the roof amongst the 3,200 statues, 135 spires, and the spectacular city views. But get there early, as it can quickly become crowded.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

It may be a shopping mall, but this is one like no other in the world. Erected in 1867, the Galleria features not only some of the flagship stores for several world-famous brands such as Prada, but also spectacular domed ceilings of glass and iron.

The Belle-Époque style streets and façades display stunning mosaics and house a wondrous array of shopping, dining, and cafés.

La Scala Opera House

For those who like a little music or fancy a fabulously romantic evening out, there’s nothing better than La Scala Opera House.

Opened in 1778, La Scala has since become one of the paramount locations for opera in the world—but be sure to book tickets in advance, as they regularly sell out. There’s also a museum housed within the building, featuring a breathtaking collection of musical instruments and portraits, as well as offering tours of the Opera House and its history.

Santa Maria delle Grazie (and Da Vinci’s The Last Supper)

While the covent of Santa Maria delle Grazie is a splendid piece of 15th century architecture all by itself, the true attraction is the most famous work of Leonardo Da Vinci: The Last Supper.

Amazingly surviving the bombing in 1943, this spectacular fresco, said to be one of the finest examples of Renaissance artwork in the world, is certainly not to be missed. Remember to book tickets in advance for your own 15 minute viewing slot.

Parco Sempione

Take a relaxing stroll through the historic Parco Sempione, one of Milan’s most striking parks. Created in 1888, this lush garden is adjacent to the gardens of the Sforza Castle, another historic site and museum well worth a visit if time allows.

The famous Arch of Peace (or Porta Sempione) guards the other end of the park and whose origins date back to the Milan’s Roman walls, though the arch itself was constructed in the 19th century.

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