Right in the heart of Milan there’s a peaceful place where you can stop and focus on beauty, history, intelligence and creativity. Pinacoteca di Brera is such a romantic spot! What’s this word for? “Pinacoteca” in Italian means “picture gallery” and Brera is the Milanese quarter where it is settled up. This is an area that a long time ago was outside the city, in the country-side (“brera” in fact comes from the Lombard word “braida”, which means “meadow”, grassy field close to the town), but then the urban expansion has included it in the historic centre of the city.
There are at least two reasons to say you cannot miss to visit this picture gallery.
First of all, it has a great collection of Italian masterpieces you won’t see anywhere else, some are internationally renowned, some other are less famous abroad, but represent an important factor of Italian art development. Among the most famous paintings Pinacoteca boasts Raffaello’s The Marriage of the Virgin, then the impressive The Lamentation of Christ by Mantegna, theMontefeltro Altarpiece by Piero della Francesca, Caravaggio’s astonishing The Supper at Emmaus, and one of the most famous symbols of Romanticism The Kiss, by Francesco Hayez.
Then, the unique atmosphere of Brera makes everything more special, so that visiting the entire neighborhood helps leaving problems and worries behind. You‘ll be surprised how much quiet you can get here, while still being in a busy and crowded city like Milan.
Walking down Via Brera while having an ice-cream with friends, just after lessons have finished, or in a Saturday afternoon, finally peeping out in the colonnade of Palazzo Brera, is a pleasure without price. Once you go up its stairs to the first floor you’ll get the impression of being an 18th century inhabitant entering the Pinacoteca in a wise atmosphere. You’ll enjoy many treasures of the past, meanwhile projecting yourself to the future of the newest updated restoration techniques.
The Pinacoteca is in fact strictly linked to Accademia di Belle Arti, the academy of art established in 1776 with the aim of collecting genius and furthering studies and cultural knowledge in Milan. Its promoter was Maria Theresa of Austria, who decided to gather in Palazzo Brera a centre for the development of knowledge, culture and the study of the fine arts. And that’s why it is important to keep considering these places worthy to be visited, as active and vital cores of learning!
At the end of XVIII century Brera was already important, being the seat of the Astronomical Observatory of the city, founded around 1762 and 1764. So Maria Theresa made a clever and suitable decision to settle there the Accademia di Belle Arti and Pinacoteca, and afterwards the Braidense library, still active nowadays.
What else can I say? It’s difficult to describe beauty, but once you meet it you’ll recognize it, that’s why I warmly recommend you to have a careful look to this extraordinary jewel in the very heart of Milan. This upcoming week-end you have one more reason: the entrance to the art gallery will be free Saturday 19th May from 7.20pm until 1am.
Palazzo di Brera – Via Brera, 28
Phone: +39 02 722 631
Opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday 8.30am-7.15pm. The ticket office closes at 6.40pm