MILAN (MILANO)

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Beginning again from the Cathedral Square, but following via Torino instead, you come across the Church of S. Maria presso S. Satiro, one of the greatest masterpieces of Renaissance architecture, projected by Bramante and being famous for its profound perspective, optical effect.

From the Cathedral Square, across via dei Mercanti, you come to the Piazza Mercanti (Merchants Square), that is, the only surviving urbanized part of Medieval Milan, the centre of old communal life, where the old Regional Palace of 1233 can be found.

Once again, beginning from the Cathedral Square, you can cross over to the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery, constructed between 1865 and’77: a covered walk, characterized by a bold structure in iron and glass, typical of the new architecture at the end of the 19th Century: the walk takes you to the Scala Theatre – the name derives from the old Church of S. Maria della Scala, which once stood on that very spot. Projected in 1778 by Piermarini (and recently structurally modernized, as well as having various new installation systems, thanks to a meticulous restoration) and considered to be the worldwide temple for lyrical music, still enjoying the presence today of the most important conductors and interpreters of music on its stage.

Just outside this first urban wall, you can find other masterpieces of extreme importance: on the Corso Magenta, there’s the S. Maria delle Grazie, masterpiece of Bramante, which preserves the fresco of The Last Supper by Leonardo, in its refectory; close by in via Carducci, there’s the Roman masterpiece of the Basilica of S. Ambrogio, solemn, yet simple, and which still shows an intact structure, typical of a Medieval church; at the Porta Ticinese, there’s the Basilica of S. Lorenzo Maggiore, which preserves testimonies from the Paleo-Christian times.

Milan and culture, are an inseparable binomial: art exhibitions, also held in private foundations, for example, the Fondazione Mazzotta, theatrical activities – noteworthy, the Piccolo Teatro and Teatro Strheler – important museums, rich in masterpieces like the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana (Art Gallery) – with works by Caravaggio, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli – and the Pinacoteca di Brera, in which internally, you can feast your eyes on works by Raffaello, De Chirico, Piero della Francesca,Caravaggio and Morandi, and towards the end of Italian 19th Century, see abundance and quality in its many collections.

There is also a Milan geared to shopping and fashion, and the first cinematography which has its fundamental points in via Montenapoleone, via Spiga, Piazza S. Babila, via S. Andrea, via Manzoni and in Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

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