Ph Kaique Rocha Via Pexels
There’s always something to do in the heart of the Lombard capital. You can run and contemplate slowly, get lost and explore a place: even when it’s raining! For our guests, we have mapped out the ideal locations to do indoor activities in case of bad weather: from visiting museums and art galleries to cooking courses, and from taking advantage of films in their original languages to tasting pastry specialities. Here is a (partial but very special) list of activities to consider with or without bad weather. Because Milan is always Milan, even under cloudy skies!
1) Go to museums
What might seem like an expected option – taking refuge in a museum in case of rain – in Milan becomes the occasion to discover unconventional places, like certain galleries and museums in the centre. A few examples? The Pirelli Hangar Bicocca, a non-profit foundation temporarily dedicated to modern and contemporary art, and the Galleria Carla Sozzani, institution for authentic fashionistas, but also historic residence Boschi Di Stefano, with more than 300 works representing Italian art of the XXth century.
2) Tour some bakeries and tea rooms
From traditional biscuits to contemporary cakes and more exotic offerings, the baker’s art finds a multitude of expressive possibilities in Milan. Among the excellent shop windows that merit mention is the renowned Bastianello at Via Borgogna 5, famous for its “cappucino cremoso” with “brioche”, and Castelnuovo, temple to shortbreads, but also Japanese bakery Hiromi Cake, with Japanese specialities like daifuku and dorayaki. And the gloomy days become sweeter!
3) Watch a film in its original language
In a city like Milan – capital of numerous productions for the small and large screen, opportunities for film-lovers are endless. If, until a few decades ago, the area of Corso Vittorio Emanuele had the most theatres (to the point of earning the nickname of “Milanese Broadway”!), today the “cinemas”, although lower in quantity for not in the quality of their offerings, are spread through other areas: among those that deserve a mention are Cinema Beltrade at n. 10 Via Nino Oxilia, which organizes films, concerts and projections in original languages, Cinemino of Via Seneca 6, which also features book presentations or shows and theatre readings, and Auditorium San Fedele at n. 4 Piazza San Fedele, dating from 1956.
4) Go to churches
Milan is not only the capital of fashion and design, but is also an important and majestic city of art. The many religious architectural structures that populate its centre stand witness: among these, the Duomo, with its late-Gothic spires and golden Madonnina, is the most famous and representative cathedral, but no less admirable are the other religious sites, such as the nearby Church of S. Maria at San Satiro – which contains a trompe l’oeil of rare visual perfection – and the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio, an important city icon from the Roman and Paleo-Christian era.
5) Go to libraries
There are 24 local libraries in the municipality of Milan: almost one per neighborhood. They all merit a visit, starting from the Biblioteca Centrale Sormani – which counts approximately one million volumes and an ample collection of international journals and magazines – to the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, dating from 1609, among the first in the world to allow access to anyone able to read and write, or the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, frequent site of exhibitions.
6) Visit the Planetarium
The Milanese Planetarium, Ulrico Hoepli, is located at n. 57 Corso Venezia, where there are activities for everyone, from children to adults, with observations, studies and musical moments. The “Planetarium afternoons” are a must of the structure, which dedicates guided events for happenings (like the winter solstice) and also organizes film screenings, as well as providing unique visual virtual reality experiences (one example is the reconstruction of the Apollo 11 Mission).
7) Visit the Public Aquarium
Milan is host, in the area of Parco Sempione, to one of the oldest public aquariums of Europe, in an intact Viennese-style Liberty building. Within its walls – between 10 fresh water tanks and 12 salt water tanks with more than 100 species of aquatic organisms – is an exhibition of the path of mountain spring water, and its library (open to the public) is one of the most prestigious in the field of marine biology. Its many exhibitions and cultural events complete the offering of the Aquarium, occasions to inform the public on the theme of global warming.
8) Take a cooking course
If you go for glossy restaurants and typical trattorias, it’s already a leitmotiv of your Milanese weekend, imagine yourself on the other side of the counter, tying on an apron in a Food School: the most famous is that of magazine La Cucina Italiana, at n. 5 Piazzale Cadorna, but there are also others, such as Kitchen, in the Sant’Ambrogio area, and the “centre of food and wine culture” Altopalato, as well as the legendary school of Sale&Pepe at Via Lazzaretto 3.