Symbol of the city, the sumptuous Duomo, with its huge proportion, towers over the Piazza Duomo. An ascent to the roof reveals a wonderful panorama of Milan and beyond. Dazzling and ethereal the Duomo rises with gothic statues, gargoyles, pinnacles, and soaring spires and has attracted comments from the censorious "an imitation hedgehog" /D.H. Lawrence) to the lyrical " a poem of marble" (Mark Twain). Milan'Duomo was founded in 1386 under the ambitious Gian Galeazzo Visconti, who resolved to build the biggest church in Italy. Althought the church was consacrated in 1418, it remained incomplete for over centuries. Work finally started on the facade in the early 17th century, but was finished only in 1812, under Napoleon.
TEATRO ALLA SCALA
The world famous Teatro alla Scala, commisioned by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, has seen premiere of many great classical Italian operas. The facade on Piazza della Scala is surprisingly sober, and belies the sumptuous auditorium.. The Opera House is named after Santa Maria della Scala, the church on whose site it was built in 1776-1778. and took the place of the smaller Regio Ducale Teatro, which had been destroyed by fire. The architect was Giuseppe Piermarini, who planned Palazzo Reale as well. The auditorium is decorated in red velvet and gilded stuccowork, with a 365 lamp crystal chandelier!
Ludovico il Moro commissioned this painting in the refectory adjoining the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in 1494, and it is one of the most famous painting in the world. Unfortunately the experimental techniques used by Leonardo da Vinci led to signs of deterioration within 20 years after completing the work. Much restoration has been done to return the painting to its former glory. Booking in advance is compulsory if you don’t want to miss it.
A landmark of Milan, the castle is a vast brick quadrilateral, dominated on the town side by the Filarete tower. It stands as a symbol of the golden renaissance age, and today is the home to the excellent town museams. Built as a fortress by the Visconti family between 1358 and 1368, it was trasformed into a Renaissance fort under Francesco Sforza and then turned into a sumptuous residence. By the early 19th century, Napoleon turned what had been left of the building into soldiers headquarters. In 1884, the Town Council planned a virtual demolition of the castle, but thanks to the architect Luca Beltrami it was restored and trasformed it into a museam.