Historic Center Walking Tour, Milan

Historic Center Walking Tour (Self Guided), Milan

Contained within the area once delimited by the medieval walls, the Centro Storico (historic center) of Milan encompasses the city's perhaps most famous landmarks and tourist attractions. Compact in size, the area is easily distinguishable on the map much as walkable. Here you can find almost everything Milan is famous for, in a close proximity to each other.

The best place to start is outside of the Duomo di Milano – the late Gothic confection in pink-and-grey marble, festooned with spires and statues. Right next to this massive, stunning (if not slightly mad) cathedral is the Museo del Duomo (Cathedral Museum) and the Royal Palace of Milan, which always hosts numerous exhibitions, usually quite interesting.

Wandering further along the pedestrian streets you will get to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, a historical library that also houses the Ambrosian art gallery with treasures such as Leonardo Atlantic Codex.

A short walk from here is Piazza Mercanti, a truly enchanting, tiny medieval square, hidden by the grand palaces, with the lovely Gothic and Renaissance-porticoed houses, and a well right in the middle.

Eventually, the itinerary brings you to the impressive arched opening into the Vittorio Emanuele II gallery – a splendid 19th-century arcade, mother of all shopping malls, with upscale boutiques, stunning mosaic floor, and a wonderful glass roof and cupola.

Passing through the fashion district you get to Piazza della Scala – the location of the Statue of Leonardo da Vinci and the La Scala theater, one of the most renowned opera houses in the world, complete with an in-house museum featuring all types of related memorabilia.

As you keep ahead, you can't miss Via Manzoni – an impressive, refined-air street lined with aristocratic apartment blocks and opulent churches. Among other things, this premier shopping location contains the Armani Megastore as well as the Poldi Pezzoldi museum, home to one of the world's richest private art collections.

The final sight along this route is Via della Spiga – a lovely and classy little cobblestone street, with some beautiful ancient buildings; it's more famous however, as the center of high-class shopping, where almost every luxury brand can be found.

Milan’s Centro Storico offers a great opportunity for an exercise whilst checking out its delights. If you care to explore them closely, and at your own pace, take this self-guided walk.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

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Historic Center Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Historic Center Walking Tour
Guide Location: Italy » Milan (See other walking tours in Milan)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: karen
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral)
  • Royal Palace of Milan
  • Museo del Duomo (Cathedral Museum)
  • San Gottardo in Corte Church and Bell Tower
  • Santa Maria presso San Satiro (Church of Saint Mary near Saint Satyrus)
  • Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Ambrosian Library)
  • Piazza Mercanti (Merchants Square)
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
  • La Scala (La Scala Opera House and Museum)
  • Piazza della Scala
  • Poldi Pezzoli Museum
  • Via Manzoni (Manzoni Street)
  • Via della Spiga
Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral)

1) Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral) (must see)

The Milan Cathedral, otherwise known as the Duomo, is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan and the largest church in Italy (the third largest in Europe and the fourth largest in the world) covering an area of 12,000 sqm and weighing a staggering 325,000 tons!

The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Mary Nascent and has been the epicenter of the city's life since 1386. Its foundation was laid by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who died in 1402 when only half of the structure had been finished, upon which the construction came to a standstill for almost 80 years because of the lack of funds and ideas. It resumed only in 1500, and by 1510 the octagonal dome was completed – embellished with four series of 15 statues representing different characters from the Bible.

In 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte forced completion of the façade, which overall took another seven years of work. In honor of his efforts, a statue of Napoleon was erected at the top of one of the spires. Later, the Duomo also hosted his crowning ceremony. However, it wasn't until the 20th century, with the completion of the last gate, that the centuries-long construction of the cathedral was finally over, marked by inauguration on January 6, 1965.

A climb to the roof, much as a descend to the Paleo Christian baptistery beneath the west side of the Duomo are the highlights of a visit here. The rooftop offers a closer look at the intricate details of the spires and the gargoyles adorning it, plus a breathtaking view over of the city, some 70 meters above ground, replete with myriads of statues, pinnacles, tracery and flying buttresses. In order to get there, visitors have to traverse 201 stairs up through a winding narrow passageway, which is a bit tiring. Still, those who wish, can spare the effort and use an elevator.

Why You Should Visit:
Milan's one truly must-visit sight – a vast riot of ornate religious sculpture on the exterior, and the interior sublimely huge.

Buy an online skip-the-line ticket that covers entry and access to the elevator.
The surrounding piazza comes at its finest at night when the cathedral's façade is lit by white lights.

Opening Hours:
[Cathedral] Daily: 8am-7pm (last ticket: 6pm; last entry: 6:10pm)
[Rooftops] Daily: 9am-7pm (last ticket: 6pm; last entry: 6:10pm)
Royal Palace of Milan

2) Royal Palace of Milan

The historic Palazzo Reale di Milano (Royal Palace of Milan), first known as "Palazzo del Broletto Vecchio", is the former seat of the city's government during the period of medieval communes in the Middle Ages. At various points in time it had served as the residence of the Spanish and then the Austrian rulers, with its first permanent resident being Charles III of Bourbon.

The Palazzo's current appearance – most notably, its famous neoclassical façade – is the work of architect Giuseppe Piermarini who led the renovation work from 1773 till 1778.

The entire building was heavily damaged by WWII's air raids. The famous Sala delle Cariatidi (Hall of Caryatids), on the main floor, survived the war half-destroyed. After the war the Palazzo remained abandoned for over two years during which its condition seriously deteriorated; many of its neoclassical interiors were lost then.

Repair works commenced in 1947. In the year 2000, the Italian government commissioned another, fuller restoration of the Palazzo. A comprehensive three-phase project, set to return the palace to its original 18th-19th-century splendour, was carried out with passionate dedication, restoring the "enlightened" era décor in three rooms on the second floor. One of the room now houses Pièce de résistance, a beautifully crafted 1804 miniature of a Roman hippodrome, complete with temples, columns, and statues, made of marble, onyx, semiprecious stones and gilded bronze. Other highlights within the palace include the Court Theatre, the Room of the Ambassadors, the Great Captain's Room, Flemish Hall, Hercules Hall, the Palatine Chapel and the largest library in southern Italy, the Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III.

Presently, the Palazzo Reale plays a central role in the social and cultural life of Milan. Since 1984 it has hosted the City Council's Contemporary Art Museum. There are more than 1,500 masterpieces displayed here annually. Among them the works by Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and other internationally renowned painters and sculptors.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Museo del Duomo (Cathedral Museum)

3) Museo del Duomo (Cathedral Museum)

Housed inside the Royal Palace of Milan, the Grande Museo del Duomo di Milano preserves artifacts and works of art related to the Duomo Cathedral and those from the deposits of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo (Milan Cathedral Factory).

The museum was inaugurated in 1953, although the idea to preserve the history of the Cathedral emerged in the penultimate decade of the 19th century. In 1948, the Veneranda Fabbrica obtained concession of nine rooms on the ground floor of the oldest wing of Palazzo Reale, formerly a Visconti-Sforza residence built by architect Giuseppe Piermarini in the second half of 18th century, thus safeguarding suitable site for hosting and exhibiting the treasured items, whose quantity largely increased following the damage caused by air bombings during World War Two. The deterioration of many works of art caused by atmospheric pollution, plus the arrival of new material from the Fabbrica's storages and sacristies of the Cathedral soon necessitated more exhibition space with special preservation and restoration facilities.

In the 1960s, the museum was expanded with another ten rooms granted by the Municipality of Milan. On 4 November 2013, on the occasion of the San Carlo Borromeo festival, the museum reopened after an extensive renovation.

The exhibition space of the Duomo Museum is divided into 26 rooms spread across an approximately 2,000 m², covering a total of 14 thematic areas. The strict chronological order of the exposition allows visitors to follow all the phases of the Cathedral's construction, starting from its foundation in 1386 to the 20th century, while exploring the works of art gathered there since the late 14th century. The large collection of sculpture is complemented by the invaluable stained glass windows, paintings, tapestries and embroidery, terracotta sketches and large architectural models.

Why You Should Visit:
Entry here is included in the Duomo ticket and the cool dark rooms also offer some respite from the heat of the city while you take in the beautiful pieces that make up the Cathedral's history. One of the major interest here is the magnificent 1:22 wooden scale model of the Duomo – a feat in itself!

If you want more info in English, you can also rent an audio guide.

Opening Hours:
Thu-Tue: 10am-6pm (last ticket: 5pm; last entry: 5:10pm)
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
San Gottardo in Corte Church and Bell Tower

4) San Gottardo in Corte Church and Bell Tower

San Gottardo is a Catholic church originally designed as a Ducal Chapel by Francesco Pecorari from Cremona, and dedicated to Virgin Mary. In 1330, the lord of Milan, Azzone Visconti, commissioned its construction, which took six years to complete. After Azzone got sick with gout, the temple's dedication was changed to St. Gotthard of Hildesheim, the benefactor of gout sufferers. Eventually, the lord of Milan was buried inside this church, in the ark.

Of the original 14th-century setting, part of the large Giottesque Crucifixion fresco (originally placed outside, and then transported to what was the counter-façade in 1952), a canvas with St. Charles Borromeo by Giovan Battista Crespi, and the tomb of Azzone Visconti still remain. The external appearance of the building was completely transformed during the Neoclassicist era when the entrance was moved to the south side (where it still is).

The octagonal, slender bell tower, home to the first public clock in the city and probably in Italy also, has kept its original structure. In 14th-century Europe, with the invention of a mechanical clock replacing a sundial, building of tower clocks was at its peak. These clocks struck the bell multiple times to count out the hours.

Built around 1330 and first known as the clock of the Beata Vergine, it was then renamed the clock of San Gottardo. As one of the earliest clocks to strike the hours, it was extremely popular. In 1335, Galvano Fiamma wrote of it as of the wonderful clock with a huge clapper which strikes a bell 24 times according to the 24 hours of the day and night, which is of great use to a man of every degree. The marked time and the automatism of the mechanism caused such a sensation that the surrounding area was called "Contrada delle Ore".

The belfry is characterized by a dense architectural score made with combinations of materials and colors, terracotta and marble, typical of the Lombard Gothic tradition. At the base, there is a plaque commemorating the name of the architect, Francesco Pecorari from Cremona.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Santa Maria presso San Satiro (Church of Saint Mary near Saint Satyrus)

5) Santa Maria presso San Satiro (Church of Saint Mary near Saint Satyrus)

The Santa Maria presso San Satiro (Saint Mary near Saint Satyrus) is a church commonly known as San Satiro. Located just south of the Duomo di Milano, this Italian Renaissance building is famous for its optically illusional, false apse – an early example of trompe-l'œil, attributed to Donato Bramante.

The church sits on the site of a primitive place of worship built by the archbishop Anspertus in 879, dedicated to Saint Satyrus, confessor and brother of Saints Ambrose and Marcellina. The current edifice was erected between 1472 and 1482, commissioned by Duchess Bona di Savoia and Duke Gian Galeazzo Sforza who wanted a huge temple although the available location was very small due to the presence of the busy Via Falcone behind. Many famous architects designing churches in those days had to deal with the extreme shortage of space.

In order to solve this problem, Bramante devised an ingenious solution by painting an optical illusion to compensate the choir truncated to an awkwardly small depth of only 90 cm (3.0 ft), and thus realized one of the first examples of trompe-l'œil in the history of art. Though architectural optical illusion was popular in the late Renaissance and Baroque, Bramante gave it an entirely new dimension. If you stand at the entrance, you will have an impression of a much deeper space of the altar, extending far behind than it is physically possible. Special lighting inside the church was used to help create this effect. The magic, however, quickly disappears when you step aside from the main axis of the church, and reappears again when you step back.

Why You Should Visit:
There aren't many places like this in Milan: small, half-hidden, and ready to reveal themselves only to those who know how to discover them.
Entry is free and photos are allowed, so you can easily have a look at the views of its interior. The perspective effect at the end is simply stunning.

As in other churches in town, volunteers will offer you a short explanation about the history and art of the building, so be sure to take advantage.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9am-12pm / 2:30-6pm; Sun: 2-5:30pm
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Ambrosian Library)

6) Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Ambrosian Library) (must see)

Biblioteca Ambrosiana is a historic library named after Ambrose, the patron saint of Milan. The building was constructed in 1603 to house the collection of 15,000 manuscripts and printed books gathered by Cardinal Federico Borromeo. Upon its foundation in 1609, the cardinal donated his entire collection of paintings and drawings to the library.

***Leonardo da Vinci's Masterpieces Tour***
Shortly after the cardinal's death, the library acquired a twelve-volume set of drawings and manuscripts by Leonardo da Vinci, known as Codex Atlanticus, created between 1478 and 1519. This is the largest collection of Leonardo’s writings on practically every area of human knowledge: mechanics, mathematics, astronomy, botany, geography, physics, chemistry, architecture and philosophy. It also contains the artist’s drawings, sketches and fables. For conservation purposes, the display of 22 files in the Federiciana Hall rotates every three months.

Part of the library is the famous Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, the art gallery, featuring da Vinci's "Portrait of a Musician", Caravaggio's "Basket of Fruit", as well as Raffaello's life-size, pencil and carbon sketch of the "The School of Athens", a full-color final version of which is displayed in the Vatican.

Among other major acquisitions here are Islamic manuscripts, 11th-century diwan of poets and the oldest copy of the 'Kitab Sibawahaihi', plus a complete set of manuscripts from the Benedictine monastery of Bobbio (1606) and those from Vincenzo Pinelli of Padua, comprising more than 800 pieces, including the famous Ilias Picta (Ambrosian Iliad).

Back in the day, the library also had its own printing press, and housed a school of classical languages. The building suffered damage during World War II resulting in the loss of the opera libretti archives of La Scala. It was restored in 1952 and underwent further major renovation in 1990–97.

Why You Should Visit:
A chance to see art restorers at work on peculiar Renaissance masterpieces, and in a brilliant building too.

On a weekday, you can practically have the entire place to yourself.
The provided map/guide is quite clear, with all the main highlights identified, but if you're pressed for time, taking a guided tour is advisable.
Apparently, there's also a paid audio guide (English/Italian) that offers some interesting insights into each room and displayed artworks.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm
Piazza Mercanti (Merchants Square)

7) Piazza Mercanti (Merchants Square)

Piazza Mercanti ("Merchants Square") is a central square of Milan, located between Piazza del Duomo, marking the centre of the modern city, and Piazza Cordusio, once the heart of the city in the Middle Ages. Back in the day, the square was considerably larger than it is now and was known as "Piazza del Broletto", after the "Broletto Nuovo", the palace that used to stand in the middle of it (now on the north side). In the 13th century, there were six entry points to the square, each associated with a specific trade, from sword blacksmiths to hat makers.

Until the late 19th century, Oh bej! Oh bej! (the most important and traditional fair of Milan) was held in Piazza Mercanti.

The square houses four main buildings: 1) the "Broletto Nuovo", otherwise known as Palazzo della Ragione, on the north-eastern side; 2) the Gothic Casa Panigarola, also known as "Palazzo dei Notai" (Notary's Palace), built in the 15th century, occupying the south-western side; 3) the Baroque Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine, built in the 17th century and designed by Carlo Buzzi, on the south-eastern side; and 4) Loggia degli Osii on the south-eastern side, built in 1316 for Matteo I Visconti by Scoto da San Gimignano.

The 16th century Palazzo dei Giureconsulti, now located in Via Mercanti, used to mark the north-eastern side of the piazza before it was remodeled. It was built in 1561 on a design by Vincenzo Seregni; the tower of the building is much older, dating back to the 13th century (largely restored in the 17th century).

In the centre of the square is a 16th-century pit, surmounted by two 18th-century columns. The pit was originally adjacent to the Palazzo dei Giureconsulti; where it stands now, a large stone used to be located, known as the "pietra dei falliti" ("bankrupts stone") – for those declared bankrupt to have their naked bottom exposed as a penance.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

8) Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (must see)

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a fashionable five-storey mall covered in curved glass, topped with iron roof and lavishly decorated with patriotic mosaics and statues – legacy of the chaotic era of Italian unification, manifesting the country's newly-acquired self-confidence.

It was built between 1865 and 1877 by architect Giuseppe Mengoni – who is also credited with the monumental design of the entire area between the Milan Cathedral and La Scala – and is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of unified Italy. Officially inaugurated on September 15, 1867, the Galleria's completion took another ten years of continuous work. Tragically, just a day before it was over, in December 1877, Giuseppe Mengoni died in accident, falling down from the top of the triumphal arch.

Designed in the form of a Latin cross, the gallery comprises two glass-vaulted covered passages, with the longer one being 196 meters and the shorter – 105.5 meters long, crossing in an octagonal central piazza below an impressive 47-meter high, 36-meter wide glass dome. Incorporating iron and arching glass, the Galleria's architectural design proved groundbreaking for the creation of enclosed shopping malls in the 19th century. Moreover, its use of an iron structure inspired the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

An interesting feature of the gallery is the floor adorned with marble mosaics depicting emblems of the main Italian cities. Locals believe that stepping on the bull's image in the middle of the floor with a heel of the right foot and spinning around can bring good luck. Adherence to this tradition has already left a hole there.

Why You Should Visit:
Almost like stepping into the picture of 19th-century Milan with its lights, colors, windows and landscaping that will never fade in your memory.
There are a few restaurants (incidentally not very expensive, considering it's the mall) where you can sit back, eat to your heart's content, and watch the crowds go by.
There's also a very nice Leonardo Museum at the end of the mall, bang opposite the statue of Leonardo da Vinci.

Visit the gallery late at night or early in the morning when there aren't that many people in.
Don't forget to find the "bull" on the floor and have fun!
La Scala (La Scala Opera House and Museum)

9) La Scala (La Scala Opera House and Museum) (must see)

Home to the La Scala Theatre Chorus, Ballet and Orchestra, this is one of the top musical theatres on the planet. Since its inauguration in 1778, the famed opera house in Milan has hosted some of, if not all, the finest singers of Italy and the entire world.

After its predecessor, the Teatro Regio Ducale, was destroyed by fire in 1776, a replacement one had to be built on the former site of the church of Santa Maria alla Scala, from which the new theatre got its name. Building expenses were covered from the sales of theatrical boxes. The latter were lavishly decorated for their owners, and produced quite an impression upon guests, including some prominent ones, like the French author Stendhal. Soon, La Scala became a preeminent meeting place for the high society. In keeping with the then tradition, the main floor had no chairs and spectators had to watch the shows standing up. The orchestra was in full sight either, as the orchestra pit had not been built yet.

Badly damaged by bombing during World War II, La Scala reopened, after a thorough restoration, in 1946. To celebrate the occasion, Arturo Toscanini arranged an unforgettable concert, featuring a sensational solo by Renata Tebaldi. In 2002-2004 the theatre underwent another major overhaul. Contrary to its rather plain façade, the La Scala interior is quite exquisite – beautifully traditional and far more intimate than that of opera houses in New York and London.

Why You Should Visit:
The La Scala Orchestra, made up of 135 musicians, is currently one of the world’s greatest orchestras for opera productions, renowned for its ability to attain a uniform and distinguished sound. The theater is also acclaimed internationally for its symphonic activity. The La Scala museum possesses one of the richest and most envied music-themed collections in the world. A tour of the theatre offers a rare opportunity to sit down in its most prominent box and take photos.

Do not buy second-row balcony tickets, unless you are very tall.
After 6pm, they sell out same-day tickets at a huge discount.
Piazza della Scala

10) Piazza della Scala

Piazza della Scala is a pedestrian central square of Milan, connected to the city's main square, Piazza del Duomo, by the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II passage. It is named after the renowned Teatro alla Scala opera house, which stands on the north-western side; the building actually includes both the opera house and the Museo Teatrale alla Scala (La Scala Museum), dedicated to the history of La Scala and opera in general. On the opposite side to "La Scala", to the south-east, is the façade of Palazzo Marino, Milan's city hall.

Another relevant building, standing on the north-eastern side, is the Palazzo della Banca Commerciale Italiana. The south-western side of the square has the entry to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, as well as Palazzo Beltrami. Most of the architecture here is attributed to Luca Beltrami, who designed the eponymous palace, the façade of Palazzo Marino, and the Banca Commerciale Italiana building. The centre of the square is marked by monument of Leonardo da Vinci created by sculptor Pietro Magni in 1872.

Piazza della Scala is a relatively recent addition to downtown Milan. The oldest building here, Palazzo Marino, was completed in 1563; at that time, the square itself did not exist (the area was occupied by buildings). In fact, the main façade of Palazzo Marino was originally the one facing Piazza San Fedele, to the south-east (i.e., exactly opposite to Piazza della Scala). Likewise, when La Scala was built (in 1778), it was facing a street rather than a square. It was only in the late 19th century that the authorities of Milan initiated a thorough renovation of the area, which involved the creation of the square. Luca Beltrami first contributed with Palazzo Beltrami (1886), then with the new façade of Palazzo Marino (1888–1892), and, much later, with the Banca Commerciale building (1923–1927).
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Poldi Pezzoli Museum

11) Poldi Pezzoli Museum (must see)

Founded in 1881, the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, featuring 19th-century Northern Italian and Flemish paintings along with a plethora of decorative art pieces, such as textiles, porcelain, glass, clocks, jewelry, and metal works, was originally a private collection of Poldi Pezzoli and his mother Rosa Trivulzio.

In 1818, Poldi Pezzoli inherited great wealth from his uncle Giuseppe Pezzoli which included the beautiful palace and the garden filled with statues and fountains. He then spent his entire life decorating the house with paintings (spanning the 14th-18th centuries) and eventually garnered 3,000 pieces of art.

During WWII, heavy bombardment in one night destroyed all the main Milan museums. The Poldi Pezzoli palace was also severely damaged, yet the works of art – previously moved to a safer location – remained unharmed. From the 1950s onward, the Association of Friends of the Museum and private Milanese donators have replenished the collection, making it one of the finest in Europe.

Why You Should Visit:
Gorgeous building with a matchingly wonderful art collection well worth observing.

This is one of the few places open on Monday and is rather inexpensive, so spending just a little extra on the audio guide is surely worth it.

Opening Hours:
Wed-Mon: 10am-6pm
Via Manzoni (Manzoni Street)

12) Via Manzoni (Manzoni Street)

Via Manzoni is a busy and fashionable street in Milan which leads from Piazza della Scala north-west towards Piazza Cavour. This impressive refined-air street is lined with aristocratic apartment blocks and opulent churches. There are also quite a few notable buildings found along the way here too, including the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, the elegant Grand Hotel et de Milan – a place where Giuseppe Verdi died in 1901, and several fine palazzi.

The street was named after Alessandro Manzoni, an Italian writer, poet and playwright, on the day of his death, May 22, 1873. The reason for that was that the writer lived nearby, on via Morone, at n. 1168 (now n.1), in a house whose garden almost overlooked the street. In the 19th century it was considered the most luxurious street in Milan.

Today, this is also one of the city's premier shopping destinations, notably a home to the Armani Megastore. In the north-west, the street forms part of the boundary of the quadrilatero della moda, Milan’s high-end fashion district. Vogue retailers like Anna Rita N, Antonini, Armani Casa, Artemide, Bolaffi, Bottega del Cashmere, Coccinelle, E. Marinella, Frette, Gattinoni, Grimoldi, Les Copains, Mila Schön, Napapjri, Pal Zileri, Patrizia Pepe, Paul Smith, Scappino and El Ganso have all established their presence here.

In 1990, when the Montenapoleone station was opened, a fountain designed by Aldo Rossi was placed in Via Croce Rossa, as a monument to Sandro Pertini, a former president of Italy (from 1978 to 1985).
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Via della Spiga

13) Via della Spiga

Via della Spiga is one of the chicest shopping areas of Milan, situated in the north-east of the deluxe Quadrilatero della Moda district, along with Corso Venezia, Via Monte Napoleone, Via Sant’Andrea and Via Manzoni.

The street name originates from the "contrada della Spiga" (district of Spiga), which was the historic area, formerly part of the Porta Nuova district, one of the six ancient neighborhoods of central Milan. As for the origins of the Spiga (“ear”) bit, they are uncertain. Some scholars link it to the Spighi family, who lived in Milan at the time of the last Duke Francesco II Sforza; others associate it with the effigy of an ear affixed in front of a tavern that once stood here.

Nowadays, this street is famous for its sophisticated elegance manifested in stylish clothing, shoes, handbags and other accessories on sale. Among the famous brands presented here are Dolce & Gabanna, Sergio Rossi, Tod’s, Bulgari, Gianfranco Ferre, etc. to mention but a few.

At #2 is the enormous David Chipperfield designer boutique; #23 is occupied to Krizia who introduced a mini skirt and knitted dresses to the world's fashion; and at #28 there is a vintage space and the store for women accessories is found at #26. Roberto Cavalli, a Florentine designer, renowned for its animal print, architectural and geometric motifs sweaters and dresses much loved by the youth, has opened a new store at #42. The Moschino brand and its wicked style are also part of the streetscape.

A true paradise for fashionistas, this street is well worth spending one's time and, sure enough, money too!
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Walking Tours in Milan, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Milan

Create Your Own Walk in Milan

Creating your own self-guided walk in Milan is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
City Center Museums and Galleries

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 Km or 2.6 Miles
Central Milan Souvenir Shopping

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Best Shopping Streets and Malls

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Milan Introduction Walking Tour

Milan Introduction Walking Tour

Recognized as one of the world's four fashion capitals, Milan is also a global hub of design and a key tourist destination. The etymology of the name Milan remains uncertain. One theory holds that the Latin name Mediolanum comes from the Latin words medio (in the middle) and planus (plain).

In 286 the Roman Emperor Diocletian moved the capital of the Western Roman Empire from Rome to...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Leonardo da Vinci's Masterpieces

Leonardo da Vinci's Masterpieces

Over the nearly 20 years that Leonardo da Vinci spent in Milan, the maestro created a number of masterpieces of art, of which the incomparable Last Supper mural in the convent of Santa Maria della Grazie and the innovative ceiling fresco of the Sala delle Asse at the Castello Sforzesco are just a few. If you wish to explore these and other spectacular pieces of art, architecture and technology...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Milan's Fashion Restaurants & Bars

Milan's Fashion Restaurants & Bars

Milan is a city well known for luxurious fashion and shopping. With this guide your designer experience doesn't have to end at the stores and boutiques. Almost every major Italian fashion house (as well as a few foreign ones) has entered the food, beverage, or hospitality businesses in Milan,...
16 Best Pastry Shops in Milan Italy

16 Best Pastry Shops in Milan Italy

Are you looking to satisfy your sweet tooth with genuine, locally-made Italian pastries and drink real “espresso”? This guide covers the best pastry shops/cafes in Milan, the capital of fashion and excellent northern Italian food. Places where one can drink coffee or tea and eat some of the...
Souvenir Shopping Guide: 16 Italian Goods Worth Buying in Milan

Souvenir Shopping Guide: 16 Italian Goods Worth Buying in Milan

Needless to say much about Milan and the things the city is famous for. From fashion and luxury to football and Berlusconi, the list is long. Still, some of the distinctively Milanese items may pass unnoticed to the eye of a stranger, if not caringly pointed in the right direction by a knowledgeable...
12 Cafes To Visit in Milan

12 Cafes To Visit in Milan

The industrial capital of Italy and one of the world's fashion and business centers, today's Milan is teeming with chaotic urban rush on a daily basis. Although it can't compete with Rome in terms of history, art and architecture, there are hidden gems in Milan well worth searching...
Sweet Shops of Milan

Sweet Shops of Milan

This guide will undoubtably make your trip to Milan a sweet one. Most locations are in the city centre, whilst others are set in older headquarters, that boast incredible landmarks and hidden beauties. Milan is habitually associated to fashion and business but has some exquisite examples of art...
Milan's Best Aperitivo Venues

Milan's Best Aperitivo Venues

Apéritifs usually are alcoholic drinks that are normally served before a meal. But in Milan the Aperitivo can actually become a fun, cheap (but not unchic) dinner with friends or (in a romantic venue) with a date. The all-you-can-eat formula allows you to buy just one drink and serve yourself with...