The emblem of Milan and a triumph of the Lombard Gothic style, the Duomo is dedicated to Saint Mary Nascent. Construction began on the imposing cathedral in the late 14th century at the request of GianGaleazzo Visconti and Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo. It is decorated with 3400 statues and on top of the highest spire (108metres) there is a statue of the Madonnina, the symbol of the Lombard capital, covered in 3900 pieces of gold leaf.
The Palazzo Reale, or Royal Palace, was home to the families who governed Milan, such as the Visconti and the Sforza, from the 12th century and then to Spanish and Austrian rulers in later centuries. It now houses temporary art exhibitions and the Museo del Duomo, which displays architectural elements, statues, antique stained glass windows and precious sacred furnishings from the cathedral.
GALLERIA VITTORIO EMANUELE II
One of Milan's most picturesque meeting points, it is a covered arcade with an iron and glass framework in a cruciform pattern. At the centre is a floor mosaic representing the Savoy coat of arms. Constructed in 1870, this site now houses restaurants, historic cafes and shops.
MUSEO DEL ‘900
The Museum of the Twentieth Century is located in the Palazzo dell' Arengario and displays approximately four hundred of the nearly four thousand Italian 20th-century works of art belonging to the Civiche Raccolte d' Arte milanesi.
TEATRO ALLA SCALA
Facing onto one of the most elegant squares in Milan, La Scala is considered among the most famous theatres in the world. It was built in the late 18th century to plans made by the architect Giuseppe Piermarini at the request of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. A range of operas, classical concerts and ballets are performed during the theatre season, which is one of the most important appointments in the Milanese social calendar.
CASTELLO SFORZESCO – PARCO SEMPIONE
Another symbol of Milan is the Sforza Castle, built in the middle of the 15th century for Francesco Sforza. This sumptuous fortified palace houses several Milanese museums and temporary exhibitions and also contains Michelangelo's last work, the Rondanini Pietà. The castle is surrounded by the semicircular Bonaparte Forum and by the large Sempione park.
SANTA MARIA DELLE GRAZIE – CENACOLO (THE LAST SUPPER)
A short distance from the Castle is the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, remodelled by Bramante in the mid 1400s. Next to the church and on the wall of the refectory of the former Dominican convent, Leonardo created his fresco of The Last Supper. Careful restoration lasting 20 years has revitalized this wonderful masterpiece to its former glory.
Piazza Gerusalemme 6 20154 - Milan (Italy)