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Unveiling Milan: Secret Spots & Local Gems

Join us for a comprehensive walking tour through the heart of Milan’s city center. We'll begin at the iconic Piazza del Duomo and explore the elegant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. From there, we'll stroll down Via Monte Napoleone and Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, visiting renowned squares like Piazza della Scala, Piazza Gae Aulenti, and Piazza Lina Bo Bardi. Our route also takes us around the modern marvels of Palazzo Lombardia and Bosco Verticale.

Continuing our journey, we'll navigate through Corso Venezia and the scenic Navigli Canals, then return via Via Torino before heading to the contemporary Tre Torri Area. Don't miss our special segment in a surprising and unique location: Cimitero Monumentale!

At the beginning of each chapter, we’ll share fascinating insights about each area. The tour is divided into 14 sections, so stay with us until the end for a full experience! Remember to enable subtitles for the best viewing experience. Let’s get started!

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Piazza del Duomo

Piazza del Duomo is the main square of Milan. You can get there with metro lines 1 & 3.

The square is about 17.000 m2, originally created in the 14th century, but has undergone many changes until very recently.

It was originally called Piazza dell’Arengo. A number of taverns were demolished for the initial creation of the area.

The construction of Duomo Cathedral started in 1386 and ended in 1965 with the last major renovation completed in 2009.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuelle II was built between 1865 and 1877, and named after the first king of the Kingdom of Italy.

Palazzo Reale, the Royal Palace of Milan, currently an exhibition area, was once the seat of government.

Palazzo dell’Arengario was completed in 1956. It currently is the home of the modern Museo del Novecento, inaugurated in 2010.

Palazzo Carminati, the one facing the Cathedral, was completed in 1867.

This walking tour is divided into concise and informative sections. If you're interested in a specific section, feel free to skip ahead using the chapters we've created. This way, you can easily jump right to the spot you can't wait to see!

Keep an eye on the lower third of the screen for the area names. That way, if you are visiting the city for a first time you can google the name of the area and find more information! Think of this video as your interactive map to Milan! We'll guide you through each area, but feel free to explore further on your own! To keep things efficient, we won't be walking every single street.     

Instead, we'll be showcasing the most interesting areas to make the most of your time, trying to keep the tour relatively short.

On our way to explore Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, we have a small favour to ask.

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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Being one of the oldest shopping arcades in the world, It is a covered pedestrian street that connects two of Milan's main squares: Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Scala. The Galleria is famous for its beautiful architecture, with a glass roof and large arched windows that let in plenty of natural light.

The Galleria is also known for its luxury shops and restaurants, including famous brands such as Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Armani. The arcade is also home to the famous Camparino bar, which has been serving drinks since 1915.

Here are some facts, numbers, and figures about the Galleria:

It was  built between 1865 and 1877, and is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of Italy.

Just off Piazza del Duomo, The Galleria's glass roof is made up of four intersecting arches and reaches a height of 48 meters at its highest point.

The arcade covers an area of 12,000 square meters and is home to more than 40 luxury shops, cafes, and restaurants.

 The Galleria was damaged during World War II, but was restored in the 1950s and 1960s.

The arcade is a popular destination for tourists and locals, with an estimated 12 million visitors per year.


Via Monte Napoleone

The fashion square is actually a fashion district, around a big area, defined by the streets Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia.

Via Montenapoleone is the main street with all the luxury fashion brands having stores here!

You can naturally explore all the vertical streets and discover even more shops.

Some of the roads are pedestrianized. Walking them on Saturday means you will interact with more crowd.

It’s a high-end shopping district, a luxury shopping paradise, but there are still some affordable cafes worth visiting.

The Montenapoleone name dates back to 1804, during Napoleon’s rule when Milan was the capital of the Napoleonic Italian Republic.

The Golden Rectangle, is actually Europe’s most expensive street and the 3rd most expensive worldwide!

We created this walking tour having you the viewer in mind.

As we walk in the area in real-time, this helps you see and understand how close or far away each point of interest is and this helps plan your trip better.

Let's keep going and discover more of the charm and excitement that Milan has to offer. If you have any further questions or need more information, please let us know!

Stay tuned as we explore the rest of the area! Please remember that at the start of each chapter we will give you some interesting details about each area.

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is one of Milan's most prominent streets, renowned for its elegant architecture and its position as a prime shopping district in the heart of the city. It flanks the Duomo on one side and Piazza San Babila on the other, forming a wide pedestrian promenade that bustles with locals and tourists alike.

Here's a closer look at what Corso Vittorio Emanuele II offers:

High-End Shopping: The street is lined with a captivating mix of high-end fashion boutiques, popular retail chains, and charming cafes. It's a shopper's paradise, whether you're looking for luxury brands or everyday essentials.

Historical Significance: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II was named after Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy. The street itself stands as a testament to Milan's history and resilience.

Architectural Beauty: The buildings lining Corso Vittorio Emanuele II showcase a beautiful blend of architectural styles. You'll find everything from historic palazzos to more modern structures, adding to the street's unique character.

One of the most prominent features of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy's oldest active shopping gallery and a major landmark of Milan itself . This four-story glass-and-steel arcade is a sight to behold, housing luxury stores and restaurants.

Piazza della Scala

Opera Square, also known as Piazza della Scala, is a historic public square located in the heart of Milan, Italy. The square is home to several important cultural and historic landmarks, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

At the center of the square stands the famous La Scala Opera House, one of the world's most renowned opera houses. Visitors can take a tour of the opera house, which includes a visit to the theatre's museum, as well as its impressive stage and backstage areas.

Adjacent to La Scala is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the oldest and most luxurious shopping arcades in the world. The gallery is home to a variety of high-end boutiques, cafes, and restaurants, and features stunning architectural details, including a magnificent glass roof and elaborate mosaics.

Other notable landmarks in the Opera Square area include the Palazzo Marino, a historic palace that now serves as the city's town hall, and the Palazzo della Banca Commerciale Italiana, a neoclassical building that once housed a prominent bank.

Palazzo Lombardia

Lombardy Palace is actually a complex of buildings in the Central Business District, close to the central train station.

Palazzo Lombardia serves as the headquarters of the Lombardy Regional Government.

It was completed in 2010, after four years of construction, designed by Pei Cobb Freed & Partners.

The building is 161 meters tall making it the tallest building in Italy at the time of its completion.

Palazzo Lombardia has a total floor area of 130,000 square meters which makes it one of the largest government buildings in Europe.

The construction of Palazzo Lombardia cost around €500 million and was financed by the Lombardy Regional Government.

The building's facade is made of glass and steel, and its design was inspired by the Lombardy region's landscape, with its hills and valleys.

The facade is covered in a series of vertical louvers that help regulate the building's temperature and provide shade.

Palazzo Lombardia houses the offices of the Lombardy Regional Government, which is responsible for the administration of the Lombardy region. The building also includes a conference center, a library, and a public plaza.

The building has won several architectural awards, including the 2012 International Highrise Award.

Piazza Gae Aulenti

Piazza Gae Aulenti is an area inaugurated on 8 December 2012.

It’s a modern square, named after the late Gaetana “Gae” Aulenti famous architect.

You can access the square from many areas. For the metro, use the nearby Garibaldi FS.

The main square is circular, with a diameter of 100 meters. It’s accessible to the public 24 hours a day.

The most recognizable building is the UniCredit Tower, which at 231 meters is the tallest in Italy.

There are many stores including cafes and restaurants around the central square, including a supermarket.

To the North, you can walk the park leading to Bosco Verticale.

To the East, walk to Piazza Lina Bo Bardi.

To the South, walk to Corso Como, until you reach Porta Garibaldi.

Piazza Lina Bo Bardi

Piazza Lina Bo Bardi is named after the famous Italo-Brazilian Modernist Architect.

It is a park area surrounded by modern buildings next to Viale della Liberazione.

At a close distance stretches Piazza Gae Aulenti.

Many famous international companies have their local offices here, including Samsung and Spotify.

Notable buildings are Torre Diamante and Torre Solaria.

There’s an underground car park, open 24 hours a day, Porta Nuova Varesine.

Walk the stairs, to continue to Torre UnipolSai, across the street.

Bosco Verticale

Bosco Verticale translates to a vertical forest. The complex was inaugurated in 2014,

and changed Milan’s skyline forever!

The two residential towers in Porta Nuova rise to 76 and 111 meters, designed by Boeri Studio.

The two towers, 18 & 26 floors each, have around 800 trees and thousands of plants, which work as anti-pollutants in the urban environment.

More than 90 species of plants work as a nest for birds and insects and as natural air-conditioning construction.

The estimated construction cost rose to €40 million. Even the condominium fee per house rises to €1,500 per month!

Corso Venezia

Corso Venezia, formerly known as Corso di Porta Orientale, is a central avenue in Milan that links Piazza San Babila with Porta Venezia. This elegant street is renowned for its stunning architecture and notable landmarks, including:

Milan Natural History Museum, founded in 1838, exhibiting minerals, fossils of dinosaurs, and other preserved animals.

The 19th-century building is located in Corso Venezia 55.

Villa Reale at Via Palestro 16, a neoclassical palace & modern art museum at the edge of a quiet garden.

The English-style gardens have an artificial pond and are situated next to Indro Montanelli Garden.

Navigli Canals

This is the remaining part of the canals that were created in the 13th century, in order to

transfer goods to the city via the sea.

You can still visit some parts outside the city with small boats.

Cargo transfer operations ceased in 1979. Nowadays it’s a bustling area with many food and drink options.

Start your walk from Darsena and then continue to Naviglio Grande.

M2 green metro line has a stop at Piazzale Stazione Genova.

Via Torino

Via Torino starts from Duomo Square and extends almost 1 KM to the south.

It’s the main low-cost international chains spot, with many clothes and shoe stores.

International fashion chains are usually open 7 days a week, closing their stores at 10 PM.

It took its name in 1859 when it was widened and new buildings were added.

Trams no 2,3,14 cross the street but you can just use the Duomo metro stop to get there.

At the end of the street, walk south about 800 meters more, to reach Navigli.

Cimitero Monumentale

Monumental Cemetery is one of the two largest cemeteries in Milan.

Officially opened in 1866, designed by architect Carlo Francesco Maciachini.

Monumentale Metro stop of new M5 line is just meters outside the entrance.

There is also a non-Catholic Jewish section, opened in 1872.

Signals inside locate you to the tombs of most famous graves.

There is no entrance fee. 

The entire cemetery expands to an area of about 5,000 square meters.

 Tre Torri Area

At the edge of CityLife, visit Castello Pozzi, the 1929 castle

with the cards art construction illuminated at night.

The Tre Torri area in Milan is a significant urban development project that encompasses residential, commercial, and business districts. It is characterized by its dedication to green spaces, accessibility to public transportation, and innovative urban planning.

Piazza Tre Torri has a metro stop to the new iconic skyscrapers,

The Straight, The Twisted & The Curved one.

The residential houses around are Residenze Hadid, and Residenze Libeskind.

170,000 m2 with cycling and walking paths cover the area.

CityLife Shopping District features a mall with stores, food halls and a movie theater


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