A historic heart
Milan boasts a unique artistic heritage, of which Da Vinci's Last Supper is the best-known masterpiece.
Over 2,400 years of history have bestowed a rich inheritance on the city, with archaeological remains, Roman
basilicas, Paleochristian mosaics, gothic cathedrals, Art Nouveau monuments and globally renowned museums
preserving sculptures by Michelangelo and canvasses by Picasso.
And don't worry if you don't have much time, since the best news is that Milan offers an incredible number of
attractions concentrated into the small historic centre. All these sites can be reached on foot passing through
romantic cobbled streets.
The Duomo is the church which symbolises the city. Entirely built in Candoglia marble, the cathedral was begun in
1386 and only finished centuries later in 1966. The imposing structure, decorative sculptures and over 3,400 statues
combine with magnificent windows for a dramatic overall effect. This huge and beautiful building is completed with
135 spires and crowned by the great tower topped with the famous Madonnina.
The Last Supper
After years of work the restoration of this fresco has recently been completed. Da Vinci's innovative techniques
caused serious problems of conservation. UNESCO has declared the Last Supper as a World Heritage site.
Pinacoteca di Brera
This national gallery is among the most famous in the world, containing masterpieces of Italian painting from the
14th to 20th century. These include Piero della Francesca's "Brera Altarpiece", Raphael's "Marriage of the Virgin",
the "Lamentation over the Dead Christ" by Andrea Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini's "Pietà", the "Cristo alla Colonna" by
Bramante and Caravaggio's "Supper at Emmaus".
Begun in the late 1400s, the front of the Castle is dominated by the tower by Filarete. Inside the Rocchetta
Courtyard - where the castle-dwellers could retreat in times of danger – was designed by Bramante, and
houses the treasury. The normal residence was within the so-called Ducal Court, a set of richly
frescoed and decorated rooms. One of Da Vinci's Milanese works, the "Sala delle Assi" can be found here.
The symbolic basilica of Milan, its history is intertwined that that of the city. It was first built in
379AD and consecrated in 387 at the wish of Saint Ambrose, the patron of Milan who became bishop on 7
December 373, a day still celebrated in the Lombard capital. The absolute pinnacle of medieval Roman
architecture, the basilica contains magnificent Paleochristian mosaics.
This is Milan's oldest Roman church (4th century) and is still practically untouched today. The façade, surrounded
by 16 third century Corinthian columns with a bronze statue of the Emperor Constantine at the centre, is crowned by
a majestic eight-spired cupola from the sixteenth century, the largest in Milan. Inside, mosaics date back to the 4th century.
Santa Maria delle Grazie
Built in the late 1400s in the Gothic style, the church was completed by Bramante, who is believed to
have rebuilt the enormous apse there. The apse is a classic example of the spacious architecture of the
Renaissance, along with another two delightful additions, the Cloister and the Old Sacristy. The attached
ancient Dominican convent houses Da Vinci's celebrated "Last Supper" on the refectory wall.
Art NouveauPalazzo Berri Meregalli. This surprising building with its rich sculpted decoration, frescos and
wrought iron embellishment is a fine example of late Art Nouveau, constructed in 1913 by the architect
Giulio Ulisse Arata.