Travel and Culture in Lombardy
Milan is today an international reference point for fashion, architecture and design. Milan’s cultural and artistic prestige is basically due to the Scala Theatre (the worldwide famous opera sanctuary), to the Piccolo Theatre (together with the theatre school by Strehler) and to the wonderful Leonardo’s Last Supper, realized in about 1495, which all attract many tourists. We cannot forget the Milanese art museums, the characteristic Brera streets and the private artistic galleries, with their flow of non-stop vernissages and events.
Concerning the ancient painting the most important place to visit is the Brera Gallery, which contains a collection rich in remarkable works as the “Cristo Morto” (Dead Christ) by Mantegna and a fairly good number of modern works, among which you can find some ones by Boccioni, de Pisis and Sironi.
In the old town centre and around the town you can find many ancient monuments of great value, starting from the Sforzesco Castle, that was commissioned by Galeazzo Visconti II and was built along the medieval walls of the town between 1360 and 1370.
The symbol of Milan has always been the Duomo (the cathedral), with its unique square and its Lombard-Gothic style. Its beautiful pinnacles and steeples are the creative result of the workers’ artistic abilities who started building the monument in 1396.
Certainly another icon of the artistic Milan is St Ambrogio’s Basilica, one of the oldest churches in town, since it was started in 379. It contains the mortal remains of the saint who is also the town’s patron saint.
Then we recommend you to see the charming Santa Maria delle Grazie church, a combination of Gothic and Renaissance style that was created by artists as Solari and Bramante, who embellished and modified it several times.
At last, in Milan’s environs, you can visit Chiaravalle Abbey, one of the most important Cistercian monasteries in Italy. It was founded in 1135 by St Bernardo, abbot of Clairvaux and it unites the French style with the Romanesque tradition.