Everyone who considers Milan to be the city of his dreams can be divided into 3 groups – fans of classical music, fashionistas and those who, after reading “The Da Vinci Code” dream to see with their own eyes the work of the famous Italian. But in fact, besides the chic stores, the world’s best opera house La Scala and the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, there are other interesting places in Milan for which it is worth to stay in the city at least 2-3 days.
In search of Leonardo’s heritage
After arriving in Milan at the age of 30, Leonardo da Vinci spent a full 20 years in this city filled with creativity. Many of the projects created by the scientist, artist and engineer were never realized. But for the sake of some works of Da Vinci tourists from all over the world come to Milan especially.
The main decoration of the refectory of the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie – fresco The Last Supper, on which Da Vinci worked for 12 years. It is from the monastery walls on Corso Magenta that the itinerary that leads to places associated with Leonardo begins.
On the same street, Corso Magenta, is the Atellani House. In its sumptuous halls you can admire painted ceilings and murals created more than 400 years ago. And if you walk through the garden behind the house, you have a view of the vineyard. Yes, today it seems very young. But this vine was planted from seeds found during excavations in Atellani’s garden. Genetic analysis showed that the DNA of the seeds is a perfect match to the vineyard, which was planted by the hands of Leonardo da Vinci and grew in the place where young grapes are now, until the Second World War.
We pass closer to the center of Milan to the Sforza Castle. Its halls were decorated by Leonardo for the marriage of Isabella of Aragon and Gian Galeazzo Sforza. Not far from the castle is the Brera National Gallery, which holds one of the few surviving works of the artist from the Milanese period – a portrait in profile of Beatrice D’Este.
But most of Da Vinci’s works, created in Milan and which have survived to this day, are in the collections of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana. These are anatomical sketches, and drawings of a huge bow, wheel, cannons, Archimedean propeller, set out on paper thoughts of an engineer on the ways of traveling on water.
Interesting places in Milan connected with music are also quite a lot. And this is not just the world famous La Scala Theater. Among the places of pilgrimage of lovers of classical music is the Conservatory, the house where Toscanini lived. And a few kilometers from the center you can find the house of Giuseppe Verdi. Within its walls in his later years, the composer founded an orphanage for poor musicians. There, in the mansion’s grounds, the genius Verdi is buried.
Aren’t you tired of walking around Milan yet? If so, you can take the Metro or a car from milan-shoptour to Verdi’s house from the center.
To visit Milan and its sites of interest without going to La Scala is hard to imagine for anyone with even a passing acquaintance with music. To get to see a performance at the theater is not easy – the hall is always full, and on the day of the show ticket prices reach several thousand euros.
But to become a spectator of La Scala is quite possible. To do this you need to buy tickets well in advance – it is better to do it at least six months before your trip to Milan.
But to see the magnificent theater, admire the beauty of its huge auditorium, and if you’re lucky, go to the rehearsal, and possible without tickets to the show. For this it is worth making an appointment in advance with a personal guide.
The modern beauty of Milan
The exquisite architecture of the old city is striking. But those who want to know more about Milan should deviate a bit from the historic center. The new Porta Nuova area is often compared to an oasis. And not without reason – all the buildings in it are designed so that to live and work in them was the most comfortable.
The main decoration of the area is often called a vertical forest of Milan. This is a modern residential complex, which is ranked among the ten most prestigious and expensive in the world. The average price for an apartment in it is about 2.5 million euros.
The main attraction of the vertical forest are two towers 112 and 80 m high. But the towers are not just high-rise buildings. They are designed so that each floor has its own garden. In total, more than 50 shrubs were planted for the landscaping of the towers:
- more than 50 shrubs;
- 800 trees;
- 11,000 creeping perennials.This abundance of vegetation creates a pleasant coolness indoors and protects from dust on hot summer days, while in winter the buildings are penetrated by the sun’s rays.
Solar power plants are installed on the roof of “green” houses, which fully cover the needs of the residents. The water they use undergoes multi-stage filtration and is re-directed into the plant irrigation system.
Next to the vertical forest there are many stores, beautiful parks, restaurants, a concert hall and another landmark of Milan – the ultra-modern building of Unicredit Bank.
This architectural masterpiece – the tallest building in Italy. The total height of the building is 231 meters – the main building extends to 146 meters high, and crowned with an 85-meter spire, which at night is lit with colored lights.
The elite district can be reached by metro. For those who want to get to Porto Nuova directly from the Garibaldi train station or the airport, it is worth taking a transfer from milan-shoptour. For those who come to Milan with friends, a luxurious executive car or a minibus will be waiting right at the main exit.
We told only a few of the interesting places in Milan. In fact, there are many more. So before you go on a trip to the beautiful city you should decide on the impressions that you want to get from Milan – in this city there are many interesting places for fans of shopping, fans of music and art, classical and modern architecture.