What to Do in Porta Romana Featured

What to do in Porta Romana for a day like a local in Milan. 

by Maria Chiara Antonini

Porta Romana is one of the six main gates of Milan, along the Spanish walls. In the centre of Piazza Medaglie d’Oro you can admire the monumental arch that Filippo III of Spain wanted to give his wife Margaret of Austria as a present in 1596. Not far away is the Rotonda della Besana, now used for events and concerts, as well as old buildings, small historic shops, an old farmhouse converted to a multi-purpose space, and even an organic restaurant.


Rotonda della Besana

When the Rotonda della Besana was built in 1697 with a connected cemetery, it was located outside the city centre. Over the centuries it has been rebuilt many times and used as a military building, barn and even as a laundry. Today its gardens are one of the favourite places for locals, especially during the weekends in spring when you can enjoy open-air events and concerts.

rotonda besana

Dep Art Gallery

If you love contemporary art and like to discover new artists, the Dep Art Gallery is the right address for you. In 2005, founder and a passionate researcher of ever-new art forms, Antonio Addamiano moved his gallery to its current location, which used to be a school spanning over 300 square metres: the perfect size for the many exhibitions he organises throughout the year. 

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Cascina Cuccagna

You have to see it with your own eyes to believe that a farmstead with vegetable gardens and greens can still exist in the city centre. The Cascina Cuccagna, built in the 1700s, is a wonderful example of how to renovate an old property and bring it back to life, reflecting the surrounding nature. Today it is a very active cultural centre, with a nice restaurant, bar and lovely vegetable garden.

cascina cuccagna


Ristorante Torre

The view from the Torre restaurant is breathtaking as it is on the sixth and seventh floors of the new building designed by Rem Koolhaas with Chris van Duijn and Federico Pompignoli of OMA studio. The project is part of the Prada Foundation, the new mecca for art lovers. The restaurant has large floor-to-ceiling windows, design furnishings, wood boiserie and artists’ dishes on the walls.

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Fresh hand-made pasta, in-house baked bread and very friendly staff: what else do you want in an Italian restaurant? And the fact that you can also enjoy breakfast at Pastamadre makes it an unmissable address in Porta Romana area - the perfect place when you want to eat something good and healthy in a cosy, relaxing place.

 pasta madre

Gli Orti del Belvedere

Fresh pasta, fish dishes, seasonal local vegetables and a good selection of wines: this is the Gli Orti del Belvedere restaurant. It’s located between Crocetta and Porta Romana areas, where there used to be only fields and vegetable gardens. And when the weather is nice, you can dine outdoors, surrounded by plants and flowers.


QC Terme Milano 

Dedicating time to yourself - specially in a beautiful spa - is always a good idea. And Milan offers an enchanting wellness oasis right in the Porta Romana area. It’s called QC Terme Milano. Surrounded by a private garden, the location is breathtaking, and the spa is open in the evening. Amongst the different treatments, a must is the happy hour ritual with massage.

qcterme milano

Camiceria Olga

Made-in-Italy fashion is loved all over the world, and Camiceria Olga’s knows it very well: in order to satisfy the many requests they receive from abroad, they have created a system on their web site to take measurements of the clients over the internet and then deliver the shirt to the customers. Camiceria Olga has been in business since 1948 and has also become specialists in the manufacture of women’s and children’s shirts over the years.

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Suede, a refined fashion brand, has become well-known for its bright, unusual colour combinations and precious fabrics over the years. Today the brand boasts many boutiques, in addition to those in Milan, and always offers collections of clothes and accessories that play with colours and patterns.

suede milano 

For more inspiration on Do, Dine, Spend in Milan, visit our Destinations page.