Fine arts aficionados who spend a vacation in Milan should make sure they don’t miss out a visit to the Brera Art Gallery during their stay in the city. The gallery showcases one of the most splendid and comprehensive collections of Italian painting since the Renaissance until the 20th century.
These collections were amassed soon after the foundation of the Brera Academy (in 1776), to educational purposes. Yet, the collections grew in time (Napoleon was one of the foremost characters who contributed to the enlargement of the gallery’s patrimony), acquiring masterpieces by some of the most reputed artists of Italy, such as the Betrothal of the Virgin by Raphael, the Madonna with Saints by Piero della Francesca (a unique work also known as the Brera Madonna or the Madonna and Child with Saints ), the Dead Christ by Andrea Mantegna, Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus, Francesco Hayez’s Kiss, and Jacopo Tintoretto’s Finding of the Body of Saint Mark. Works of a more recent date are signed by the likes of Morandi, Modigliani and Marino Marini. Visitors, however, can delight in admiring masterpieces which, even if scarce, are signed by worldwide reputed foreign artists, such as Rubens (the Last Supper).
Keep in mind that the palace where the exhibits are showcased is in itself a sight to remember. This 17th century palace (Palazzo Brera) is home to the Brera Observatory, enjoying the pleasant, even if not exquisite, backdrop of the 18th century Brera Botanical Garden. Obviously, there’s plenty to see at Pinacoteca di Brera, a sizable and tremendously valuable repository of Italian art, which is even more outstanding when compared with the admission price and given the fact the admission is free for AmaMi Card holders (reservations are required for groups of 10 to 25 people).
The Civic Museum of Archeology of Milan features collections of vestiges of the old Milan, and of the past Roman, Etruscan and Greek civilizations.
The Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano) is the fourth largest cathedral in the world and the most famed church in Milan. It was built between 1386 and 1965.
The Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery was built between 1865 and 1877. It is now home to some of Milan’s historical cafes and renowned fashion boutiques.