What are the hidden gems of Milan?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Silvia Donati

Milan is a city that reveals itself little by little, with plenty of hidden treasures that you should take the time to discover. Forbes Travel Guide editors share some of their best-kept secrets of Milan:
1. The picturesque streets of Quartiere Brera. This neighborhood, which is centered on Via Brera, has a bohemian feel to it with its art galleries, boutiques, churches with hidden treasures, restaurants and bars. Wandering its streets aimlessly is a great way to uncover the beauty of this neighborhood.
2. The Rondanini Pietà. Michelangelo’s sculpture is located in the Castello Sforzesco, the historic residence of the most powerful dukes of Milan. The last sculpture made by the Renaissance genius before his death, the Rondanini Pietà is touching for the level of vitality and spirituality it conveys.
3. Biblioteca and Pinacoteca Ambrosiana. Founded at the beginning of the 16th century by Cardinal Borromeo, it features historic manuscripts such as the “Virgilio” with Petrarch’s handwritten notes. The Pinacoteca houses more than 1,500 paintings, including Caravaggio’s “Canestra di frutta” and the works of da Vinci’s students, including the most controversial of them all, Salaì.
4. The smaller churches. The Chiesa di San Cristoforo sul Naviglio, in the Navigli area, which is dedicated to St. Christopher because it was thought he was responsible for ending the devastating plague in 1399. Another one to see is the Chiesa di Santa Maria presso San Satiro on Via Speronari, dedicated to the Virgin Mary — rebuilt by Donato Bramante between 1482 and 1486.
5. The Poldi Pezzoli Museum. The house of great art collector Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli is located only a few steps from La Scala. It displays works of art by the likes of Michelangelo, Botticelli, Piero della Francesca, Perugino, Pinturicchio and the famous “Lady Portrait” by Pollaiolo, the symbol of the museum.

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