You can’t go wrong, anyone visiting Milan for the first time should not miss the opportunity to see some attractions that are undoubtedly the must-sees of the city. Visitare il Duomo, la Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Il Teatro alla Scala, il Castello Sforzesco, ammirare L’Ultima Cenanella Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie, scoprire la Vita Notturna dei Naviglisono i consigli giusti per conoscere i tesori più importanti di Milano.
For those who spend an extra day in Milan, or come back for a second visit, you can discover Milan beyond its more famous facade and linger in slightly more “local” contexts. In this article, we suggest five, almost all free, to take a tour of Milan that is almost a leisurely walk without specific commitments, queues to endure, or tickets to purchase.
1 – Casa Boschi – De Stefano
In the lively Porta Venezia neighborhood, you will find Casa Boschi-Di Stefano, a house-museum that was the private residence of a couple of Italian art-collecting philanthropists. The Boschi were known for their passion for modern and contemporary art, and their home has been transformed into a museum to display their eclectic art collection. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs by 20th-century Italian artists, including Fontana, De Chirico, and Carrà, but also international ones like Pablo Picasso. Entrance is free, and the visit is recommended as it offers a perspective on a domestic and philanthropic dimension very characteristic of Italian culture in the 1900s.
2 – Shopping al Mercato Fauché
For a truly authentic shopping experience, visit the market at Via Fauché. This outdoor market offers a wide selection of vintage clothing, art objects, antique furniture, and much more. It’s the perfect place to search for hidden treasures and unique items to take home as a memory of a day in Milan. You can find everything from fresh vegetables to vintage shoes, and it’s a great way to get into the “local” mood of Milan. Not every day you find the same stalls, as the vendors also sell in many other markets. On Saturdays, the market is literally stormed by Milanese people, while on Sundays it’s closed.
3 – Borsa di Milano e Scultura di Maurizio Cattelan
In the city center, which is also the heart of Italian finance, lies Piazza Affari, with the Milan Stock Exchange. The Square hosts a sculpture that has now become an icon of Milan, it is L.O.V.E. by contemporary artist Maurizio Cattelan. We’re sure you’ll want to take some photos of the dedication the artist wanted to make to the world of finance, a big middle finger raised towards the building. “L.O.V.E.” has been the subject of discussions and controversies, but despite this, it has become an icon of the city, reflecting the power of art to evoke emotions and challenge the status quo. That’s why Cattelan’s “L.O.V.E.” is an essential landmark for art lovers and curious visitors to Milan.
4 – La Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore
If you are still enchanted by the sight of The Last Supper in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, it’s understandable. You can extend the indulgence in Renaissance beauty a bit by visiting the nearby San Maurizio at Monastero Maggiore, often simply called San Maurizio, one of the most extraordinary and fascinating churches in Milan. Every inch of the walls of the building, dating back to the Carolingian period and dedicated to the early Christian saint, is covered with frescoes by some of the greatest Lombard Renaissance painters, including Bernardino Luini, one of Leonardo da Vinci’s pupils. Their beauty and detail are astounding, making San Maurizio church one of the hidden gems of Renaissance art. If you’re lucky, you might attend one of the numerous sacred music concerts held there.
5 – La nuova vita notturna a Isola
Isola is a district in Milan known for its lively nightlife and trendy atmosphere. It is located north of the historic center and has undergone a transformation in recent years, becoming a very popular area among young people, artists, and creative professionals. Bars, restaurants, and electronic music nightclubs are trendsetters throughout the city and the country.
Did you know that Italy is the country with the most craft beers and microbreweries in the world? In Isola, you can visit Birrificio Lambrate, which, in the full youthful and contemporary style of Isola, represents an excellence of this history and offers you a nice fresh beer just made in Milan for you!