FIND OUT MILANO’S TOP DISTRICTS
Milan – if compared to other European capitals – is an easy city to discover due to its flat structure and its small square mileage. Hence you can freely tour around on foot or even better on a bike. It’s hard to get lost, simply keep in mind its form: it’s round with two concentric circles – the Duomo right in the middle of them – which get crossed by outwarding lines creating the borders of the city’s lively districts.
Milan counts on a fascinating and ready-to-discover millennial history, which transformed it from the capital of the Western Roman Empire into the stylish metropolis of today. Even the most sophisticated travellers will have to surrender to its charm, which goes far beyond the austerity of its apparently rigorous buildings. A helpful hint to discover the secrets of a city that boasts discretion and reticence is to pick a strategic spot for your stay and then plunge into the life of the quartiere.
Brera Apartments’ exclusive locations have been strategically selected for you to discover Milan smoothly and comfortably. Enjoy exploring our neighborhoods.
Brera is the city’s elegant district, heart of culture and literature full of art galleries, romantic spots, charming shops and antique stores. It’s a pleasure to get lost in the labyrinth of its tiny lanes while peeping through shop windows or visiting Chiostro di San Sempliciano, Orto Botanico, Pinacoteca di Brera, Biblioteca Braidense. Here you’ll find the Basilica di San Marco which houses the organ used by Mozart and where Verdi conducted the requiem for Manzoni.
Milan’s lounge displays the biggest square in the city, the majestic gothic cathedral Duomo and the modern Palazzo Reale that hosts important exhibitions. A shining arcade connects the cathedral to Piazza della Scala, where the world’s leading opera house is located. On the other hand the Corso is studded with prestigious shops like La Rinascente and its panoramic roof terrace. From Via Torino you then enter the secluded Roman area of Milan with Piazza San Sepolcro and the 5Vie.
The city’s aristocratic iconic symbol of the Visconti and Sforza families hosts Pietà Rondanini by Michelangelo. It overlooks Parco Sempione, the ancient hunting reserve transformed into a landscaped park, the green lung of Milan. Here you’ll also find La Triennale, magnet for design, Torre Branca by Giò Ponti and the Arco della Pace facing France and requested by Napoleon himself. The area is rich in delicious international restaurants, coffee shops to pamper any palette.
The luxury-shopping district opens up from Piazza San Babila (where Via Monte Napoleone originates) to Via della Spiga, Via Manzoni and Corso Venezia where worldwide top brands condense their shops. Shopaholics pour here from each corner of the globe to fulfil their purchasing instinct or to admire the windows. Once you have feasted your eyes on fashion you can slip away towards the gardens of Indro Montanelli and the little art nouveau jewels just beyond the park.
Another historic and fancy area that runs along the entire Corso Garibaldi, reaches the Arch in Piazza XXV Aprile, flows into Corso Como and ends with the majestic skyscrapers by César Pelli in Piazza Gae Aulenti. From here take a stroll to the new Porta Nuova district under the towers Solaria, Solea, Aria, Diamante, Palazzo della Regione: an exultation of architecture, bars, restaurants, shops and offices, which remarkably combine together old–fashioned and modern trends.
Another ancient district developed along Corso di Porta Romana that during the Roman empire enhanced the solemnity of the entrance to Milan when coming from Rome. Still today the area is dense with high-end buildings, little shops, typical trattorias and small bar. A beloved are invaded by designers during the Salone del Mobile. When here, just glance upwards to Torre Velasca, enter Ca’ Granda and Rotonda della Besana and treat yourself at the Thermae if you have time.
The backbone of Milan, from the far distant past when Corso di Porta Ticinese was connecting Ticino to the centre of the fortress and was considered as the sacred route taken by the bishops heading to the Duomo. Here you can see is the Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio – with the remains of the Three wise men – and the octagonal based Basilica di San Lorenzo united by a marvellous Park that during summer and around the Colonne becomes an important meeting point for young crowds.
Up to the middle of the 19th century Milan used to be an important waterfront in Italy thanks to a sophisticated navigation channel system that was very similar to that used in Venice. In this area you will see why! Starting from the newly renovated Darsena, you can enjoy a romantic stroll on the pedestrian towpath along Naviglio Pavese or Naviglio Grande: the area is full of little bars and restaurants. You can even do a boat tour. The atmosphere is magical. It’s a must-see area.
Young and upbeat district historically isolated from the rest of the city by the bridge of Stazione Garibaldi. It keeps on maintaining its working-class spirit even after the recent changes to tie it to downtown. Typical are the case di ringhiera crowded with small bars, restaurants, art galleries and artisan shops. The new Bosco Verticale dominates the area from up above while jazz notes are played inside Blue Note and the vegetation explodes in lovely geometric shapes at Biblioteca degli Alberi.
TORTONA, CHINATOWN, CITY LIFE
Equal merit for these three areas which stand out of the classic tours but are very appreciated by audacious travellers: Tortona area treasured by design and fashion lovers for its former industrial venues transformed into architectural studios and showrooms; ChinaTown, a pedestrian area which develops around via Paolo Sarpi and brings the taste of Asia into Milan; City Life, the newest and emerging district in town designed by Zaha Hadid, Daniel Libeskind and Arata Isozaki. Enjoy.