Milan is only for the fashionistas. For those culture vultures amongst you, Milan holds a pleasing surprise. If you visit on the first Sunday of the month, you will get an extra prize – the city of Milan museum is free! Many others are too, so be sure to check the over 60 museums and art galleries around the city. With so many, here are just a few of the best:
1) Pinacoteca in Brera
Pinacoteca di Brera is not just an art gallery – it is one of the best Italian art galleries, located in an art school in Milan’s ‘artist environment’. Pinacoteca is in a magnificent neoclassical building and a collection of paintings dating from the Middle Ages to the Romantic period is perhaps the second after the Uffizi in Florence – and Brera sees only a fraction of its visitors.
2) Last Supper
The famous Last Supper is displayed in what is technically not a museum, because there is only one piece of art on display – but because you need to pay for a ticket to get in, it’s included here. It is clearly one of the best things to do in Milan as this is Leonardo da Vinci’s most complex and mystifying work of art. The strange expression on the face of Jesus Christ, in the midst of sadness and despair, is one of the great enigmas of art history. As the art is painted on a dry wall and not on wet plaster, it’s very fragile, and only a small number of people are allowed to see it every day. Make sure you book your tickets well in advance. Travel to Milan with Irish Airports and visit https://irelandwestairport.com/
3) Fondazione Prada
This is one of the latest additions to the museums of Milan, opened since 2015 in a former gin refinery in the south of the city. This gallery is dedicated to contemporary art and it includes permanent as well as temporary exhibitions, arranged in former refining spaces and in three specially built structures. Here you’ll also find the Bar Luce, one of Milan’s most famous cafes, built to look like an old-style Milan trattoria.
4) Museo nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia
If you visit Milan with children, the Science Museum is one of the best Milan museums to visit! Young and old visitors will love the live exhibitions and workshops offered. It is divided into sections dedicated to transportation, communication, energy and arts and science – don’t miss the transportation section, including aircraft and Toti submarines, which are maintained in whole. The museum is dedicated to Leonardo Da Vinci – the art and science section includes several images and reproductions of Leonardo’s machines.
5) Museo del Novecento
This museum definitely wins the best location award – right next to the famous Duomo, with a stunning view of the square from its terrace. This museum is dedicated to 20th century art and displays over 300 exhibits. One of the rooms features works by international artists, but most of the museum focuses on 20th-century Italian art, with sections dedicated to the main art movements of the time.
MUDEC opened in mid-2015 and is dedicated to arts and culture from around the world. The displays are not divided by geography but by period, detailing the history of Milan’s ethnic and archaeological collections. Some of the exhibits include pieces from far-flung shores including West Africa, Japan and Papua New Guinea.