Milan is more than its large airport. It is home to any number of artifacts and sights worth investigating. Like any Italian city, begin with the major stops and then take time to wander. You might discover an array of discoveries you simply weren’t expecting.
Duomo (Milan Cathedral)
Consecrated in 1418, the cathedral looms over the piazza by the same name. Despite its consecration, the cathedral was not finished until Napoleon was crowned king of Italy in the nineteenth century. The cathedral is made of marble and is a merging of styles over time. Ranging from Baroque to Gothic, the cathedral is worthy of a visit.
Walk through one of the five doors on the front of the cathedral. Take one of the five aisles down into the sanctuary and admire the fifty-two columns that separate the aisles. The columns are adorned with statues of the saints and are designed to represent the weeks of the year. Be sure to visit the roof as well with its gargoyles and statues. The Cathedral Museum contains even more interesting artifacts and items.
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The first shopping mall was in Milan and was built in 1865 as a sort of beautification project for the city. A glass covered arcade is lined with shops and restaurants. In the center of the Galleria, you’ll find the sign of the Savoy family surrounding by signs of the four major Italian cities. Above this is a mosaic depicting Asia, Africa, Europe and America. Most modern malls in the United States are fashioned in a similar style.
Santa Maria delle Grazie with Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’
Arguably one of the greatest works of all time, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci can be found in Milan. The painting was commissioned in 1495 and the moisture in the building almost immediately began to deteriorate the painting. A door was later cut through the painting as well to provide a short-cut to the kitchen. The painting depicts the moment Christ told his disciples one would betray him and still perplexes people of modern times. Today the area of the church where the painting is found is controlled by a special ventilation system. For this reason, very few people at a time are allowed to see the reconstructed painting. If you plan to see it, be sure you get reservations well in advance.