Things to Do in Milan - page 3
While many travelers visit the adjacent Santa Maria delle Grazie church—home of da Vinci’s fresco The Last Supper—the Bramante Sacristy (Sacrestia del Bramante) is an often-overlooked gem. Designed by architect Donato Bramante, the sacristy features a vaulted ceiling painted by da Vinci and exhibits on the inventor’s Codex Atlanticus.
The largest surviving collection of notes by Leonardo da Vinci, the Codex Atlanticus is a priceless set of documents and the crown jewel of Milan’s historic Biblioteca Ambrosiana library. The more than 1,120 pages of the Codex Atlanticus contain handwritten text and drawings dating from 1478 to 1519 and a glimpse into da Vinci’s genius.
The Quadrilatero d’Oro, or the Golden Rectangle, is the center of high fashion in Milan—a district filled with luxe boutiques, swanky bars, smart cafés, and cool restaurants. The windows boast the latest haute couture from high-end labels such as Chanel, Gucci, Armani, Versace, Valentino, Prada, and Dolce & Gabbana.
The Bagatti Valsecchi Museum (Museo Bagatti Valsecchi) in Milan is a showcase of what Italian mansions (palazzi) were like back in the day. Once home to two brothers—Fausto and Giuseppe—the stunning palazzo displays their vast collection of antique paintings, ceramics, tapestries, ivory, and furniture that they acquired during the last part of the 19th century.
Perched on the western shore of placid Lake Maggiore, the tiny resort town of Stresa is backed by the Alpine foothills of Monte Mottarone and boasts elegant hotels on a tree-lined promenade. Stroll through picturesque Piazza Cadorna in the town center, relax on the waterfront lidos, or take a ferry to the charming islands nearby.
The ultimate destination for footie fans, Casa Milan is the striking new headquarters of the city’s leading football (aka soccer) club, A.C. Milan, and is located just 10 minutes from San Siro Stadium where games are held. Known for its futuristic façade embossed with the team’s colors, the building houses an A.C. Milan museum and shop.
Built in 1030, San Sepolcro Church (Chiesa di San Sepolcro) was originally designed in the Romanesque style, though Baroque additions were made in the 17th century. Most visitors come to visit the church’s crypt, known as the Crypt of Leonardo after da Vinci, who appreciated the crypt so much that he placed it at the center of a map of Milan.
This 12th-century Cistercian abbey, located just outside the center of Milan, is a welcome respite from the urban bustle of Italy’s fashion capital. Visit the historic complex that blends Gothic, Renaissance, and baroque elements in its church, cloister, and granges, and savor the reflective silence in the monastic interiors.
Housed in Villa Reale—the former summer home of Napoleon Bonaparte—Milan’s Gallery of Modern Art (Galleria d'Arte Moderna) boasts paintings by Italian and international artists such as Boccioni, Cezanne, Picasso, and van Gogh. Tucked away in the city’s public gardens, the museum is a peaceful retreat for art and history lovers.
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