The best way to enjoy the area as a whole is to take a walk and randomly discover the beauty hidden in plain sight in the little boroughs of Brera, peeking through the gates into the picturesque cloisters inside the palazzos along the way, admiring art works displayed in the windows of the numerous galleries, and maybe even spotting some VIPs lurking between the streets. Tourists will most certainly enjoy the Bancarella della Stampe, right in front of the Santa Maria del Carmine Church.
This museum is situated on the second floor of a gorgeous building, restored by Napoleon, whose monuments stands in the middle of a sunny cloister, and who was the one to dedicate it to the arts as he passed through Milan. Today, Pinacoteca di Brera has numerous masterpieces on display, painted by some of the greatest Italian artists, such as Raphael, Caravaggio, Andrea Mantegna, Correggio, and Piero della Francesca. Before enterering take a look at the peculiar clock, another of the museum’s great wonders.
The spectacular botanic garden in Brera is a historic garden that was established by the empress Maria Theresa of Austria in 1774, along with its adjoining astronomic observatory. Since 1998 the botanic garden has been curated by Università degli Studi di Milano, which opened it to the public. Aside from the plant species and the bulbs collection, the 18th century architecture is worthy of a visit in its own right!
If, when walking out of Pinacoteca di Brera, visitors turn left, they’ll quickly reach via Fiori Chiari, one of the most characteristic of the neighborhood boroughs, curiously opposed to via Fiori Oscuri on the right. Since 1981, in this cute, little street, every third Sunday an enthralling antiques market takes place. The area becomes filled with stands displaying everything from pocket watches to prints, from fine china to walking canes. Occasionally street artists and painters also make an appearance!
Milan was a key city during the Risorgimento, the moment that signed the birth of Italy as we know it today. A mixture of prints, paintings, sculptures and historic objects tell the story of that fundamental century that goes from 1796 to 1870, when the Italian Kingdom took the form that would be the base on which Italy the modern state would be born. The museum here offers school programs and hosts several public events and lectures on the subject right throughout the year.
Museo del Risorgimento, via Borgonuovo 23, Milan, Italy, +39 011 562 1147