Parco Sempione (Milan) | 5 must-see attractions

Parco Sempione (Milan) | 5 must-see attractions

Parco Sempione is the largest green space in the city of Milan. It is located at the rear of Sforzesca Castle, in the northwest of the city. Covering an area of about 95 acres (38 hectares), it is a perfect haven to relax, to walk, jog, to bike ride or just about anything you wish, to fly away the time. The shaded area, sculptures and ornate fountains are especially inviting. Flora and fauna abound here as is the tranquillity in some areas where it is not crowded. This peaceful haven is popular amongst tourists as well as Milanese who seek respite from their hectic city life.

Parco Sempione, Milan, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

First established in 1888, the park was used as a hunting ground by the Sforza family, the Dukes of Milan. Then it was landscaped when Napolean came, with a few orchards. In 1891, a large park was constructed for the public. Today, Parco Sempione has a number of attractions on site which should not be missed when you are visiting this peaceful and tranquil haven. There are 5 attractions which are made up of the Sforza Castle, Arch of Peace, an aquarium, a sporting arena, and Torre Branca, one of the tallest tower in Milan.

Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners

1 | Sforza Castle in Parco Sempione

Sforzesco Castle, Parco Sempione, Milan by Dimitris Vetsikas

Sforza Castle is a landmark in Milan. An impressive red brick fortress which was initially built in the 14th century by the Visconti family. The Castle was almost destroyed during the Golden Ambrosian Republic. It underwent massive improvements and reconstruction later in the 15th century when the Sforza family became the Dukes of Milan, to be one of the largest palaces in Europe. Today, Sforza Castle is home to several museums that houses valuable art and masterpieces. Notably, Michelangelo’s unfinished last work, the Rondanini Pietà and Sala delle Asse, frescoes by Da Vinci.

Address: Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI, Italy | Hours: Tue – Sun 09:00 – 17:30


2 | Arco della Pace

Arco della Pace, Parco Sempione, Milan by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

The Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace) is a symbol of Milan and marks one of the historic gates. This was the strategic route taken by Napoleon when he invaded Northern Italy. This triumphal monument, is a beautiful structure made of marble and was completed in 1838. Standing at 23 metres and topped with horse-drawn chariots. is a landmark not to be missed when visiting Milan.

Address: Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy


3 | Arena Civica

Also in Parco Sempione, there is Arena Civica which is one of Milan’s most popular sporting venues. The official name is Arena Gianni Brera, named after the famous Italian writer and journalist. Designed by Luigi Canonica, the Arena Civica was Napolean’s mini-colosseum which he opened with a chariot race in 1807. This Neoclassical stadium hosts major sporting events such as soccer, rugby games and concerts. The Arena is open daily to the public.

It is quite a plain stadium but the entrance looked okay.

Address: Viale Giorgio Byron, 2, 20154 Milano MI, Italy


4 | Acquario Civico in Parco Sempione

The Acquario Civico di Milano (Civic Aquarium of Milan) is tucked away in a convenient corner of Parco Sempione. Opened in 1906, it is beautiful. but a rather small aquarium. Home to over one-hundred species of fish, it tells a story of the mountain streams to seabeds. The are video presentations on the rare species.

The Acquario Civico is open to the public every day except Monday. Entrance is free.

Address: Viale Gadio, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy


5 | Torre Branca

Torre Branca is no ordinary tower!. It is narrow and made completely of steel. At 108.6 metres, Torre Branca is one the City’s tallest buildings. The Tower was designed by Gio Ponti and erected in just two-and-half months in time for the 5th Triennale exhibition in 1933.

Take the elevator to the top, step out to see the incredible views over the City of Milan, the skyscrapers both old and new as well as the snow-capped mountains in the distance.

Opening times varies:

On mid April-mid October: 

Tues and Thurs 9.30pm-midnight | Wed 10.30am-12.30pm/4pm-6.30pm/9.30pm-midnight | Fri 2.30pm-6pm/9.30pm-midnight | Sat and Sun 10.30am-12.30am/2.30pm-7.30pm/9.30pm-midnight. 


On mid October-mid April: 

Wed 10.30am-12.30am/4pm-6.30pm | Sat 10.30am-1pm/3pm-6.30pm/8.30-midnight | Sun 10.30am-2pm/2.30pm-7pm.


Full ticket €5.

NB: The Torre Branca is closed for visits in case of bad weather.

Torre Branca
Parco Sempione, viale Milton
M1-M2 Cadorna FN
T:+39.02.3314120


Practical information when visiting Parco Sempione

1. Map of Parco Sempione

To support your visit to the Park, below is a map of Parco Sempione in Milan with markers for the 5 attractions I have listed on this post.


2. Plan ahead

When visiting Milan, consider joining a couple of city guided tours to enhance your experiences. There are hundreds of unmissable activities in Milan for all ages and interests. Plan ahead and secure your ticket/s especially if you are planning on visiting “The Last Supper” at the Santa Maria delle Grazie. Pre-book your tickets and stay flexible with easy cancellation up to 24 hours before. Save time, avoid queues and purchase skip the line tickets for major attractions. The following may be of interest to you:


3 | Read related articles

The following are some articles on Milan that may support your visit to the City:

Getting around Milan like a Local
Bucket List | Milan | Parco Sempione
Milan in one  day | Parco Sempione

So, what do you think? Is this post valuable to you in planning your visit to Parco Sempione? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you. As always, I am contactable for any further info or to design your itinerary for you.

Have a splendid time exploring Parco Sempione.

Georgina

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Parco Sempione is the largest green space in Milan. A public park since 1891, this oasis of natural habitat is home to 5 "must see" attractions.  This is a quick read for now to #travel later via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/Parco Sempione is the largest green space in Milan. A public park since 1891, this oasis of natural habitat is home to 5 "must see" attractions.  This is a quick read for now to #travel later via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/

Sforza Castle and Museums | Castello Sforzesco | Milan

Sforza Castle and Museums | Castello Sforzesco | Milan

Sforza Castle and Museums is an oasis of art and culture. This iconic destination is one of the landmarks in Milan. A favourite for visitors, it is home to some of the best museums that tells the stories of the city’s past. Although I couldn’t visit the museums during my recent visit to Milan, it is on my bucket list to do so on my next visit. The grounds were splendid, of which I am glad to have visited. Whether you visit this fashion capital for a day, or a few days, Sforza Castle should be on your list. I share what I have learnt of this magnificent Castle, both from research and from my personal experience. You will find Sforza Castle in Milan at:

45.4705° N, 9.1793° E

Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners

Sforza Castle
The Torre del Filarete (central tower), Sforza Castle, Milan by Dimitris Vetsikas of Pixabay

Why and When was Sforza Castle built

This iconic red brick fortress was built in the 14th century by the Visconti family who made it into a splendid palace. It was almost destroyed during the Golden Ambrosian Republic. Later, in the 15th century, it became the home of the Sforza family, who were powerful rulers of Milan. Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan built on the remnants of the 14th fortification. The castle was reconstructed with the involvement of several of the greatest artists of the times such as Donato Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci. It was one of the most magnificent residences in Italy as a result. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Sforza Castle was renovated and enlarged to be one of the largest castles in Europe.

During the next four centuries, the castle was dominated by foreign powers, French, Spanish, Austrian. The function changed as well, from a residence to a military complex. It was later used as barracks by the Italian army.

In 1905 the castle was completely restored to the way it was under the Sforza family by architect Luca Beltrami. The parade grounds at the rear of the castle was turned into a park.

Post restoration

During World War II, the castle was severely damaged. At the end of the twentieth century the Castle square was built with a fountain in the centre. In 2005, the restoration of the Cortile della Ghirlanda and the halls of the castle were completed.

Sforza Castle

The Sforza Castle is of a square plan, with three inner courtyards dominated by four imposing towers on each corner. There are two round towers facing the city and two square towers at the other end. The round towers are known as the Torre di Santi Spirito and the Torre del Carmine. At the rear are two more towers, the Torre Castellana and Torre Falconiera.


The main entrance to the Sforzesco Castle is via the castle’s tallest tower, Torre del Filarete. It leads to an expansive inner courtyard. Exploring the castle grounds will bring you to the Torre di Bona di Savoia. Beyond this tower lies two smaller courtyards, the Cortile della Rocchetta to the left and the Corte Ducale to the right.

The Rocchetta was the castle’s stronghold and the last refuge in case of a siege.

Castello Sforzesco
Corte Ducale, Sforzesco Castle, Milan, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

The Corte Ducale (Ducal Courtyard) is elegantly designed in Renaissance style with a beautiful loggia, Loggetta di Galeazzo Maria. Some of the rooms around the Corte Ducale are decorated with magnificent frescoes from the fifteenth century, designed by Leonardo da Vinci.

Sforza Castle today | An oasis of art & culture

Sforzesco Castle, Milan, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

The building alone is well worth a visit but within the walls of Sforza Castle is home to some treasure trove of Milan history.

The Museums at Sforza Castle

The Castle houses several distinct museums bringing together art, paintings, sculptors and musical instruments that tells the stories upon stories of Milan’s cultural and civic history. Watch the virtual tours through the links below, courtesy of Google Arts & Culture, and you will discover, as I, just how fascinating these museums are.

The highlights of the Museums are:

1 | Rondanini Pietà Museum

This museum features Michelangelo’s final and unfinished work, the Rondanini Pietà, now housed in the frescoed hall of the castle’s Ospedale Spagnolo (Spanish Hospital).

Michelangelo continued to work on this sculpture up until the last days before his death in Rome in 1564. It was just a few weeks before what would have been his 89th birthday.

Carved from a single block of marble, the sculpture depicting the Virgin Mary grieving over the body of Christ stands to a height of 74 inches.

Sforza Castle - Rondanini Pieta
Image from Google Arts & Culture

2 | The Museum of Ancient Art

The Museum of Ancient Art houses the Sforza family’s sculptures of great value from the 5th century to the 16th century.

3 | The Pinacoteca

The Pinacoteca (Picture Gallery) hosts Lombard, Venetian and Flemish works. Made up of over 1500 works of art between the 13th and 18th century, it includes famous names such as Canaletto, Mantegna, Bronzino, Lorenzo Lotto, and Titian.

Sforza Castle - Pinacoteca
Image from the official website of Pinacoteca Museum, Sforza Castle (View of Room 21)

4 | Museum of Musical Instruments

Displays musical instruments from all over the world and is one of the most important museums in the world.

5 | The Antique Furniture and Wooden Sculpture Museum

This part of the museum features antiques dating from the 15th to 20th centuries. The furniture are displayed in various rooms representing respective periods.

6 | Museum of Decorative Arts

The museum shows the work of pottery makers, sculptors, upholsterers and weavers.

7 | Sala delle Asse

This part of the the museum is frescoed by Leonardo da Vinci,

8 | Egyptian Museum

Houses several objects from Egypt including statues, and mummies.

9 | The Archaeological Museum of Milan

This museum is home to objects from the main cultures that lived in Lombardy from the Neolithic period.

There are couple more exhibitions such as the Medal & Numistica Collection, and the engraving collection, “Achille Bertarelli”.


Practical information for visiting Sforza Castle, Milan

Hours and Admission

Opening hours

Castle
Monday-Sunday   7.00-19.30

Museums
Tuesday-Sunday  9.00-17.30      Last admission 17.00 (only for ticket holders)

Closed on Mondays, December 25th, January 1st, May 1st

Free entry to Sforza Castle

The Castle’s central courtyard is free at all times. It is Free entry to the museums on every first and third Tuesday of the month from 14.00

How to get to Sforza Castle

Location: Sforzesco Castle, Piazza Castello, 20121 Milan

On public transport

M1 and M2 (red and green lines) Cadorna FN
M1 (red line) Cairoli
M2 (green line) Lanza

For a comprehensive guide to using the public transport in Milan, read this article that has all the information you need. Includes type of tickets you may require, costs and links to the official ATM websites.

Other info:

Tel: +39 02.88463700 | www.milanocastello.it

Accessibility

While most of the rooms are accessible to the disabled, rooms 9, 10, 15, 23, 24 are not accessible.


My thoughts on Sforza Castle

Sforzesco Castle, is not only a castle full of art but is also huge and beautifully landscaped with central courtyards that beckons a visit when you are in Milan. If you do not have time for the museums, visit this castle courtyards as it is open to the public and it is free. Moreover, Parco Sempione, Milan’s largest public green space is located at the rear of this magnificent landmark, so a visit through the courtyard is highly recommended if you are visiting Sempione Park.

If you are planning on visiting the museums, then consider doing one of the tours offered by Get your Guide, a trusted partner. View choices here.

You may also like to have a read on these, so you know more of Milan before your visit.

Graphic on Milan Bucket List
Graphic on Day trip from Milan
Milan in one day

So, what do you think? Is this post valuable to you in planning your visit to Sforza Castle? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you. As always, I am contactable for any further info or to design your itinerary for you.

Enjoy the beautiful city of Milan.

Georgina xx

If you choose to #travel, travel safely | #staysafe #stayinspired | Read now to #travel later. For latest on Covid-19 go to: CDC.GOV | WHO International


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Sforza Castle, a favourite for visitors is an enchanting red brick fortress that is home to the many stories of the city's past. A perfect guide for before you go. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/Sforza Castle, a favourite for visitors is an enchanting red brick fortress that is home to the many stories of the city's past. A perfect guide for before you go. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/

Milan bucket list ideas | The best 19 attractions

Milan bucket list ideas | The best 19 attractions

I love Milan! I don’t know how else to say it! I love the vibe, the flair, the pace, the rhythm, the monuments, the history, the colourful designer bags, the picturesque cobbled streets, and historic trams with wooden benches! My short visit to Milan turned out to be one of the best last-minute travel plans I ever did and ticked off a few experiences on my Milan bucket list.

About this post on Milan bucket list ideas

Milan is a lively metropolitan hub often compared as just another city like London, Paris or New York but I think Not! Milan is unique. Milan has Piazzas!! Milan has gelato! Milan has Ossobuco! The city has all of the 19 attractions listed in this Milan bucket list ideas which makes it incomparable to other metropolises. I am working through the list as I shall be returning to Milan on many future occasions.

I have included a Google MyMap towards the end of the post so, you too can use it to design your visit to Milan. Along with this map, there are some suggested tours which you can book to maximise your experiences. To have an authentic experience like a Milanese, get around Milan on their public transport! Everything you need for your Milan bucket list experience is right here, in this post. Scroll all the way down to see all related posts. So, grab yourself a cuppa or an aperitivo – here is the ultimate 19 ideas on Milan bucket list for exploring the best the city has to offer.

Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners

1 | Milan Cathedral | Milan bucket list

Duomo di Milano, Italy, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

Milan Cathedral, famously also known as simply the Duomo (Duomo di Milano), is a monumental structure and is one of the most visited sites in Milan. It’s sublime architecture took almost 600 years to complete. Construction began in 1386 and was officially completed in the 1960s but with the continuous presence of scaffolding, one may think construction is still very much present!

A combination of Gothic and Romanesque style, this pink and white facade is made of special marble from Val D’Ossola. The front facade is magnificent and is decorated with countless statues, spires and numerous carvings. A symbol of international effort by the many architects, sculptors and artists, this monument is top on Milan bucket list ideas.

Viewing of Milan Cathedral

Beyond its outward experience, a fast-track ticket for a guided tour via a separate entrance for internal viewing of the Duomo was money well spent for a memorable visit. A step inside the Cathedral and you will come to experience specially designed marble floors that rules the Cathedral, tall columns, stained glass windows and beautiful paintings placed all around the walls. In short, it is architecture worth exploring. With a tour guide who knows all the stories, this is one attraction you wouldn’t want to miss.

Then, to top off your experience at Milan Cathedral, with the same skip-the line ticket, go up to the terraces, either via lift or stairs at just before sundown to catch the golden hues turning into the velvety night sky.

Located in the centre of Milan, at Piazza del Duomo, Milan Cathedral is the symbol of Milan. No visit to this fashion capital is complete without stepping foot into its grand doors.

Piazza del Duomo | Milan Cathedral opening hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.



2 | Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II | Milan bucket list

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

Sitting just steps away from Milan Cathedral is the opulent and grandest of shopping mall! Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II was designed by Guiseppe Mengoni and completed in 1877. With over 160 years of history, the Galleria Vittorio is one of the oldest shopping mall in the world.

The cross shaped mall covered via four glass panelled arms allows the sunlight in perfectly. So bright and airy! The walls and shop fronts are decorated with ornate panelling and beautiful stucco artwork. The Galleria exudes an air of luxury. There are a string of high-end designer names such as Prada, Versace and Louis Vuitton that line the mall.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Piazza del Duomo | Accessible at all hours | Shops are typically open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


3 | La Scala Opera | Milan bucket list

La Scala Opera, Piazza della Scala, Milan, (official La Scala Opera site)

Also known as “Temple of Opera”, the La Scala dates back to 1778. This historical opera theatre is one of its kind to have hosted as many great artists and composers in her time and continue to do so. One of the finest in the world, La Scala is renowned for its acoustic qualities, opulence and grandeur of the seating.

Experiencing a show, seating in one of the 6-tiers of seats or individual boxes that frame the stage in a semi-circle amidst full of red velvet drapes and gold furnishings is surely a memorable occasion. This makes one of Milan bucket list ideas for many, me included. To experience the show, get your tickets from the official La Scala website here.

Located in the small town square of Piazza della Scala, north of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, accessible from Piazza del Duomo.

Via Filodrammatici, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy | Guided tours available at specific times.

Join a 1-hour tour of La Scala, learn about its history and visit the museums



4 | Castello Sforzesco | Milan bucket list

Sforzesco Castle, Milan, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

This 14th century building is one of the most famous landmarks in Milan. It looks very much like a castle and is set in extensive grounds and gardens. The original design had been modified over the years but still retains its elegance and status of power. It was home to the Dukes of Milan, the Sforza family.

These days, the castle is home to a number of small museums and collections containing a myriad of interesting artefacts and historical information about the castle and Milan.

There are a number of guided tours available where you can learn more of medieval Milan and the Dukes who once ruled this city. The 2-hour guided tour of Sforza Castle and the museum comes with skip-the-line priority giving you access to the grounds and all of the museums. The tours are timed for 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Ensure that you pre-book to secure your tour as soon as you work out your itinerary for Milan.

Castello Sforzesco | Piazza Castello, 3, 20121 Milan Italy | Opening times: Castle grounds free entry – 7.00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ; Museums – 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through to Sunday.


5 | Parco Sempione | Milan bucket list

Parco Sempione, Milan, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

Parco Sempione is a large public space that sits behind Sforzesco Castle. This beautifully landscaped park covers about 38 hectares (95 acres) and offers a myriad of footpaths, bike trails, shaded areas, sculptures and ornate fountains. Flora and fauna abound here.

Walk through the park to see the Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace). There is also a little museum and Torre Branca, a huge watch tower that offers panoramic views of the city.

Parco Sempione is a perfect place to rest your feet if you have walking-tour the city or just to relax.


6 | Arch of Peace | Milan bucket list

Arco della Pace, Milan, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

The Arch of Peace (Arco della Pace) is one of the symbols of Milan and marks one of the city’s historical gates. This 18th century Neoclassical triumphal monument is a 23 metre marble structure at one end of the Simplon Road, Parco Sempione. This was the strategic route through the Alps taken by Napolean I when he invaded northern Italy in 1800. Napolean later commissioned the arch to commemorate his victories.

Construction began in 1806 but was not completed until 1838.

Address: Piazza Sempione, 20154 Milano MI, Italy


7 | Torre Branca | Milan bucket list

Aerial view of Milan from Branca Tower

Torre Branca is a panoramic tower situated in Sempione Park. At 108.6 metres, Torre Branca is the 6th tallest structure in Milan after Unicredit Tower, Palazzo Lombardia, Pirellone or Pirelli Tower and the Breda Tower.

Constructed in 1933 and designed by Gio Ponti, the Torre Branca offers unparalleled views over the city of Milan. Ascend to the top by lift and step out to the top of the tower. If you are fortunate with the weather, you might see the snow-capped mountains in the distance. In any event, you will love the city skyline from here, which merits a spot on Milan bucket list ideas.

Address: Viale Luigi Camoens, 2, 20121 Milano MI, Italy



8 | Pinacoteca di Brera | Milan bucket list idea

Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

Pinacoteca di Brera (Breara Picture Gallery) is housed in Palazzo di Brera, an 18th century Neoclassical structure. Pinacoteca is an art museum. Founded in 1809 by Napoleon I and is one of the most important of Italian museums. It is home to a large collection of Italian art.

Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

The museum’s exhibits consist some of the greatest masterpieces of Italian paintings from the 15th century to the 20th century. It has especially rich collections of Venetian and Lombard paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. There are works such as the Marriage of the Virgin by Raphael, Pieta by Bellini, the Last Supper by Rubens and the Adoration of the Magi by Correggio. The works are displayed on the first floor of the building, where the Academy of Fine Arts is also located.

This amazing historical museum is conveniently located in close proximity to both the Sforzesco Castle and the Piazza del Duomo and warrants a spot on Milan bucket list ideas.

Address: Via Brera, 28, 20121 Milano MI, Italy

There is a two hour guided walking tour available for you, combining a visit to Pinacoteca, with a fascinating walk through Milan’s popular Brera district.


9 | Brera District | Milan bucket list idea

Brera is a charming and rather enchanting area of Milan that has many hidden gems to explore. A distinct Bohemian beauty and simple old-school charm, Brera often finds itself in the top of Milan bucket list ideas of many visitors.

The main attraction in Brera is the area itself. The district is full of art academies, galleries, a number of antique shops and well-to-do restaurants and bars. It is a good area to eat like a local, from traditional pasta to pizza and have your Italian beer along with your meal.

You can also go on a little high-end retail therapy, wander through its picturesque cobbled streets, explore the many hidden gems, perhaps stopping for a coffee or an aperitivo in one of its squares.

The vibe here is fantastic and is an experience that should not be missed.

Location: To the north of the Duomo di Milano, in-between Borgonuovo and Broletta. | 20121 Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy |


10 | Biblioteca Braidense – Brera Library

The Braidense National Library is in the same building as the Pinacoteca di Brera museum and the Brera Academy, making it a perfect stop for a visit. It is a public library, which was created in 1770 by Maria Theresa of Austria.The library was open in 1786. I included the Brera Library as one of Milan bucket list attraction because of its historical significance and contribution towards promoting the book as an object of art.

Furthermore, the Biblioteca Braidense is the third largest library in Milan. This Neo-classical library is home to a collection of 1,500,000 books, including 2,000 manuscripts, 350 of which date back to medieval times, and 25,000 sixteenth-century editions. The collection also includes catalogues, religious books housed in the reading room, a rare collection of letters and first editions by Alessandro Manzoni.  

The reading rooms feature the library’s original wooden shelves and furnishings, crystal chandeliers, frescoed ceilings and a collection of antique paintings. A spot in Milan bucket list is highly merited, I think.

Address: Via Brera, 28, 20121 Milano MI, Italy


11 | Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie | Milan bucket list

Santa Maria delle Grazie (Holy Mary of Grace) is located in the heart of Milan. An outstanding architecture, with a certain charm and grace, it is an emblem to the Catholic religion.

The Santa Maria delle Grazie was built between 1466 and 1490 to a design by architect Guiniforte Solari. The church features a Gothic style using red bricks and a large rear basilica.

Inside the church, more precisely the refectory, on the wall is one of the greatest artistic masterpieces in the world – The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. The mural depicts the scene of the Last Supper as described in the Bible. Throughout the years, this piece of artwork has been scrutinised and analysed for its hidden meanings and content. It only seems fitting that Santa Maria delle Grazie is included in Milan bucket list of ideas.

Address: Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie, 20123 Milano MI,

Pro tip: This is a top rated attraction and tickets are sold out months ahead of time. Pre-book your tickets to secure your visit.


12 | Sant Ambrogio

Church Monastery, San Ambrogio, Milan, Italy, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

Sant Ambrogio (Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio is a church in the centre of Milan. This ancient building is one of Milan’s most important churches. Named after the city’s patron saint, Saint Ambrosius (Ambrose) who consecrated the church in 386 AD during his tenure as bishop of Milan. The church was built in 379 AD and was a focal point for the people, as the city of Milan was built around it.

The architecture is of a simple Romanesque style. Two large towers frame the front facade. The central courtyard is pretty, decorated with a series of ornate arches. The interior of the church features beautiful mosaics and artwork including the ceiling of the Oratory and the delightful depiction of Christ on one of the domes.

A visit to this church is highly recommended, meriting a spot on Milan bucket list ideas as it will provide an insight into the history of Milan and its religious importance.

Address: Piazza Sant’Ambrogio, 15, 20123 Milano MI, Italy


13 | San Bernardino alle Ossa

San Bernardino alle Ossa is a church but a very different kind of church from the rest of the churches in Milan. The church walls are completely covered in bones and skulls! Even the door knobs! Therefore a visit to San Bernardino may not be suitable for everyone.

According to its history, in 1145, a hospital was built near the Santo Stefano Maggiore Church, Milan. The graveyard,became overfilled with bodies from the new hospital, so in 1210 a little chamber was built to collect the bones from the hospital. In 1269 a small church was added near the bone chamber.

Today, you will find San Bernardino alle Ossa located at the end of a short corridor to the the right of the church’s entrance. The vault is decorated with frescos from Sebastiano Ricci, dating from 1695.

If you are interested in visiting an unusual church, then the following information might help you:

Location: Piazza Santo Stefano, Milan, 20122 Italy | Entrance is Free | Closed on Sundays



14 | Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology

Leonardo da Vinci was a legendary man of true genius and amongst the most influential artists in history. He left a significant legacy not only in the realm of art but in science as well, each discipline informing his mastery of the other.a painter, an architect, an engineer, a theatrical producer. Therefore, it stands to reason that a museum named after him contains many of his works and a huge collection of other important scientific and technological displays.

As one of the most important museums in the world, one can expect to find collections of model cars created from da Vinci drawings, reconstructions of his flying machines, and a plethora of his drawings, blueprints and sketches.

Address: Via San Vittore, 21, 20123 Milan MI, Italy


15 | Archaeological Museum Milan

The Archaeological Museum of Milan is housed in the former convent of the Monastero Maggiore and the Church of San Maurizio. Both buildings were founded in 8th and 9th century. Dedicated to the history of ancient Milan, the museum features archaeological finds from several periods. This includes the Middle Ages, influences from the Etruscan civilization and also the ancient Greeks.

Address: Corso Magenta, 15, 20123 Milano MI, Italy


16 | Naviglio Grande

Navigli nightlife, Milan, Italy by Pippocucu, Pixabay

Navigli is fast becoming one of Milan’s most popular neighbourhoods, but there’s more to do here than see the canals. The Naviglio Grande is one of the two canals in Milan. It stretches from the Porta Ticinese to the Ticino river some 50km to the west. Constructed in 1177, the canal was worked on for many years and continued to expand into what it is today.

The canals are busy, especially during the summer months where tourists are ferried up and down the water. The boat tours depart every hour from Alzaia Naviglio Grande. For a bucket list experience, you can choose to cruise the canal on Milan’s first (and only) Venetian Gondola, owned by the Canottieri San Cristoforo – they even offer gondolier lessons. Or you can just grab an aperitivo and sit along the harbour banks and soak in the lively vibe.

The Navigli area is popular as well for good bars and restaurants.

Address: 21015 Milan Italy



17 | Piazza dei Mercanti

Piazza dei Mercanti, Milan, Italy, by Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

Piazza Mercanti (Merchants Square) was once the heart of the city in the Middle Ages, a hub for many merchant activities and trade markets.

It is one of the most picturesque squares in Milan that still preserves an authentic Medieval atmosphere. Notable buildings are Pallazo della Ragione, the Pallazo delle Scuole Palatine and the Loggia degli Osii. There are some important statues and monuments here, some of which have Roman origins.

Pro tip: The loggia dei mercanti, an open air space beneath Pallazo della Ragione is a whispering gallery, Speak softly to some of its columns, and its archways will whisk your whispers to a well-placed listener on the opposite side of the portico.

Piazza Mercanti is located between Piazza del Duomo and Piazza Corduiso | Address: Piazza dei Mercanti, 20123 Milan MI, Italy

Visit this easily accessible square (just 3 minutes walk from Piazza del Duomo) to admire its ancient origins and beautiful architecture.


18 | Porta Nuova

Porta Nuova is the modern face of Milan, making it one of Milan’s most contemporary and trendiest places to visit. The area is characterised by flagship stores, boutiques, residential skyscrapers and landmarks such as Gae Aulenti Square, the towering UniCredit Tower and Bosco Verticale.

Porta Nuova literally means “new gate” and is one of the six main gates to the city of Milan. It was originally built between 1810 and 1813 during the Napoleon era. Today, the Porta Nuova district is popular attraction for commercial investments, tourists and locals.

A vibrant, futuristic, “must-see” district that stand their own ground alongside to the more famous of the historical attractions like the Duomo or La Scala masterpieces.

Address: Piazzale Principessa Clotilde, 37, 20121 Milano MI, Italy


19 | Ride the Historical Tram #1

Historic tram with wooden benches, Milan by Alfonso Cerezo, Pixabay

This is completely different from a modern tram! In Tram #1, wooden benches are placed along the sides, wooden steps to get onboard, folding doors and sash windows. How cool is that! What is really special about this tram is that it is a vehicle with over 100 years of history, which means that there were many generations of Milanese who rode this tram to and from from work, shop or everywhere else.

To discover Milan via this Milan bucket list experience, join a two-and-half hour tour that will take through the city of Milan. Some of the highlights include:

  • Learn the history of the Dukes of Milan at Sforza Castle
  • Enjoy panoramic views of Napoleon’s Arch of Peace
  • Explore Milan’s longest shopping street
  • See the Duomo and La Scala Opera House
  • Climb aboard a streetcar from the 1930s

Practical information for planning your Milan bucket list

Here are some practical information to support your planning and visit to Milan.

1 | Map as a guide

Firstly, using a map as a guide – from the map below, you will note that most of the attractions are all within a cluster of walkable distance. Experiencing all 19 attractions on Milan bucket list idea may take more than a day and/or more than one visit depending on how long your vacation is for. The information in this post along with the map will support you in designing your itinerary and how best to experience these attractions.


2 | Suggested tours

Secondly, below is a summary of suggested tours you can take to learn more of the historical sites this City offers. Pre-book your tickets to secure your visit as some of these attractions are sold out months ahead of time. As bucket list attractions. you wouldn’t want to miss them! Stay flexible with easy cancellation up to 24 hours before. Get your tickets downloaded to your phone for seamless skip-the-line visits.

Explore more ways to experience Milan by navigating to this page.


3 | Getting around Milan

Thirdly, to get around Milan, you may want to purchase the 48-Hour City Pass: Discover Milan With One Card, giving you free access to museums, transport options and discounts with affiliate restaurants. Just so you know, if you are selecting this 48-hour pass and wish to use the dining options, you need to plan ahead and pre-book your favourite restaurants. Milan is a tourist hotspot, and the best restaurants and the best time slots are usually taken at least a month ahead of time.

Getting around Milan like a Local - bucket list

For a detailed guide to Milan’s transport system and ticket options – basically everything you need to know about getting around Milan like a local – navigate to the page


My thoughts on Milan bucket list

Having a Milan bucket list is a good way to compile all the things you want to do and experience in this city. My bucket list comprises of 19 attractions and places to visit to learn more of Milan’s rich history and culture. I am glad to have visited some places already. Also glad that my visits these days are not geared towards ticking off a list anymore. I spend more time in the moment and enjoy what I see and experience. I have a more meaningful takeaway, this way. I have left off food experiences in Milan as it warrants a whole post in itself. I hope you have enjoyed reading this post and some of the attractions will find its way to your bucket list as well.


So, what do you think? Is this post valuable to you in planning your visit to accomplish your Milan bucket list ideas? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.As always, I am contactable for any further info or to design your itinerary for you.

Scroll all the way down for recent, related and inspiring articles.

Have a splendid time exploring the beautiful city of Milan.

Georgina xoxo

If you choose to #travel, travel safely | #staysafe #stayinspired | Read now to #travel later. For latest on Covid-19 go to: CDC.GOV | WHO International


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Milan, often compared as just another city like London,  Paris or New York but this 19 Milan bucket list ideas will have you change your mind. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/Milan, often compared as just another city like London,  Paris or New York but this 19 Milan bucket list ideas will have you change your mind. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/

Quotes on Milan that makes the City irresistable

Quotes on Milan that makes the City irresistable

Quotes on Milan
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Feed your curiosities with these 10 beautiful quotes on Milan to tickle the wanderlust in you!

Explore the hidden gems, architectural marvel and the gastronomical delights of this ancient city – be it a weekend getaway or a day trip, the City of Milan will not disappoint.


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Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners


Quotes on Milan

Milan, for me, is a city of discovery. You can find some amazing gardens behind some great houses; I also love finding beautiful galleries and incredible shops, but you have to explore. And the food is amazing.     

Francisco Costa
Brazilian Designer

My cousin Francis and I are in perfect accord – he wants Milan, and so do I.   

Charles V

[Charles V and Francis I of France took hold of Milan and Lombardy several times in a row between 1515 and 1525]

In Milan, everything is regulated by money. They say ‘cappuccio’ in bars instead of ‘cappuccino’ to save a syllable.      

Enzo Biagi

My thoughts on quotes on Milan

As inelegant as this may sound, I admit that I love quotes! Not just travel quotes, but also inspiring and motivational quotes to see the lighter side of things. There is a quote of some sort for each day, each emotion that one might feel, each experience in life, for each city and for each mountain we hike up to. Some of these quotes expresses our innermost feelings so eloquently that, you can’t but fall in love with it. I am sure at one time or another we have all related to travel or inspiring personal growth quotes. I have so many that are my favourite, especially with travel quotes. One of my favourite is “I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to, and people I’ve never met Similarly, the quotes on Milan above are my favourite. They describe the characteristics of this lovable city so well and paint a picture so colourful that one cannot resist a visit. One simply has to visit Milan to find out what this city is all about.

Georgina

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Lovely quotes on Milan that will tickle the wanderlust in you to explore this ancient city of hidden gems, architectural marvel and gastronomical delight via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/Lovely quotes on Milan that will tickle the wanderlust in you to explore this ancient city of hidden gems, architectural marvel and gastronomical delight via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II | Why you should visit

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – Why you should visit and what you need to Experience

“Milan’s drawing room” is no ordinary drawing room! A symbol of Milanese style and wealth, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II famously known as ” il salotto di Milano” is a sophisticated, architecturally stunning 19th century shopping gallery. This elegant galleria is home to some of the most luxurious names in the fashion world, international chains, and gourmet eateries. Even if you do not want to splash out on a thing or two here, the Galleria is a must see destination solely for its architectural marvel when visiting Milan.

Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners

About the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is more than just a “spot of shopping”. It is a landmark of the City of Milan, with 160 years of history and one of the oldest shopping gallery still standing. A visit here will not only have you look-up at the glass-dome but will also have you look-down exploring the beautifully crafted intricate mosaic floor.

1 | The design

The extraordinary Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a four-storey double arcade, shaped like a cross. It is dominated by a stunning neoclassical iron and glass dome at 50 metres high. The Galleria features an amazingly crafted mosaic floor and an archway.

The neoclassical glass domed at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The archway connects the two most historical piazzas in Milan – Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Scala.

The beautiful mosaic floor contains four distinct designs, representing the coat of arms of Rome, Florence, Turin and Milan. Rome is represented y a She-wolf together with Romulus and Remus. Florence is the Lily flower. Milan is Red Cross on a white background. As for Turin, it’s a Dancing Bull (pictured below). In the central dome of the Galleria is surmounted by stunning mosaics that represents Asia, Africa, America and Europe.

Legend of the Dancing Bull

The mosaic of the Dancing Bull of Turin

The mosaic of the Dancing Bull of Turin attracts hundreds of visitors daily because of a legend associated with it. According to the legend, if you place your heel on a particular “spot” (between his two hind legs) and turn around three times, with eyes closed, it will bring you good fortune. Millions of visitors must have done this over the years because there is a hollow on the mosaic.


2 | History of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

This architectural marvel was designed in 1861 by Guiseppe Mengoni. It was built between 1865 and 1877 in honour of the first king of the realm, King Vittorio Emanuele II. However, sadly, Guiseppe Mengoni was never present for its grand opening. He was found dead under some scaffolding a few days prior. Some believed Mengoni died of a heart attack, while others say that he took his own life because he couldn’t face the criticism of his design. Mengoni did leave a tale of mystery and an architectural masterpiece!

From the time it was built, the Galleria became the city’s favourite. It was a meeting point, in particular with the Milanese bourgeoisie, academics and musicians such as Giuseppe Verdi, thus nicknamed “il salotto di Milano” (Milan’s drawing room) in the early 20th century. As a meeting point, it also became a place for student demonstrations, rallies and clashes with the police in the 1960s. Post this, the Galleria reinvented itself.

Today, it is more than a shopping arcade. It exudes an air of luxury boasting a string of high-end boutiques, and landmark eateries. It is a beautiful place to stroll, window-shop, people watch and dine. You’ll also see beautiful frescoes and arches throughout, which you can admire as you pass through. 


3 | Shops and Eateries

3.1 | Shop till you drop!

An emblem of the city’s past and present, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is filled with some of the famous Italian brands. It is one of the best places to shop in the city. One of the very first Prada stores is present in the Galleria, which opened in 1913 when the business began. Despite being renovated in the year 2000, the store still contains most of its original furnishings. 

Discover the top 5 brands in and around the Galleria – Giorgio Armani | Versace | Louis Vuitton | Prada | Gucci

3.2 | Eateries

Landmark restaurants and cafes include:

Café Restorante Biffi: which has been here since 1852 and can be found in the south wing. This cafe is named after Paolo Biffi, a pastry chef of the Monarch in the 19th century. Cafe Biffi is the oldest cafe at the Galleria. Biffi’s main specialities are Ossobucco with Milanese risotto and the Milanese cutlet. Although there are many choices, the menu has remained largely unchanged for the last twenty-five years. To enjoy a meal at Cafe Biffi will require a booking well in advance.

Bar Camparino:  Occupying a perfect spot in the Galleria overlooking the white facade of the Duomo, this bar keeps alive the ritual of the Italian aperitif (aperitivo). Back in 1897, Gaspare Campari set up his restaurant (along with his home and wine shop) in the gallery, adding his Campari location in 1915. In the 1980s, the bar’s name was changed to “Bar Camparino.” Stop in to sip an iconic Campari and soda or Negroni cocktail, while nibbling on accompanying snacks. Makes a perfect break in a long day of sightseeing.

Libreria BoccaThis charming, historic bookshop has been at Galleria since 1930. The bookseller was also once the official printer of the House of Savoy and published such authors as Pellico, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Freud. One of the oldest bookstores of its kind that is still in operation.


4 | Take a walk on the roof

The Galleria recently opened Highline Galleria – a walkway on the roof of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. This exciting journey allow you, for the first time to admire the Duomo from a unique and fascinating perspective.

The walkway stretches 820 feet from Piazza Duomo to Piazza della Scala. Access is via two high-speed elevators that are located inside the courtyard at Via Silvio Pellico 2.

The rooftop walk is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00. Tickets costs €12.

You can book the full experience at the official website of Highline Galleria here.


Getting to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Getting here is pretty easy as it is at the Piazza del Duomo which is the central or starting point to begin any sightseeing activities.

Address: Piazza del Duomo, Milano

Transport : Metro Line – M1 (Red Line) or M3 (Yellow Line) and get off at Piazza del Duomo stop.

Bus – Line 61

Tram – Line 1 and 2

Pro tip: Public transport in Milan is convenient and easy to navigate.


What do you think? Is this post valuable to you in planning your visits to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II? If so please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.

Georgina

If you choose to #travel, travel safely | #staysafe #stayinspired | Read now to #travel later. For latest on Covid-19 go to: CDC.GOV | WHO International


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The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is more than just a "spot of shopping". It is a sophisticated, architecturally stunning 19th century shopping arcade that will have you, not only look up at the glass-dome but will also have you look down exploring the beautifully crafted intricate mosaic floor. A must visit when in Milan. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is more than just a "spot of shopping". It is a sophisticated, architecturally stunning 19th century shopping arcade that will have you, not only look up at the glass-dome but will also have you look down exploring the beautifully crafted intricate mosaic floor. A must visit when in Milan. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/

How to enjoy the best of Milan in one day

How to enjoy the best of Milan in one day

Exploring Milan in One Day may seem impossible given its enormity and possibilities that it affords but it is certainly doable. Some may wonder what to do in a metropolis such as Milan. Some may contemplate if it is worth visiting just for a day. There may be some of you, who like me, love to read about cities you are yet to visit and select the best of a city to add to your travel list. If you are amongst any of these categories, then you are in the right place – this article is for you. I share with you my best experiences which I enjoyed during my visit to Milan in one day so that you too, can design your visit for a fabulous day in Milan.

About this article on how to enjoy the best of Milan in one day

This article introduces Milan by way of a brief introduction to its geographical location and popularity as a City. Milan is one of the major hubs in Europe, and attracts hundreds of thousand of tourists each year. Given it’s enormity, it is impossible to experience everything the city offers in one day. Therefore, this article will take you through possibilities of shopping experiences, a little exploring and a little adventure. You will find a list of the best places to visit, how to maximise your time in this city, and how to obtain tickets for some popular sights where tickets are sold off months ahead – in essence an ideal guide to how you can enjoy Milan in one day.

Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners

About the City of Milan, Italy

1 | Which part of Italy is Milan? 

The City of Milan, is located in the northern region of Italy, more precisely in the Lombardy region. The Lombardy region covers a vast landscape ranging from the Alps to the countryside, has many art cities to small hamlets rich in history. This region is home to about fifteen of Italy’s lakes and some of the best ski resorts. Milan will host the 2026 edition of the Winter Olympic Games. You will find Milan located at the following GPS code.

45.4641° N 9.1919° E

Location of Milan in relation to other cities in Italy

2 | Milan is a fashion hub

As a metropolis, the city of Milano is the second largest city in Italy. It is one of the best known cities in the world and is arguably the global capital of fashion and design. As a fashion hub, the city is home to the most popular fashion brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino and Missoni to name a few. Every year the city attracts countless visitors to its runways and design showrooms.

3 | Milan is a financial centre

In economic terms, Milan is the third largest city in Europe, after London and Paris. Italy’s only Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana is located here, and if you are a football fan, I’m sure you know, Milan is renowned for its own dedicated international football team, AC Milan.

4 | Milan is a history and cultural centre

Besides being a fashion and financial hub, Milan is packed with history, culture and centuries old architecture which will blow you away! It is home to many iconic buildings such as the infamous Gothic Duomo di Milano, Castello Sforzesco, Santa Maria delle Grazie Convent where you will find Leonardo da Vinci’s mural of The Last Supper, and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II are just some of the sights that will have you in awe – reasons which makes this City a tourist hot spot.

5 | Milan is a city where “I could become someone here”

When you visit Milan, if you haven’t already, you will know that Milan is a City that depicts wealth. Dotted all around you, you will find high fashion names, high-end restaurants, and bold architecture like the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. You will feel right at home as well because everyone is so friendly and welcoming here. It’s okay if you don’t speak or know Italian, everyone seems to speak English either well or little, with a twist of Italian rhythm. It reminded me of what Giorgio Armani once said about this lovable City:

Milan is a true metropolis: strong and fearless but welcoming, too. Little by little, I came to realize that I could become someone here.

GIORGIO ARMANI

What to see in Milan in one day

As a visitor to Milan, you will note that it is a City that is easy to get to, both by air and land (more on transportation below). Exploring Milan will undoubtedly require a few days, or multiple visits or just a weekend getaway but my planned visit to this City was a brief one – a little shopping, a little exploring and a little adventure.

My list of places to visit in Milan in one day were:

Duomo di Milano;

Castello Sforzesco;

Parco Sempione, and the

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Although armed with a list, I realised it was an ambitious itinerary. If there was one thing I wanted to do in Milan, it was to visit the iconic landmark of the Duomo which took centuries to build and to Walk on the Rooftop of the Duomo during sunset. I was happy to accomplish both and cross them off my Milan’s bucket list. However, I was disappointed at not being able to experience one other which had been on my bucket list. While it was a short visit, I discovered that Milan has so many hidden treasures that ought to be explored besides the main touristy spots, and for this reason Milan remains firmly on my return list.

With so many impressive places to see, Milan in one day will be a long one but it is certainly doable. Luckily for me, the one day when I visited was a glorious day of sunshine in the cool month of November. My experiences were amazing and will surely stay with me forever.

A quick overview of my visit to Milan in one day

Typically, Piazza del Duomo, the main square in Milan should be the starting point of any itinerary. Most of the popular places are easily reachable from here either through a walking route or via metro.

However, my one day in Milan began upon my arrival at Milano Centrale Railway Station. I was completely taken by surprise at the sheer size of it and soon realised this was an attraction in its own right, requiring some time to explore. Afterwards, and following a quick and simple late breakfast at an on site cafe, I caught a quick taxi-ride to Piazza del Duomo. Piazza del Duomo connects the rest of the places I intended to visit.

Arriving at Piazza del Duomo and coming into direct contact with the magnificent majestic Duomo in white and pink marble was an indescribable awe-inspiring moment. I took many photos of the Duomo from all angles, each being unique in the sunlight. The carvings on the exterior walls were of all kinds which ignited my curiosity. After some exploring and an immersive experience (crowd and pigeons!) at Piazza del Duomo, I walked through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to the north to reach Piazza della Scala. While on the way, witnessing queues of tourists awaiting their turn on the dancing bull of Turin (more on this below). The Galleria Vittoria Emanuele shopping centre was exquisite, to say the least. I did not stop to shop at this point, although something did catch my eye.

From Piazza della Scala, it was a brisk walk to Castello Sforzesco, then a glimpse of Parco Sempione.

I looped back to the Galleria later in the afternoon for a little shop, late snack, an aperitif and to rest my feet before visiting the Duomo di Milano. I do not wish to confuse you with the looping back and be repetitive, so I shall list all the experiences under its respective headings. Hence, giving you the flexibility to design your own one day itinerary without missing out on these valuable experiences.

Here is how you can enjoy the best of Milan in one day for memories that will last a lifetime.

1 | Milano Centrale Railway Station

Milano Centrale Railway Station is no ordinary railway station. It is huge! It is magnificent! It is the largest railway station in Europe by size and the main train station in Milan. The station’s imposing, grandiose architecture has sculptures of winged horses, lions, bulls and eagles adorning it’s roof!

Milano Centrale

The station depicts various architectural styles and art deco. The only thing you must not forget to do is to look up!

1.1 | Know before you go – practical information on Milan Central Station

Opening hours: Milano Centrale train station is open every day from 04:00 to 01:00.

Address: Piazza Duca d’Aosta, 1, 20124 Milano MI, Italy

2 | Piazza del Duomo

The Piazza del Duomo is the one place you do not want to miss. This is the main square in the city centre where the locals and visitors love to meet. It is vibrant, large, rich in history and culture. One reason why this is a popular meeting point is because it gives access to the Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral), the symbol of Milan and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The Museum of 900, an incredibly beautiful museum of modern art is located on the side of the Piazza. Nearby is also the Royal Palace of Milan, home to Museo del Duomo, a cultural centre and home to international art exhibitions.

Piazza del Duomo – View from the steps of Milan Cathedral

From Piazza del Duomo, you can admire the magnificent architecture of the Duomo and the incredible Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II from the steps of Milan Cathedral

Milan Cathedral in the centre of Piazza del Duomo
Milan Cathedral in the centre of Piazza del Duomo

Unfortunately, the Piazza is always busy with people, as one can imagine. Therefore, there will not be a moment where you can quickly take a people free snap. Nor will you be able to take a shot without the people friendly pigeons! Unless perhaps at 5 in the morning!

3 | Statue of Victor Emanuele II

With everything that goes on at the Piazza del Duomo, one can easily miss (if you don’t look up!) the iconic monument in the centre of the Piazza. The monument was erected in honour of the first King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II in 1896.

The Statue of Victor Emanuele II is an equestrian statue set on a marble pedestal. It shows the king leading his troops to battle, flanked on either side by a large lion. On the sides of the pedestal, are soldiers ready for combat. The monument, which is set on a massive plinth, was created by Ercole Rosa, an Italian sculptor.

Statue of Viktor Emmanuele II
An equestrian statue set on a marble pedestal shows the king leading his troops to battle, flanked on either side by a large lion. Reliefs on the sides of the pedestal show soldiers ready for combat.

The Piazza del Duomo gives you easy access to Milan Cathedral.

4 | Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral)

No trip to Milan is complete without a visit to the Duomo di Milano – the symbol of Milan. For many, a trip to Milan is primarily a visit to this impressive Gothic and Romanesque architecture. It is the most visited site in Milan.

4.1 | View of the Duomo from the floors of the Piazza del Duomo

Mystical, magical, majestic or an awful failure – just some of the descriptions thrown at this old Cathedral that stands proudly in the centre of Piazza del Duomo. For me, the Duomo is a mesmerising beautiful masterpiece in pink and white marble facade. The walls are adorned with intricate carvings, when taken a closer look left me with more questions than answers. It is so beautifully crafted that each tells a story of exquisite craftmanship and tales. No doubt the Duomo has seen a lot of history pass her by in the 600 years or so that has taken to construct her. Some say there is work still continuing with the ever presence of the scaffolding on the roof of the Duomo. Nevertheless, she stands, in all her glory to be admired by the hundreds of thousands that flock the city each year.

The external walls of Milan Cathedral are adorned with intricate carvings that tells stories of exquisite craftmanship and tales.

Given that the Duomo was a bucket list destination for me, I could not resist snapping away. I tried taking photos from different angles of the Cathedral, the front, the side and every time I looked up, the spires seemed to lead to the clouds! However, later in the afternoon I came to experience the view that I was most comfortable in – the view from across. (picture below).

The view of Milan Cathedral from across
View of the Duomo from across

Whichever way one looks at it, I think we will all agree that it is huge!. Afterall, it is the fifth largest cathedral in the world. A visit to this iconic structure, either external or internal viewing including a visit to the Duomo Terraces does not disappoint.

4.2 | Internal viewing of the Duomo

I am fascinated with the past, the history, old monuments, and often wonder if only the walls could talk, what amazing stories be told. I could only imagine what life would have been like then. So, it will be no surprise to you if I say visiting Milan Cathedral proved to be an occasion of exploring and discovering.

There are so many reasons to visit this masterpiece and there are so many fascinating spots to explore and to delver deeper, right from the moment you step inside the Cathedral. The first a visitor will note upon entering is the uniquely designed marble floor that rules the Cathedral. Apparently, at one point you could set your watch by it! There are marble columns that are high, really high and large beautiful paintings all around the walls. Walk around and you will be blown away by the stained glass windows – they are massive and beautiful. The Cathedral is lit up not only by sunlight seeping through these stained glass windows but they also lit from the inside to aid visitors to appreciate the details that these windows depict. To give you an idea of what awaits you at the Duomo di Milano, here is a sneak preview:

4.3 | Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo

The terraces of the Duomo was an incredible experience. I visited the terraces at sunset and I would encourage and highly recommend a sunset visit on the rooftop of the Duomo. The roof is covered in openwork slender pinnacles and spires crowned with almost 2000 sculptures that overlook the city. Apparently, this Gothic Cathedral has the most statues than any other building in the world! On the highest spire of the Cathedral, you will find the Madonnina, a gilded bronze statue of Mary, which was sculpted by Giuseppe Perego in 1774. 

Exploring the rooftop via narrow interconnecting stairways and, sometimes standing on slippery rooftops trying to get the best views and “clicks” was indeed exciting and fun as I reflect on these moments.

Here is a sneak preview of what awaits you on the terraces of the Duomo di Milano at sunset:

4.4 | Half an experience or in its entirety?

To visit the internal and the rooftop, you may have to consider the time factor. You need to allocate at least an hour for the Cathedral and an hour for the rooftop, meaning two hours in total at the very least. If you are planning on the sunset at the rooftop, you may well need an hour and half. Then, there is the queuing time to purchase your tickets. For this reason and given that you only have a day, some may suggest that you forego the internal viewing altogether. However, I would disagree with this view. I suggest that it all depends on you and the question need asking is – “When you visit Milan, would you want to experience the Duomo in its entirety?

As a person who travels often, who juggles one too many things at a time, I like to visit a landmark or a building and explore it in its entirety. I do not like to return home and feel that I should have done it or I should have done better. Moreover, I love history and enjoy exploring monuments and historical architecture, therefore whenever there is an opportunity for me to experience a monument in its entirety, I grab that opportunity. For this reason, I spend some time planning my travels, deciding on the activities I want to do. For me, the Duomo was on my bucket list of things to do in Milan, therefore it was not going to be just half the experience.

4.5 | How to save time and maximise your experience?

If you want the whole experience of the Duomo, here is how you can save time and maximise your experience when visiting the Duomo:

To save time queuing for tickets, you can fast-track your visit and skip-the-line by purchasing your tickets before hand. You can do so prior to arriving in Milan or even as late as on the day, which is what I did. Purchasing the skip-the-line tickets are super easy through a link. then you download the ticket on your phone, show the mobile voucher at the door, and walk right through. With this fast-track ticket, you can take the dedicated elevator to the terraces, saving you even more time., hence allowing you to maximise your experience.

4.6 | Know before you go – practical information on Milan Cathedral

Opening times of Milan Cathedral

The Cathedral and the Rooftop is open Everyday.

Cathedral – 8 am to 7 pm | Rooftop – 9 am to 7pm | Last entry is at 6pm

For further details on their daily activities and prayer times, please check their official website at Duomo di Milano.

For Accessibility information, click here.

5 | Museo del Duomo | Museum of the Duomo – Milan

Described as a “a living place, a place to discover to learn the history of the monument,” the museum showcases all of its work on and about Milan Cathedral. A visit to Museo del Duomo helps one to appreciate the unfolding stories of it’s six hundred years of history. You can enjoy close-up of the sculptures, colours of the marble, details of its unique art and so much more!

Museo del Duomo, Milan

5.1 | Know before you go – practical information on Museo del Duomo

The Museo del Duomo is located inside the Royal Palace, next to Milan Cathedral.

Opening times: Everyday except Wednesdays | From: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The last ticket is sold at 5:00 p.m. | Last admission: 5:10 p.m.

The tour includes the Church of San Gottardo in Corte.

6 | Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is an enchanting shopping mall and a must visit landmark to cross off your list in Milan. It is spacious, airy and pretty. This incredibly impressive four storey double arcade, glass-topped 19th century gallery is Italy’s oldest and one of the most exquisite shopping sites, alongside Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga. If you want to delve deep into the fashion world, you can join a two-hour shopping tour and explore the luxury fashion district of Milan.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

On the other hand, when a visit is limited to one day in Milan, you may want to explore and experience the Galleria at your own quick pace. As the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is home to luxury shopping, it hosts many exclusive and prestigious labels and brand shops to feed the desires of the Milanese elite. There are several cafes and restaurants here which have been visited by the rich and famous such as Verdi, Puccini and Frank Sinatra. There are several roof top bars giving you exclusive views across to the Duomo and over Milan. Some of these shops, cafes or restaurants have been here since 1867.

Sitting next door to the Duomo di Milano and a few steps away from the Piazza del Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II makes an ideal stop either before or after a visit to the Duomo. I stopped here briefly on my way to Piazza della Scala and looped back later in the afternoon for a longer experience.

What to experience at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II when visiting Milan in one day

Here are the highlights of my visit which you can experience at the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan when on a quick visit.

6.1 | Cafe Biffi

Cafe Biffi is the oldest cafe at the Galleria. Biffi’s main specialities are Ossobucco with Milanese risotto and the Milanese cutlet. Although there are many choices, the menu has remained largely unchanged for the last twenty-five years. To enjoy a meal at Cafe Biffi will require a booking well in advance. More info below in Food & Drinks.

Biffi Galleria, IT
Photo credit Biffi, Galleria, IT

6.2 | Enjoy a direct view of the Duomo di Milano from the open terraces of the Galleria over a Campari

As I wanted to experience the sunset from the terraces of the Duomo, a little downtime on the fifth floor of the Galleria over an aperitif was a perfect intervention. We were able to get a table on the open terraces, of Terrazza Aperol, giving us a perfect view of the Duomo.

Open terraces at the Galleria overlooking the Duomo
View of Duomo di Milano from the terraces of Aperol Spritz
On the terraces of Aperol Spritz, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan

Terrazza Aperol

Piazza Duomo Angolo Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan, Italy 

6.3 | The dancing bull of Turin on the beautiful mosaic floor of the arcade

The mosaic floor of the arcade is beautiful and intricately crafted to display four distinct designs to represent the coat of arms of Rome, Florence, Turin and Milan. Rome is represented by a She-wolf together with Romulus and Remus, Florence is the Lily flower, Milan is the Red Cross on a white background and as for Turin, is the Dancing bull (below);

Dancing Bull, symbol of Turin. Intricately crafted into the mosaic floor of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Arcade in Milan
Dancing Bull, symbol of Turin. Intricately crafted into the mosaic floor of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Arcade in Milan

This dancing bull mosaic attracts hundreds of visitors daily, because of a legend associated with it. One only need see the queues of curious visitors and their giggles as they pose for an instagrammable shot on the spot!

Would you like to know what the legend is? Here goes…

6.4 | Legend of the Dancing Bull of Turin

Well, according to legend, apparently if you place your heel on a particular spot, between his two hind legs, and turn around three times, it will bring you good fortune. Millions of visitors must have done this over the years because there is a hollow on the spot.

Regardless of whether one believes in the legend of the dancing bull of Turin or not, it seemed a fun attraction to watch.

6.5 | The best views are above!

You need to look up! The incredibly beautiful iron and glass ceiling is a must see attraction – so you need to pause for a moment and look up! Easily missed when you are busy shopping, or looking at the window displays.

The incredibly beautiful architecture of the Galleria in Milan
The incredibly beautiful architecture of the Galleria in Milan
The iron and glass roof at the Galleria, Milan
The iron and glass roof at the Galleria, Milan

6.6 | Shopping at Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II

Last but not least is the shopping experience at the Galleria – here are some suggestions for you to consider. Even if you do not have time to do the usual browsing, unrushed shopping (because this is Milan in one day schedule), take a peek inside these shops and experience the grandeur of the top brands such as Giorgio Armani, Prada, Gucci, Versace and Louis Vuitton. I must admit, I did spoil myself with a little gift from LV.

  • Louis Vuitton

Photo credit to respective official websites

6.7 | Know before you go – practical information on Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The Galleria itself is accessible all hours.

The shops are typically open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 or 8:00 p.m.

Restaurants & bars are open from 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. [Check individual restaurants and bars as some stay open longer]

Address:

Piazza del Duomo, 20123 Milano MI, Italy

7 | Piazza della Scala

Piazza della Scala is a small town square. It is pedestrianised and quieter than Piazza del Duomo. The main attractions here are the statue of Leonardo da Vinci which is located in the centre of the square and La Scala Opera House, one of the world’s most popular opera houses.

8 | Teatro alla Scala – La Scala Opera in Milan

Teatro alla Scala also known as “Temple of Opera” is one of the most famous theatres in the world. It dates back to 1778 and has seen many composers who wrote and performed here including Rossini, Puccini, Verdi and Toscanini. The building itself has often been described as unimpressive from the outside, but I thought it was nice. Perhaps, it was being compared to the opulence of the interior (picture below).

La Scala Opera House in Milan
La Scala Opera House, Milan – photo credit H. Asprou

I did not plan to watch a performance or do a full guided tour of the La Scala Opera House. I wanted a quick preview of the area because it is so close to Piazza del Duomo (about 6 minutes walk) and it would be a shame to miss it. In any case, tickets for performances were unavailable during my visit as these are sold out months ahead of time. I am saving the full experience for my next visit to Milan.

However, if La Scala is in your bucket list on Milan, then you could join a one hour private tour to learn about its history or go a little further, explore the La Scala museum as well. If you intend to fit this experience on your visit to Milan in one day itinerary, you may want to book the tickets before hand, well inadvance of your visit to ensure your place.

Pro tip: There are no access when rehearsals are on. Plan your day well if La Scala is your bucket list experience. Tours are usually scheduled for after 2 pm. Check timings when purchasing tickets

If you want to skip the guided tours and purchase opera tickets, take a look at their official website and buy your tickets there.

9 | Castello Sforzesco

About 15 minutes away (I’m a slow walker!) from Piazza della Scala is Castello Sforzesco. Built on a 14th century fortification, this ancient building looks very much like a medieval castle. It was once home to a series of Duke of Milan, the Sforza family.

Today, the castle is home to many art museums and a library. In addition, it houses a beautiful fountain, Fontana di Piazza Castello.

Access to castle grounds are free, so you get to enjoy Castello Sforzesco even if you are in a rush.

Although I love to spend time visiting museums, I could not do so on this occasion as it may have involved a good part of half a day or two hours in the least. However, if you plan to include the Castello Sforzesco in your itinerary and learn more by visiting it’s museum, you may want to rework your itinerary and allocate sufficient time for a memorable experience. Purchase your tickets for a live guided tour before hand so it is not sold out or select to do a 2-hour guided tour of the castle and the museums.

9.1 | Know before you go – practical information on Castello Sforzcesco and its museums

Opening hours: 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. | Grounds of the Castle are free to explore

Opening hours of the Museum: 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. | Tuesday through to Sunday

There are various guided tours offered by third-party companies which I generally use to design my experience of a destination. In my experience they turnout to be such good value for money and I learn so much more from the tour guides. There is a 2 hour guided tour of Sforza Castle and Museums which may appeal to you. Please note that these activities are timed to take place at 10:30 a.m. and at 2:30 pm.

10 | Parco Sempione

Adjacent to Castello Sforzcesco at the rear exit is a large park, Parco Sempione. It is the largest park in Milan and one of the prettiest I had seen. It has a large lake, cycle and jogging paths with a lot of shaded areas.

I did not venture too far to explore Parco Sempione as it was time to head back to Galleria Vittoria Emanuele for a late lunch and a little shop, before my amazing experience at the Duomo di Milano (see 4 above)


What was missing on my “Milan in one day” itinerary?

I had an amazing experience in Milan but I did miss some destinations which would ordinarily be on most visitors’ itinerary. I list five main attractions below which are on my next visit list to Milan and it may well be on your list when you visit.

M-1 | Santa Marie delle Grazie Convent – Leonardo da Vinci’s mural of the Last Supper

The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci is one of world’s most popular and undisputedly one of the world’s masterpieces of painting. This artwork was painted between 1495 and 1497. The representation by Leonardo da Vinci depicted the moment immediately after Christ said, “One of you will betray me”.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci – photo credit to Wikipedia

Leonardo’s Last Supper is located in its original place, on the wall of the dining room of the former Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. It is a huge painting of 4.60 meters high and 8.80 meters wide, was made with tempera and oil on a gypsum preparation instead of the technique commonly used in the fresco period.

Several measures have been implemented to protect the paint from deterioration. One of the measures is to ensure that the room temperature is maintained and for this reason visitors are restricted to a group of 25 people every fifteen minutes.

Given the strict measures to protect the painting, both in terms of number of visitors and the time allowed for each group, one cannot just arrive at the ticket window to purchase a ticket. Tickets are sold out months and months ahead of time. It is almost impossible to get a ticket! You can check availability here .

Viewing the Last Supper is one of my bucket list experiences but I had to give it a miss this time because I could not get tickets even through third-party providers! It remains a priority for my next visit.

M-1.1 | What can you do to ensure viewing of the Last Supper mural by Leonardo da Vinci?

If you can’t get tickets through their official website, your best bet is to book a guided tour that includes a skip-the-line tickets for da Vinci’s Last Supper via a third-party provider. Third-party providers are tour companies who prebook tickets in advance and therefore affording availability even on short notice.

You may also want to do a broader Milan day tour that includes the Last Supper. There are several choices and combinations to meet your itinerary. For example you could do the skip-the-line Duomo and the Last Supper combination if you are thinking of visiting the Duomo or if you want to, you could do a walking tour of the city and combine this with the Last Supper viewing.

M-2 | Brera District

Brera is an upscale part of town with a good mix of history, modern design, countless shopping and dining options. With lively cafes and restaurants, Brera comes to life in the evening. You will be spoilt for dining choices with the variety of options here.

Dining aside, Brera is home to Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan’s largest museum of art, established since 1776. You will also find Braidense National Library, and the Brera Astronomical Observatory located here.

Pro tip: On a one day itinerary, you may not have time to visit the museum but the Braidense National Library is a 18th century library. It is reputed to be one of the most beautiful libraries in Italy. It is open daily except Sundays and entrance if free.

M-3 | San Bernardino alle Ossa

San Bernardino alle Ossa is best known for its bone chapel. The walls of the ossuary are said to be covered in bones and skulls, some from the old ossuary, some from other local graveyards. Even the doors, door knobs and the pillars are decorated with skulls and bones!

The ossuary dates back to the 13th century, though its current formation comes from the 17th. The skeletons are believed to primarily have come from people who died at the nearby Brolo hospital, which no longer exists.

You can locate San Bernardino alle Ossa at:

Via Brolo
Milan, 20122
Italy

Directions

M-4 | Porta Nuova district

Porta Nuova is an upcoming area of Milan and is the main business district of the city. Also known as Milan’s most futuristic district, it is adorned with modern skyscrapers defining its skyline. Apparently it is not an area many tourists visit because of it’s modern architecture. However, for some it can be an interesting adventure exploring the modern side to Milan with it’s skyscrapers. Porta Nuova is also the name of an arched gateway built in the early 19th century.

M-4.1 | Getting to Porta Nuova district

You can walk to Porta Nuova via Sempione Park from Sforzesco Castle – its 1.5 – 2 km, 20 to 30 minutes walk. Alternatively, you can take a metro to Garibaldi FS Station.

M-5 | Navigli Canals

The Navigli neighbourhood is famous for Navigli Grande and Naviglio Pavese canals and is highly recommended for an evening experience. The picturesque canals are said to be surrounded by colourful buildings, lots of restaurants as well as small boutiques and art stores.


Places to experience food and drinks when visiting Milan in one day

Well, you can’t go to Milan and leave without experiencing their best Pizza, best Risotto and their best Campari.

1 | Pizza

Not sure about you but I like my pizza really thin and crispy. Check out Superpizza when you are in Milan.

Superpizza is a family run business committed to using locally grown, all organic ingredients and therefore I can be sure of its highest quality at all times. Moreover, they serve super-thin, crispy pizza – low on oil, light and yeast-free. With an extensive flavourful combinations on their menu, you are sure to find one to suit your palate.

2 | Risotto alla Milanese

One of the simplest, yet most luxurious rice dishes, this creamy risotto gets its vivid color and flavor from saffron.

Photo credit to Biffi official gallery

According to legend, the dish was first created sometime in the 16th century, during the construction of Duomo. However, the first recipe under the name risotto alla Milanese was found in Giovanni Felice Luraschi’s 1829 cookbook Nuovo Cuoco Milanese Economico, and over time, this saffron-flavored classic became a traditional accompaniment to ossobuco, another signature dish of Milan.

Veal Ossobuco & Milanese Risotto – Biffi, Galleria

If you are lucky to get a reservation at Biffi, you can dine in style in one of the oldest restaurant in Milan – details on Biffi are above. Otherwise, look up Ratana or Antica Trattoria della Pesa

3 | Vegan kitchens

A plant based diet is no longer seen as strange but it is becoming a healthier choice where people are incorporating it into their everyday diet. Milan has a plethora of restaurants and cafes that offer a wide choice vegan treats. You may want to look up Flowerburger and Joia Kitchen.

4 | Drinks

Whether it’s a perfect Negroni you are looking for or wanting to try something new, Milan has it all. If you are looking for an authentic no-frills Milanese experience, then look-up Rita & Cocktails or if you want to experience something British with a Milanese soul, then head over to Kilburn Cocktail Bar.

But if you are looking for a refreshing cocktail during the day, look no further than Camparino in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – the reputed trendy venue since 1915 for an authentic Milanese aperitivo. You can have it whichever way you prefer, in a glass packed with ice and a slice of orange or without.

Barman at Camparino, Galleria. Photo credit to Campari official site


Where to stay when visiting Milan in one day?

Millennium Hotels & Resorts, Milan, IT

Radisson Blu Hotel, Milan, IT

For more choices on accommodation, use this link and check on the vast choices available in Milan – Accommodation in Milan


How to get around Milan in one day

Taxi

Taxis are often in high demand and you may not see one to hail easily on the street. Your best chance is going to designated taxi ranks usually outside the train station, like Milan Central.

Tram & Bus

ATM also manages the trams and an extensive bus network in Milan.

Tram 1 – Cuts through the historic centre,. It is a retro yellow tram with wooden benches and original fittings.

Trams 2 and 3 – are popular for sightseeing.

Trams 9 and 10 – loop around the centre via Porta Venezia, Porta Genova and Porta Garibaldi.

Route maps are available from ATM info points. You can also download these via the ATM app.

Night bus services run every half-hour between 12.30am and 5.10am, after the metro has closed.

Metro

ATM is the company that runs Milan’s public transport, including the metro.

The metro in Milan is simple and easy to navigate. It is the most convenient way to get around. It consists of four major lines which you need know:

M1 [RED] – Connects Duomo with Porta Venezia, the castle, Corso Magenta and the Fiera;

M2 [Green] – Connects Porta Garibaldi with Brera and Navigli;

M3 [Yellow] – Connects Quadrilatero with Porta Romana;

M5 [Lilac] – Connects San Siro with Porta Garibaldi and Isola;

(M4 is under construction)

Services operate between 5.30am and 12.30am (from 6am on Sunday).

A ticket is valid for 90 minutes. It can only be used for one metro ride.

Tickets are sold at electronic ticket machines in the station, or at tobacconists and newsstands.

Tickets & Passes

Depending on your plans in Milan and for how long you intend to stay, there are a number of good money-saving passes for public transport. which you may want to consider:

One day ticket Valid for 24 hours; €7

Three-day ticket Valid for 72 hours; €12

Weekly pass Offers unlimited journeys from Mon-Sun on most of the metro system, buses and trams; €17

Airports near Milan

Milan is served by two airports – Malpensa and Bergamo

From Malpensa Airport to Milan

The Malpensa Express runs every 20 – 40 minutes and takes 50 minutes to reach Milano Centrale. Learn more about Malpensa Express, their routes and ticket prices from their official website here.

From Bergamo to Milan

There are no direct trains from Bergamo to Milan. From Bergamo airport take the ATB bus to Bergamo train station. Trains depart every 30 minutes to Milano Centrale.

Milano Centrale Station

From Milano Centrale Station:

To get to the Cathedral, you will need the Piazza del Duomo. The distance between Milan’s Central Station and Piazza del Duomo is 2 miles / 3.2 km. There are Three ways to get to Milan Cathedral from Central Station. I took a taxi and it was 10 Euros. Have a look at the following and you can decide what suits you.

If you are looking for the quickest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo is to take a taxi. It takes 7 to 10 minutes depending on traffic. It costs around 10 Euros.

If you are considering the cheapest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo, then it is the line 3 subway which costs 3 Euros and takes 15 min. It is located right in the Piazza del Duomo.

You can take a direct bus departing from Central Station m2 m3 and arrives at via larga. It is about 7 to 9 minutes walk to Piazza del Duomo, The bus services depart every two hours, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 13 min. Costs 3 Euros.


How to save time and maximise your experience when visiting Milan in one day

Milan is one of the busiest cities in Italy and a tourist hub which means it will be busy at any time of the year. Having said that, my visit was in November, and considered off season but we could not get tickets to the Last Supper. I realised then that even if off season, it does not mean popular places are not sold out. My tips to you, if you want to save time and maximise your experience when visiting Milan for a day is to

Plan Ahead!

Personally, planning ahead saves a lot of frustration! Indeed it saves time as well. Things can and may go wrong sometimes but at least you will be prepared for the eventualities by having some alternatives in place.

Consider an off-season visit

Although I could not get tickets to the Last Supper viewing through third-party providers, but my experience in Milan was lovely and pleasant. Although I pre-booked the skip-the-line tickets to the Duomo, I did it on the day and was easily obtainable. The Duomo was not crowded so it was nice to walk around at my own pace. Exploring the Castle and the park were also enjoyable. I was fortunate with the weather, perfect for sightseeing.

Comfortable walking shoes

Attractions in Milan are conveniently located and are within easy reach through walking routes. Whether the weather is kind on the day of your visit or it is not, you will be walking a lot. So, pack yourself a pair of comfortable walking shoes! .

Consider day trips from Milan

Time permitting, and provided you are visiting Milan for longer than one day, consider visiting other parts of the Lombardy region – explore the neighbouring cities of Verona, Venice and Italy’s impressive and scenic lakes, Lake Como and Lake Garda.

You can reach Verona in a little over an hour. The average travel time between Verona and Milan is 1 hour 23 minutes. The quickest route takes 1 hour 15 minutes. There are about 23 trains a day between Milan and Verona, leaving approximately every hour.

Alternatively, you could book a tour on-board a luxury coach to Verona and Lake Garda – an excellent value for money experience.

You can reach Venice in a little over two hours. The average travel time between Venice and Milan is 2 hours 32 minutes. The quickest route is 2 hours 10 minutes. There are about 22 trains a day between Milan and Venice, leaving approximately every hour.

Alternatively, you could book a tour on-board a luxury coach to Venice. This trip includes a 2-hour guided tour of Venice and a boat trip on Venice lagoon (NOT a gondola ride)

You can reach Lake Como in under an hour. The average travel time between Milan and Como is 48 minutes. The quickest route is 37 minutes. There are about 58 direct trains connecting Milan to Como every day.

Alternatively, you could book a luxury coach tour day trip to Lake Como and Bellagio – another excellent value for money experience.


My thoughts on Milan in one day

In retrospect, my visit to Milan in one day was a busy full-on day with some respite in between. I did not rush through the places I visited. I sat down a few minutes at Sforza Castle to admire the architecture. My walk to Sempione Park was a slow one. Admiring it’s beauty in the autumn sunshine allowed me moments to pause. Pause to appreciate the “now”, reflect on the activities so far and to decide what to do next.

I had seen an item of clothing in the shop windows of Louis Vuitton that morning and I wanted to return to have a closer look. Also, I wanted to enjoy a late lunch and a Campari from the open terraces of the Galleria across Milan Cathedral. I chose both of these experiences instead of a rushed visit to Brera District, and San Bernardino alle Ossa.

My experiences at and of Milan Cathedral were rewarding and I was totally pleased with the sunset experience. Go, read both my blogs on Milan Cathedral and watch the video that goes with it – you will see what I mean.

I think it’s important that we make time to enjoy our visit to Milan or to any other destinations. It is important to our wellbeing so we are not pressured to visit attractions just because we need to complete a list. It is also important that we appreciate what we see and be in the moment than to rush from one spot to another only to realise that perhaps, just perhaps a moment or two longer would have added value to our experiences. I am confident that this post gives you the flexibility to design your itinerary and is the ultimate guide to enjoying Milan in one day


Are you ready to book your trip to Milan in one day?


Is this post valuable to you in planning your visits to Milan in one day? If so, please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.

Have a splendid time exploring, discovering and experiencing Milan when you visit.

Georgina xx

If you choose to #travel, travel safely | #staysafe #stayinspired | Read now to #travel later. For latest on Covid-19 go to: CDC.GOV | WHO International


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A detailed and thorough guide to planning your one day itinerary to Milan, Italy. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/A detailed and thorough guide to planning your one day itinerary to Milan, Italy. via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/

Milan Cathedral – How to make the best of your visit

Milan Cathedral – How to make the best of your visit

Milan Cathedral | Milano di Duomo | Italy

Milan Cathedral is a mesmerizingly beautiful masterpiece standing in Piazza del Duomo.

Milan Cathedral, Italy - How to make the best of your visit
Milan Cathedral, Italy | © mytimelessfootsteps | Photo: georgina_daniel

Its white and pink marble façade glistening in the autumn sun was a sight to behold and the one landmark that should not be missed. This amazing piece of architecture is located in the heart of the City of Milan

45°27’30.59″ N 9°11’17.40″ E

Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners

Visiting Milan, Italy

As a visitor to Milan, you will note that it is a City that is easy to get to, both by air and land. Exploring Milan will undoubtedly require a few days, or multiple visits. A weekend getaway is just as good. My planned visit to this City was a brief one – a little shopping, a little exploring and a little adventure. Above all, if there was one thing I wanted to do in Milan, it was to visit the iconic landmark – Milan Cathedral | Duomo di Milano. The Duomo took centuries to build and I wanted to experience the magical Walk on the Rooftop of the Duomo.

If you are planning a visit to Milan Cathedral while on a trip to the City of Milan, then this is the best guide for you. I have listed the main attractions within the Cathedral so you don’t miss them. As well, the various choices on how to get the best value for money tickets for a memorable and timeless visit.

How to make the best of your visit to Milan Cathedral

There are many reasons to visit this masterpiece and there are so many interesting and fascinating “spots” to explore and to delve deeper in this Cathedral of over 600 years old but I limited my curiosities to the ones listed in this article – Top 10 Highlights. I hope my list below will inspire you to visit this iconic building (if you haven’t already) and act as a guide to make the best of your visit to Milan Cathedral.

Before I take you through the highlights, here are some factual information to the Cathedral which may guide you to make the best of your visit here.

Some factual information on Milan Cathedral

1 | Milan Cathedral is the fifth largest Cathedral in the world

Standing at 515 ft (157 metres) long and 302 ft (92 m) wide in Piazza del Duomo, Milan Cathedral can house up to 40000 people. It is the fifth largest Christian church in the world following St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil, Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York and Seville’s Cathedral.

Milan Cathedral in the centre of Piazza del Duomo
Milan Cathedral in the centre of Piazza del Duomo | © timelesstravelsteps | georgina_daniel

This large Cathedral has seen a lot of history pass her by because it took almost 600 years to complete this masterpiece. Construction began in 1386 and the final pieces laid in 1960s but seeing the scaffolding on the roof of the Cathedral, something tells me that the work is not quite complete yet! The construction of the Cathedral involved many thousands of workers (as one can imagine!) and a new canal system in its many waterways to transport the special marble from Val D’Ossola. During its construction, many architects, sculptors and artists contributed to its fabric, making it an international creation, creating a unique and an impressive piece of architecture, merging the Gothic and the Romanesque style.

The main entrance to Milan Cathedral, Italy
The main entrance to Milan Cathedral, Italy | © timelesstravelsteps | georgina_daniel

2 | Milan Cathedral is a unique majestic structure

The Cathedral’s splendour of white and pink marble (sourced from the Candoglia quarry in Val D’Ossola) can be admired from many corners of the City. Its roof is covered in openwork slender pinnacles and spires crowned with almost 2000 sculptures that overlook the city. Apparently, this Gothic Cathedral has the most statues than any other building in the world! On the highest spire of the Cathedral, you will find the Madonnina, a gilded bronze statue of Mary, which was sculpted by Giuseppe Perego in 1774. I understand that over the years the Madonnina has become the symbol of Milan.

The Milan Cathedral, standing stall in the glistening sun. The white and pink marble facade is a sight to behold
The Milan Cathedral, standing tall in the glistening sun. The white and pink marble facade is a sight to behold | © mytimelessfootsteps | Photo: georgina_daniel
Madonnina-Symbol of Milan
Madonnina-Symbol of Milan | © mytimelessfootsteps | Photo: georgina_daniel

From the floors of Piazza del Duomo, looking up to this majestic structure, Milan Cathedral’s forest of one hundred and thirty-five spires seem to touch the sky and I felt a tingle of excitement and amazement as I approached this imposing Cathedral. Its rich decorations are a sight to behold and truly gave meaning to what Mark Twain had said of this wonder back in 1867:

“What a wonder it is! So grand, so solemn, so vast! And yet so delicate, so airy, so graceful! A very world of solid weight, and yet it seems in the soft moonlight only a fairy delusion of frostwork that might vanish with a breath! How sharply its pinnacled angles and its wilderness of spires were cut against the sky, and how richly their shadows fell upon its snowy roof! It was a vision! —a miracle! —an anthem sung in stone; a poem wrought in marble!”

MARK TWAIN, INNOCENTS ABROAD

However, not all may agree with me or Mark Twain! For even back then in 1875, there were differing opinions on the Duomo. Oscar Wilde visited Milan Cathedral and wrote of his disappointment on the Cathedral to his mother in June of 1875. He described it as “an awful failure”. Here’s the extract I found:

“The Cathedral is an awful failure. Outside the design is monstrous and inartistic. The over-elaborated details stuck high up where no one can see them; everything is vile in it; it is, however, imposing and gigantic as a failure, through its great size and elaborate execution.“

OSCAR WILDE

I shall let you make up your own mind whether it is a beautiful structure or a failure – in the meantime though, please read on and find out what it is really like on the outside and inside of Milan Cathedral.

3 | Other facts that you may wish to know

There are about 3200 to 3400 statues in total, both inside and outside of the Milan Cathedral but no-one really know the exact figure;

The central porch of the Cathedral dates back to 1800 and was sculpted by Ludovico Pogliaghi

Top 10 highlights of Milan Cathedral

Inside of the Cathedral is spectacular as you will see from the highlights below. The rooftop terraces are even more so, given the incredible views it offers over the City of Milan. Walking on the rooftop of the Duomo was an experience I longed to cherish, and I was very happy to be able to tick that experience off my list. Catching the sunset when I visited, well it was the icing on the cake, an exquisite experience that will last a lifetime, an experience which I strongly encourage you to go for if you can. Have a look at both the videos below on my rooftop experiences.

Outside Milan Cathedral

1 | Walking on the rooftop of Milan Cathedral | Duomo di Milano

The rooftop, without a doubt is the highlight of the Cathedral’s experience. There are two ways to access the terraces of the rooftop of Milan Cathedral – by stairs and by lift.

If you wish to take the stairs, there are about 250 steps, not many but they can be narrow. If you wish to take the lift, and avoid climbing altogether, you need to purchase a ticket that includes this option.

The changing hues as the sun sets over the City of Milan_4
Sunset from the rooftop of the Duomo | © mytimelessfootsteps | Photo: georgina_daniel

Purchase your tickets to the rooftop experience here

The rooftop offers an incredibly beautiful, slender pinnacles of intricately carved marbles holding a saint or a statue. There are so many towers, spires and statues that you would be totally lost in counting them if you tried! There are 135 spires and 2000 decorative marble statues on the rooftop alone. The close-up of the spires is an impressive sight. Looking at the statues and spires just made me wonder at the incredible talent of the masons to carve something so intricate and beautiful.

I was totally taken into the distant views of the snow-capped mountains of the Alps – I was fortunate as the day was clear and sunny, although the autumnal chill and the breeze on the rooftop saw me with my coat and scarf all the time.

Watch these videos and you will see what an amazing sight and experience it can be.

The changing hues during a sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo | © mytimelessfootsteps | georgina_daniel

View post in its entirety on The Best of Milan-Sunset on the Rooftop of the Duomo

Inside Milan Cathedral

From the outside of the Cathedral, though huge, I did not really feel how mega-huge it is until I stepped in. Inside of Milan Cathedral is vast and elegant. The marble floor is captivating from the moment you step in. There are three aisles.

NB: Dress Code – Shoulders and knees must be covered to enter the Cathedral.

2 | The uniquely designed marble floor of Milan Cathedral

The marble floor just rules the Cathedral! You can set your watch by it and it has a legend. So here goes…

Uniquely designed marble floor rules the Cathedral
Uniquely designed marble floor rules the Cathedral
Uniquely designed marble floor rules the Cathedral

Uniquely designed marble floor rules the Cathedral | © mytimelessfootsteps | Photo: georgina_daniel

2.1 | Sundial on the floor of Milan Cathedral

Along the left wall runs a long-gilded brass strip broken up by the twelve zodiac signs. It is a watch and a solar calendar – you could set your watch by it. The brass strip is the meridian and is also a sundial. Sunlight from a hole on the ceiling allows the sun to shine through and leave a mark on the zodiac sign., the bronze strip on June 21st (the summer solstice), and on December 21st (winter solstice), the sun reaches the Meridian which is on the opposite wall. At one time, Milan’s City’s clock was set by it and the Italians also used it as the prime reference for their astronomy. This ancient meridian and sundial were placed in 1768 by astronomers from the Accademia di Brera.

The Meridian at Milan Cathedral was the astronomical reference for the Prime Meridian until it was replaced by Greenwich Meridian, England in 1884.

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London | © mytimelessfootsteps | georgina_daniel

View article on The Royal Observatory, Greenwich

According to the Cathedral’s resources:

“Being a watch and a solar calendar perfectly working, it had required over centuries of several checks and restores. One of these was made in 1827 and it was necessary because of the lowering of the floor plan.

A second test was made in 1929 by astronomer Louis Gabba on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Observatory of Brera.

The last check was made in 1976 as the excavations of the first subway line and the lowering of the phreatic aquifer caused a further lowering of the Cathedral floor. The gnomic hole, site at the first vault of the first bay of south aisle, was also widened.”

DUOMO DI MILANO

Unfortunately for me, the sundial was presently not working because of work being carried out on the roof of the Cathedral. The use of scaffolding blocked the sunlight coming through the vault.

2.2 | The legend

Although the Cathedral is dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente (Saint Mary Nascent) and associated with Christianity, legend has it that it was also associated with pagan spirit which explains the unusual find of zodiac signs in a Christian place of worship.

3 | The marble columns of Milan Cathedral

Milan Cathedral has large sculpted marble columns or pillars if you prefer, that reach the ceiling. There are fifty-two columns, one for each week of the year and they are very high. Really high. Majestic, impressive and somewhat portrays a stately feel.  Looking up, the columns seemed to lead to heavens above!

High, very high pillars inside Milan Cathedral
High, very high pillars inside Milan Cathedral | © mytimelessfootsteps | Photo: georgina_daniel

4 | Paintings on the wall

There are large paintings on the walls, representing scenes from the bible.

Large paintings all around on the walls of Milan Cathedral that tells the stories from the Bible, both Old and New Testament
Large paintings all around on the walls of Milan Cathedral that tells the stories from the Bible, both Old and New Testament | © mytimelessfootsteps | georgina_daniel

5 | Private Chapels and places to reflect

There are private chapels where you can have a sit and reflect. Very quiet, peaceful and a sense of calmness all around.  

6 | Stained glass windows at Milan Cathedral

Walking around the Cathedral, there are large, rich stained-glass windows. Each has a history associated with it such as the historical moment or the artists who created them. The Cathedral is lit-up by sunlight seeping through these stained-glass windows that gives a sort of enlightening charm. The windows are also lit from the inside to aid visitors to appreciate the details that these windows depict. The larger windows are located at the oldest part of the Cathedral.

The central stained-glass window depicts the scenes of the Apocalypse. The side windows tell the stories from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

Pro Tip: When you are in the middle aisle, marvel at the central window in all its glory with the mysterious sun that seems to illuminate the nave and the enlightening charm will have you in awe.

Large stained-glass windows behind the altar
Closer look at the stained-glass window in Milan Cathedral

Stained-glass windows on the left and right side of aisles that depicts stories from the Old and New Testament of the Bible in Milan Cathedral | © timelesstravelsteps | Photo: georgina_daniel

Stained-glass windows on the left and right side of aisles that depicts stories from the Old and New Testament of the Bible in Milan Cathedral

Large stained-glass windows behind the altar | © timelesstravelsteps | georgina_daniel

You may wish to know: Stained glassmaking is an art that developed along with the Milan Cathedral over the many centuries that had taken to complete this majestic structure. It began in the early 1400s and the most recent stained-glass window at Milan Cathedral was made in 1988.

7 | The statue of Bartholomew the Apostle, patron saint of the tanners

You will find him behind the altar. Saint Bartholomew is depicted with his skin hanging off his shoulders as a reference to the martyrdom he suffered.

8 | Home to one of the precious objects in Christianity

I learnt that the Cathedral is home to one of the most precious objects in Christianity and it is situated in the dome above the altar. The spot is marked with a red light bulb. This is where one of the nails used during the Crucifixion of Christ is placed. The public can only see it once a year, on the Saturday closest to 14 September when the nail is exhibited at the altar until the Monday after evening prayers.

Pro tip: If you want to see this precious object, Plan your travels around the Saturday closest to the 14th September. Also, to bear in mind, it will be one of the busiest times at the Cathedral.

9 | Crypt

You will find the crypt through a mini stairway and it is in the Chapel of Saint Charles Borromeo, where his remains are buried since 3rd November 1584.

Photography was not allowed here, understandably but I did find the ceiling of the entrance to be rather attractive. I was allowed to take photos of this.

The ceiling of the main hall in the Crypt of Milan Cathedral
The ceiling of the main hall in the Crypt of Milan Cathedral | © mytimelessfootsteps | Photo: georgina_daniel

10 | The Baptistry

I did not see the Baptistery. I am informed that visitors can climb down under the Cathedral to the archaeological remains to see what is left of the Basilica di Santa Tecla and the ruins of a Christian baptistery from the fourth century. Legend has it that Saint Ambroise baptised Saint Augustin in 387 in the large octagonal baptismal font which is in the centre of the building.

My conclusion on Milan Cathedral

I think you know what I think of Milan Cathedral by now! It was an incredible visit and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Cathedral at a reasonable pace. Though it was off-season, it was still busy with visitors. The 10 highlights or “spots” that I have listed above are the ones that you should not miss when visiting this iconic structure. If you were to ask me, what’s the one highlight that stood out, then it is without a doubt is the Sunset on the rooftop of Milan Cathedral. May I also add, that the one landmark that should not be missed when in Milan, this must be the Milan Cathedral | Duomo di Milano.  

Travel tips and Practical information when visiting Milan Cathedral

1 | Opening hours of Milan Cathedral

The Cathedral and the Rooftop is open Everyday.

Cathedral – 8 am to 7 pm | Rooftop – 9 am to 7pm | Last entry is at 6pm

For further details on their daily activities and prayer times, please check their official website here.

For Accessibility information, click here.

2 | Dress code

When visiting/entering Milan Cathedral, ensure you are dressed in a manner where Shoulders and knees are covered.

Shoulders and knees must be covered to enter the Cathedral. You may be refused entry if not appropriately dressed even if you have fully paid ticket.

3 | Duomo Museum

The Duomo Museum is located next to Milan Cathedral. The Museum showcases three exhibitions that tells the story of the Cathedral of over 600 years.

4 | Ways to experience Milan Cathedral

There are more than one way to experience Milan Cathedral for memories that will last a lifetime. If its worth exploring, you will find them here – below are your choices:

Milan Cathedral, Italy - How to make the best of your visit

The Fast-Track Milan Cathedral and Terraces Guided Tour offers you a complete tour of Milan Cathedral, with skip-the-line entrance and access to the terraces. The ticket includes access to the archaeological area under the cathedral. Afterwards, you can explore the Duomo Museum as well. This tour comes with a full money-back guarantee if you do not enjoy the experience. Check T & C and

Buy your Fast track ticket to Milan Cathedral

Spires and statues on the rooftop of the Duomo

To experience all areas of Milan Cathedral plus the terraces, museum and the archaeological area, take a look at Milan Cathedral and Rooftop Ticket which gives you the opportunity to explore at your leisure. This ticket is valid for 3 days. Includes audio guide. Non refundable. Buy your ticket here.

Sunset over Milan viewed from the rooftop of the Duomo

If you don’t have much time and your visit to Milan is a hurry, you still visit Milan Cathedral Terraces by Elevator Fast-Track Options – this fast-track ticket save precious time and you can ride the dedicated elevator to get stunning views from the Milan Duomo terraces.

Learn more on this option and buy your ticket

Beautiful architecture awaits you when you reach the terraces of the Duomo

There is yet another option for you to skip the line and experience a tour of Milan Cathedral and Terraces

Buy your skip the line ticket for a tour of Milan Cathedral and Terraces

There are more combination of choices which you may wish to have a look at and consider.

Learn more of your options and combination of tickets available for your visit

5 | Getting to Milan Cathedral / Duomo di Milano

From Milano Centrale Station:

To get to the Cathedral, you will need the Piazza del Duomo. The distance between Milan’s Central Station and Piazza del Duomo is 2 miles / 3.2 km. There are Three ways to get to Milan Cathedral from Central Station. I took a taxi and it was 10 Euros. Have a look at the following and you can decide what suits you.

If you are looking for the quickest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo is to take a taxi. It takes 7 to 10 minutes depending on traffic. It costs around 10 Euros.

If you are considering the cheapest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo, then it is the line 3 subway which costs 3 Euros and takes 15 min. It is located right in the Piazza del Duomo.

You can take a direct bus departing from Central Station m2 m3 and arrives at via larga. It is about 7 to 9 minutes walk to Piazza del Duomo, The bus services depart every two hours, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 13 min. Costs 3 Euros.


How to get around Milan on public transport

How to get around the City of Milan is the ultimate resource to everything you need to know about public transportation in Milan. The article includes information on the best tickets to purchase to supplement your moving around the city.


6 | Planning your trip

Here is all you need in this 6-step guide to create a stress free vacation Your Way!

When planning a trip to Milan, I use the following 6-step guide for a stress free vacation – I am sure that you will find them useful as well to enhance your travel experiences.

6.1 | Find the Best Flight Deals by navigating to this page – there is a list of trusted partners offering the best prices for both long-haul and short-haul flights.

If you intend to Train Travel, I have you covered as well. Go to Interail EU to peruse options and buy your travel passes. Along with this, learn all about train travelling in the UK Trainline and Unique experiences

View post: Train Travel UK – A quintessential odyssey | Best 8 UK scenic train journeys

6.2 | Find the perfect hotel room in booking.com with flexible dates and last-minute cancellations. There are 5669 hotels and accommodations in Milan and I am certain you will find one to suit your needs – you can access booking.com here. Along with the huge options available to you, peruse also the carefully selected 12 hotels and aparthotels according to neighbourhoods in Milan. Learn more about which area is good for families and which of the accommodations made the pick for central Milan.

View article: Beautiful places to stay in Milan

6.3 | Find great day tours on Get Your Guide for a seamless and hassle free, skip the line experiences – do a search and have a look at Get Your Guide here .

6.4 | Never leave home without Travel Insurance – always a helping hand and you never know when you need most. Search for the best and most suitable for your travels by navigating here.

6.5 | If you want to take the hassle of planning and researching for best places to stay and best flights, then consider doing a package holiday – you get great protection – ATOL, ABTA and Financial – when buying a package holiday compared to booking a vacation by yourself. Learn more about the 10 benefits of package holidays that you will love here.

6.6 | Finally, book your trip!


Learn more and take advantage of offers by navigating to Travel Resources-All in one place.


You may also be interested in reading about my experiences in other parts of Europe – Amsterdam, | Geneva andLondon.

What do you think? Is this post valuable to you in planning your visits to Milan Cathedral? If so, please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.

My sincere hope is that the travel tips offered in this blog will help you plan your memorable visit to Milan Cathedral.

Happy discovering Milan Cathedral

Georgina xx

Updated January 2021

February 2021, Update

If you choose to #travel, travel safely | #staysafe #stayinspired | Read now to #travel later. For latest on Covid-19 go to: CDC.GOV | WHO International


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Milan Cathedral - How to make the best of your visit
Milan Cathedral - How to make the best of your visit
Milan Cathedral - How to make the best of your visit
Milan Cathedral - How to make the best of your visit

I look forward to connecting with each of you


A detail guide to maximising your visit to Milan Cathedral without missing the important "spots". via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/A detail guide to maximising your visit to Milan Cathedral without missing the important "spots". via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/

The Best of Milan – Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo

The Best of Milan – Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo

The Gothic Cathedral of Milan, famously known as the Duomo, is a glorious marble structure with slender pinnacles rising everywhere. Above all, it is the golden Madonnina, that stands high above over Milan which gives this iconic Cathedral its glorious and majestic beauty. You will find this City at the following GPS code.

45.4641° N 9.1919° E

Disclaimer: This Post and all related posts may contain affiliate links including Amazon LLC. This means that I earn a commission, from qualifying purchases at no cost to you, if you click on a link and make a purchase. Access full disclaimer here or get in touch with me via Contact form if you have any questions about any of the companies. You could also take a look at our Trusted Partners

The Best of Milan – Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo

Milan is the One Place where you shop till you drop, take a journey through Roman ruins, meet architecture of centuries gone-by sitting next to modern skyscrapers,  experience amazing mouth-watering dishes which only the Italians have the “know-how” and enjoy a cocktail or two from terraces across the spectacularly amazing Duomo – yet the Best experience for me was walking through what seemed like a forest of towers and spires and watching the sunset from the rooftop of the Duomo, a sight to behold which should not be missed. Come with me and enjoy this splendid experience.

1 | The rooftop of the Duomo – a sight to behold

If you have very little time in Milan, the one experience that I would highly recommend is to catch the sunset from the terraces of the Duomo. I was totally lost in the moment and overcome with a sense of calmness when I exited the lift and saw the views over Milan.

Best of Milan - Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo
As the sun reflects on the Duomo | Photo: georgina_daniel
Best of Milan - Sunset on the rooftop of the DuomoViews over Milan from the rooftop of the Duomo
Stop for a moment and marvel at this grand intricate architecture which blows you away at times | Photo: georgina_daniel
Best of Milan - Sunset on the rooftop of the DuomoViews of Milan from the rooftop of the Duomo
Views of Milan from the rooftop of the Duomo | Photo: georgina_daniel

The views from the top are amazing and you can see the mountains in the distance on a clear day. Below, is the Piazza del Duomo and literally the whole of Milan under your feet! This magnificent Duomo is a true wonder! We spent over an hour at the rooftop, just taking in the sights, far, near and below.

Best of Milan - Sunset on the rooftop of the DuomoViews of the Piazza del Duomo
Views of the Piazza del Duomo | Photo: georgina_daniel

Play the video below to immerse in the atmosphere of the best of Milan – sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo

Video of the atmosphere on the rooftop of the Duomo during sunset | By: georgina_daniel

2 | Walking through a forest of spires and statues on the rooftop of the Duomo

We walked through a forest of one-hundred and thirty-five towers and spires, and over two-thousand decorative marble statues. The close-up of the spires was an impressive sight and will have you in awe in more times than once.

Best of Milan - Sunset on the rooftop of the DuomoAnother spectacular view of the forest of spires and statues on the rooftop of the Duomo
Another spectacular view of the forest of spires and statues on the rooftop of the Duomo | Photo: georgina_daniel
Spires and statues on the rooftop of the Duomo
Spires and statues on the rooftop of the Duomo | Photo: georgina_daniel

We explored the rooftop via interconnecting stairways. walked the perimeter of the Cathedral, all four sides and further up to the highest possible point to have the closest view possible of Modonnina, the symbol of Milan. We stopped every few minutes to take in the view, and along with other tourists were in total awe, total strangers talking to each other and sharing this one love of wonderment. There were moments of silence too, for such moments need not be outwardly expressed. Each moment was remarkable as we witnessed the changing colours of the clear blue skies to yellow, gold and orange hues.

3 | The changing hues of the sunset over Milan from the Duomo

No words needed here…have a look at the video below – the changing colours over the City of Milan.

Changing hues of the sunset over the City of Milan from the rooftop of the Duomo | georgina_daniel

4 | The velvety night sky

The rich hues of the sunset gave way to the velvety dark of night as the sun sank lower draining the light of day away. You can see the star-like lights in the distance and the bright-lights from the square. The evening landscape that surrounds the Duomo was unique as it represents the old and new combined, somehow perfectly complementing each other and not being out of place. The evening drew a slight breeze, giving a chill in the autumn evening which added to the magical moments of this sunset over Milan from the rooftop of the Duomo.

The Best of Milan – Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo |Star-like lights in the distance on this clear blue skies
Star-like lights in the distance captures your imagination on this evening of clear blue skies | Photo: georgina_daniel
The Best of Milan – Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo |Evening images from the rooftop of the Duomo
Evening images from the rooftop of the Duomo | Photo: georgina_daniel
The Best of Milan – Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo |The spires and statues gives a different look altogether in the evening light
The spires and statues of the Duomo gives a different look altogether in the evening light | Photo: georgina_daniel

5 | Madonnina at the Duomo – Symbol of Milan

To get the closest view possible of the Madonnina, walk all around the perimeter of the roof and around a corner, there is a stairway that leads further up to the highest possible point. The stairs leads you to the highest rooftop and it is from here, where you will have the closest view possible of Modonnina – the picture below.

Madonnina-Symbol of Milan
Madonnina-Symbol of Milan | Photo: georgina_daniel

georgina@timelesstravelsteps suggests: The rooftop is at a gradient and can be slippery. Please use appropriate footwear.

6 | My conclusion on the rooftop of the Duomo

The rooftop offers spectacular views over Milan. You will be totally amaze walking through the what seems like never ending paths through a forest of spires and statues of all and every kind that makes the Duomo unique. Like I mentioned earlier, if there be one thing you do in Milan, and you want it to be the Best in Milan, make it the Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo.

I know what is “Best” to individuals may differ and you may not be a fan of cathedrals or rooftops, but for those who are on the same page as I, give the rooftop of the Duomo a go at sunset and return here to share your experiences or tag me on Instagram when you post your pictures. I look forward to connecting with each of you.

I was fortunate to experience this on a sunny day because the day before and day after rained cats and dogs! Plan well and choose your day. Purchase your tickets before visiting.

7 | Travel tips and Practical information when visiting the Duomo di Milano

7.1 | How to get to the rooftops of the Duomo

Access to the rooftop is around the back of the Duomo. You need a ticket.

There are two ways to get to the rooftop – by staircase or an elevator. If you do the Fast-track or the Skip-the-line option, you can take the lift. I highly recommend that you opt for this option because it saves you a lot of time. Moreover, this ticket is valid for 3-days and an audio-guide is included.

Have a look at the various choices you have and get your tickets here or here

You will find that there is a queue, regardless of whether you are on the Skip-the-line track or the not. When I visited last week, there was only one line and I purchased the Fast-track / Skip-the-Line ticket. It wasn’t a very long queue.

Though I did not expect to wait the fifteen-minutes or so as I had literally walked into the Duomo without a queue and I expected the same with the rooftop access. It was understandable under the circumstances as there is only one operable lift, that takes about six people at a time.

Georgina suggests: The price difference between taking the stairs and the lift is not much. You can check the difference here. If you are into fitness, then take the stairs. However, if you are limited in time, take the lift and enjoy the views.

Give yourself at least 1 to 1.5 hours to really enjoy the rooftop experience

7.3 | Opening hours

The Cathedral and the Rooftop is open Everyday.

Cathedral – 8 am to 7 pm | Rooftop – 9 am to 7pm | Last entry is at 6pm

For further details on their daily activities and prayer times, please check their official website at Duomo di Milano.

For Accessibility information, click here.

7.3 | Getting to Milan Cathedral/Duomo di Milano

From Milan Central Station:

To get to the Cathedral, you will need the Piazza del Duomo. The distance between Milan’s Central Station and Piazza del Duomo is 2 miles / 3.2 km. There are Three ways to get to Milan Cathedral from Central Station. I took a taxi and it was 10 Euros. Have a look at the following and you can decide what suits you.

If you are looking for the quickest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo is to take a taxi. It takes 7 to 10 minutes depending on traffic. It costs around 10 Euros.

If you are considering the cheapest way to get from Milan’s Central Station to Piazza del Duomo, then it is the line 3 subway which costs 3 Euros and takes 15 min. It is located right in the Piazza del Duomo.

You can take a direct bus departing from Central Station m2 m3 and arrives at via larga. It is about 7 to 9 minutes walk to Piazza del Duomo, The bus services depart every two hours, and operate every day. The journey takes approximately 13 min. Costs 3 Euros.


Planning your trip?

Everything you need is in this 6-step guide >> 6 step guide to an awesome vacation

As well, take a look at the following services to enhance your travel experiences. I use them when planning my own travels and I am sure you will find them useful too.

Find the perfect hotel room in booking.com with flexible dates and last-minute cancellations. There are 5669 hotels and accommodations in Milan and I am certain you will find one to suit your needs – you can access booking.com here. Alternatively, stay at one of the 12 carefully selected beautiful places in Milan – hotels and aparthotels according to neighbourhoods

Find great day tours on Get Your Guide for a seamless and hassle free, skip the line experiences – do a search and have a look at Get Your Guide here Along with the choices afforded by Get Your Guide, take a look at the 19 bucket list items which you should not miss when visiting Milan.

You may also be interested in reading about my experiences in other parts of Europe – Amsterdam, | Geneva and London.


Finally, is this post valuable to you in planning your visits to the Rooftop of Milano di Duomo? If so, please let me know in comments below or via Contact Form, I would love to hear from you.

Have a lovely time exploring the Rooftop!

Georgina xx

February 2021, Update

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Best of Milan – Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo
Best of Milan – Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo
Best of Milan – Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo
Best of Milan – Sunset on the rooftop of the Duomo

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Walk through a forest of towers, spires and decorative marble statues and be in awe in more times than once as you watch the changing hues of the sunset over the majestic City of Milan. A detailed guide including videos. #milan #duomomilano #sunset #bestofmilan #bestofmilano #bestofitalia via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/Walk through a forest of towers, spires and decorative marble statues and be in awe in more times than once as you watch the changing hues of the sunset over the majestic City of Milan. A detailed guide including videos. #milan #duomomilano #sunset #bestofmilan #bestofmilano #bestofitalia via @GGeorgina_mytimelessfootsteps/