Milan guide - general information

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Milan general info:

Milan arouses extreme feelings, as extreme is the typical Milanese life style. “Work hard, play hard” is its motto, and in fact it is very difficult to keep out of the game and not fall for the numerous sources of entertainment the city offers. Perhaps this is the reason why once you know Milan it’s impossible to forget it.
With one of the richest artistic heritage in Italy, Milan calls for discovering: stroll along the city centre and breathe Milan’s ancient romantic spirit. Milan is also well known as the (national and international) capital of fashion and design; and in fact it is here that you can find some of the most important show rooms of haute couture and design.
For long Milan has also been an important artistic avant-garde centre and it is also considered a site of social behaviour in continuous transformation. It is a city of thousands contradictions, ancient and modern at the same time, fashionable and “retrò” (backward looking), trendy and underground, bourgeois and popular, but always cool.

Not miss :

The Duomo
The most outstanding example of Gothic-Lombard architecture, the Duomo dates back to 1300. It was built on the wishes of Gian Galeazzo Visconti. This imposing religious building, second only to St Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, houses almost 3500 statues that are spread over an area of almost 12,000 square meters. The tallest spire, which has the famous “Madonnina” on top of it, is 108 meters high. The statue of the Virgin Mary, the “Madonnina”, is covered in 3900 pieces of gold leaf.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele:
This was built around 1870 and is called the “salotto di Milano” (The Milan Lounge): If you walk along its cross-shaped "arms", topped by the glass and iron structure, you can see old coffee-shops, restaurants, boutiques and historical bookshops.

Piazza Mercanti
This characteristic square near the Duomo is surrounded by very interesting historical buildings that represent Milanese culture from the middle ages to the seventeenth century. These include Palazzo della Ragione that dates back to 1200, the Loggia degli Osii, the seventeeth century Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine and Palazzo dei Giureconsulti that stands at the top of Via Mercanti.

Parco Sempione
This park stands behind Castello Sforzesco. It is huge and fascinating with its lakes, meadows and little bridges. It is the ideal place to spend a Sunday afternoon in the fresh air. The Park is home to monuments such as the Arena Napoleonica, the Tower designed by Giò Ponti and the Triennale di Milano.

Giardini di Porta Venezia
Between Via Palestro and Porta Venezia, are these beautiful garden, a favorite retreat from Milan in the spring afternoon. The Gardens, the first of Milan to be open to the public, from the late 1700s, but were rebuilt around 1880. Among the many monuments dedicated to leading figures in Italian history, one can admire numerous botanical species.

Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio
It is the symbol of religiosity in Milan. Built in 379 d.c. Lombard-Romanesque style, was consecrated by the famous Bishop Ambrose, who should be the name of the Ambrosian Church. Inside are kept precious artifacts and works of art that document the 1600 years of history of the city.

Basilica di Sant' Eustorgio
Beautiful religious building dating from the Middle Ages, built the first of 300 at the behest of the bishop Eustorgio it carries, from Constantinople to here the relics of the Magi, still kept in the chapel.

Basilica di San Lorenzo Maggiore
Located in front of Roman columns, the only evidence of a temple dating from the third century, this marvelous cathedral has many stylistic overlap, due to the various restorations suffered. Elements are prevalent early Christian (for example the mosaics) but other more recent styles also stand out, ranging from 1600 (the dome) to 1800 (front view).

Santa Maria delle Grazie
Built in the second half of 1400, was completed years later at the request of Ludovico il Moro by Bramante, to whom we owe the wonderful forum, the Cloister and the Old Sacristy. In the refectory Leonardo da Vinci fresco "Last Supper", one of the most celebrated works of art in history.


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