Postcards and Stories from Milan: Piazzas in the City – II
After that introduction to some of the piazzas in Milan, here are some of my other favorites:
Surrounded by beautiful bank buildings, this oval-shaped piazza in the heart of Milan is almost always teeming with activity.
Sometimes, I pause here, watch the trams go by, peer at the Castello Sforzesco in the distance and then take a short walk along the lively pedestrian street, Via dei Mercanti, that leads to the Duomo.
The towering monuments of the large cemetery, Cimitero Monumentale, dominate the skyline near this square. Several trams stop near the piazza. Visit the Cimitero Monumentale, or head to Via Paolo Sarpi, the Chinatown of Milano, a short distance away.
Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie
Signs and directions to this square are visible in the entire area. The primary reason: hordes of tourists come looking for the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, and Leonardo da Vinci’s original Last Supper painting housed in the refectory of the convent. Much of the church suffered damage during World War II. However, the famous painting miraculously survived, and the church has been restored.
The piazza is a beautiful location to cool your heels while admiring the exterior architecture of the church and convent.
For Last Supper (Cenacolo Vinciano in Italian) viewing, tickets can be booked in advance on this website.
On many a spring day, I’ve basked in the sunshine at Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Piazza del Carmine
In the charming Brera district, the Piazza del Carmine never fails to take my breath away. The lovely Church of Santa Maria del Carmine is a beautiful sight, and a unique sculpture in the piazza draws considerable attention. A few cafes offer seating outdoors. The pretty flowers in the windows overlooking the piazza add to the charm factor.
I often spend a few tranquil minutes in this square, and then stroll along one of the quaint little streets of Brera.
Piazza Gae Aulenti
In the business district, the Piazza Gae Aulenti shows off its skyscrapers and swanky office buildings. The fountains add a ‘charm’ quotient. In December, a tall Christmas tree shines bright in the square. Piazza Gae Aulenti, named after the well-known Italian architect, is situated near Porta Garibaldi station, a major transport hub in Milan.
This is one of Junior’s favorite piazzas in the city.
The “wedding cake” fountain and the backdrop of the Castello Sforzesco make this a picture-postcard square. As the sun sets, the lights at the castle make it even more special.
The Piazza Castello area is being transformed into a pedestrian zone (for Expo 2015).