19 May, 2022

Secret Milan: 5 unconventional locations to discover in the city center

Not only the Duomo and Castello Sforzesco: the metropolis of grand monuments is also the cradle of small masterpieces to preserve, above and below its surface. From the Vigna of Leonardo (Vineyard of Leonardo), where you can rediscover the white wine that intoxicated the senses of the Renaissance genius, to the Albergo Diurno Venezia in Piazza Guglielmo Oberdan, in which travelers in the past found respite between barbers, manicurists and steam washers, here are the 5 locations to rediscover in the city for an unconventional tour of the center. 1) La Vigna di Leonardo – Corso Magenta

Within Casa degli Atellani – a splendid Renaissance palazzo hosting frescoes, works of art and centuries-old gardens – one finds the vineyard donated to Leonardo Da Vinci five hundred years ago by the Duke of Milan, Lodovico Sforza, as thanks for the painting of the Last Supper. Here, expert wine makers work to recreate the white wine so loved by the author of the Mona Lisa and Salvator Mundi. An app with audio guide, available in 5 languages and functional even off-line, conduct the visitor by GPS through a path of 9 stops during the 40-minute tour. Alternatively, guests may book guided tours.

Info: site / +39 02 4816150 / info@vignadileonardo.com

2) Cripta di San Giovanni in Conca –  Piazza Missori

If at the highly frequented crossroads of Piazza Missori the remains of the paleo-Christian basilica of San Giovanni in Conca are visible (which had its original façade in the Valdese Church of Via Francesco Sforza), a few meters below street level are the archways of the only Roman crypt present in Milan. Constructed between the XIth and XIIIth centuries on one of the most important paleo-Christian buildings in the territory, the crypt is accessible (free of cost) 2 days per month thanks to volunteers of the Touring Club Italiano with guided tours and allows groups up to 20 people.

For info: site / +39 02 20404175 / segreteria@spazioaster.it

3) Albergo Diurno Venezia – Piazza Guglielmo Oberdan

In the middle of Porta Venezia stands one of the two “Alberghi Diurni” (Daytime Guesthouses) of the city, which was active for about 30 years and counted as a virtuous example of Milanese Liberty style. Founded in the 1920s to offer refreshment to travelers, is the precursor of modern wellness centers: its interior housed baths, showers, toilets, hairdressers, barbers, pedicurists and manicurists, but also telephone booths and steam laundry service. Restored thanks to the FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano (The Italian Environmental Fund) – it is currently closed to the public: it may be visited again in conjunction with the inauguration of the future National Museum of Digital Art.

For info: site / +39 02 35981535  info@milanoguida.com

4) Palazzo Visconti – Via Cino del Duca

In the middle of the San Babila area, this historic building of the nobility in the center of Milan is usually closed to the public but may be rented for private ceremonies and company events. On the occasion of some site-specific events – such as “Candlelight”, a rich schedule of candlelight concerts – it is possible to enter and immerse oneself in the atmosphere of a XVIIth century mansion with high ceilings and frescoes, acquired by the Visconti family, and today an exclusive location managed by SoCrea.

For info: site / +39 02 76023245 / palazzovisconti@socrea.it

5) San Bernardino alle Ossa – Via del Verziere

Indoors of a complex from 1269 (former location of a hospital that cared for lepers with cemetery annex) and remodeled in the Barocco style of 1750, this sumptuous church holds an undoubtedly fascinating ossuary, where a large quantity of human bones and skulls make up ornamental elements wrapping the religious location in mystery: legend has it that every year, on the day of the dead (2 November), the skeleton of a young girl is reanimated, involving others of the dead in a spectral dance of skeletons!

For info: site / +39 02 781724 / santuario@sanbernardinoalleossa.it