This is a perfect idea for a morning in Milan. As most museums around the world, it opens at 10 am. You will have enough time to sleep, have a plentiful breakfast and take your coffee or tea. Visits to museums never occur too early in the morning.
After a short stay in Verona, the next city on my Italian winter trip was Milan. After a day of talking and shopping with my lovely Global Village friend Olga, I had one day for museums. Milan is a city rich in history and it’s surprisingly easy to go around and plan a short but fulfilled visit.
Sadly, the famous Leonardo’s “Last Supper” will remain on my to-do list until the next time, because it was too late to book a regular visit (a couple of agencies could still provide an exclusive pass costing up to 50 euros or something like that). However, I visited three unique spots in Milan that can be easily visited in one day, with a relaxed program. The first of them was the Castelo Sforzesco.
1) Michelangelo’s Masterpiece
The walls are partially covered with fresco paintings, just like in the similar castle of Verona. This castle had numbers of transformations throughout the centuries, having its original medieval structure and outer walls, while many courtyards and inner facades have classical Renaissance design.
Everything made by Michelangelo is a masterpiece, isn’t it?
Michelangelo Buonarroti was one of a few real Renaissance geniuses, so-called “universal men”. There is a plenty of statues made by him, in museums all over Italy. The Castelo of Milan has one of them, made in marble, dominating the whole room with its story. I mean, visiting museums is always fun, for me and for most of my friends and readers, but seeing a work made by one of the greatest artists of all times is so… astonishing experience, I would say.
I paid only 5 euros for the entrance ticket, and it’s valid for the whole museum; the museum has lots of collections. Not all of them were opened at the moment, and several spots inside and outside the castle were under works of renovation; it might justify the low ticket price.
2) Prehistoric Collections
I have a certain passion for archaeology and this was a set of fun moments discovering a culture that co-existed with the advanced Vučedol culture. There is a huge amount of “fashionable items”, though I’m not sure if they also liked to create and sell fake items.
After meeting the prehistoric cultures of this site, there was a long way through later historical periods, still before Michelangelo, of course.
There is a gallery of Egyptian art, including several mummies. There is also a medieval section, with a set of items saved from a destroyed medieval church. That part is lit up by the natural light – the day was sunny and there was a particularly high amount of light in the room 😀
3) Egyptian Art
There is a collection of Egyptian Art in the Sforza Castle, with a surprising quantity and quality of sculpture. It’s funny to look, to anyone who likes to discover how the ancient civilizations thought about beauty. There is a little statue of a mother breastfeeding the child. It looks familiar, doesn’t it? I admire examples of art evolving and transmitting from culture to culture, from time to time.
4) Medieval Art
I did not spend much time in this section, I just gave a quick look to it, to see how large it is and what kind of stories does it tell. The castle itself is medieval, so you get enough of the medieval feeling by seeing the structures of the castle. However, it’s cool to see how they made a guide to a disappeared church, with only a few fragments of it still preserved. This section is totally full of light. The day was sunny, and it was enjoyable, a feeling almost like staying outdoors on some archaeological site.
5) Musical Castle
The previous sections might not be that fun if you are not a huge fan of prehistoric, ancient or medieval artwork (Michelangelo can’t be escaped anyway, clear? :D). However, going upstairs to the gallery of musical instrument is a deeply gorgeous experience. The incredible amount of exotic, centuries-old musical instrument is breathtaking!
First of all, the feeling. Going to the upper parts of the castle involves a perfect enjoyment in the mystical medieval architectural scenario (although romanticized by these times we live in hehe), and the gallery itself is pretty extensive.
I’m not a musical kind of person. I don’t know how to sing properly or play any instrument. Nature did not give me that kind of talent. But, I love to listen to diverse musical styles. This gallery made me curious about the sounds of these archaic (or even extinct) instruments.
6) The Castle and its surroundings
Above all, this is a splendid building! The Castle has so many courtyards, wings, and units from different times. This is like a park, with a series of buildings and a collection of museums.
What else to see in Milan? Check a guide to street food, impressive architecture and arts, and astonishing views of Milan.