Milan, the city on the crossroads

Milan, the city on the crossroads

Milan, along with Rome, is one of the oldest cities in Italy, that was founded in VI-V centuries BC. by  Galli. Throughout its long history, almost all European conquerors ruled in Milan: theGalli, Romans, Goths, Franks, and then – French, Spanish and Austrian rulers at various times participated in the running of the city. Milan became the capital of the Roman Empire for several times. Its Latin name sounded like Mediolanum Milan (Mediolanum) – «middle», apparently, according to its location in the center of the valley. It was also called the Second milan2Rome (Roma secunda) because of its strategically important location. Goths, who took possession of the city after the Romans, called it Mayland (Mailand), which means “land of the May.”

Milan today

Today Milan is a huge business and industrial center of Italy, largest monopolies are located in the city in a big number, together with banks and stock exchanges. It is exactly in Milan, that world famous corporations such as “Pirelli” and “Alfa Romeo” settled. Milan has huge exposition areas, where all year round take place industrial exhibition, gathering participants from all over the world.
Milan is also the largest road interchange in Italy, there is the biggest (after the Rome’s “Leonardo da Vinci”) Malpensa International Airport, the majority of railway communications, and the best underground in the country.
It is worth mentioning, that Milan is one of the popular destinations for so-called “wedding tourism” – what could be more romantic than a wedding in Italy, and moreover in such a city, full of spectacular views?
Another important role of today’s Milan is the one of the style setter, for Milan is a well-known milano3shopaholics Mecca. Expensive and chic Milan is the birthplace of Armani and Versace.  A huge number of boutiques of all more or less well-known designers, are concentrated in Milan, without mentioning the biggest fashion houses of the fashion-industry, shops, outlets and markets, that attrack buyers from all over Europe.

Sights of Milan
Despite the fact that actual architectural look of Milan is largely determined by constructions of the previous mid-century, this ancient city keeps a huge number of historical places and sights. And to view them all, you will need far more than a day. Many of these places have long been part of the main Italian sights.

Milan Cathedral (Duomo)

Majestic Milan Cathedral (il Duomo) Santa Maria Nascente is a symbol of Milan, the main tourist sight and one of the notable places of interest in Europe, built in the style of Duomo1“Flamboyant Gothic.” Duomo is the fourth largest Gothic church in the world, the third one in Europe, and the second (after St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican) in Italy. Giant structure of rare white Candoglia marble  stands in the heart of Milan, in the square with the same name. Construction of the cathedral began in the XIV century, and was completed only in the XIX century.

Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco)

One of the most famous sights in Milan is the Sforzesco Castle, receiving its name in honor of the Duke Francesco Sforza, ruler of Milan, who rebuilt an ancient fortification into his personal sforza castleresidence at the beginning of the XV century.

Pinacoteca di Brera

The largest and the most famous museum of Milan keeps in its walls masterpieces of European painting, is located in Milan’s Brera district. Pinacoteca di Brera, founded in 1809, displays one of the largest collections of Italian paintings of XIV – XIX centuries in Europe, as well as a wonderful collection of works by masters of European painting of XV-XVII centuries. “Betrothal of the Virgin” by Raphael is the pearl of the gallery, however, in the gallery can be found paintings of other great masters, including Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Goya and El Greco.

Poldi Pezzoli Museum (Museo Poldi-Pezzoli)

The biggest Milan collection, that formerly was in private ownership, presents paintings, weapons, armor, sculpture and Italian Renaissance furniture, Persian rugs and Flemish tapestries, antique Venetian glass and ceramics. The interiors of the building galleries is made in different styles, from the Middle Ages to the Rococo.

Ambrosian Pinakotheca (Pinacoteca Ambrosiana)

BRERAAnother great museum of Milan, that contains a collection of paintings, ancient books and manuscripts, and also sculpture. Real treasures of this collection are the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Bruegel, Raphael, Caravaggio. The obvious advantage of the gallery is a small number of visitors, that predisposes pleasant and detailed exposure exploration.

Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio (Sant’Ambrogio)

Former Milan Bishop Ambrogio (IV century) is the patron saint of the city, and this basilica, named in his honor is the oldest church. It was built in 379, and from VIII to XIX centuries, was several times rebuilt. However, in the XIX century it was decided to remove all the later constructions and superstructures, and return the true church in the former true Roman state, that appears in front of tourists till these days. This basilica is considered one of the best Italian Roman churches of that period. The temple, decorated in Lombard Romanesque style, is famous for the fact that it keeps the sarcophagus of the Roman general Stilicho and of Bishop St. Ambordzhio of Milan. Also n the golden altar of the IX century and the chapel of San Vittore with golden mosaic in the dome (V c.) are notewrothy.

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Construction of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the most beautiful church of Milan Renaissance did not last long by Italian standards – only a quarter of a century. The church was Santa_Maria_delle_Graziebuilt in the XV century. The walls of the temple border a monastery, which holds a real treasure – the famous fresco by Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper”, placed in the former refectory of the monastery. This work of art was subject lots of restorations, for it suffered from severe damage much more than once. So, today one can get access to the masterpiece only by booking a ticket at least two days before the visit.

Gallery of Vittorio Emanuele II

Famous modern boutique Gallery is located on the Piazza del Duomo. It opens by majestic triumphal arch, that continues into a street, covered with glass roof.  Passing by the street filled with shops and restaurants, in the recess, under the main dome of the gallery, you can find the mosaic bull. In this passage, the oldest in the world, you can get two pleasures at once: go shopping and explore the architectural masterpieces.

Church of Sant Eustorgio (Sant’Eustorgio)

This church with the highest bell tower in the city is one of the main pilgrimage sites in Milan, SONY DSCthat attracts pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land or to Rome. It is in this basilica that the relics of the “Three Kings”, described in the Bible have always been kept. Ialong its history, the church has survived many transformations, but to this day it preserved perfectly its temple architecture, its frescoes, written after the biography of St. Peter by Milanese painter Vincenzo Foppa, and also sculptures by Giovanni di Balducci.

Theatre “La Scala» (Teatro alla Scala)
This Opera House is the most famous theater not only in Europe, but also in the world. At La Scala, time froze, and somehow it preserved the romantic mood that settled inside at the time of its appearance in 1778. This temple of lyric art, built  by an order of Queen Maria Theresa of Austria, had a lot of ups and downs in its history, it heard a lot of “golden” opera stars voices of world importance. An evening spent here will make the strongest impression for all your stay in Milan.

National Museum of Science and Technology “Leonardo da Vinci”

The museum keeps all the most famous paintings and wooden models of the great genius Leonardo-da-Vinci-National-Science-Technology-Museuminventor Leonardo da Vinci. Right there, in the museum, visitors can visit Enrico Toti submarine, look through the telescope and see the masterpieces of the Renaissance. Museum employees believe that any tour that they can offer, will amaze any visitor, even the one who  stays aside from science and technology.

Monumental Cemetery (Cimitero Monumentale)

This is a great Milanese cemetery that looks more like a  park of fantastic sculptures, than a place of the dead. Each tomb is decorated with figures,  real works of art. Special attention of visitors  attracts Campari heirloom family crypt, with the entrance, decoratedwith the copy of the “Last Supper”, performed in stone. Family crypt of an industrial Mott is also quite interesting. He became famous by production of Milanese panettone cakes, and its tombstone is performed in shape of cake, of course. Is quite possible to get lost among the ancient tombs, so visitors are recommended to consult the plan, posted at the entrance.

Pirelli Tower

pirellitowerPirelli Tower (Grattacielo Pirelli) is a 32-storey skyscraper, built by Pirelli company, manufacturer of car tires. IT is a well-known symbol of today’s Milan. The building is decorated with glass mosaic and suspended facade of glass and aluminum. It was built in 1955-1959 by architects Gio Ponti and Pier Luigi Nervi. The building is  Futuristic-looking inside as well, for it has rubber flooring, made of cautchouc, produced by “Pirelli”, and painted “fantastic yellow.”

Sempione Park (Parco Sempione)

It is Milan’s most popular park, created in 1893 in style of English landscape architecture, designed by Emilio Alemany. The park was built on the site of the old training ground of the Sforza Castle. Authorities decided to turn remaining 50 hectares between the Arc de Triomphe and the Castle into Sempione parc (Parco Sempione), and it appeared around the Castello Sforzesco just in three years.

City Garden (Giardini Pubblici)

City Garden is the name of the north-eastern part of Milan, where stretches a park area with Giardini-Pubblici1scattered across its territory palaces and museums. Besides, it’s not just beautiful, but also a historically famous place, it is the oldest public park in Europe – the park exists since 1797. Milan rulers of those times, the Habsburgs, founded the garden on the site of a waste ground. Giuseppe Piermarini became landscape architect, after building “La Scala” theater to that moment of time.

San Siro

San Siro Stadium, named after Giuseppe Meazza, is a symbol of football in Milan, not less important for the image of the city than the Duomo. It is even called the Milan Coliseum. San San SiroSiro is the third largest stadium in Italy, able to accept 80,000 people at a time. San Siro Stadium is the only football stadium in Milan. The very same city of Milan is the home to two world-class football clubs – “Milan” and “Inter (Internazionale).” San Siro is the home stadium for both clubs.

Categories: Italy, World