In the eyes of a tourist, Milan doesn’t certainly have the charm that other cities like Rome, Florence and Venice evoke which symbolise the real soul of Italy all over the world. Forget the imperial views and the magnificence of Rome, the Eternal City; forget the wealth of masterpieces as it occurs in lots of Italian art heritage cities. And be aware that the magic atmosphere of Venice doesn’t reign here.
Since time immemorial Milan has been the emblem of entrepreneurial and productive Italy, city of european vocation. Its success throughout the world can be described with two words: Fashion and Design. Apparently Milan is seen as a reality apart from the rest of the “Bel Paese”, a city which meets the needs of fashion victims and designers, of businessmen who wink at the nightlife (see “Aperitivo”).
All true. But only partly. Word of NearbyTour.
Milan boasts a lot also from an artistic and aesthetic point of view. We should overlook the “Duomo”, Milan’s towering gothic cathedral and Sforza Castle, the two landmarks of the city. The real charm of Milan is hidden behind shallow glances. It has to be hunted for; behind its palace façades, for example in its wonderful courtyards, or in its medieval cloisters, in the sudden fall glimpses when the rattly outlines of the old typical Carelli trams seem to carry you directly into a noir fiction; in the most secret and dark corners of ancient Romanesque churches, otherwise in the most unimaginable places, like a cemetery.
Indeed, the Monumental Cemetery of Milan is a fascinating site which offers unexpected works of art and surreal atmospheres.
You can find out more about it thanks to Federica and her tour, focused on the secrets of this impressive and dramatic place.
Starting from the Roman period up to the twentieth century, passing through the Renaissance, in Milan there are important traces from every historical and artistic period which Italy has undergone. The genius Leonardo da Vinci spent his more productive years precisely in Milan, at Ludovico il Moro’s court where he designed an artificial canal system whose waterways are still visible and navigable: Navigli, one of the most beloved districts for tourists and Milanese of the Old Milan. If you want to experience this area closely, we will strongly suggest you a captivating itinerant workshop with Claudio, who will show you how to take travel photos in watercolours, going over tales and anecdotes through the evergreen and renovated Milanese quarter.
Not to mention the world-famous fresco by Leonardo, The Last Supper, preserved on the refectory façade of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, an architectural jewel of the Italian Renaissance.
Giulia or Micaela Monica will lead you through the Milanese Renaissance, then immerse yourself in the Art-Nouveau atmosphere of the first half of the nineteenth century by admiring the imposing Central Station, one of the most successful examples of monumental architecture during the Fascist period.
In other words, you couldn’t appreciate Milan if you didn’t look into depth beyond the appearance, but more than somewhere else you should dig, deepen and look into it. You should summon all your curiosity. Otherwise, we highly recommend that you rely on our itineraries.
As we said at the beginning, the sparkling and glamorous aspect of Milan, whose trend is based on brands and lifestyle, is the most valued and well-known side of this city throughout the world. We should really mention the “Aperitivo” too, a real ritual and a must for every genuine and real Milanese. Discover the best ones with Giulia, who will lead you through this glittering world.
If you plan to stay here longer and you are keen on fashion, make the most out of another opportunity: join the workroom of The Italian Fashion Experience and discover your bent for styling.
A city projected towards its horizons and in an endless urban development, Milan is also the benchmark for contemporary architecture. Whole urban areas have been redesigned according to projects commissioned by architecture celebrities from all over the world. We are not just talking about the area covering the coming EXPO2015, but about entire districts such as Portello, Isola and Porta Nuova. Take advantage of another incredible opportunity, a guided tour with Carlo, an architect, one of the most skilled in the field and who knows absolutely everything about Milanese buildings.
If you are in a more relaxed mood and if you want to sample “alternative” Milan, that of bio farmhouses, outdoors theatre performances and graffiti expression, there is nothing better for you than a few hours spent on a bike with Delia or learning with Veronica the origin, history, reasons and protagonists of the street art movement in Milan…
To sum up: Milan is a breathtaking city where the historical past, the vibrant present and the promising future come alive and are combined perfectly. Where art joins fashion and design, creating innovation; where tradition and Italian imaginative genius find always new inspirations.
Milan is an eclectic city, and can be appreciated by everybody. Are you ready to get the feel of it?