Introduction to Milan Tour with the Duomo

The best of Milan with an expert guide including La Scala Theatre and shopping galleries
From US$386 privately
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Tour Details
Duration
3 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • Duomo - Cathedral of Milan
  • Sforza Castle
  • Santa Maria presso San Satiro
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele
  • La Scala Theater
Photos & Highlights
  • In-depth exploration of Milan through history, architecture, and religion
  • Led by a local historian
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Tour Description
As the business hub of Italy and the fashion capital, we might assume that Milan is all contemporary dynamism. But beneath this surface energy lays an old city with a deep history that extends back through renaissance, medieval, and Roman times. During this three hour Milan walking tour, we'll join a local historian or expert for an in-depth look at Milan's history. We'll visit sites such as the renowned white marble Duomo, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, and the Sforza Castle while popping into medieval churches and admiring some Renaissance art. This is a great introductory tour, both for first-timers and repeat visitors looking to deepen their appreciation for the city.

Marvel at the Marble Duomo

We’ll begin at one of our favorite cathedrals in the world, the Duomo di Milano. As we enter this magnificent gothic structure, our guide will explain the building’s origins as well as the six hundred year timeframe of its completion. Together, we’ll admire the more than three thousand ornate statues on the facade and within. We’ll spend some time inside the cathedral: we might discuss the stained glass windows in Christendom, the politics behind the creation of this gothic structure (with many other influences) and the redesign of Milan’s canals in order to transport the tons of marble needed for its construction into the city. (Interested in canals? Try our Navigli Aperitivo tour).

Renaissance Churches and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele

As we leave the spectacular edifice behind, we may pop into a lesser-known church moments away from the Duomo. Santa Maria Presso San Satiro is set apart from the bustling central district and would be easy to walk past unknowingly. Known for its unique architecture and work by Bramante, our guide will touch upon the renaissance style of design and the influence of such architects on Milan. We’ll then proceed through Piazza del Duomo to approach the grand arch of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Our guide will talk about the construction and the architectural methods in place, such as the combination of iron and glass. The glittering designer stores surrounding us will offer a good diving-off point to talk about Milan’s status as a fashion capital. We may pop into the original Prada store, which opened in Milan in 1913 to touch on this theme further. (For a deeper dive into Italian fashion try our Milan Fashion Tour). We’ll follow in the footsteps of centuries of locals as we stroll down the passageway from the Duomo to Piazza del Duomo to Piazza di Marino as we reach La Scala Theater. We'll talk about Giuseppe Piermarini, the famous Italian architect behind the masterpiece. We may discuss the origins of the opera in Milan and why this city in particular rose to fame in the eighteenth century. We’ll talk about the key players associated with this opera house such as Verdi and Puccini, as well as the impact of WW2 bomb damage on this celebrated musical venue.

From Brera to the Castle

From here, our Milan Walking Tour may take a number of different directions depending on time and the proclivities of the group. We might head in the direction of San Maurizio to admire an early Christian church, totally rebuilt during Renaissance times. Alternatively, we could walk in the direction of Piazza San Fedele to talk about the 16th century church and the statue of Alessandro Manzoni, an important Italian literary figure. We may continue wandering in the direction of the Brera district to Palazzo Belgioioso, another Milanese architectural treasure (designed by the same architect as La Scala). Inspired by Luigi Vanvitelli’s Reggia di Caserta, the building was completed in 1781 as a stylish mansion for Alberico XII of Belgioioso. As we amble through the cobblestoned streets of Brera, our guide will talk about this particular neighborhood and the bohemian and leisurely style associated with it. Our last stop on our tour will certainly be the sturdy Sforza Castle, just by Parco Sempione. We’ll talk about the Sforza dynasty and their rule in Milan, the design of the castle’s defenses by Leonardo da Vinci, and the various museums and works on display in the surroundings. As we walk through ancient courtyards and grandiose spaces, we’ll harken back to the times of the Renaissance.

Take-Aways

Over the course of the walk, we will learn about the early beginnings of Milan and how the city has developed over the years. As we take in some of the most significant buildings, monuments, and ancient artifacts, the richness of Milan’s past will come to life.

FAQ

Where does it start and where does it end? We start near the Duomo (including going inside) and we will end at the Castle. We do not visit the inside rooms of the castle, however, you can explore these at your leisure after the tour finishes.

Does this include the Last Supper? This tour does not include the Last Supper.

Is this tour walking intensive, and/or wheelchair accessible? We do cover some ground on this tour, however, we can adjust according to the mobility of your group. Please contact us with any mobility questions; we will be happy to advise if this tour will be appropriate for you or propose modifications where necessary.

Is this tour appropriate for children? This walk is not a part of our official family program. That said, we may be able to arrange a visit with a family-friendly expert. Please contact us.

Do you reserve headsets for this tour? 
Depending on your group size, we may be required by the venue to order headsets in which case you’ll see a “Headset Fee” added to your order. If you would like to guarantee headsets for your tour regardless of your group size, please email us and we’ll be happy to get them reserved for you.

Where You'll Start
(4.76) 55 Reviews

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Valeria Sophia was exceptional! Knowledgeable and engaging. Beyond amazing. Highly, highly recommend.
The tour was excellent, we truly recommend it. With it one can really understand how the Duomo developed throughout its construction in the course of 500 years. Our guide Laura could makes us comprehend the beautiful and eclectic building, showing us how the Duomo presents architectural genres of every period, some being medieval, gothic, others baroque, etc. We were really amazed that we could go beneath the Duomo, and with Laura's knowledge we could understand even how the Roman church functioned. Laura was so great that she arranged the tour to our interest, taking us to the Escala, the beautiful and prestigious Opera house and theatre of Milano. The tour was what we expected and even more!!
Laura was fantastic showing us around Milan. She's very knowledgeable and passionate.