Arriving in central Milan amongst a bewildering landscape of grand buildings, piazzas, and tourist attractions, it is difficult to know where to begin. The obvious choice is to start at the Piazza del Duomo. In the Piazza there is a statue of King Vittorio Emanuele II who the Galleria, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls is named after (Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II). The main feature of the Piazza is actually the Duomo. The Duomo is hugely impressive the first time you see it for yourself…..in real life. It took more then 400 years to build and it is truly impressive. However, you can count on the company of crowds of people with the same mission as you; to see the Duomo and take lots of photos and selfies. It is worth a visit though and you can even go to the top of the Duomo for the best view in Milan.
Just off the Piazza del Duomo you will find the Galleria. This can also be a spiritual experience, especially if you are a fashionista. The structure is magnificent and, in my opinion, the artwork inside is worthy of any gallery.
If you are smart and plan ahead you can buy tickets to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’. The Last Supper, one of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpieces, is located in the refectory of the 15th century Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, a world heritage site. The tickets now include a visit to the Brera Art Gallery (Pinacoteca di Brera), the main museum of Milan, and one of the most important in the world. It contains prestigious collections of paintings, both ancient and modern art. The queues are very long and tickets are usually sold out, so check before you travel.
I found the Piazza del Duomo to be such a great focal point because so much happens within a small radius. The bonus being that you don’t feel too exhausted. You can stop for lunch, then coffee, then aperos, then maybe dinner, and in the meantime you have covered many of the iconic tourist attractions you set out to see. For example, within a five minute walk you will find the world famous La Scala theatre, and the fashionable shopping streets of Via Monte Napoleone and Via della Spiga, or walk a little further and you will find the Castello Sforzesco with its lovely parklands and the adjacent Parco Sempione.
I think that’s about all you will be able to manage in one day. On the map it only looks like a small patch but there is so much to see and do that it seems a shame to rush; much better to take the time to really admire your surroundings. Enjoy!