Milan is often considered to be ‘the hidden city of Italy’, as it’s easily overlooked. Dubbed as the fashion capital, the city also boasts numerous tourist attractions, some of which are not known to visitors. Like someone said, it takes grace, discretion and passion to really discover Milan. Following our previous post, Milan’s secret spots, written by my colleague Mandy at Spotahome, here are 5 hidden secrets of Milan that I deem the most surprising. And if you know more, please leave a comment!
1. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vineyard
Among its many quirks, Milan is also the only city in the world that has a vineyard in the middle of its historic district. And the owner of this 500-year-old vineyard was none other than Leonardo Da Vinci, the Italian Renaissance genius. The original vineyard of Leonardo, according to recent findings, is still intact, and is located in the courtyard of the House of Atellani, Corso Magenta. Visiting it is quite challenging, but if you manage to, you’ll be transported right back to 1490, the year in which the original vineyard was planted.
2. Sacristy and bell tower of San Vittore al Corpo
This tower, located on Via San Vittore, near the Museum of Science and Technology, is dedicated to, surprise, surprise, Leonardo da Vinci, and it is a church and a monastery built on the ruins of the imperial mausoleum founded by Maximilian in the early Christian times. The peculiarity of the church of San Vittore is the ability to access its bell tower, where you can enjoy the spectacular and unique view of the city.
3. Palazzo Lombardia
Sure, you might think this skyscraper is no ‘secret’ at all… But very few know that every Sunday between 10am and 6pm, one can visit the 39th floor to view the spectacular skylines that you get from the Belvedere. If you don’t have anything planned on a lazy Sunday, check this out!
4. The Central Synagogue
The history of the Jewish community of Milan is fairly recent, starting around the early 19th century. Before then, under the Sforza and Visconti, the Jews were permitted to stay for only a few days in town but could not live there on a permanent basis. However, that became possible since the early 1800s, and finally in 1892, the Central Synagogue was inaugurated.
5. Casa Dal Verme
Just in front of the Teatro Dal Verme, near the Sforzesco Castle, you can try to visit one of the finest surviving courtyards of the 15th century, the Casa Dal Verme, on Via Puccini. The palace belonged to the powerful family that was best known for providing to the Duchy of Milan and the Venice warriors. A visit to the interior is certainly possible (but a bit troublesome): just contact way in advance the company Reale Immobili Spa which owns the property.
Before you go and discover the secrets of Milan…
Looking for a cosy home in your new city? We at Spotahome can help you locate your perfect home in Milan. You can have a look at all the rooms, studios and flats available on our interactive map at www.spotahome.com/milan, and book your home in Italy online before you even arrive in the city. Our ‘runners’ in Milan have handpicked and seen each property in person, so rest assured that there will be no surprises once you unpack your bags. Get in touch with us if you have any questions; we’d be happy to hear from you!
…and if you liked this article, here are some others that you might fancy…
[Milan: Culture, Gastronomy and History](http://www.spotahome.com/blog/?p=2615)
Visit Milan… On A Budget
Where to Get Fit in Milan – gyms, football, yoga, sailing, skiing, biking, etc.
Places To Visit Off The Beaten Tourist Path in Italy
Matera: Weekend Getaway from Rome (and Milan)
Eating Out in Milan on a Student Budget