It is hard to hold no value of Italian cities, as these are cradles of ancient and Renaissance cultural exquisites. There is no better place to perceive a spirit of this epoch than Apennine Peninsula and thereupon Italian cities. Milan happened to be one of the most popular travel destinations on the North, mostly thanks to its stunning sightseeing spots, opera and theatres and fashionable shopping districts. However, there are many other reasons why Milan attained an enduring appeal.
Milan is the city of prominent composers, grand opera performances and classic music. In very deed, La Scala Opera is the first thing usually associated with Milan. La Scala opened its doors to opera enthusiasts on August 3rd 1778 with Antonio Salieri’s opera “Europa riconosciuta”. The name of the theatre was borrowed from the church it had replaced -Santa Maria alla Scala. For 200 years it has been an honor for both opera artists and composers to perform on the stage of La Scala. Nowadays it is a real complex called Teatro alla Scala & Museo Teatrale alla Scala, which also includes a museum nearby. It tells the story of opera advancement in Milan and the famous composers who worked in the establishment.
Sant’Ambrogio is a saint patron of the city, so there is no wonder Milan hosts a basilica named after him. The church was founded in 379-386 by St. Ambrose of Milan on the burial place of the martyrs of the early Christians in Milan. The entire design of the cathedral sparkles with ancient relics. There are the monks’ bell-tower of the 8th century on the right and the canons’ bell-tower of the 12th century on the left. The main apsidal mosaic of the Christ Pantocrator dates back to the 13th century. Strict red-brick walls of the church maintain many artistic masterpieces, including an altar made of solid gold in the 12th century, under which the embalmed body of Ambrose is kept. Numerous kings of Italy were buried in the basilica.
The center of Milan, Piazza dei Mercanti, has been preserved since the Middle Ages. The main building and therefore historic sightseeing spot is Loggia degli Osii, from the balcony of which the city fathers appealed to the citizens. It is also impossible not to notice Palazzo della Ragione, as it is the biggest hall in Europe without pillar and columns. The identity feature of the palace is an abundance of frescoes and art masterpieces. To be more specific, 300 frescoes follow the astrology topic, being divided into 12 groups (in correspondence to 12 months of the year). The view is truly impressive.
The history of Milano cannot go without mentioning of Sforza family, which highly promoted Milan during the Renaissance epoch. In the 15th century the Sforza castle emerged thanks to the efforts of Francesco Sforza, one of the first Dukes of Milan in the dynasty. During following decades the Sforza family offered one of the most prominent painters and artists of the time to adorn the interior of the castle. Certainly, this refers to Leonardo da Vinci, the greatest figure in Renaissance art.
As it was recorded before, adherence to classic music and cultural treasury are not the only things Milan can boast of. At present, its magnificence is more and more associated with luxury boutiques and fashion weeks. Mainly, it is a merit of Giorgio Armani, famous Italian designer, who has a hand in every possible fashion issue in Milan. Though, one of the most ambitious projects of Armani is a conversion of a former chocolate factory in the south-west into a real theater.
Guest post by Maria Kruk, an author for Exhibitions.com