Milan Highlights / Carmen Varner // Travel Influencer, Blogging Coach, Social Media Consultant

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Milan Highlights

Milan is known as a fashion mecca, but what are some of the other best known Milan highlights? Located in northern Italy, Milano City is more than a buzzing tourist metropolis. Some of Milan's most well-known points of interest include the Duomo, Castello Sforzesco, Navigli River, Milan canals, & the Last Supper painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Consult this Milan highlights list during your travels for classic things to do in Milano city as well as some modern, fun options.




About Carmen

I'm a travel influencer who has worked with tourism boards such as Visit El Paso & the French Ministry of Agriculture. Take a look at my Press + Media page! I hadn't been to Italy since 2010, so my Milan travels were a well-needed reminder of the Italian way of life. The city is a gastronomic hub filled with delicious food (think salted pistachio gelato & fluffy pizza dough). Scroll down to see my Milan highlights.

* Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click &/or make a purchase through certain links on this site or my social media platforms, I may make a small commission from that click &/or purchase. It's at no additional cost to you! Learn more about my disclosure.

Vertical Forest Appartamento Bosco Verticale (Vertical Gardens)
The vertical garden forest known as Appartamento Bosco Verticale in Milano City.

Appartamento Bosco Verticale (Vertical Gardens)

Breathe in a bit of greenery at the Appartamento Bosco Verticale. This vertical garden/vertical forest is a sustainable residential building meant to absorb CO2 & dust particles while producing oxygen. The Appartamento Bosco Verticale towers are visually pleasing with an array of plants & trees strategically placed throughout the building. You can even book an Airbnb facing Bosco Verticale*Appartamento Bosco Verticale is one of my personal favorite Milan highlights.

The Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci's iconic painting, The Last Supper, depicts Jesus & his disciples the moment he announces that one of them will betray him by sunrise. The scene shows the men shocked as they begin to gossip amongst themselves. Find The Last Supper in the refectory (Cenacolo) at Santa Maria delle Grazie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While this might be a popular choice for your Milan travels, you must secure your tickets months in advance during the open pre-sale dates.


Milan Highlights Duomo di Milano, Italy travel influencer
Duomo di Milano with a photobomb from a flying pigeon.

Duomo di Milano

The Duomo di Milano is obviously a must-see part of the Milan highlights. You can buy tickets to go inside & check out the impressive Milano city views from the rooftop. Beware: the exterior of the Duomo is crawling with tourists, pigeons, & people trying to sell you things (bracelets & pigeon feed). You'll see every Instagram travel influencer posing in front of the Duomo. Make sure to book your tickets ahead of time!


Sipping on Pico Brew by Navigli at sunset in Milan, Italy highlights
Sipping on Pico Brew by Navigli at sunset in Milan, Italy.
For a similar floral scrunchie, click here.

Navigli

The views of Milan canals & homes make Navigli another tourist spot but for good reason. You might hear Milano Navigli referred to as a district, neighborhood, area, zone, but it's all the same place. Take a stroll around the canal, people-watch, grab a sunset beer at PicoBrew. One downside is congestion due to tourist pedestrian foot traffic. You can even take a Navigli canal cruise*Milano Navigli is one of my personal favorite Milan highlights.


 Wes Anderson Fondazione Prada Milan Italy Highlights things to do
Taking a selfie in the reflection at Fondazione Prada.

Fondazione Prada

If you're an art museum lover like me, then you must visit Fondazione Prada, a museum with temporary exhibitions, permanent projects, performing art projects, photography exhibitions, cinema virtual reality installations, & a heck of a lot more. You could spend an entire day at Fondazione Prada or at least a half-day. Of course, you can go faster if you're on a time crunch. I oohed & aahed for Wes Anderson & Juman Malouf's exhibition project “Il sarcofago di Spitzmaus e altri tesori” (Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures), available 20 Sep 2019 through 13 Jan 2020. 

Yes, I'm talking about Wes Anderson the filmmaker of Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling Limited, The Grand Budapest Hotel, & many more. I felt amused walking through the exhibition knowing that Wes Anderson's vibrant perspective came into play. 

Wes Anderson's Bar Luce at Fondazione Prada Milan Italy highlights travels
The aesthetically-pleasing Wes Anderson's Bar Luce at Fondazione Prada.

Bar Luce

Designed by Wes Anderson (yes, that Wes Anderson) in 2015 & located within Fondazione Prada, Bar Luce is a hot spot for the food bloggers & travel influencers. The pastel eatery was crowded while I was there; a consistent line to order, a mishmash of people running to hand their order to the food makers, limited seating. One person saved a seat for a "friend" who never arrived while we were there. Fred & I found a little table to stand at while we ate our sandwiches. All this can be avoided if you opt for table service. Note: Bar Luce is closed on Tuesdays. 


A sculpture at Cimitero Monumentale di Milano (Milan Monumental Cemetery)
A sculpture at Cimitero Monumentale di Milano (Monumental Cemetery). That lens flare though.


Cimitero Monumentale di Milano (Monumental Cemetery)

Monumental Cemetery Milan should be considered a free art museum because it's majestic, grand, thought-provoking, serene. Oh & there are literal masterpieces & works of art. No big deal. Walk through the massive cemetery as you observe the tombs, sculptures, mosaics, & even the crematorium.

Castello Sforzesco (Sforzesco Castle)

I quite enjoyed the remarkable brick facade of Castello Sforzesco but you can admire other pieces of the architecture such as the moats, the Filarete Tower, the Bona Tower, Carmine & Santo Spirito Towers, Castellana and Falconiera Towers, battlements, courtyards, & more. Buy tickets for Milan: Sforza Castle Express Guided Tour.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping center mall Milan Italy travels highlights
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping center, a fancy mall in Milan.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (Shopping Center)

Whether you have plans to shop til you drop or not, add Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II to your Milan highlights list simply for its beauty. The 150+-year-old shopping mall stirs with people, tourists taking photos spinning on the bull ball mosaic, patrons shopping for their next memento, or someone like me — a wanderer finding my way through Milano City.

L.O.V.E by Maurizio Cattelan (Middle Finger Sculpture)
Maurizio Cattelan's Middle finger sculpture titled, L.O.V.E.

L.O.V.E by Maurizio Cattelan (Middle Finger Sculpture)

The famous middle finger sculpture is said to be a big eff you to the banking industry. Add this to your city sightseeing Milan list; it's free & out in the open. It's off the beaten path & you can get an edgy photo while you're at it.

Salted pistachio gelato & chocolate gelato in a waffle cone from Milan, Italy.

Food Highlights: Gelato & Pizza

There are many Milan highlights. My own Milan travels showed me the city's culinary opportunity. How can I forget those decadent, fluffy pizza crusts? Each pizza felt like a carefully crafted work of art. My favorite gelato was the 1 scoop of 7 layers of pistachio & 1 scoop of 7 layers of chocolate. Absolutely divine.

Where Am I Going After Milan?

After my Milan travels I'm heading to Bergamo, Italy. Of course, there's the curious few who maybe wonder what's after Bergamo? Well, you're the first to know. After Milan, Italy I fly to Warsaw, Poland! I used my own tips to save money on flights to find the cheapest airline tickets available.

Hotels in Milan

If you're on the hunt for where to stay in Milan, this map will show you all the available options. Put in the length of your stay & see what accommodations are available. It's that easy.

Booking.com


Tourist Information

Official tourism website of Milan, Italy: TurismoMilano
Official tourism website of Bergamo, Italy: Visit Bergamo
Official tourist website of the capital of Poland: Fall in Love with Warsaw

Fondazione Prada Milan Italy Highlights things to do
Fondazione Prada in Milan, Italy

21 comments

  1. This looks so fun!

    Briana
    https://beyoutifulbrunette.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I went to Italy for the first time the summer and loved it! Next time I go I have to hit up Milan! It sounds great and looks gorgeous!

    Ashlee | https://www.maybeafterbrunch.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Italy is a great country and Milan is a great place full of fashion fun and culture. Sit back and enjoy a proper Italian Coffee watching the world go by.

    Laura xo
    www.shehearts.net

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a lovely trip! Milan is such a gorgeous city.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. The architecture looks stunning!

    www.jeannieinabottleblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. A great post! I love your blog. Your content is very interesting < 3333
    I am following you and invite you to me
    https://milentry-blog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love everything that is Italian!! Milan is a great city, nice pics!!
    xoxo

    marisasclosetblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bar Luce is <3

    Federica
    www.federicadinardo.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. That last picture is really beautiful.

    Bernie,
    The Style Fanatic

    ReplyDelete
  10. Milan is such an amazing city with gorgeous buildings! I've only been there once but I would love to go back one day.


    xx Simone
    Little Glittery Box

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'd love to go back as well! I felt like I didn't get to see everything! :]

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  12. Same. I wish I could explore Italy for a couple of months. :]

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  13. You described Milan perfectly, full of fashion, fun, & culture! Italian coffee is divine - wish I had some riiiiight not. :]

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  14. Where did you go in Italy? I wish I could spend a couple months just visiting the country, there's so much to see!!

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  15. I went to Bar Luce last time and loved it! Though, we hadn't left enough time to check out the exhibitions, so I will have to remember that for next time. It's such a cool city!!
    xx Jenelle | inspiringwit.com

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for reading & writing. :] // ▲

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