One of the most interesting stops on the sightseeing tour of Milan for visitors who look for an insight into the ancient history of the city (and not only) is the Civic Museum of Archeology of Milan. The museum is housed in an 8th century monastery, the Monastery of San Maurizio Maggiore. On top of the rich collections of the museum proper, the exhibition space is also worth the attention: the monastery was built on the site of an ancient complex which, back in the 1st century AD, consisted of a villa (or palace), of sections of the city walls and of a Roman circus. Important vestiges of these ancient structures have managed to survive the passage of time: they are also interesting to study in order to learn fragments of the ancient history of the city.
But the history lesson about Milan does not confine to the onsite remains. On the contrary, valuable (even if not necessarily wide) collections of glassware, tools, domestic utensils and jewels even are on display, trying to piece out the image of the daily life of the Milanese people, collections displayed on the ground floor of the building. Visitors can also take a glimpse at exhibits of Roman, Greek and Etruscan origin. Items brought from Caesarea and the Gandhara are also on display (in the underground of the former monastery), complementing the history lesson about Milan and its evolution with glimpses of the past of more exotic civilizations. Also part of the museum’s patrimony are the collections showcased at the Sforzesco Castle in Piazza Castello of Milan. These collections piece out a whole different cultural space, namely, the prehistoric period of Egypt.
Holders of an AmaMi Card can enter the Civic Museum of Archeology of Milan for free, but even tourists who don’t purchase this document can visit the museum for a notably low price (which is, in fact, quite surprising in contrast with the documentary and scientific value of the museum).
The San Lorenzo Columns border the square in front of the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore. It is also located close to Parco delle Basiliche.
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.
Next to the Milan Cathedral, the Sforza Castle counts as one of the top sights to visit while in Milan. It is home to several museums and galleries.