Milan Map Tourist Attractions

Milan Map Tourist Attractions

SIGHTS

DUOMO. The Italian Gothic cathedral is the geographical and spiritual center of Milan and makes a good starting point for any walking tour of the city. The duomo is the third-largest church in the world, after St. Peter’s and the Seville Cathedral. Gian Galeazzo Visconti started building the cathedral in 1386, hoping to flatter the Virgin into granting him a male heir. Construction proceeded sporadically over the next four centuries and was finally completed at Napoleon’s command in 1809. In the meantime, the cathedral accumulated more than 3400 statues, 135 spires, and 96 gargoyles. The imposing 16th-century marble tomb of Giacomo de Medici in the south transept was inspired by the work of Michelangelo. Climb (or ride) to the top of the cathedral from outside the north transept, where you will find yourself surrounded by a fantastic field of turrets, spires, and statues, along with views of the city and the Alps. (MM1: Duomo. Cathedral open daily Mar.-Oct. 7am-7pm; Nov.-Feb. 9am-4:15pm. Free. Modest dress required. Roof open daily 9am-5:30pm. ‚3.50, elevator ‚5.) The Museo del Duomo displays artifacts relating to the duomo’s construction. (P. Duomo 14, to the right as you face the duomo. Open daily 10am-l:15pm and 3-6pm. ‚6.)

TEATRO ALLA SCALA. Since its founding in 1778, La Scala has established Milan as the opera capital of the world. Its understated Neoclassical facade and lavish interior set the stage for premiers of works by Rossini, Puccini, Mascagni, and Verdi, performed by virtuosos like Maria Callas. The theater’s renovation was halted amid controversy in 2002, but it is scheduled to reopen in 2004. (Through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele from P. Duomo.) Visitors can soak up La Scala’s historical glow at the Museo Teatrale alia Scala. From poster art to a plaster cast of Toscanini’s hand, the museum offers a glimpse into the past of opera’s premier house. (C. Magenta 71. MM1: Conciliazione. Open daily 9am-6pm. ‚5, students ‚4.)

SI PINACOTECA AMBROSIANA. The 23 tiny but lovely rooms of the Ambrosiana display exquisite works from the 14th through 19th century, including Botticelli’s round Madonna of the Canopy, Leonardo’s captivating Portrait of a Musician, Raphael’s cartoon for School of Athens, Caravaggio’s Basket of Fruit (the first still-life painting in Italy), Titian’s Adoration of the Magi, works by Brueghel and Bril, and several portraits by Hayez. The courtyard is full of statues and busts, and the staircase is decorated with mosaics. (P. Pio XI2. 02 86 46 29 81. Follow V. Spadari offV. Torino and make a left onto V. Cantu. Open Su and Tu-Sa 10am-5:30pm. ‚7.50.)

MUSEO POLDI PEZZOLI. Poldi Pezzoli, an 18th-century nobleman and art collector, bequeathed his house and its outstanding collection to the city for the enjoyment of the people in 1879. The museum’s masterpieces hang in the Golden Room, overlooking a flower garden. Smaller collections fill Pezzoli’s former private chambers, where the decor reflects his imagination and fine taste. Particularly impressive is a tiny but sublime display of Italian military armaments. (V. Manzoni 12. Open Su and Tu-Sa lOamSpm. ‚6.)

PALAZZO REALE. South of the duomo, this structure first served as the town hall in 1138 before becoming the residence of Milanese royalty from the 12th to 19th centu-ries. Giuseppe Piermarini, architect of La Scala, designed its impressive facade with understated Neoclassical touches. Today it houses the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, and a series of temporary exhibits. (South of the duomo. Wheelchair accessible. Open Su and Tu-Sa 9:30am-7:30pm. ‚6.20-9.30, depending on the exhibit.)

GALLERIA VITTORIO EMANUELE II. Light pours through an immense glass and steel cupola (48m) and into a five-story arcade of expensive cafes, shops, and offices. Beautiful mosaics representing different continents sieged by the Romans adorn floors and walls and the central octagon’s upper portion. Once considered the drawing room of Milan, the statue-bedecked Galleria is now an old and graceful mall. Spin on the mosaic bull clockwise three times for good luck, but gyrate in the opposite direction and the good luck will go bad. (On the left, facing the duomo. Open M-Sa lOam-llpm, Su 10am-8pm.)

MUSEO BAGATTI VALSECCHI. This beautifully preserved 19th-century aristocrat’s house contains a collection of antique ceramics, frescoes, mosaics, ivory, and weapons in the Italian and Lombard Renaissance style. (V. Santo Spirito 10. MM3: Napoleone. From V. M. Napoleone, V. Santo Spirito is the 2nd left Open Su and Tu-Sa l-5:45pm. M-Tu and Th-Su ‚6, W ‚3.)

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