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Art & Culture

Lombardy

Lombardy: 10 treasures you may wish to explore in the city of Milan and its surrounding areas

15 September 2022

Would you like to spend a weekend in Milan, not with a view to participating in one of the many events that are held there, in the fashion or design sectors, but with the intention of discovering its artistic masterpieces?
It would all seem very easy, but an inevitable dilemma derives from the immense cultural heritage of the capital of the Lombardy region and the surrounding districts that are literally dotted with historic buildings, sculptures, art collections and charming villages. </br>Where should we begin?
We would suggest you try this essential list of <b>wonderful sites:</br></b>

1. Leonardo da Vinci's “Last Supper” in Milan

It would be a good idea to start your tour by visiting the Refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan to see Leonardo da Vinci's mural painting of the Last Supper, a masterpiece which is the envy of the world. Please note that a reservation must be made in advance and there is a time limit on the visit to allow as many people as possible to admire this exceptional work of art.

3. The Cathedral of Milan

The façade of this church is probably one of the most frequently “instagrammed” architectural structures in Italy, and we suggest you dedicate some time to this masterpiece of Gothic art, participating in a guided tour and perhaps also walking across the upper rooftop terraces to enjoy a spectacular view of the inner city. 

 

4. The Ducal Palace of Vigevano

If you have time to explore the surrounding districts of Milan, you might start by visiting the Ducal Square in Vigevano, which offers an example of the Renaissance style in the heart of the city, and the Cathedral overlooking it.

 

5. Palazzo Te in Mantua

An extraordinary example of a Renaissance villa, this is the most important work designed by Giulio Romano. The architect created it for Federico II of Gonzaga, who dedicated the palazzo to his lover Isabella Boschetti. Palazzo Te is now the seat of the Civic Museum, which hosts interesting exhibitions and themed events. 

 

6. The Certosa of Pavia

You will certainly be enchanted by this magnificent artistic gem of the Renaissance period, commissioned by Duke Gian Galeazzo Visconti, and also by its intense spiritual dimension. Over the centuries the monastery has been inhabited by Carthusian, Benedictine and Cistercian friars. The latter brotherhood still resides in the monastery, where its members conduct their monastic life and offer guided tours.

 

7. Royal Villa of Monza

An imposing royal palace that remains the dominant building within the luxuriant city park. One should certainly consider visiting this site - and even more so today, after the important restoration which has revived the original splendour of the villa. Whether you take a guided tour or not, it is advisable to walk through the halls to the very end, reaching the apartments where members of the royal family spent their time. 

 

8. Villa Borromeo Visconti Litta at Lainate

This villa which is not very far from Milan is immersed in an amazing park that is well worth visiting. The beauty of the water features and the nymphaeum complex transform the garden into an artistic gem in which nature and architecture harmoniously coexist. 

 

9. Bellagio

This small town has acquired a certain fame due to the presence of a clique of American celebrities who may be seen in the area, but the ‘pearl of the Lario district’ is in any case certainly worth discovering. With or without the presence of famous personalities, this small town in the province of Como has a distinctive setting and atmosphere and may be considered an open-air masterpiece in itself. 

 

10. Rocca Borromea castle at Angera

The symbolic monument of Angera is a dominant fortress superbly situated on a rocky hilltop beside the lake. The internal Doll Museum, the most important of its kind in Italy, was inaugurated in 1988. Over the years it has gradually increased in size and in terms of the number of its exhibits, and various sections are now dedicated to toys and children's garments.