Visit the cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente, which to locals is just Il Duomo and is one of the largest cathedrals in the world. Having the capacity to hold up to 40,000 patrons this is one of the most beautiful and flamboyant examples of Gothic architectural styles; construction for the cathedral commenced in the 14th century to end, only by the early 1800's, under the rule of Napoleon. Explore every little nook and corner to be awed by the entire girth and magnificence of the place, reflected in the stained glass windows, the 2,245 marble statues, the 135 stone pinnacles on the roof and the jewelled gold reliquary of San Carlo Borromeo amongst many other marvels.
The painting of the Last Supper of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci is the main reason tourists visit the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, located in Corso Magenta. The painting adorns the wall of the adjoining refectory, which is part of a once Dominican Monastery.
The painting known as Cenacolo Vinciano was done between 1495 and 1497. The painting marking a new era in the world of art was different to the usual representation of Christ's last meal with his disciples. Da Vinci dramatizes the scene to make it the popular artwork it is today.
The church was damaged badly during WWII, and the painting has been carefully restored many times. As such, entrance is limited to view the fragile work of art, and one must purchase tickets in advance.
3. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II – For a Shopping Break
Making up one end of the Piazza del Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II opens out to the Piazza della Scala on the other end. Designed by Giuseppe Megoni the complex was built between 1865 and 1877; which at the time became Europe's largest shopping mall.
The design represents the start of modern architecture in Italy and boasts a 48 metre dome which rises over the beautiful mosaic floor. The stunning complex is a favoured haunt by locals and tourists, for enjoying a relaxed coffee, lunch and browsing the luxury shops located there.
The Castello Sforzesco was owned and occupied by the Sforza and Visconti families, who ruled Milan from 1277 to 1447, and again from 1450 to 1535. The beautiful castle was constructed in 1368 and rebuilt once more in 1450. Within is a collection of museums, with one dedicated to sculptures, including Michael Angelo's last work of art.
Ask anyone and they will tell you the interior of this church is the most beautiful of all shrines in Milan. The church was constructed in the 1500's as a convent for Benedictine nuns, with the all the interior walls covered in frescoes, depicting scenes from the bible.
The work of highly skilled Lombard artists from the 16th century, the paintings have magically retained their vibrant colours to look as fresh and bright as the day they were painted.