Summer officially enters Milan on June 21 and exists in September 23. Here, the summer days can be pretty sweltering, with temperatures rising up as high as 30℃ in July. The heat drops as September approaches, all the way to fall. Understandably, many vacationers would rather spend their summertime near the sea or relaxing in the countryside. But those who choose to stay or visit this city during the summer months are also in for a unique vibe that one cannot experience during any other season in Milan.
Milan is fashion high street for elite shoppers, a strong economic wing of Italy and is considered the second most populous city of the country next to Rome. Many visiting tourists in Italy are mostly drawn to the iconic lush countryside, while others prefer the greater appeal of the Italian capital. But most travelers visit a place for specific reasons and those who do come to Milan harbor very special ones.
Milan’s summer vibe is pretty. The usually busy shopping districts are tranquil and the museums are not full. So while it’s not really the place for beach bums, it definitely is the best place to spoil yourself with a great Italian vacation.
Here is a candid list of some of the best things to do in Milan in summer.
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If you ever want to see the pinnacle of human genius, there’s no other place to visit than Italy. In fact, Italy is often heralded as the topmost culturally rich country to date, with 53 World Heritage Sites, according to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. And when in Milan, there’s no other site that can visually prove you so than the Duomo, the spectacular white marble cathedral that regally stands in the square right after you emerge from the steamy subway station at Piazza del Duomo. This humongous human architectural feat took centuries to build and boy is it marvelous. The recent restoration work did wonders to retain its original grandeur.
If you wanna go inside - which of course you should, make sure to dress appropriately with your legs and arms decently covered. There’s an audio guide that can assist you in appreciating the interior, the stained glass windows, the high ceiling, and the stairs that take you to a magnificent view of the city.
The plaza in front of the Cathedral often hosts activities and festivities, especially during the summer.
After your visit at the Duomo, there’s one more architectural spot you should not miss or you’ll regret it splendidly. The Arengario buildings, also recently restored, is home to some of the best Italian works of contemporary art from the likes of Pellizza di Volpeda and Boccioni. If you’re not an art buff and the names don’t ring a bell, the works would. Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space for example can be seen on the back of a 20 cents Italian euro coin.
Local tip: Visit two house before the museum’s closing and get a free pass. Regular museum fee is 5 euros. But that’s not exactly the reason to come late. At the upper part of the building, you have a great view of the plaza and it’s especially beautiful during the sunset.
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Another thing to see at the Duomo area is the Sforzesco Castle, another surviving Renaissance architecture that was originally built in the 15th century out of what was left of a fortification from the 14th century. And alas, it stands still!It has endured thousands of years, after passing through the ownership of the Sforzesco family who was once a ruling power in Milan.
The castle is set in an extensive ground with a beautiful garden and walking along its courtyard will simply leave you in sheer awe of its grand size. Inside, it is now home to various art exhibitions, including very important historical works from Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo, among others.
You can check out the exhibitions at the official site of here.
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After you've marveled at the entirety of the Sforza Castle, a convenient detour would be the outdoors sculpture gallery of the Parco Sempione which happens to also have an aquarium. Admissions are free every first Sunday of the month and 2 pm onwards every Tuesday. Regular admission fee is 5 euros and the place is closed on Mondays.
After your sculpture tour, head to the city's Planetarium at the Giardini Pubblici, established
in 1784 and is the oldest patch of green in Milan. Be sure to join the guided tour of the night sky.
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Speaking of paintings, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and Pinacoteca di Brera are staples among art enthusiasts who come to visit Milan. Italy is essentially nirvana for the creatives and those who come to the city never misses out the chance to pay tribute to the great works of the past.
The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana was established in 1618 and now houses an impressive collection of Renaissance paintings including The Musician by Leonardo, The Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio, The cartoon for the School of Athens by Raphael , the Adoration of the Magi by Titian, the Madonna del Padiglione by Sandro Botticelli and the magnificent Vases of Flowers by Jan Brueghel within its 24 rooms. But the displays are not limited to Renaissance works. You can also find the works of 17th century Lombard artists such as Morazzone, Giulio Cesare Procaccini, and Daniele Crespi along with a host of genuine artistic artifacts.
Home to over 500 works of art spanning the 14th to the 20th centuries, the Pinacoteca di Brera (Brera Art Gallery) is one of central art museums in Italy. Its repertoire includes works of art from the likes of Piero della Francesca, Raphael, Mantegna, Bellini, Caravaggio, Tintoretto and Veronese among others and a smaller archive of modern works. It is located in the charming neighborhood of Brera.
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Well, a cemetery isn’t exactly what you’d automatically have in mind for a vacation destination but this one in Milan may just change your mind - and your preconceived biases about cemeteries.
Like many things Italian, they have managed to make the afterlife a thing of great artistry. The Cimitero Monumentale is a majestic ground of grand sculptures that range from death-and-the-maiden eroticism to forms of abstract gestures, established all the way to 1866. It’s a 62-acre space of joy, beauty, and sadness, showcasing some of the greatest works of Italian sculptures. It is also the resting place of famous Italian and foreign personalities.
The cemetery is divided into three parts: the Catholics take the central part of the cemetery, those of Jewish descent take the area on the right and those who are non-Catholics are found on the left side.
The Cimitero Monumentale is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 8am to 6pm.
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If you happen to visit Milan during the summer, a great way to take a break from the heat is to relax in one of Milan’s beloved public parks and gardens. While you can’t expect very large swaths of land such as that you’d find in New York’s Central Park, you can instead expect to find random cool breaks of natural green surrounded with benches, fountains, trees and shades that provide convenient escape from the summer heat.
A favorite among the Milanese is the Parco Sempione which runs from Castello Sforzesco to Arco della Pace. Another is the Giardini Pubblici near Porta Venezia. The Giardini della Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte near Palestro is a small but charming place to chill at, often referred to by the locals as the “gardens of the Royal Villa.” And the Parco Giovanni Paolo II near Corso di Porta Ticinese/Navigli gives you a combination of beautiful architecture and natural wonder, lodged between ancient Roman remains.
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Milan is rich in culture, both historical and contemporary. That includes a vibrant nightlife, considered topnotch in the country so party animals would definitely find their home here. The atmosphere is intense and offers all kinds of entertainment from night clubs to pubs that will cater to your most exotic needs for fun.
If you’re looking for a cultural evening, there’s no better place in Milan than the prestigious Teatro alla Scala.
Come the happy hour, you can head to the Isola neighborhood near the Porta Garibaldi railway station. Trendy bars and some of the most famous nightclubs in the city are located at the Corso Como and Corso Garibaldi areas. The Corso Sempione is also another famous spot to enjoy some wild evenings with your party gals. And of course, you should never miss the ruckus at the Navigli, where thousands of young people flock the bars and taverns along the canals - with some amazing restaurants to dine in too!
Other recommended areas include: the columns of San Lorenzo and Porta Ticinese, Studi, Idroscalo Area, and the Brera among many others.
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If you’re staying in Milan for a longer stretch, parks may not be enough to soothe your need for refreshing getaways. But although you may not find beaches nearby, Milan’s spectacular water parks offer a great alternative.
From family friendly resorts that offer gigantic water slides to private sanctuaries that provide intimate retreats from the hectic business air of this Italian city, you can find your quick summer fix in these places, all of which can be found within the Province of Milan.
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Summer is an amazing time to immerse with the locals and enjoy warm summer nights with great music, good food, and awesome people. In July alone, you can look forward to Jay Z and Beyonce's concert at San Siro Stadium and experience the rap god Eminem's Revival Tour at EXPerience Park Milano. The Milano Summer Festival is altogether a series of live shows from Iron Maiden to Prophets of Rage, Alice in Chains, The Chemical Brothers, Jethro Tull, Alanis Morissette and Robert Plant at the Ippodromo Snai San Siro and for those who want to dance, the Tomorrowland will have you grooving at Parco di Monza. There is also the open air cinema which is flocked by both locals and tourists alike, and the 4th edition of the Milano Latin Festival will take place from June to August to include music, concerts, dancing, cultural initiatives, animation, photo exhibitions and vernissages.
August will see the Milano Arte Musica music fest and come September, the Formula One GP in Monza, the great MITO Classical Music Festival, and the Womenswear Fashion Week are all events to look forward to.
This just goes to show how much diversity and energy abides in this city, whether you're looking for calm or nights of passionate soirees. So choose your fun. Come to Milan!
1. Timekeeping isn't exactly the Italian specialty in Milan. Trams and buses as well as the trains rarely run at the same time. Expect lunches and appointments to be a bit flexible. If you're strict with punctuality, you might have to stretch your patience a little bit.
2. Mosquitoes can be a real bugger especially during the hot summer months. Our best advice is to buy your repellents in the local stores as products are most chemically fitted to fight off the native species.
3. Take cash. Always. The city has a long history of mistrust in the banking system and while it may seem odd, it's just the way business is done. Another quirky bit - be sure to keep your receipts as law enforcement personnel might ask for proof of purchase when you leave an establishment. Failure to do so can get the merchant in real trouble, which usually means paying a fine as high as 1200 euros.
4. Do not hesitate to engage. Despite the economic and cultural setbacks that affect the city and the country in general, Milanese and the Italian people are warm and generous as a collective. And if they like you, they will be more than happy to be your local guide in your Milan travel journey.