Archaeology Travel Itinerary

Milan – Why not?: Medieval itinerary between Skyscrapers

By on 11 September 2017

Available in: itItaliano

You know … Milan is the fashion city, the Business Square of Italy, and so on. But it is also the city of Leonardo da Vinci, of the Sforza and has a history of all respect!

You could not be in Milan and not go to see Sforza Castle, where Leonardo’s genius lived and worked, the Cathedral that is never complete. So, here are the places that tell another face of Milan!

Milan, What to see


The classic itinerary to visit Milan obviously comes from its heart, the Cathedral. I’m usually not particularly attracted to churches but this is one of the Must to be seen. It is a true masterpiece of Italian architecture.

Despite Milan is known in Italy as a frenzied city, where the key word is “work”, this church is under construction from the far May 30, 1386. This seems an absurd contrast compared to the real soul of this city. Maybe this church in progress has more charm just because of it! Another contrast you’ll see is this Gothic church that rise in the midst of the most modern skyscrapers in Italy.

From Piazza Duomo (the square in front of Cathedral) there is also access to the gorgeous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Here the legend wants to turn in balance over the balls of a bull to ensure your return to the city. You will find it in the center of the gallery, in the mosaic floor, you will see a bull depicting the city of Turin and just like the launch of the coin at Trevi Fountain in Rome if you can rotate on the heel on the bull balls you’ll back in the city.

It is not well known how this ritual started, it is said that in the past Milanese people were used to turn it as good wishes for the New Year. Of course, there is a clear reference to the former capital of Italy and to the builder of the Gallery, Giuseppe Mengoni, who died falling from the central dome on December 30, 1877, a few days before the inauguration.

Sforza Castle

Continuing on Via dei Mercanti, look to your left, a small medieval square beyond the Palazzo della Ragione, another small sight of Milan of the past. But the Middle Ages in Milan is not just this, continue to walk along the same street and arrive in front of the imposing Sforza Castle.

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The castle of Sforza medieval family, who governed Milan, is another breath-taking place. Here the time is stopped to that ancient time and I know why it was selected as the Italian location for the world premiere of Game of Thrones.

As you walk around courtyards, think that your own steps on the gravel have already been made by Leonardo da Vinci. Yes, he lived at the court of Ludovico il Moro and even painted a castle room, the Axis Hall, which is unfortunately for restoration.

Cenacolo Vinciano (Last supper of Leonardo da Vinci)

Exiting from Sforza Castle, another classic is a walk in the Sempione park, one of the green lungs of the city. Next, there is another place that tells about the medieval Milan you can not miss, the Cenacolo Vinciano, or more famous as the Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci.

Cenacolo Milano - Leonardo da Vinci

The most famous fresco after Mona Lisa is the Last Supper. Situated in the ex-refectory of the convent adjacent to the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan and can be visited by booking the tickets well in advance. Only small groups can enter inside because the room that houses the masterpiece is not very wide. Tickets are therefore almost unavailable and end up in a few hours!

If you want to add another curious visit to your day in Milan, right next to the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, in Corso Magenta, you will also find what is considered the Vineyard of Leonardo da Vinci.

Columns of St. Lawrence and Navigli

To end the day with a bit of relax the area of the Milan Movida is not very far from here. It starts from the Columns of St. Lawrence and passes by the Darsena continues towards the two Navigli (water canals). You can easily walk, or if you are tired of taking the 94 in Giosuè Carducci street. Here is a classic aperitif for Milan: a cocktail, a large buffet and a walk along Navigli!

1 Comment
  1. Reply


    29 June 2020

    Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if
    it’s the blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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Benvenuto su Why not?

Sono Alberto, un creatore di Itinerari, appassionato di Fotografia e Viaggiatore lento.

Why not? è un contenitore di esperienze che si evolve insieme a me. Mi piace costruire il mio viaggio, studiare e trovare la vera essenza dei luoghi e delle persone che incontro lungo la mia strada.

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