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About Milano

Milan is one of Italy's most fashionable cities in Europe but it also holds several historic and artistic attractions, including the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the Last Supper painting, and the famous La Scala Opera. Travelers to Milan will find a fast-paced, glamorous city with a thriving cultural scene and a top city for shopping.


Duomo: the best Gothic cathedral

The Duomo, in addition to being an artistic monument, is a privileged place of prayer. The cathedral is closely bound to the memory and the Magisterium of Bishops, who succeeded Saint Ambrose on the bishop’s throne, and to the history of millions of devotees who gather here each year to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries.

“The Cathedral is the visible symbol of the unity of the entire Ambrosian Church that gathers around its Bishop. Actually, it is the concrete symbol and image of the century-old history of the Church of Milan: it is here in the Duomo that we see and admire the most excellent of its spiritual, liturgical, artistic and pastoral traditions.”
(Card. Dionigi Tettamanzi, homily for the solemnity of the Dedication of the Cathedral Church, October 17, 2004).



Milan is not just the Italian capital of business and finance. It is also a metropolis rich in history and culture, with endless possibilities for fun and shopping.

The city center 
The old city center is small enough to be toured by foot. Start visiting the city center from piazza del Duomo (yellow subway line 3 and red subway line 1). Must-see monuments include: 
The Duomo: the world’s third largest Church after St. Peter in Rome and the Seville Cathedral.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: designed to connect piazza del Duomo and piazza della Scala, this elegant covered street is lined with cafés, stores and bookshops. 
Alla Scala Theater: built by Giuseppe Piermarini between 1776 and 1778, it was destroyed by the 1943 bombing and promptly rebuilt. After being closed for three years for a thorough restoration by architect Mario Botta, the Teatro alla Scala was opened in winter 2004 and began the new season with renovated splendour. 
The restoration has earned Milan a new theater: the Arcimboldi Theater, designed by architect Gregotti, is the second theater in Europe by capacity. 
Palazzo Reale: former residence of the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, since 1965 it houses offices, temporary exhibitions and museums such as the Civico Museo d'Arte Contemporanea – the Museum of Contemporary Arts.

The Castello Sforzesco and its surroundings 
Not far from piazza Duomo lies another city area of extreme historical and artistic interest. 
The Castello Sforzesco: built in 1368 by the Visconti family, it was turned into a luxurious renaissance-style residence by the Sforzas. The must-sees inside the castle include the Sala delle Assi, whose arbor was painted by Leonardo da Vinci, and the Pietà Rondanini, the last work by Michelangelo.
The Parco Sempione: located behind the Castello Sforzesco, it was designed in English style at the end of the 1800s and extends for 47 hectares.
The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie: it was built in 1463. In the adjoining refectory of the Dominican Friars is the Cenacolo by Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most important works by the Florentine master. 

Brera and the fashion district
Behind the Alla Scala Theater lies the historical district of Brera, whose distinctive characteristic is the maze of narrow streets. Featuring countless clubs, antique dealers and art galleries, it also houses the eponymous Accademia di Belle Arti – the Fine Arts Academy – and the Pinacoteca – the Picture Gallery.
Located near the Alla Scala Theater, the fashion district is bounded by via Montenapoleone, via Manzoni, via Sant'Andrea and via Della Spiga. All the most renowned fashion and luxury brands have their boutiques and showrooms in this area.

The Navigli area
Although it is located a few hundred kilometers from the sea, until the 1950s Milan was Italy’s 13th port by amount of goods handled owing to the thick urban network of canals, which has contributed to the growth of the city over the centuries. Most of the 150 km canal network was closed in the 1930s. However, in the south area of the city (green subway line 2 - Porta Genova station) visitors can still get quite a good idea of the way the city looked in the past. 
Things to see include the Darsena (an artificial basin once used as a crossroads for all trading activities), the Naviglio Pavese, the Naviglio Grande (two branches of the Naviglio canal) and the Vicolo dei Lavandai (the Washermen’s Alley).

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