Milan is not Florence – one of Italy’s most important places for Renaissance art – or Rome – the capital city and home to the Vatican’s vast stores of art. But the city does have a wide variety of museums and some great masterpieces that you can’t find anywhere else on the planet. If you’ve already browsed the collections at Castello Sforzesco and the La Scala Museum, here are the top four museums to hit while you’re in Milano.
Museo del Novecento
A tin can labeled as an artist’s feces. Huge light installations. Bronze human-like statues. Add these items to paintings by renowned artists such as Picasso, Kandinsky, Boccioni, de Chirico, Klee and Matisse and you get an idea of what awaits you at the city’s newest museum, Museo del Novecento. The name translates to Museum of the 20th Century, so of course the focus is one specific time period. Most of the works of art you’ll see are from the early part of the century, and it’s a good resource for delving into the Futurist Movement, which had a big following in Milan and other parts of Italy.
The museum is located right next the Duomo. Admission is FREE for anyone under 25 and €5 for full price tickets. It’s definitely worth a trip!
Last Supper and Santa Maria delle Grazie
Ok, so this one isn’t technically a museum, but rather a fresco located in a church refectory. But it is arguably the Renaissance’s most famous masterpieces: Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, or Cenacolo. The church is the 15th century beauty Santa Maria delle Grazie, which is worth a visit in its own right.
What can be said about the Last Supper that you haven’t already heard? You probably already have a good idea of what it looks like, but there’s nothing like getting a glimpse in person. That’s easier said than done, however: there’s a very limited number of tickets available each day which often means you should to book in advance on their website. Tickets cost €8 for full price tickets or €4.75 for EU and EES citizens under age 25.
Triennale Design Museum
Milan is world-famous for its design, especially the annual Salone del Mobile, held in April. But to learn a little bit about the history of design in and around the city, you can check out the Triennale’s permanent collection of Italian design objects.
The Triennale has been in Milan since the 1930s, usually hosting a variety of exhibits each year. It was only a few years ago, in 2007, that the museum opened the Triennale Design Museum, showing its permanent collection to the public. Items are rotated according the year’s theme. While you’re there, you should also see if there are any temporary exhibits you might be interested in, there’s usually something cool happening!
Full price tickets are €8, but only €6.50 for anyone under 26 years old. The museum is located right in Parco Sempione.
Pinacoteca di Brera
The city’s largest painting gallery is located in the Brera neighborhood and it contains mostly artwork by Italian painters from the 16th and 17th centuries. Rafael, Bramante, Piero della Francesca, Caravaggio, Mantegna, Hayez and van Dyck are just some of the big names you’ll find there. Located in a beautiful former convent from the 14th century that it shares with the Accademia di Brera, the museum was originally put together so that students of the fine arts academy to improve their skills by studying the masters. This is a must for anyone interested in art history from the time period represented in the museum.
Full price tickets cost €9, while EU and EES citizens under 25 pay only €6. Get more info on their website.