Adjacent to Milan’s fashion centre, Brera is known as the city’s artsy area, perfect for roaming around without a specific purpose or destination. The picturesque neighbourhood is one-of-a-kind and is famous for having been home to some of the most influential Italian painters, writers and intellectuals. The former bohemian district is characterised by pedestrian-only streets, elegant buildings, antique stores and art galleries. The area’s landmark is the San Marco Church, which was erected in 1254 and once hosted a young Mozart for three months in early 1770.
Once you’ve seen, touched, smelled and tasted the finest luxuries of Milan, stretch your legs towards the medieval Castello Sforzesco and check out the surrounding Parco Sempione, which ultimately leads to Napoleon’s Arch of Peace.
For a true Milanese dinner, reserve a spot at Nabucco. Outdoor seating is available for moonlit dining, when you can savor elaborate specialties like the ricotta-filled pumpkin flowers. Fishbar de Milan is a cosy and low-key lunch option, with a menu boasting fresh seafood dishes including salmon tartare, Sicilian purple prawns, capesante and ceviche.
Jamaica is easily the neighbourhood’s most famous bar. Open since 1911, the venue has hosted some of the most influential Italian personalities, including Lucio Fontana, Benito Mussolini and Giuseppe Ungaretti. Another not-to-miss venue is N’Ombra de Vin, with its historical cellar mentioned by A. Manzoni in ‘The Betrothed.’ For people-watching, go to trendy Cinc.
Shop! Pen and paper lovers will feel like they’re in heaven at Rigadritto, the stationary shop of dreams. Cavalli e Nastri is where the fashionistas spend time going through the shop’s excellent vintage selection of 50s flared skirts, disco-era dresses, Hermes scarves and Chanel suits.
Probably one of the most affordable options in the area is The Style Hotel, which offers deluxe or superior rooms, as well as lavish suites. All provide comfort and feature attractive furnishings and marble baths. Palazzo Parigi is another fairy tale accommodation option with its trendy lounge bar and delightful 18th-century garden.
If you do just one thing…
Check out Palazzo Brera with its Pinacoteca and hidden Botanical Garden.