While the Duomo – the Milan Cathedral – and the Castello Sforzesco – the Sforza family castle – or the Pinacoteca di Brera – Brera’s Gallery – are well know and attract many visitors, a hidden Milan offers interesting experiences, beautiful quiet spots and the taste of the local life.
Here it is then a fine selection of places that will tell you a different story of Milan.
Chiaravalle Abbey: the outcome of a pacific invasion from France
Previously an independent village, Chiaravalle is now part of the Parco agricolo Sud Milano – South Milan Rural Park – and the Abbey (Abbazia) is another testament to the fact that the Medieval times were an age less dark than what you can think and above all an age in which people and ideas were passing through Europe building up a shared substrate of its culture.
The Chiaravalle Abbey was a cistercian monastery founded in 1135 by the cistercian monks coming from the Clairvaux Abbey, France.
The main feature of the Abbey’s church – a fine example of Lombard architecture – is the belltower, named Ciribiciaccola in the local dialect.
As the Parco agricolo Sud Milano is a protected area as well, a trip to the Abbazia can be a perfect way to spend a day far from the crowded city center while enjoying a great mix of nature, arts and history.
Milan off the beaten track… to the stars! The Civico Planetario Ulrico Hoepli
Ulrico Hoepli is an eminent figure of the Italian culture between XIX and XX Century.
Originally from Switzerland, Hoepli founded in Milan a – still – important publishing company.
He donated to Milan a Planetary, currently named after him.
The biggest and most important planetary of Italy hosts the milanese astrophile society and lots of exhibitions.
The Planetario is part of the Indro Montanelli Gardens, a nice park not far from the Milano Porta Garibaldi train station and another park – probably one of the most loved by the locals: Parco Sempione.