Among hidden courtyards, monuments and new and impressive architectural works, here are five museums you must visit in Milan.
The Duomo, Sforza Castle, Bosco Verticale and Leonardo’s Vineyard are among Milan’s most popular sites. Among the Lombard capital’s hidden courtyards, monuments and impressive new architectural works, the Lombard capital’s museums–both old and new–house fascinating artworks within refurbished spaces.
Here are five museums in Milan that you absolutely must visit.
1. Museo 900
This museum showcasing art from the twentieth century opened in 2010 and immediately established itself as one of the city’s most important cultural institutions. It’s easy to understand why. Located next to the Duomo in a historic building, the museum houses more than four thousand twentieth-century masterpieces from both Italian artists and those of the international avant-garde set, including Fontana, Boccioni, Severini, de Chirico and Modigliani, but also Georges Braque, Paul Klee and Vasilij Kandinskij. Plus, the museum boasts a lovely view of the cathedral’s Gothic spires.
2. Pinacoteca di Brera
The Pinacoteca di Brera is located in the same building as the Brera Academy, a prestigious fine-arts school. The neighborhood’s Bohemian vibes are complete with artists and students crossing the mythical courtyard with tables, busts, brushes and tools. The colonnaded arcades behind the staircase lead to stunning artworks such as Hayez’s The Kiss, Raphael’s Marriage of the Virgin, Mantegna’s Dead Christ and Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus. In addition to the gallery and academy, the building houses the beautiful Braidense Library, the Astronomical Observatory and the Botanical Garden, the latter of which is particularly impressive during the summer.
3. Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana was the world’s oldest art collection to open to the public. Connected to the Library, the Pinacoteca stands behind via Torino, one of the Milanese shopping streets, in a very calm space, often sheltered from the crowds. The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana not only houses Leonardo Da Vinci’s Atlantic Codex, but also Caravaggio’s Basket of Fruit, Titian’s Adoration of the Magi, Raphael’s cartoon for the School of Athens fresco in the Vatican and some works by Jan Brueghel commissioned directly by Cardinal Federico Borromeo. Moreover, for fans of the murkiest cracks in history, the crystal display cases of the museum house an interesting object: a lock of Lucrezia Borgia’s blonde hair.
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4. The Triennale
The Triennale design museum is one of the city’s most important art venues, and it just so happens to come alive with parties and DJ sets during Design Week. Not only is the permanent collection amazing, but the temporary exhibits are always original and avant-garde. The museum also offers children’s workshops and houses the prestigious Art Theatre, where high caliber artists such as Michail Baryšnikov have performed. Additional added value? Triennale Social Pizza, where Cristian Marasco combines the art of pizza with design. If the weather allows, pick up a gourmet pizza to go and have a picnic in the park after visiting the Museum.
The Museum of Cultures is located in the former Ansaldo factory, and when the Municipality of Milan purchased the space in the nineties for a cultural endeavor, there weren’t any traces of the Zona Tortona that we know and love today. Mudec houses a rich permanent collection of 7,000 artworks, objects, fabrics and musical instruments from all continents. Successful temporary exhibitions include that of Barbie in 2015 or the current one dedicated to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (closes in June). Industrial buildings, ethnographic finds and a surrounding area in continuous ferment, with the Laboratories of La Scala in Milan and BASE, one of the hottest points of Milan’s nightlife.