Very close to the Duomo stands the oldest district of Milano, traditionally named "Cinque Vie": this area got its name because of its function as the confluence of a number of streets: Via Santa Marta, Via del Bollo, Via Bocchetto, Via Santa Maria Fulcorina and Via Santa Maria Podone. This was already a dynamic crossroads of trade in Roman and Medieval times.
The district still keeps its commercial relevance today, providing an impressive concentration of galleries, craft and antique shops, ateliers and artist studios, and shops dedicated to clothing and contemporary design as well, with a marked emphasis on research. This district of the city, with a definitely radical-chic vibe, is ideal for a peaceful walk away from the traffic of the thoroughfares.
NOT TO BE MISSED
- Leonardo's Vineyard at the Atellani House: a sumptuous Renaissance residence renovated in the twentieth century by the celebrated architect Piero Portaluppi. This is where the Master used to receive his patrons and the wealthy during his long stay in Milano.
- The Archaeological Museum: it is no coincidence that it stands right where it is, this being an area rich in remains, architecture and relics dating back to Roman times.
- Pinacoteca Ambrosiana: a treasure trove of artistic masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance from Leonardo (the legendary Codex Atlanticus is preserved within), to Raphael (don’t miss his vast sketch of The School of Athens) and Caravaggio (look up his stunning Basket of Fruit), not to mention Botticelli and Titian.
ANECDOTES AND CURIOSITIES
Deserving particular mention is the 5VIE ART+DESIGN website, which promotes and enhances the cultural heritage of this historical district and safeguards its traditions, through the revitalization of local businesses and stores, the promotion of new relevant activities and the highlighting of less well-known spots. In order to do this, 5VIE organizes frequent evening events with extraordinary openings of ateliers and galleries, especially during Milano Design Week.