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Milan Highlights Tour

From the eye-boggling Duomo and La Scala to Milan’s Renaissance castle
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.5 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  For all Milan’s size, its main sights are in a surprisingly compact area, many of them concentrated in the area north and west of the ... more »

Tips:  Piazza del Duomo, where this tour begins, is easy to find: it is the hub for many public transport lines, including the Metro (station... more »

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Points of Interest

One look at the riot of spires and statues (about 2000 of them) and it’s easy to see why the style is called Flamboyant Gothic; this third largest Christian church in the world is perhaps that style’s greatest masterpiece. It was begun in 1402, but its façade was not finished until the early 1800s, and the bronze door panels not until 1966.

A... More

A seat in ‘Il salotto di Milano’ – Milan’s living room – doesn’t come cheap, but its chic cafes have been part of city life since it opened in 1867 as Europe’s largest shopping center. Shopping here is just as pricey, with the cream of name-brand shops showing silk ties, furs, goldwork, gemstones and haute couture (or more correctly here, alta... More

It’s not just Italians who consider this the world’s greatest opera house. Nearly everyone who is anyone in opera has performed in its grand theater, lined in Carrara marble and lighted by shimmering chandeliers, and its opening night each December is the social highlight of the season even for jaded Milanese.

To see inside the refurbished... More

A family of avid collectors in the 19th century bequeathed this museum to the city, complete with the palazzo and its collections, which are displayed in a furnished setting that shows how great collectors live with their acquisitions. Along with art works by Raphael, Bellini, Boticelli, Mantegna and Tiepolo are textiles, weapons, Murano glass,... More

5. Quadrilatero della Moda

Since the tour route runs alongside the famous fashion quarter, AKA Quadrilatero d'Oro (golden rectangle), why not detour a block or so down Via Montenapoleone to see the often outrageous frocks displayed in the show windows of the great fashion houses. Don’t expect to see Milanese – or anyone else – actually wearing these outfits – they are... More

In this designer-label obsessed neighborhood, why not stop for lunch or a pick-me-up at a designer-label café? Emporio Armani obliges with a straight-forward menu heavy to organic local ingredients prepared Italian style, with hints of Asian. Monthly special menus feature different regions of Italy. The wait staff is straight off the fashion... More

7. Pinacoteca di Brera (Brera Art Museum)

Italian painters are this huge museum’s specialty, and they’re all here, many gathered from former churches: Titian, Raphael, Luini, Canaletto, Tintoretto, Caravaggio, Veronese, Tiepolo. Non Italian artists are represented by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Picasso, Braque and Modigliani. But the real secret is hidden in an inner courtyard, the Orto Botanico... More

Even if you’re museumed out, the Sforza family’s castle is worth seeing, set in a spacious green park behind a dazzling tiered tower of water called Tort de' spus (Wedding Cake Fountain). From inside its walled enclosure the Visconti and Sforza families ruled most of northern Italy from the late Middle Ages through the renaissance.

Castello... More