Milan, a city known for its fashion and successful businesses, is also a hidden gem for art enthusiasts. While the Duomo and shopping districts might seem to dominate your Milanese itinerary, don’t overlook the city’s fine art scene. Milan boasts a wealth of artistic treasures that span centuries and genres. Here’s a selection of some of the must-visit art destinations in Milan by our team in Aria Milano Boutique Apartments.
The Last Supper (Cenacolo Vinciano):
Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, “The Last Supper,” is perhaps Milan’s most iconic and sought-after art attraction. Housed in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, this mural painting is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a testament to Da Vinci’s genius. To ensure you can view it, make sure to book tickets well in advance (at least two months), as access is strictly controlled.
Pinacoteca di Brera:
Located in the artistic Brera district, the Pinacoteca di Brera is one of Milan’s premier art museums. It houses an impressive collection of Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, featuring works by famous artists like Caravaggio, Raffaello, and Tiziano. The museum’s ambiance also is as captivating as its art, with beautiful courtyards and gardens to explore.
Bonus: right around the corner you can find the Orto botanico di Brera, a very nice botanical garden in the very center of the city.
Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco):
This imposing castle in the heart of Milan houses several museums and art collections. The Museo d’Arte Antica boasts an array of artworks from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, including masterpieces by Michelangelo and Mantegna. The castle’s courtyards and gardens also provide a delightful setting for art lovers to explore.
The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is a true gem for admirers of classical art and manuscripts. Its collection includes works by Italian masters like Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Caravaggio. Besides paintings, the Ambrosiana Library holds an astounding collection of manuscripts, including Da Vinci’s Codex Atlanticus.
GAM Milano (Galleria d’Arte Moderna):
If modern and contemporary is the type of art that appeals to you, the GAM Milano is the place to visit. Housed in a neoclassical palace, this museum features an extensive collection of Italian art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Artists like Modigliani, Boccioni, and Carrà are well-represented here.
Museo del Novecento:
Situated in the Palazzo dell’Arengario in Piazza del Duomo, the Museo del Novecento focuses on 20th-century art. Its collection spans movements like Futurism, Arte Povera, and Pop Art, showcasing works by Italian and international artists. The museum also offers panoramic views of the iconic Duomo from its terrace.
Contemporary Art Spaces:
Milan’s contemporary art scene continues to flourish. Galleries like Cardi Gallery, Galleria Lia Rumma, and the Fondazione Prada offer a platform for contemporary artists to showcase their work. Check local listings for exhibitions and events happening during your visit.
Street Art and Murals:
Milan nowadays has embraced street art as a form of expression. Explore neighborhoods like Isola and Lambrate to discover vibrant murals and street art installations by both local and international artists.
In Milan, art isn’t confined to museums and galleries; it is woven into the city’s fabric. As you explore Milan’s art scene, you’ll not only admire the masterpieces but also gain insight into the city’s rich cultural history. From the Renaissance to the contemporary, Milan offers a captivating art journey that’s waiting to be explored.