MILAN — Corso Buenos Aires

This area is centred around the Corso Buenos Aires which is the largest shopping street in Milan and one of the largest in Europe. There are many shops offering many different types of merchandise but clothes are the main attraction. Most of the shops are large ones and there are very few of the traditional shops found here. Apart from shopping this area has some notable buildings to visit as well as some galleries and gardens.

The sights found here are:
Corso Buenos Aires
Casa Galimberti
Porta Venezia
Corso Venezia
Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli
Palazzo Dugnani
Villa Reale
Natural History Museum of Milan
Palazzo Rocca-Saporiti
Palazzo Castiglioni
Palazzo Serbelloni
Casa Fontana-Silvestri
Seminario Arcivescovile

Corso Buenos Aires
This street is found in northeastern Milan and connects Piazza Oberdan to Piazzale Loreto. It is one of the largest shopping streets in Europe and the largest in Milan and is said to have the highest concentration of clothing stores in all Europe. The focus is on ready to wear clothing but with hundreds of shops there is plenty to suit everyone but be warned it does get very crowded especially during sale time and Saturday afternoon after 3pm. As well as shops there are restaurants and cafes along here.

Casa Galimberti

Casa Galimberti
This beautiful building found at Via Malpighi 3 was designed by Giovan Battista Bossi in the early 20th century. The rich decoration on this house is very impressive and features stone corbels, elaborately crafted ledges, and iron balusters. Casa Galimberti is famous for the fantastic ceramic decoration created by Brambilla and Pinzauti on the facade which shows female figures among floral patterns. If you go along the same street to number 12 you will find another house by the same architect.

Porta Venezia

Porta Venezia
This is one of the historical gates of Milan and it is found in the street of the same name. The gate you see today is in the Neo-Classic style and it dates back to the 19th century. Its origins go back further to the Roman and Medieval walls of the city. Over time the walls and the gates of the city became less important as defences against foreign invaders and were adapted to become customs tax stations. Over time as the area around the Porta Venezia was redeveloped the gates still remained the same until Napoleon’s time when they were demolished in 1828 and replaced with new ones still to serve as tax stations. Several features were added a few years later. Each building has doric porticos on three sides, bas-relief architraves, and a set of four niches each hosting a statue representing Roman gods and goddesses.

Corso Venezia
This is one of Milan’s most exclusive streets and is part of the upmarket Quadrilatero della Mode shopping district. Along this street you will find elegant shops as well as a wonderful collection of buildings ranging from Renaissance to Neo-Classical style of architecture. There are also some parks and gardens to relax in along here. Before the mid 18th century there wasn’t much to see here and it was mainly gardens and orchards. During the reign of Maria Theresa of Austria the economy prospered and along with this came the building of many palazzos along the Corso Venezia.
For more information about the shops on this street visit the website at: http://www.corsovenezia.it

Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli

Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli
This is Milan’s largest city park and was the first designated public park. It was first laid out in 1786 and later expanded to the more than 170,000 square metres area that it is today. There are plenty of monuments and buildings in the park including the Museum of Natural History and the Planetarium, both facing Corso Venezia. The park has lots of paths to walk along and there are numerous magnificent sculptures, designed by many celebrity citizens of Milan to admire along the way as well as a wide range of tree species. Facilities include three children’s playgrounds as well as entertainment and rides.

Palazzo Dugnani

Palazzo Dugnani
This palazzo dates from the 17th century but it has had several renovations. It is found on the edge of the Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli which it overlooks but the entrance is in the Via Manin. It has been owned by the city of Milan since the mid 19th century. Inside you will find beautiful frescoes by Tiepolo and the Sala del Tiepolo is a popular venue for civil wedding ceremonies. It used to house the Cinema Museum but this is in the process of moving.

Villa Reale

Villa Reale
The Villa Reale was built in 1790 by Leopoldo Pollack and commissioned by Count Ludovico Barbiano of Belgiojoso. It was later bought as a residence for Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine to use and served as a residence for several other notable people after this including the Kings of Italy. Since 1928 it has been owned by the city of Milan. It is considered to be one of the most important Neo-Classical buildings in Milan and the most beautiful and ornate part of it is the rear facade facing onto the English garden. It now houses the Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano (Gallery of Modern Art of Milan) which contains 19th century French and Italian paintings. Some of the most famous paintings found here are works by Segantini and Pelizza da Volpedo. Next to the Villa Reale is the PAC or Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea which is an art pavilion. The original was destroyed by fire in 1993 after a Mafia bomb was placed in a car nearby but it was reconstructed using the original plan in 1996. It now contains temporary exhibitions.
For more information about the Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Milano and prices for the places to visit there visit the website at: http://www.gam-milano.com (in Italian only)

Natural History Museum of Milan
This museum is found in the Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli and is the oldest city museum in Milan. It was founded in 1838 with the donation of private collections but the building that you see today was built in 1893. In the museum you will find many interesting exhibits including reconstructions of dinosaurs, skeletons, insects, mammals, scientific instruments and a specialist library with over 30,000 books. Some of the highlights of the museum include 200,000,000 year old fossils from the Besano Glacier and the various recreations of animal habitats.
For more information about the museum visit the website at: http://www.comune.milano.it/dseserver/webcity/Documenti.nsf/webHomePage?OpenForm&settore=MCOI-6C5J9V_HP (in Italian only)

Palazzo Rocca-Saporiti

Palazzo Rocca-Saporiti
This Neo-Classical palazzo was built in 1812, during the Napoleonic era, after a design by Giovanni Perego. The facade is decorated with Ionic columns and a frieze depicting the history of Milan. The statues on top of the balustrade depict the ‘Dii Consentes’, the 12 most important Roman deities. A highlight of the interior is the ballroom at the front of the main floor which has some beautiful frescoes.

Palazzo Castiglioni

Palazzo Castiglioni
This palazzo was built between 1901 and 1903 for a wealthy local businessman who wanted the building to reflect his status. He chose the Art Nouveau style which is locally known as Liberty Style. At the time this style was considered ‘new and trendy’ and it was a challenge to the area it was built in which was rather conservative. There was much controversy at the time about the nude female statues which decorated the facade and these were eventually removed and put on the Villa Faccanoni found at number 48, Via Michelangelo Buonarroti. The facade is decorated with flower motifs which is typical of the Art Nouveau style. and the basement of the building has rough unfinished stones giving it a natural rocky shape.

Palazzo Serbelloni

Palazzo Serbelloni
This is one of the largest buildings along the Corso Venezia. It was originally built in the 15th century for the Serbelloni family who were one of the most famous and glorious Milanese aristocratic families. It was reconstructed at the end of the 18th century and today is considered to be one of the finest examples of Milanese Neo-Classical architecture. The facade is dominated by a central loggia surmounted by an imposing portico. The building has been occupied by many famous people including Napoleon and the main stateroom (Sala Napoleonica) is dedicated to his memory. Today the building is used by the Fondazione Serbelloni for prize-giving ceremonies, fashion shows, exhibitions and book presentations.
For more information about the Palazzo Serbelloni visit the website at: http://www.serbelloni.it (in Italian only)

Casa Fontana-Silvestri

Casa Fontana-Silvestri
This is one of the most beautiful houses on Corso Venezia. It was originally built in the 12th century but the building you see today dates from the 15th century. The facade has ornamental cotto (baked clay) window frames and there are scowling masks above the stone door. It is one of the few remaining Renaissance buildings in Milan.

Seminario Arcivescovile
This seminary is a Jesuit College that is found across the street from the Casa Fontana-Silvestri. It was built in 1565 and the impressive gate which is decorated with statues was added almost a century later.