A historic heart

Milan boasts a unique artistic heritage, of which Da Vinci's Last Supper is the best-known masterpiece. Over 2,400 years of history have bestowed a rich inheritance on the city, with archaeological remains, Roman basilicas, Paleochristian mosaics, gothic cathedrals, Art Nouveau monuments and globally renowned museums preserving sculptures by Michelangelo and canvasses by Picasso.

And don't worry if you don't have much time, since the best news is that Milan offers an incredible number of attractions concentrated into the small historic centre. All these sites can be reached on foot passing through romantic cobbled streets.

The Duomo is the church which symbolises the city. Entirely built in Candoglia marble, the cathedral was begun in 1386 and only finished centuries later in 1966. The imposing structure, decorative sculptures and over 3,400 statues combine with magnificent windows for a dramatic overall effect. This huge and beautiful building is completed with 135 spires and crowned by the great tower topped with the famous Madonnina.
The Last Supper
After years of work the restoration of this fresco has recently been completed. Da Vinci's innovative techniques caused serious problems of conservation. UNESCO has declared the Last Supper as a World Heritage site.
Pinacoteca di Brera
This national gallery is among the most famous in the world, containing masterpieces of Italian painting from the 14th to 20th century. These include Piero della Francesca's "Brera Altarpiece", Raphael's "Marriage of the Virgin", the "Lamentation over the Dead Christ" by Andrea Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini's "Pietà", the "Cristo alla Colonna" by Bramante and Caravaggio's "Supper at Emmaus".
Castello Sforzesco
Begun in the late 1400s, the front of the Castle is dominated by the tower by Filarete. Inside the Rocchetta Courtyard - where the castle-dwellers could retreat in times of danger – was designed by Bramante, and houses the treasury. The normal residence was within the so-called Ducal Court, a set of richly frescoed and decorated rooms. One of Da Vinci's Milanese works, the "Sala delle Assi" can be found here.
The symbolic basilica of Milan, its history is intertwined that that of the city. It was first built in 379AD and consecrated in 387 at the wish of Saint Ambrose, the patron of Milan who became bishop on 7 December 373, a day still celebrated in the Lombard capital. The absolute pinnacle of medieval Roman architecture, the basilica contains magnificent Paleochristian mosaics.
San Lorenzo
This is Milan's oldest Roman church (4th century) and is still practically untouched today. The façade, surrounded by 16 third century Corinthian columns with a bronze statue of the Emperor Constantine at the centre, is crowned by a majestic eight-spired cupola from the sixteenth century, the largest in Milan. Inside, mosaics date back to the 4th century.
Santa Maria delle Grazie
Built in the late 1400s in the Gothic style, the church was completed by Bramante, who is believed to have rebuilt the enormous apse there. The apse is a classic example of the spacious architecture of the Renaissance, along with another two delightful additions, the Cloister and the Old Sacristy. The attached ancient Dominican convent houses Da Vinci's celebrated "Last Supper" on the refectory wall.
Art Nouveau
Palazzo Berri Meregalli. This surprising building with its rich sculpted decoration, frescos and wrought iron embellishment is a fine example of late Art Nouveau, constructed in 1913 by the architect Giulio Ulisse Arata.
Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
The art gallery was founded by Cardinal Federico Borromeo in 1618 with the aim of educating young generations of artists. It is located inside the Palazzo dell'Ambrosiana whose construction began in 1609. Today it preserves some of the most important works in the world by artists such as Leonardo, Caravaggio, Tiziano, Botticelli and Tintoretto.
San Maurizio
the Church was built in 1503 and was an integral part of the Monastero Maggiore. This is where its characteristic division into two distinct parts comes from. The nuns who lived in the monastery could not in fact come into contact with the people who attended religious services. The Church also owes its fame to the frescoes that decorate the walls, made by Bernardino Luini.
Fondazione Prada
The Fondazione Prada has added to the already rich artistic offer of the city an unparalleled heritage of contemporary artworks. Its iconic gilded tower and the restaurant designed by Wim Wenders must be included in your bucket list.
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