If you only have one day to explore Milano, these are the 3 unmissable stops for a city tour:

  1. Duomo of Milano and tour of the historic centre
  2. Piazza della Scala and Opera House
  3. Brera and the Pinacoteca art gallery 

1. Duomo of Milano and tour of the historic centre

Piazza Duomo is definitely the ideal starting point for a visit to the city. Milano derives its shape fom a medieval urban structure in concentric rings that spreads out from the centre to the periphery (like Beijing). So if you set off from the Duomo you’ll be starting right from the heart of the city.

You can buy an entry ticket to the Duomo to admire the cathedral’s stunning interior, its roof terraces with the breath-taking city view or the nearby Duomo museum. Don’t forget to pause, look up and admire its beauty from the pedestrian area outside.

Walking through the elegant Vittorio Emanuele II monumental gallery is like stepping into the city’s "smartest living room". The chic top-brand boutiques nestle side by side with the historic stores, bookshops, illustrious restaurants, patisseries and bars that have defined the Milanese style, maintaining traditions but always keeping in step with the times.

 

2. Piazza della Scala and Opera House

As you exit the gallery on the far side you’ll be awed by the most famous Opera House in the history of music: La Scala.

Here you can purchase box office tickets for performances or visit the theatre’s museum to soak up the atmosphere of opera or appreciate a behind-the-scenes peek of the theatre from a box - if no rehearsals, shows or public events are in progress - with its famous stage and sumptuous chandelier.

3. Brera and the Pinacoteca art gallery

If you carry on from Piazza della Scala to Via Brera you’ll arrive in the artsy chic pedestrians-only ​​Brera district. It once used to be a popular and bohemian hangout, and fortune tellers and street artists can still be seen amongst the attractive cobbled alleys. The numerous restaurants and bars, popular with a stylish crowd, often have outdoor seating for a relaxed and pleasant experience.

Stroll around the many shops, from the independent stores selling artefacts to chic fashion ateliers and the numerous art galleries.

Don’t miss a visit to the Pinacoteca di Brera, the city’s most prestigious art gallery, which houses masterpieces by renowned artists of all eras. To appreciate its beauty, just look out onto the internal courtyard: an architectural jewel which houses at its centre the sculpture of Napoleon Bonaparte by Antonio Canova.