Virtual Tour of Milano!

Morissa Pepose
May 11, 2016
A simple map of the city of Milan

When I first arrived in Milan, the first things I received were a map of the city and a student metro card. I was so excited to explore a new city, to really find my way in this Italian city. And I feel that I really have been successful in this…I have grown to love, love, love this city!

 I think that there are definitely many worthwhile places to visit in Milan and, therefore, am attempting in this post to take you through a “virtual tour” of the city. Though Milan is not as much of a “tourist destination” as other cities in Italy, it has its own charm and history. And the very fact that it is a real, bustling, metropolitan city in northern Italy always keeps me on my toes! Anyway, onward with the tour!

            First stop: the Duomo. There is no mistake about this; the Duomo of Milan is a sight to behold and is in the very center of the city. It is, therefore, one of the more crowded areas but also one of the most exciting! This cathedral is the second largest church in Italy (second only to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome) and is built in the Gothic style. One popular activity is to climb the many flights of stairs to the roof of the Duomo…it has wonderful views of the rest of the city from the top!

            If we continue through the Piazza, we encounter our second stop: the Galleria. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is named after Vittorio Emanuele II, who was the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. This grand structure is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls; it opened in 1877! On the ground there are the coat of arms of Turin, Florence, Rome, and Milan. The Galleria is important, as well, because it connects the Duomo to another important landmark…La Scala, the famous opera house! And, of course, the Galleria houses stores such as Prada, Versace, and Gucci.

Fancy stores at the Galleria

            On one side of the Galleria, you will find Piazza San Fedele. This small, quiet piazza is a perfect place to sit for a few minutes to relax on a nice day or to enjoy a panzerotto from nearby Luini’s (a warm, doughy pastry filled with mozzarella and tomato…yum!). The piazza also has a monument dedicated to the famous Italian writer Manzoni, who helped to create a modern, unified Italian language in the 19th century.

Next we take a short stroll to Parco Sempione, a huge, wonderful park and continue to the “artsy” district called Brera. This neighborhood has a bohemian vibe and is home to the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and well as the Pinacoteca di Brera, an art gallery which houses many famous works of art. Even the courtyard here is beautiful!

After this long walking tour, we hop back on the metro for a short ride to Milan’s canals, the Navigli. This is a beautiful area that has many options for aperitivo (an evening ritual where you receive a drink and a buffet of finger-food!) or a simple glass of wine. Though we didn’t see every sight in the city of Milan during this tour, these are definitely some of my favorites! I hope you’ve enjoyed this short tour…and that this motivates you to explore the city in your own way, too! 

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Morissa Pepose

<p>As an aspiring soprano opera singer, it is very clear why I chose to study abroad in Milan, the very city which houses the famous La Scala opera house! From St. Louis, MO originally, I currently study voice performance and Italian at Brandeis University near Boston, MA. I am an avid reader, dessert-enthusiast, and enjoy animals and taking leisurely strolls where I happen upon interesting people and places to explore. I am a triplet (with 2 brothers!) but am excited to be on my own, meeting new people and learning a bunch from locals and other students!</p>

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