Spend the day in the Lombardy region of Italy and explore Milan, the fashion and design hub of the world and also home to da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”. While you cannot see everything Milan has to offer in a day, you can hit some of the highlights!
Milan is an eclectic mix of ancient architecture and modern skyscrapers, entwined together throughout the city creating a unique landscape. Visitors can feel the old-world charm and the newer advancements of Italian life.
Plan your next day trip to Milan to see some of the touristy sights or to visit where the locals tend to hang out. Drop your bags and souvenirs at a luggage storage service so you are not burdened with heavy bags as you explore the city for the day.
Basilica of Santa Maria Delle Grazie
Located along the Corso Magenta and adjacent to the Duomo di Milano, this church has a rather humble and uninspiring façade compared to the Duomo. But inside is where the true treasure lies!
Built in 1497 the church includes a convent where Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece “The Last Supper” was painted. It is one of his most famous murals and you can see it in person while on your day trip to Milan.
Look for information on how to get tickets to see “The Last Supper” beforehand so you do not waste a good portion of your day standing in line.
Duomo di Milano
Since you are right across the street checking out “The Last Supper” you will want to make time to also visit the Duomo di Milano or the Milan Cathedral. It is dedicated to the Nativity of St. Mary and is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan.
Construction took almost 600 years but the end result is an architectural masterpiece. The ground was broken in 1386 but each century saw something new added to the cathedral until it was completed in 1965.
Step inside and see a kaleidoscope of colours streaming through the magnificent stained glass windows. The artwork touched by these dancing rainbows comes alive in a way that you have to see in person to truly appreciate.
Grab your tickets online so you can breeze past the long lines and spend more of your day in Milan viewing the sights!
Piazza del Duomo
After you have enjoyed exploring the Duomo di Milano, grab a coffee and wander through the Piazza del Duomo, one of the central public squares in the city. Snap some photos of the magnificent buildings and sculptures in the square.
You especially do not want to miss the regal and massive statue of King Vittorio Emmanuel, the first king of Italy. Make your way from the statue over to the Royal Palace and snap some photos of the outside or plan an hour or so to take an informative tour.
Piazza dei Mercanti
Located in between the Piazza Cordusio and the Piazza del Duomo, this city square is the centre of Milan and sees many activities and festivals throughout the year. Take a stroll through this plaza to soak up the architecture and feel the vibe of the city.
The Piazza dei Mercanti was the heart of Milan during the Middle Ages and there are still traces of the Roman influences in the monuments and statues that are scattered throughout the plaza.
Check out the Loggia degli Osii, Pallaza della Ragione, and the Pallaza delle Scuole Palatine while visiting the Piazza dei Mercanti.
When in Milan for just a day, make time to visit at least one castle! Castello Sforzesco is by far one of the best castles in the city to visit. Built during the 15th century by the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, this is one of the biggest castles in Europe.
Even if you do not have the time to take a tour or wander through the entire castle, you have to stop and appreciate the extensive gardens that surround it. If you do have time, take a stroll along the battlements and gaze down at the gardens.
Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia “Leonardo da Vinci”
The biggest science and technology museum in the entire country is also known as the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology. The museum is dedicated to da Vinci and opened in 1953. Tickets can be purchased online.
The museum contains many of his smaller works of art as well as many of the inventions that he worked on throughout his lifetime. Da Vinci was a scholar, artist, and inventor lending his vision to the fields of science and technology.
Throughout the museum, you will learn more about the advancements in these fields based on his original inventions as well as other important scientific and technological advancements through the ages.
View some of da Vinci’s blueprints and sketches for his flying machines. You can even see a few of his original flying machines and follow his thought process from his drawings and sketches to the blueprints to the final product. This attraction is a must-see!
Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio
Built in 379 A.D., the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio is one of the oldest buildings in Milan. The simple architecture is easily missed but it is one church you do not want to miss on your day trip to Milan.
The Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio’s façade has not changed much since it was built, giving it a certain charm that the parishioners enjoy. Stop by for mass or just a quick peek inside to see some fantastic and ancient artwork.
Don’t miss the breathtaking mosaics inside the church and also look up at the ceiling in the Oratory for a beautiful mural of Christ.
Spending the day exploring Milan is the perfect way to soak up amazing Italian culture and learn more about the history of this great city. Plan your itinerary and purchase your tickets for attractions online when possible.
Don’t spend the majority of your day in Milan standing in line waiting to purchase tickets. Consider signing up for a guided tour through the city with skip-the-line access to many of the attractions to get more out of your day.