Sightseeing Tours of Milan walking

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Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery – Milan

Milan - Gallery - Exterior
Milan - Gallery - InteriorMilan - Gallery - Evening ViewMilan - Duomo - View from the roof

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is one of the oldest and famous shopping centers in the world; it is considered the progenitor of the modern concept of enclosed shopping malls!

Built during the second half of the 19th century it was dedicated to the first King of the newly born Italian Reign: Vittorio Emanuele II. The Gallery is formed by two glass vaulted loggias that covered the street that joined two of the most important plazas in Milan: Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Scala.

The roof was built with glass and cast iron; this style was very popular and modern at the time. Right in the center of the roof there is the famous glass dome; today it is impossible to imagine Milan’s skyline without it!

Right under the dome are located four mosaics; each one of them represents the coat of arm of the three capitals of Italy, Turin, Florence and finally Rome, plus Milan’s one. Because of the popular myth that if you spin around with your foot on the Turin coat of arm you will have good luck, this mosaic is heavily damaged!

Things to see

The people of Milan call the Galleria “il salotto di Milano”, Milan’s drawing room, because since the beginning the Galleria had become the center of the vibrant Milan’s life. In the gallery are in fact located the oldest restaurants and shops of the modern Milan.

The gallery is well known around the world for its luxury shops; the most important haute couture and jewelry brands have there their dedicated stores. Also the first and only 7 stars certified hotel in the world is located at the noble floor of the Gallery.

Via Montenapoleone – Milan

Milan - Via Montenapoleone
Milan - Via Montenapoleone - TargaMilan - Via Montenapoleone - LightsMialn - Via Della Spiga

Via Montenapoleone is the center of the most important fashion district of the world, also known as the quadrilatero della moda. The most popular fashion and jewelry brands have here luxury boutiques; in particular it is renowned the presence of all the best Italian shoemakers.

The street was built where once the roman Emperor Maximian had erected the city walls. At the end of the 18th century the Monte Camerale di Santa Teresa, a financial organization, moved here its offices. For a short period during unstable times the bank was closed and reopened under the Napoleon’s dominion; from here the name Monte Napoleone! At the beginning of the 19th century the street went through a heavy renovation, the richest nobles of Milan moved here their homes. Today strolling around the street it is possible to admire beautiful Palazzi like Palazzo Gavazzi, Casa Carcassola and Palazzo Melzi.

Things to see

Via Montenapoleone became one of the most important fashion street in the world during the economic boom that interested the Italian Republic after the Second World War. The most prestigious designers started to open here gorgeous boutiques that are used to showcases their latest trends and collections. Walking around the area it is possible to see fashion icons and stars followed by paparazzi almost every day!

Other important streets and the sides of the quadrilateral of fashion are Via della Spiga, Via Manzoni and Corso Venezia.


Duomo – Milan

Milan - Duomo - Facade
Milan - Duomo - InteriorMilan - Duomo - OrganiMilan - Duomo - Roof

The famous Gothic Milan Cathedral is dedicated to St Mary of the Nativity; its construction took almost six centuries. The Duomo was built right in the center of the city, the streets of Milan seem to radiate from it.

The first church on the spot was built in 355 and it was dedicated to St Thecla; during the same period it was built the Battistero Paleocristiano that today it is possible to visit right under the actual Duomo. In 1075 a terrible fire destroyed the church. Only in 1386 the Archbishop Saluzzo decided that it was time to build a new church. The first project was a simple cathedral built in brick in Lombard Gothic Style. A couple of years later a French engineer was hired and he decided to cover the brick with marble. Only during the 16th century the interior of the Duomo were decorated although the exterior remained unadorned for centuries.

When Carlo Borromeo became Archbishop of Milan he decided to change the style of the Duomo, at the time the Gothic one was considered as foreign.  He opted for a Renaissance look; part of the interior was remodeled following the new style. In 1577 he consecrated the Duomo. Less than a century later however a new architect, Buzzi, revert the style bringing back the original gothic one.

The symbols of the Duomo, the Madonnina’s spires and the Madonnina’s statue, were added in the second half of the 18 century.  When 50 years later Napoleon became king of Italy he wanted the façade to be finished as soon as possible. In only 7 years the job was done.

Things to see

The never ending construction finally come to an end in 1965 when the last gate was inaugurated.. although today there are still few blocks that should become statues!

The Duomo’s roof hides many treasures: beautiful pinnacles and spires, gorgeous flying buttresses. Luckily it is possible to visit it, tourists can enjoy also a beautiful view over the city.

Centuries of work had left many unique artworks inside the Duomo. Among the numerous statues the one dedicated to St Bartholomew is probably the most beautiful. Stunning are the three altars by Pellegrino Pellegrini and the magnificent organ, the biggest one in Italy!

The Duomo has always be the center of the city life, the inhabitants of Milan look at the Madonnina every time that they want to know the weather forecast: if it is possible to see it from a distance that means that it is a beautiful day!

La Scala – Milan

Milan - La Scala - Exterior
Milan - La Scala - FacadeMilan - La Scala - OrchestraMilan - La Scala - Interior

One of the most famous buildings in Milan is the stunning Teatro alla Scala, better known simply as La Scala.

The theatre was built during the 18th century after the Teatro Regio Ducale was destroyed by a fire.

The Empress Maria Theresa decided to build it where the Church of Santa Maria della Scala was located. Unfortunately the theatre was destroyed during the Second World War; however only a year after the war ended the reconstruction began.

The stunning interiors, the exceptional acoustics and one of the world’s largest stages: today La Scala is considered one of the world leading opera houses. The best opera singers and musicians had performed here; the works of the most celebrated composers had premiered at La Scala.

In 1911 a group of men, composed by some of the most prominent people if Milan, decided to purchase the theatre collection owned by an antique dealer. The collection was supposed to be audited in Paris, but they thought that it would have built the foundation for a unique theater collection that was asked by the Milanese intellectuals for a long time. They requested the help of the government and of the richest people in Milan. At the end they were able keep the unique collection in Milan: it was immediately donated to the city!

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The museum opened a couple of years later with a sumptuous ceremony. Today thanks to many donations and further purchases the collection hosted in La Scala Museum is one of the most famous in the world.

In 1952 due to a generous donations a library was added to the museum.