Milan is the business core of Italy but at the same time it hides many unique things to see in Milan besides the famous Duomo and the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.
Chiesa di San Bernardino alle Ossa: definitely not an ordinary church! What makes this church unique is the ossuary which, as the name itself suggests, is decorated entirely with bones and skulls. Some experts have said that the bones belong to Christian martyrs killed by the Arian heretics in the days of St. Ambrose, Others, instead, assume that they belong to the nearby hospital patients or to prisoners. For the less sensitive, it is a macabre and interesting stop in the center of Milan.
Gallery of Modern Art (GAM): this museum is located right near the central area of Brera. It hosts a large collection of 19 century works of art. The museum is in a villa that was built in the 1970s.
Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore: or better known as the Sistine Chapel of Milan. This church is not very well known by the locals much less by visitors. It was built in the 1500s and has recently been restored. The outside appears like a standard church, but the inside hides frescos that are an extraordinary expression of Renaissance art. The church is located on Corso Magenta n° 15. It is open from Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 7.30 pm thanks to a group of enthusiastic volunteers. Entrance is free. Definitely a priority among the things to see in Milan.
Whispers in Piazza dei Mercanti: Before whispering in the middle of the columns try to imagine this piazza full of people busily exchanging goods during the Middle Ages. How did spies and merchants manage to communicate secrets among this crowd? Due to the acoustic architecture of the columns it is possible to whisper from one side of the piazza to the other. How to make it happen? Two people should place themselves at two different columns that are placed obliquely and speak quietly with each other from the base. It turns out that the person placed on the opposite column will hear exactly what has been said. The legend also says that shy lovers came here to whisper words of love and affection.
Vicolo Lavandai: surprisingly, even a modern city like Milan preserves little corners that belong to other periods in history. One of these is the Vicolo Lavandai (Alley of Launderers) right near the Navigli Area. Here launderers used to wash family laundry until the 1950s in the still existing wash basin.
Quartiere Isola: the history of this area shares some similarities with the neighborhood of Shoreditch in London. First of all, it is right next to the modern skyscrapers of Porta Garibaldi, similarly to Shoreditch, which is near the City area in London. Also, this neighborhood was typically inhabited by workers due to the proximity of factories in this area and it is today the rising hipster neighborhood of Milan. One interesting building that is worth looking for is the Bosco Verticale (vertical forest), two buildings that were inaugurated in 2014 and that are entirely covered with trees and plants.
La Vigna di Leonardo: Near the famous Last Supper, this recently museum opened museum will reveal secrets of the life of Leonardo da Vinci during his sojourn in Milan. Here you will enter the original vineyard that the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, gave to the genius. A curious spot in Milan that you don’t want to miss. For more info visit the official website.
Of course there are many other things to see in Milan, you just have to walk around and get lost in among all the details.
Did you know?
The most well-known traditional meal in Milan is Risotto with Saffron. The legend says that it became famous in 1574 after it was accidentally served at a wedding. Rice back then was served only with butter, so the guests at the banquet were surprised with the new flavour. It was not only good, but also golden in color, a symbol of wealth. From that day on it became the most popular dish in the city.