Undiscovered Milan: In search of the secret places in Milan
Starting from the Fornace Curti to the Albergo Diurno Venezia: Milan is all to be discovered, hiding little jewels, often unknown also to its inhabitants!
Milan is a city with a hidden beauty: it gifts who wants to discover it with charming corners! In order to know and appreciate it, you have to lose yourself along its less popular streets, look inside the buildings and glance into the courtyards.
Actually, Milan is not only traffic, frenetic rhythms, shopping and super-trendy clubs. Along the streets of the historic palaces it keeps marvellous and not very known glimpses, where time seems to stand still and tranquillity is in the air.
This is Milan: a hidden city, letting people discover it among the years!
Which are the most beautiful and uncommon hidden places to visit in Milan?
If you are here, you’re planning to come or simply you would like to make an unusual round trip, here you can find 8 things in Milan that you might not even know existed!
If you desire it, our Vip Limousine luxury car rental with driver in Milan team will be happy to be your guide and to lead you to discover Milan on our wonderful cars with driver: among our many services, we propose you also personalised tours in Milan with a driver!
1 - Villa Invernizzi
In the heart of Milan, between Corso Venezia and Via Palestro, inside the silent quadrilateral, you can find this fascinating Art Nouveau palace, keeping inside one of the most loved glimpses by the Milanese, but also one of the less known: in the garden you’ll see a cheerful and picturesque flock of flamingos.
Villa Invernizzi can’t be visited, but if you try to peek through the iron grating you’ll enjoy the flamingos relaxing in their garden immersed in an absolute and suggestive silence.
We are talking about a real colony of Greater and Chilean flamingos, living here since 1979, when Romeo Invernizzi, Italian industrialist and inventor of the Mio cheese, brought them in his garden directly from Africa and from Chile.
Villa Invernizzi is located in Via Cappuccini n. 7 in Milan.
2 - The Church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro
In the historical centre of Milan, and precisely in Via Torino in a short blind alley, tight between 2 buildings, you’ll find a parish Church built at the end of the 15th century: it’s the Church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro – you must not miss one of the strokes of genius of Bramante!
The building is known for its "false apse", masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance perspective painting. As soon as you enter, may be you’ll not notice anything strange and the space behind the altar will seem the same as in many other churches.
Walking along the nave and getting nearer to the altar, gradually you’ll discover the trick in all its magnificence: every standing behind actually is just an optical illusion created by Bramante in order to solve the problem of the lack of space!
The Church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro is located in Via Torino, n. 17 in Milan.
3 - Albergo Diurno Venezia
Albergo Diurno Venezia was considered the salon of Milan, a symbol of elegance and hospitality.
In Piazza Oberdan, halfway through the staircase getting to the underground you’ll find a little door, that seems an entry in a dimension of the past with an ancient taste.
Getting through it, you’ll find yourself in the twenties, when this place was at the top of its splendour. It’s not a hotel, but a wonderful example of glorious public restrooms, the Diurni, are realised by Cleopatro Cobianchi in the first half of the 20th century.
Nowadays it’s a FAI property and a beloved place for many of the inhabitants of Milan.
It was a thoroughfare offering hospitality during the day to travellers and citizens who needed a moment of rest or relax: barbers, manicure, luggage room, pedicure or telephone service were some of the offered services.
Today it’s still everything as before, as if time has stopped. It’s willing to open its doors to those who want to live again that atmosphere. For the guided tours you need to consult the Fai site.
The Albergo Diurno Venezia is located in Piazza Guglielmo Oberdan in Milan.
4 - The San Bernardino alle Ossa Church
At the centre of Milan, in Piazza Santo Stefano, is hidden one of the most surprising and disquieting places of the city.
Not in the bigger Church, but in the smaller one on its left, hidden by the trees, you can find the Ossuary of San Bernardino alle Ossa.
The Church was built in 1127 as a hospital for the lepers and a cemetery hosting the bodies of the dead caused by that cruel disease.
Later was built a chamber near the Church where to keep the bones of the deceased as to make room for the cemetery.
Thus was born the ossuary. But what makes it so particular?
The decorations on the walls that are exactly what they seem: human skulls and bones. Organised on the cornice and set between the recesses, they adorn the pillars and frame the doors, in a decorative motive where the macabre melds with the grace of the Rococo-style.
It’s an enigmatic and in the same time disquieting place, thanks to the bones’ story, not clear to whom do they belong, all shrouded in mystery.
The San Bernardino alle Ossa Church is located in Via Verziere, n. 2 in Milan.
5 - Fornace Curti
The Fornace Curti is the only and last furnace still functioning in Milan for the manufacturing of clay, but is also a place where to take refuge for a moment of relax, in a kind of "mini village" inside the city.
The origins of the furnace go back in the 15th century when, at the service of the Sforza family, it produced the tiles for the Certosa di Pavia (a monastery) and the Ospedale Maggiore (a hospital).
Although the many changes of the location during the centuries, the Fornace Curti has always been the point of reference for that decorative tiles, detailed and fined, characterising the Lombard decorative production.
As a matter of fact it’s from the Fornace Curti that are coming the decorations not only of Ca' Granda, but also of the Abbazia di Morimondo, the Certosa di Pavia, the Arcivescovado di Milano, the Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Abbazia di Chiaravalle, the Duomo di Monza, the Teatro Fossati and of all that "rich and red" buildings, scattered all around the city of Milan.
The Fornace Curti is located in Via Walter Tobagi, n. 8 in Milan.
6 - Foro romano
Under the city of Milan is situated the ancient main square of the centre of Mediolanum, Milan’s name during the Roman Republic.
Hidden under the Ambrosiana building, situated in the homonymous street, you can find the rests of the Foro romano where was emanated an important edict for Christianity’s development: the edict of the Emperor Constantine, in 313 A.D.
Above Foro’s ruins was first built a little Church dedicated to the Holy Trinity, than a much bigger one, that took the name of Santo Sepolcro.
On one side of the Church was even built, according to Federico Borromeo’s will, world’s first big public library in modern times: the Biblioteca Ambrosiana.
The Foro was 160 metres long and 100 large, but today is open to the public just in some sections, from the basements of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana and of the Church of San Sepolcro.
The Foro Romano is located in Via dell'Ambrosiana in Milan.
7 - The Central Synagogue
The Synagogue of Milan, a building in eclectic style realised in 1892, is the main Jewish place of worship in Milan: its construction became extremely necessary during the 19th century, when the Jewish community of Milan was substantially increased. The person entrusted with its realisation was the architect Luca Beltrami, already known in Milan for his restoration of Piazza della Scala and Castello Sforzesco.
Synagogue’s roof was bombed in 1943, while the entire building was nearly destroyed. Later it was rebuilt and successively restored once again in 1997.
The central Synagogue is located in Via della Guastalla, n. 19 in Milan.
8 - The Guastalla Gardens
In front of the Università Statale and next to the Ospedale Maggiore you can see this park, one of the smallest and most ancient of Milan, with a curious and intriguing story: among the religious inspirations and politic conspiracies, the Guastalla Gardens was realised in 1555 by the will of Ludovica Torelli, countess of Guastalla.
Many times re-elaborated during the centuries, the Gardens are maintaining completely intact the magic that has always been characterised them, with the little lake hosting fishes and turtles, the botanic variety and the peace that still can be felt under the shadow of the tree-lined boulevards.
Inside, you can admire the fish pool, the niche from the 17th century and a small neoclassical temple.
Also the trees adorning the gardens are very particular: you can see beeches, ashes, horse chestnuts and even catalpas, with a very contorted and monumental trunk.
The Guastalla Gardens are located in Via Francesco Sforza in Milan.
Discover Milan with our Vip Limousine cars with driver!
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