Often, when you change perspective, even cities you thought you knew well, in my case Milano where I lived almost four years when I attended University, seem different and more appealing. Milano, of course, is no exception to this, showing proud its brand-new skyline in which stand skyscrapers of Porta Nuova in Gae Aulenti square, the Armonica and the Pavilion Unicredit, the Bosco Verticale and the Varesine.
We started our tour to discover Milan from a classic: the walk between the spiers of the cathedral. Resist the charm of the city as seen through the embroideries of Gothic spiers, accessible on foot or by lift (Ticket Office on right side of the cathedral; info: +39 02 72003768 – www.duomomilano.it; price: € 13, 00 / € 7.00 lift; € 8.00 / € 4.00 stairs Cathedral Pass: cathedral + terraces + museum + archeological area € 11.00 with uphill walking; € 15.00 with elevator ride). You’ll be in line to get on the top just below the famous Madonnina that embraces and protects the city, but it is really worth it.
Across the street there is La Rinascente where you can browse through the various floors of shopping or climb directly on the 7th where from the restaurant’s terrace-bar you can enjoy an exceptional panorama: you can almost touch with your fingertips the spiers of the cathedral! On the opposite side of the square the magnificent view that you can enjoy, with the arch of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in the background and the imposing facade of the cathedral on the right, from the terrace of the Museum of 900.
The walk can continue between the roofs of the city, on the catwalk outside the gallery made a century and a half ago by the architect Giuseppe Mengoni for maintenance of glass domes and never open to the public until now. The entrance is anonymous (via Silvio Pellico 2 ang. Piazza Duomo 21), but once at the top the view is priceless. The view extends from one side of Piazza Duomo and the “new” Scala by Botta with the white and elliptical crown which houses the offices and rehearsal rooms, and the other on the new boundaries of the city, the light and sophisticated of the buildings of Gae Aulenti square in which emerges the steel and glass arrow of Unicredit Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Italy. On the terraces illustrative panels telling the evolution of the main square of Milan with plans for the construction of the gallery and various historical section of the city between the late ‘800 and early ‘900. At the end of the path, walking suspended on the roofs and in the chimneys, you get to the living room open air of pizzeria The 12 cats, so named in honor of a colony of cats colored pitch that inhabits the catwalks since the construction of the gallery. (Hours: 10:00 to 22:00. Cost: EUR 12.00).
The terrace of the only 7 star of Italy, the hotel Seven Stars Galleria, instead enjoys views of the Duomo. Below that of Duomo 21, former Terrazza Martini, where you can go to enjoy the view and also the warmth of the sun in late October with an aperitif as we did (Piazza Duomo, 21, +39 02 45397654). After an aperitif, you can choose to go eat a risotto to rest@dome: opened in May at the Hall of Columns of the Great Museum of the Duomo (Piazza del Duomo, 14 / A, firstname.lastname@example.org; tel. + 39 02 37920503) is the new refreshment point of the Veneranda Fabbrica. Access to the refreshment point is reserved exclusively to all visitors equipped with cards for access to the monumental complex of the Cathedral of Milan.