While Milan is not full of museums like Florence and Rome, the northern city does have its share of fine museums, which include everything from Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper to modern masterpieces. Following are 4 of Milan’s best museums and information on what you will find in them.
1. Pinacoteca di Brera – The Pinacoteca di Brera is not just an art gallery – it’s one of Italy’s best art galleries, located in an art school in Milan’s ‘artists neighborhood’. The pinacoteca is in a stunning neoclassic building and the collection of paintings dating from the Middle Ages to the Romantic period is perhaps second only to the Uffizi in Florence – and Brera only sees a fraction of its visitors.
2. The Last Supper – This one is not a museum as just one work of art is exhibited but definitely deserves its place in this list. The Last Supper is Leonardo da Vinci’s most mysterious artwork, portraying the reaction of the apostles after Jesus’s announcement that one of them would betray him. The peculiar expression on the face of Jesus Christ, halfway between sadness and hopelessness, is one of the great enigmas of art history.The Last Supper is not a true fresco, as it was painted on a dry wall rather than on wet plaster. This makes the artwork very fragile, and only a limited number of people are allowed to see it each day. Make sure you book your tickets well in advance!
3. Museo del Novecento – This museum definitely wins the best location award – it’s right next to the Duomo, and from its terrace you can get a wonderful view over the square. This museum is dedicated to 20th century art and it showcases over 300 permanent exhibits. One room includes works by international artists, but the bulk of the museum focuses on Italian 20th century art, with sections dedicated to the major art movements of the time.
4. Sforza Castle Art Gallery – This castle, built in 1450, was the residence and seat of the Duchy of Milan and one of the largest citadels in Europe at that time. Today, the castle houses several art galleries and museums. The structure itself is worth a visit, as it is emblematic of the era’s architecture. Some rooms retain their original interior decor, including the Sala Dela Asse, which features the original ceiling paintings by Leonardo Da’Vinci. The castle is home to several other museums, including; The Museum of Ancient Art, The Furniture Museum, The Museum of Musical Instruments and the Applied Arts Collection, The Egyptian and Prehistoric sections of the Archaeological Museum and the Achille Bertarelli Print Collection.