Milano in one day art and shopping

Brera
Brera – Photo © desertsky

Today we start from Piazza Scala, easily reached with the underground lines MM1 and MM3 from Piazza Duomo through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, or directly with several tram lines, the lines 1 and 2 stop right in the piazza.

The world famous La Scala theater and its museum can be visited: check on the La Scala web site for schedule and availability of tours.

Piazza Scala
Piazza Scala Photo © kids.britannica.com

From Piazza della Scala we take via Giuseppe Verdi, on the right of the Theater, and we make our way to the XVIII century Palazzo Clerici to see the great fresco which Gian Battista Tiepolo palm Led in 1740, entitled, The Course of the Sun, Via Verdi becomes Via Brera, and we come to the Brera, a distinguished building designed by Richini with an austere courtyard, in the center of which stands Canoed’s Statue of Napoleon (1809), inspired by classical models. This great gallery contains several masterpieces of Italian art from the XIV to the XX century such as: Raphael’s “Marriage of the Virgin”; Giovanni Bellini’s “Pieta’”; Piero della Francesca’s “Urbino Altarpiece”; Andrea Mantegna’s “The Dead Christ”; Caravaggio’s “Supper at Emmaus”; and Bramante’s “Christ at the Column”. There are also six new halls dedicated to Italian paintings between XIII and XVI century; and a collection of metaphysical paintings, in addition to the Maria and Emilio Jesi collection, which has been donated to the gallery.

Brera is an extremely important picture gallery, as is the astonishing collection of paintings left to the city in 1571 by Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli, which can be reached from the Brera by taking Via Borgonuovo and Via Manzoni. A visit to the two galleries will take up most of the morning.

For lunch go somewhere close by – we recommend “Latteria San Marco” in Via San Marco, 24, a 7 minutes walk from the end of via Brera, recommended also by Slow Food, a very small place with genuine Milanese cuisine. The place is tiny and doesn’t take reservations, so if you want to get one of the 8 very popular tables, arrive when it opens or wait until when a few tables will free up as the early-lunching tourist clientele clears out and the locals take over. After lunch we will continue our tour in the afternoon by wandering through the enchanting streets of romantic Milano, dear to Stendhal.

Via della Spiga
Via della Spiga Photo © www.hotelsempione.it

Choose the area delimited by Via Montenapoleone, the modern center of fashionable Milano, Via Sant’Andrea, Via Manzoni and Via delta Spiga. This is the area where you can do the most expensive shopping in Milano, be prepared to spend as much as $6,000 for a skirt, if you want, and can afford it! Fortunately you don’t have to buy anything, you can get by with some inexpensive window-shopping. Also go along Via Borgospesso, Via Santo Spirito and Via del Gesu, where you will be struck by the theatrical perspectives of the XVI century Palazzo Bagatti Valsecchi.

Enter the courtyards, where to your astonishment you will discover, among the splashing fountains, the green lawns and the elegant arcades, an atmosphere of quiet you would have never expected to find in the heart of the city.

Photo Marco - Milano, villa Reale
Photo Marco – Milano, villa Reale

You can then go on to the Public Gardens, or the Royal Villa. This villa is an interesting example of Italian Neo-Classicism: it was designed by Leopoldo Pollack in 1790 for Count Ludovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso, and it was used as a residence by Napoleon before becoming royal property. To the right of the facade facing the street, there is the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea (PAC, contemporary art gallery) designed in 1948-54 by Ignazio Gardella. This museum is recommended, you should be sure not to miss it.

Where to stay in Milan

There are hotels, apartments, B&Bs and guesthouses available, check it out and make a reservation here.