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What to see in Milan

Milan Attractions

Milan's attractions extend far beyond its fame as a fashion capital: there are many museums, cathedrals and galleries to visit, as well as the Milan Aquarium and the Orto Botanico di Brera gardens. The best time for sightseeing in Milan is spring, early summer, or autumn, when the weather is warm and sunny.

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II arcade is a popular place to relax over coffee, while La Scala is a world-famous opera house worth visiting, with a great museum for those who can't get their hands on tickets. The 15th-century Sforzesco Castle's Museum of Historic Art is also a major Milan attraction, as is the Gallery of Modern Art. The Pinacoteca di Brera exhibits collections of medieval and Renaissance art, including the work of Napoleon.

The Santa Maria delle Grazie is home to Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting, The Last Supper, and the Leonardo da Vinci National Science & Technology Museum has a collection of his designs for war machines and architecture. Duomo, which is the world's largest Gothic cathedral, and the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, built in the 1st century, are landmark Milan attractions.

The Naviglio Grande is the oldest canal in Milan, built in the 12th-century, and stretches between the Darsena of Porta Ticinese and the bridge of Via Valenza (itself particularly drenched in old world charm). Along the canal's banks in this section, about 400 vendors gather on the last Sunday of every month to set up stalls selling a fascinating selection of furniture, clocks, porcelain, silver, jewellery, dolls, books and numerous collector's items, from comics to walking sticks. On market day the adjacent shops, bars and art studios all remain open, adding to the pleasure of browsing.

Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio

The Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio is one of the oldest churches in Milan, built by Bishop Ambrose between 379 and 386 AD. Located in an area where numerous martyrs of the Roman persecutions were buried,…

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Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral)

The looming Duomo, one of the world's largest Gothic cathedrals, presides over the Milanese Piazza that bears its name. Its construction began in 1386 and continued sporadically until Napoleon ordered…

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La Scala Opera

This world-famous opera house rests on the site of the Church of Santa Maria alla Scala, its namesake. For opera fanatics seeing a performance at La Scala is the experience of a lifetime. Check the…

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Leonardo da Vinci National Science & Technology Museum

This remarkable museum is a popular tourist attraction and a fitting tribute to one of the world's greatest minds. Within the Leonardo Gallery of the museum is a collection of da Vinci's ingenious…

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Museum of Historic Art of the Sforzesco Castle

The gargantuan Sforzesco Castle, built in the 15th Century, is one of Milan's foremost monuments. It was restored after being bombed in 1943. The vast interior, which is broken here and there by smaller…

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Orto Botanico di Brera

The Orto Botanico di Brera is a botanical garden located behind the Pinacoteca di Brera in the centre of Milan, and is operated by the Istituto di Fisica Generale Applicata of the University of Milan.…

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Pinacoteca di Brera

Housing one of Italy's finest collections of medieval and Renaissance art, the 17th-century Pinacoteca di Brera is by far the best collection of northern Italian paintings. Many of the masterpieces…

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Santa Maria delle Grazie

The church and convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular attractions in Milan. Located next to the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in the former…

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