Posted on September 13 2019
The Sforza Castle
(Piazza Castello / 6 minutes’ walk)
The Sforza Castle was built by Frederico Sforza in the 15th century on the ancient ruins of the Visconti residence and became the main residence for the dukes of Milan. Shortly after the fall of the Sforza ruling in 1535, the castle became a symbol of foreign domination (Milan went under Spanish, Austrian, and French rulings...) Today, the castle is a symbol of Milanese pride. After being destroyed during World War II, the castle was restored and now hosts multiple museums including: the museum of ancient art, the Pinacoteca, the museum of musical instruments and multiple collections of artworks.
(Piazza del Duomo / 12 minutes’ walk)
The Duomo, also nicknamed the porcupine for its 135 spikes, is the most renown monument in Milan. The building took over 430 years to erect (1387-1813) from the beginning of construction to when the last piece of stone was laid with the end result, turning out magnificent. The Duomo is the third largest cathedral in the world after the Vatican and the Cathedral of Seville. Despite the numerous architects and artists that have worked on it over the years, the Duomo has maintained a gothic architecture. The light show playing on the stained glass and the subtleties of its stone sculptures in contrast to the magnitude of the building make it one of Milan's must-see sights.
The Pinacoteca di Brea
(Via Brera, 28 / 4 minutes’ walk)
Located in the town sharing the same name, the Pinacoteca di Brea is one of the three largest museums of Italy along with the Vatican in Rome and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. L'Academia del Arte, which the Pinacoteca was part of, was built on the grounds of an ancient Jesuit monastery by the order of Empress Marie Thérèse d'Autriche in the 18th century in 1773. The Pinacoteca was opened to the public in 1809 under Napoleon's order, but separated from the Acaedemia del Arte in 1882. It then began aggrandizing its own art collection, which continued to grow over time. The Pinacoteca is a true temple of art that currently houses hundreds of works from the most influential Italian artists including Sandro Botticelli, Carvaggio, Gianio Castiglioni, Raphael and Rubens... A dive into Italian art not to be missed.
(Go to the station “Cadorna” : Piazzale Luigi Cadorna, / 11 minutes’ walk, then take then train to the station « Como Nord LAgo » / 1 hour journey)
Located around 50 km north of Milan, the Y shaped Lake Como is an exotic and magical getaway. A place adored by numerous artists including Bellini, Hemingway and Verdi, the location offers a variety of sceneries and architecture unique to Italy. Near the lake, you can find the Sacre Monte di Ossucio classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, or visit the famous Villa d'Este where Alfred Hitchock filmed "The Pleasure Garden". The lake is surrounded by adventure and discovery. Consider also the local cuisine: bresaola, pesce persico, truffle gnocchi, and you'll understand why rushing to the Cardona train station for your visit is a must!