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Art and Culture in Milan

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Sforza Castle
Castello Sforzesco is a surprising monument sheltering several specialized museums and traces of the city’s past. An oasis of art and culture. It was originally a Visconti fortress and later home to the mighty Sforzas, the rulers of Milan, who transformed it into a magnificent ducal palace thought to have been decorated by several of the greatest artists of the times including Donato Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci. Transformed into a military complex during four centuries of foreign occupation and subsequently used as the barracks of the Italian army, at the end of the 19th century the Castle was restored by architect Luca Beltrami who turned it into the headquarters of Milan’s Civic Museums. Today the Castle sits in all of its glory in the eponymous square with its 70m-tall “Torre del Filarete” and a number of majestic circular keep-towers.
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Brera
Brera is synonymous with the artistic heart of the city. In fact, as you stroll along the streets of this ancient district, you cannot help but be enchanted by its almost surreal atmosphere boasting small artisan’s workshops or quaint stores selling canvases and paints. Additionally, Brera is home to the impressive Accademia di Belle Arti, where visitors can admire Milan’s famous painting collection at the Pinacoteca (the Brera Picture Gallery), the historic Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense (Braidense National Library) , the Museo Astronomico (The Astronomical Museum), the oldest scientific research institute in the city and the Giardino Botanico (Botanical Gardens), an evocative green space located.
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Teatrale Alla Scala
La Scala, or Teatro alla Scala in Italian, is one of the most famous opera houses in the world. Its sober and elegant exterior never fails to surprise those that visit it for the first time. The Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este commissioned the construction of a new Ducal Theatre when a fire burnt down the previous theatre in 1776. The opera house was built on the site where the former site of the Church Santa Maria alla Scala, hence the name of the Teatro alla Scala. Like other theatres of the same period, La Scala also housed a casino during its early years. In 1943, during World War II, the theatre was badly damaged by bombing. It was reconstructed three years later. In 2002, the Opera House was closed for two years while it was renovated and opened in November 2004 with an opening performance of Europa riconosciuta by Antonio Salieri, which is the same opera that was performed when the theatre was inaugurated in 1778. Many famous operas have had their first production in La Scala, such as Othello, Nabucco by Verdi or Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini. During its early years, the composer Giuseppe Verdi did not want his work to be represented in the Teatro alla Scala because he was convinced that the orchestra modified his compositions. Nevertheless, he then established a very close relationship with the Opera House. The Theatre Museum contains a large collection of paintings, busts, costumes and several other objects related to the world of opera and theatre. The visit includes discovering the theatre’s grand foyer, an elegant and sparsely decorated hall. Then you will be taken to the small box seats covered in red satin, where the high society enjoyed and still enjoys the various operas and ballets performed in La Scala. The enormous auditorium is made of wood and covered in red velvet, adorned with golden coloured stuccos. The stage is lit by a huge Bohemian crystal chandelier with 383 bulbs.
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Villa Mirabello
It seems that in the first half of the 15th century the Visconti stayed "in the countryside", a step away from the current Marche metro stop in Milan, in Villa Mirabello. At the time, however, the building we are talking about was called Cascina Mirabello, and it can be found in the documents of 1468 that recognized it as the property of this Pigello Portinari. The Florentine nobleman dear to Prince Sforza, general manager of the annuities of the Milanese duchy and representative of the Florentine House of the Medici in Milan, was also the promoter of the construction of the Portinari Chapel in Sant'Eustorgio. Towards the end of the 15th century, the villa changed hands, becoming the property of the noble Landriani. Antonio Landriani, awarded by Francesco Sforza as mayor of Milan in 1456, then appointed prefect of the ducal treasury by Galeazzo Maria Sforza, later president of the Mint of Milan by the appointment of Gian Galeazzo Sforza, then became a trusted man and adviser politician of Ludovico il Moro. Ludovico himself was a guest of the Landriani in Villa Mirabello on February 4, 1500. A few years later the villa became one of the houses of the order of the Humiliati, of which Gerolamo Landriani was general. The Landriani family remained the owner of Villa Mirabello for some tens of years, enough to leave traces still visible today in the form of coats of arms that stand out on the fireplace of the main hall and on the ceilings, together with the motto "always el duty ”frescoed on the walls of the villa next to pomegranate figures and blue crosses. It seems that the villa then passed from Landriani to Marino, a rich family of Genoese origin whose member Tommaso entrusted Galeazzo Alessi with nothing less than the construction of Palazzo Marino in Piazza Della Scala. The history of the villa, in the following years, is rather confused, but it is known that it later became the property of the Serbelloni family and that, starting from the mid-1500s, it faced a sad decline: the building was reduced exclusively to uses agricultural and over the next three centuries it became increasingly dilapidated, until Luca Beltrami, in 1891, considered it by re-evaluating it as an illustrious example of Lombard architectural art.
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Museum of the Pieta Rondanini
The new museum, created inside the ancient Ospedale Spagnolo (Spanish Hospital) in the Castello Sforzesco, is a fascinating space that has never opened to the public before and is exclusively dedicated to Michelangelo’s last masterpiece.
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Chilometro della Conoscenza
Culture and nature promenade across beauty, innovation and Como's treasures. A path through Villa Olmo, Villa del Grumello and Villa Sucota where art initiatives grow. A place to meet and "breathe" culture for citizens and tourists.
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The Teatro Donizetti
The Teatro Donizetti covers a total area of 3200 square meters. The hall’s dimensions respect the original 1786 design: it measures 360 square meters and it’s able to seat 532 people. There are 120 boxes, divided into three tiers, totalling 1154 seats.
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Museo Baroffio
Dedicated to the ones interested in the history of Santa Maria del Monte, it includes and shows romanesque sculptures, precious miniatures, a collection of important paintings of Giuseppe Baroffio Dall’Aglio and a section of sacred art from the 20th century. You'll find 20th-century bright rooms but also hidden old rooms situated under the Sanctuary, with remains of fifteenth-century frescos. The museum includes also a beautiful terrace with one of the most beautiful views in Lombardia. The Madonna con il Bambino by Domenico and Lanfranco from Ligurno is the symbol painting of the museum.
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Fondazione Lindenberg - Villa Pia
The Museum Villa Pia in Porza, created by the "Fondazione d'Arte Erich Lindenberg" costituted in 2008 by Mareen Koch, has as mission the conservation and promotion of the German painter Lindenberg (Gronau 1938 - Berlin 2006).
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Uviglie Castle
The property with its ancient park because of its architectural importance and its artistic heritage, it is under the Royal Law Decree of June 1939 and it belongs today to the Società Semplice Castello d’Uviglie.
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Ecomuseo della Pietra da Cantoni
It may seem strange entitle a museum to a stone, but a visit to the Ecomuseo della Pietra da Cantoni clarifies why this unique material is so important to the Monferrato’s culture.
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Teatro Grande
The current auditorium of Teatro Grande was designed by architect Luigi Canonica and built in 1810. Girolamo Magnani decorated it in 1862.
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Regio Theatre
Commissioned by Maria Luigia and designed by Nicola Bettoli, the Regio theatre was built between 1821 and 1829 on the site of the Benedectine convent of St. Alessandro.
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Chamber of Saint Paul and Saint Catherine
The chamber of Saint Paul used to be part of the abbess' apartment in the Benedectine Convent of Saint Paul, decorated from 1514 at the order of Abbess Giovanna da Piacenza, whose priorate was characterized by a lively cultural life.
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Strada Nuova Museums - Palazzo Rosso
On display in Palazzo Rosso, a noble residence decorated with valuable furnishings and frescoes by Liguria's greatest painters of the 17th Century, is a rich gallery of paintings, collected over more than two centuries by the noble Brignole-Sale family.
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Sabauda Gallery
The Sabauda Gallery is headquartered at the New Palace of the Royal Palace and retains great masterpieces of the leading European schools. Among the works of Italian masters from the 14th century to the sixteenth century can be admired the Madonna with Child of the Blessed Angelic, the Archangel Raffaele and Tobiolo of Antonio and Piero del Pollaiolo, the Three Archangels and Tobiolo of Filippino Lippi, the Madonna with Child and painted saints by Andrea Mantegna with the help of a collaborator and the great canvas with Dinner at Simone's house by Paolo Veronese.
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Baron Gamba Castle
Gamba Castle Built at the beginning of the 1900s from the designs of the engineer Carlo Saroldi, it was commissioned by Charles Maurice Gamba, husband of Angélique d‘Entrèves, daughter of Count Christin d‘Entrèves. Since 1982 it has been the property of the Valle d’Aosta Autonomous Region. After a complex restoration, today the castle houses an exhibition route that winds through 13 rooms, displaying over 150 works of art such as paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings and photographs belonging to a regional collection dating back from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. Alongside the works of the 20th-century masters, including sculptures by Martini, Mastroianni, Manzù, Arnaldo and Giò Pomodoro, and paintings by Casorati, De Pisis, Carrà and Guttuso, the collection documents Italian figurative art produced from the second half of the century up to contemporary study exponents, such as Schifano, Baruchello, Rama and Mainolfi. A vast and varied selection of works testifies to the movements that have animated the Italian art scene over the past 25 years: for example, the exhibition hosts representations of Informal art, Geometric abstraction, Transavantgarde and Pop art. Particular importance is given to Valle d’Aosta region through the activity of local artists, or those active in Valley, on regional commission. For visitors seeking both learning and distraction, the exhibition offers a series of services designed to bring different groups of visitors (families, adults, schools, children, young people) closer to modern and contemporary art through workshop activities, guided tours and events.
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Arena Roman Amphitheatre
Situated in Piazza Bra, the amphitheatre of Verona was built in the first half of the 1st century A.D. (between the end of Augustus‘ reign and the beginning of Claudius).
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Tridentine Diocesan Museum
The home of the Tridentine Diocesan Museum is the Pretorio Palace, first Episcopal residence of the town, in the heart of Trento. The museum was founded in 1903, also the Early Christian St. Vigil Basilica and the exhibition in the Libera Palace in the district of Villa Lagarina belong to it. In the halls of the museum the artistic and cultural treasures (from the 11th - 19th century) can be admired, all of them come from the churches of the Trentino: paintings, wooden sculptures, winged altars, pictorial manuscripts, valuable specimens of goldsmith’s work, ancient art embroideries and Flemish tapestries. The museum also houses the treasury of the cathedral with the large processional casket of St. Vigil. The multimedia station shows the most important stages of the building of the cathedral in three-d. At one passage in the museum a gorgeous view on the near located cathedral can be enjoyed and the archaeological zone of Porta Veronesis can be visited. The museum is also responsible for the near located Early Christian Basilica of St. Vigil.
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St. Francis and the Basilica
The World Heritage Committee included on its list the Basilica and other sites important to the Franciscan Order, due to the fact that they represent an amalgamation of masterpieces stemming from creative human genius
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Basilica Palladiana
The magnificent bigger-than-life Basilica Palladiana is not a church at all and was only partially designed by Palladio. Beneath it stood a Gothic-style Palazzo della Ragione (Law Courts and Assembly Hall) that Palladio was commissioned to convert to a High Renaissance style befitting a flourishing late- 16th-century city under Venice’s benevolent patronage.
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Teatro Olimpico
The splendid Teatro Olimpico was Palladio’s greatest urban work, and one of his last. He began the project in 1580, the year of his death at the age of 72; it would be completed 5 years later by his student Vicenzo Scamozzi. It was the first covered theater in Europe, inspired by the theaters of antiquity.
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The Praglia Abbey
As the abbey of Santa Giustina, to which was added in the fifteenth century, the Praglia Abbey has enjoyed various events. Founded in the eleventh century, it was built in fief by Emperor Frederick II in the thirteenth century. Subsequently independent, then in, and finally added to Santa Giustina until 1810 when Napoleon suppressed.
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The Pinacoteca Art Gallery
The Pinacoteca is located not far from The Due Torri (the Two Towers, symbols of Bologna), inside the former St. Ignatius Jesuit Novitiate, built in the second half of the 15th century house young men who were to join the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order). Besides the Pinacoteca, the building is also the headquarters of the Accademia delle Belle Arti (Figurative Arts Academy) as well as the Historical Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage Authority
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Camposanto Monumentale
The Cemetery is the last monument on Piazza del Duomo, its long marble wall flanking the northern boundary and completing its shape. It was founded in 1277 to accommodate the graves that until then were scattered all around the Cathedral. Archbishop Federico Visconti wanted the building to be a “large and dignified, secluded and enclosed place”. This is how one of the oldest Christian Medieval architectures for the devotion of the dead came into being.
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Square of Miracles
The Campo dei Miracoli in Pisa, or the Square of Miracles, was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO 25 years ago. The square is not located in the center of the city as you might imagine but to the north-west of the fortified wall, almost out of the town; there probably wasn’t enough space to use at the time the project got underway so this is the site decided upon. Since the times of the Etruscans, the three structures found in the piazza have been considered central to religious life, symbolizing the main stages of a human’s life
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Santa Maria della Spina
The exuberant Santa Maria della Spina Church in Pisa, Italy, is a beautiful work of Gothic fantasy rendered in miniature, that sits on the banks of the Lungarno Gambacorti. The eye-catching Santa Maria della Spina was originally a simple oratory for seamen, who would come here to pray for a safe return. The church was originally closer to the river bank. The church needed to reflect the value of the relic that it contained, so the best artists of the time went to work on it. These included Lupo di Francesco, Andrea Pisano with his sons Nino and Tommaso, and Giovanni di Balduccio. The “Madonna and the child with two angels” in the tabernacle on the façade is attributed to Giovanni Pisano, an important master who also worked at the Cathedral. The sumptuous decorations on the right side and in the tabernacles were made in the workshops of the Giovanni Pisano school. In contrast with the outside, the interior is quite ostentatious. It’s essentially one open space, at one end of which stands the “Madonna of the Rose” by Andrea and Nino Pisano, one of the most notable achievements of Gothic sculpture.
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Piazza delle Vettovaglie
Piazza dei Cavalieri and Piazza Dante Alighieri are the centres of student life and in the streets around about there are many typical and affordable restaurants. In Piazza delle Vettovaglie there is the historic food market.
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The Kunsthaus Zurich
The Kunsthaus Zurich (art museum) is a must for all art enthusiasts with one of the most important modern art collections in Zurich and various temporary exhibitions.
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Bahnhofstrasse
One of Zurich's must-dos is a stroll along the sleek storefronts of Bahnhofstrasse. Stretching across Old Town from Hauptbahnhof station to Lake Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse features a variety of high-end shops, including Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Chanel and Giorgio Armani. Swiss shops like the dessert-focused Confiserie Sprungli and the jewelry-centric Gubelin AG can also be found here. According to recent travelers, if it's budget shopping you're after, head to the Niederdorf and Langstrasse areas instead of Bahnhofstrasse. Though Bahnhofstrasse is free to visit, this shopping area is better suited for window shopping, unless you're prepared to drop some serious cash during your visit.
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Old Town (Altstadt)
Zurich's Old Town is the historic part of town – and by historic, we mean medieval. Winding cobblestone alleys run alongside quintessential Zurich attractions like the Great Minster. You'll also find several acclaimed museums – such as the Swiss National Museum and the Museum of Art – and hotels in and around the district. Though all of the neighborhood's buildings are worth admiring, when visiting Old Town, be sure to check out Muhlesteg Footbridge. This bridge, which is famous for its array of love locks, comes highly recommended by past travelers. But those traveling with kids should consider visiting during the day. Old Town boasts the highest concentration of nightclubs in Switzerland, which come alive once the sun goes down.
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Swiss National Museum (Landesmuseum Zurich)
The Swiss National Museum resides within a historic, castle-like building in the northern tip of Kreis 1. The museum surveys Swiss art, history and culture from as far back as the fourth century B.C. Exhibits cover everything from medieval and religious frescoes to weapons and Swiss furniture. There are also several ornate rooms to explore during your visit. According to many past visitors, the Swiss National Museum's architecture alone is worth seeing. However, should you decide to go inside, expect to find a comprehensive overview of Switzerland's history.
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The Certosa di Calci
As you exit the main highway at Cascina on the east to west road called the FI-PI-LI and start to drive towards the Apuane Alps, you slowly shake off the busy industrial sensations and start to ease yourself into the quiet and tranquility that first drew the Carthusian monks to this area.
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Bregenz Post Office
This striking building from the time of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy is one of the few examples for ring road architecture outside the city of Vienna. A twin building of the post office is found in the imperial spa town of Bad Ischl. Today, the post office includes an exhibition by star Swiss architect Peter Zumthor.
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Bregenz Festival
Each summer, in the middle of an enchanting landscape in the westernmost Austrian federal state of Vorarlberg, the Bregenz Festival presents high-calibre opera al fresco with the theatre on the lake. In addition, the festival attracts approximately 200,000 visitors to the border triangle between the Alps and Lake Constance with unforgettable debut opera performances and concertante treasures in the Festival House, unheard material as part of “Kunst aus der Zeit” at the studio theatre, as well as touching gems of operatic literature at the Theater am Kornmarkt in the months of July and August, with more than 80 performances in total.
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Vorarlberg museum
Located between the lake and the city centre, in direct proximity to the Art House and the State Theatre, the architectural masterpiece of the new vorarlberg museum forms the end of the culture boulevard.The main point of attraction is the more than 150,000 artefacts from art, history, folklore and archaeology that deal with the history and present of Austria’s westernmost federal state from a wide range of perspectives. Inspired by Terra Sigillata vessels, Roman ceramics from the museum collection, the artists used the base of commercial PET bottles as the shape and equipped the outer wall of the museum with a structure that seems random at first glance but that, in reality, was calculated in a complex mathematical process. Seen from the lake, the historicism facade of the former district commission structures the building. The most noticeable feature is the huge panoramic window on the top floor, which provides a fantastic view of Lake Constance and the Lindau bank, where the guest, stirred by the many impressions, experiences a moment of tranquillity and contemplation.
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Vaud Museum of Fine Arts
Opened in 1841, the Vaud Museum of Fine Arts in Lausanne is one of the oldest Swiss museums exclusively dedicated to art. Located in the Palais de Rumine, it presents several temporary exhibitions a year from its collection of 10,000 works.
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Vorarlberg State Theater
The State Theatre in Bregenz plays a significant role in the cultural happenings of Vorarlberg’s state capital. The repertoire ranges from classics to debut performances. The theatre, as a place of imagination, stories and emotions, focuses consciously on traditional and contemporary theatre art, thus finding its recognition in the cultural landscape of the Lake Constance region.
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