A Different View of Milan: 5 Carefully Hidden Gems
Most visitors to Italy’s second biggest city, Milan, will flock straight to the main attractions. And whether they stroll around the Piazza del Duomo, or gawp at da Vinci’s The Last Supper...
Most visitors to Italy’s second biggest city, Milan, will flock straight to the main attractions. And whether they stroll around the Piazza del Duomo, or gawp at da Vinci’s The Last Supper, there’s certainly lots worth seeing. But what about the more unusual parts of the city? Where can you find the best kept secrets? Here are my hidden gems of Milan…
An oasis in the centre of the city, Via Lincoln is a street of colourful terraced housing surrounded by well-kept gardens and fragrant flower beds. It comes as a welcome surprise amidst the more industrial and business-orientated buildings that dominate the city. The neighbourhood was designed and built in the late nineteenth century to house nearby workers at affordable rates, and now is the perfect place for a quiet walk.
Head to Corso de Porta Romana 3 – look up and you’ll spot a cannonball stuck in the wall. It dates all the way back to 1848 and the Five Days of Milan, when a rebellion arose against Marshal Radetzky and his Austrian soldiers. After five days of fighting, they were forced to flee – but the cannonball remains as one of the hidden gems of Milan.
When in Milan, few visitors realise there’s a colony of flamingos roaming around the city centre. But that’s exactly what you’ll find in the gardens of Villa Invernizzi – along with some peacocks and ducks for good measure. The villa itself is a majestic building that overlooks corso Venezia, once a thoroughfare for ladies travelling in carriages. The gardens are a good alternative to Sempione, one of Milan’s most famous parks.
Designed by renowned architectural practice Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, Palazzo Lombardia is a complex of glassy buildings north-west of the city centre. The 39-storey skyscraper is the main reason to visit, offering some of the best panoramic views of Milan. Just make sure you go during visiting hours: Sundays, 10am-6pm.
Leonardo’s Vineyard is one of the more recent hidden gems of Milan, a museum which opened its doors in 2015. Located just across from Santa Maria delle Grazie – the church where da Vinci’s The Last Supper is housed – here you can find the vineyard that once belonged to the artist. The vineyard is accessed via the Casa degli Atellani, a stunning house that demands a visit itself. Just make sure you book in advance.
How to Get There
Getting to these hidden gems of Milan is easily done, with regular flights to the city operating from multiple UK airports. One of the most popular places of arrival is Milan Malpensa Airport, from where Shuttle Direct can pick you up and take you to the city in 55 minutes. Whether you choose a shared shuttle or a private taxi, our Milan airport shuttles provide easy and reliable access to your destination.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re coming to Italy to explore the hidden gems of Milan, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.