In the northwestern part of Milan ‘s Old Town at the Sforzesco Castle interesting museums are also located. The castle itself in ancient times was a large defensive fortress, and later passed into the possession of the Visconti family and was completely rebuilt in the 15th century. The castle was built of red brick following the example of the Moscow Kremlin. In the 16th century, Leonardo da Vinci was invited to decorate the interiors of the castle, but, unfortunately, his works have hardly survived to this day. But here you can see the works of Michelangelo, Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, Filippino Lippi, Correggio and Pontormo, which are exhibited in one of the museums of the castle – Castello Pinacoteca. In addition, the castle houses the Egyptian and Prehistoric Halls of the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Ancient Art, the Museum of Furniture, the Museum of Musical Instruments and the Museum of Applied Arts. A single entrance ticket is valid for visiting all the museums of the castle. Behind the Sforzesco castle lies a picturesque park covering an area of 47 hectares.
According to Photionary, the historic center of Milan is full of cathedrals and churches. Of particular interest is the 15th -century Santa Maria delle Grazie, whose refectory houses Leonardo da Vinci’s world-famous “Last Supper” fresco. The Maggiore Monastery, which was founded in the 9th century, houses the 16th century church of San Maurizio, frescoed by Bernardino Luini, and the Romanesque churches of San Ambrogio are also worth seeing. and San Eustorgio and the early Christian church of San Lorenzo, with 4th-century mosaics and Roman columns.
The symbols of modern Milan are high-rise buildings – the 127 m high Pirelli and 106 m high Velasca towers, as well as numerous shopping areas with chic boutiques and brand stores . Milan is the capital of world fashion, here such famous Italian designers as Giorgio Armani, Miuccia Prada, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, Gianfranco Ferre and Gianni Versace started their careers. All sorts of “fashion” shows are held in Milan throughout the year. The boutiques of all the famous fashion houses can be found in the so-called The Quadrangle of Fashion, which is made up of the streets of Montenapoleone, San Andrea, Manzoni and Della Spiga. Be sure to go shopping along one of the longest shopping streets in Europe – Corso Buenos Aires , which “flows” into the equally famous shopping streets Corso Venezia and Corso Vittorio Emmanuele II, as well as Coroso di Porta Vittorio. In addition, there are many outlets in Milan itself and its environs, where items from past seasons of well-known brands are sold at significant discounts. The most popular outlet in the vicinity of Milan is located 100 km southwest on the border with the Piedmont region. Outlet “MacArthur Glen” in Seravalle Scrivia. Milan is also famous for its “nightlife”, which boils on Corso Como.
A few kilometers southeast of Milan is the largest Cistercian abbey in Italy – Chiaravalle. It was founded in the early 12th century by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. In the only surviving church of the monastery, you can see the frescoes of the 14th century, made by Tuscan masters and describing the life of the Virgin Mary. Nearby , the Abbey of Viboldone is interesting with beautiful frescoes of the 14th century depicting the Last Judgment, which were painted by the Italian artist Giusto di Menabuoi. Also very close to Milan are the city of Abbiategrasso, which is located near the Cistercian Morimondo abbey of the 13th century, and the natural reserve Ticino, named after the Ticino River, a tributary of the Po River; the capital of Italian shoes – the city of Vigevano, where the vast Ducal Square, whose project is attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, and the summer residence of the Milan rulers – the Sforzesco castle of the 15th century, whose appearance Bramante worked on, have been preserved; and the city of Monza with its famous Autodrome with the Grand Prix track, where one of the Formula 1 races takes place. Pavia is located 35 km south of Milan. – the capital of the medieval Lombard kingdom, which gave its name to the entire region. However, the city has been known since Roman times. Then it was called Ticinum. The city acquired its current name under the Lombards at the end of the 6th century. In the center of the Old Town of Pavia is the famous University of Pavia, which dates back to the 9th century AD. And he is famous for the fact that among his graduates was Christopher Columbus. Also in the Old Town is the Cathedral with the third largest dome in Italy. The cathedral was built between the 15th and 19th centuries under the direction of Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante. Nearby is the 11th-century Romanesque church of San Michaele, where the Roman emperor Frederick I Barbarossa was crowned. Other attractions in Pavia include the Basilica of San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro, which contains the remains of St. del Carmini and the Renaissance Santa Maria di Canepanova, Romanesque towers scattered throughout the city, and of course the Visconti castle from 1360, which served as the main residence of the rulers of Milan (now it houses the Municipal Museum). From the north, a vast park adjoins the Visconti Castle, which leads to perhaps the most significant building in Pavia – the Carthusian monastery of Certosa di Pavia, which, according to legend, is connected to the castle by a secret underground passage. This is one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in Italy. The monastery was founded in 1396 by the first Duke of Milan from the Visconti family – Gian Galeazzo Visconti – as the ducal tomb of the Visconti family. The Gothic interior of the church is very beautiful, which is complemented by beautiful frescoes by Ambrogio Bergognone.