Charmingly Cultured: Milan's City Centre Flickr/Curtis Macnewton

Charmingly Cultured: Milan's City Centre

With must-sees in design, architecture, and art around Milan, the Centro Storico makes for a picturesque stroll and some cultural healing for those that seek it out.

by Ifeoluwa Adedeji and Christina Hambi

The truth is that no matter the angle of approach, the Duomo of Milan is the most impressive architectural offering in the city. It has been an icon since the first stones were laid over 500 years ago, transported into the centre via a network of canals. However, it’s worth expanding your expedition, because there are some other notable buildings in the immediate vicinity, such as Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and Piazza della Scala. Further exploration will take you across the paths of the well-heeled Milanese on one of the bustling high-fashion streets of the Quadrilatero D’Oro. San Babila and the surrounding streets offer a fair number of design showrooms.


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For lovers of art and architecture, publisher Taschen’s first bookshop is the ideal space to envelop yourself in creativity. Whether you’re perusing the literature or admiring the interior design, you’ll be sure to find something that catches your eye.

Related Article: Milan's Unmissable Sights

Museo del Novecento

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Home to 20th century art, mainly Italian, this site presents some impressive exhibitions, a fine permanent collection, and outstanding views onto the Cathedral square. The Museum gives visitors the opportunity to explore works by international talents right in the heart of the city.

Related Article: A guide to San Babila, Milan

Palazzo Reale

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Having played host to some of Italy’s finest brands and daring installations in recent years, Palazzo Reale opens its doors again to Design Week, which won’t disappoint. Make sure to look up and admire the architecture around you, particularly the elements in the main exhibit hall that has been left practically as-was from the WW2 bombing. There is something regal in the damaged statues that proudly grace their place on the elevated podiums, determined to keep the show going - and they do. This palazzo is beautiful.

Related Article: A guide to the Duomo neighbourhood

Wait and See

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The fact that this was a former monastery is not what makes this store unique, it’s the objects that you take away with you that will make you want to return time and time again.

Related Article: 10 things you never knew about Milan

Milano Osservatorio

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Newly opened in the heart of Milan, this observatory has been revamped using the original flooring to deliver a unique setting for contemporary art. It is located on the upper floors of the Galleria with a mesmerising view of the glass dome.

Related Article: A guide to Milan nightlife

For more ideas on what to Do, where to Dine and how to Spend in Milan, visit our destinations pages.


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