Three days in Milan – a day with da Vinci - day two
09:00 – the Last Supper
Today is dedicated to adm
iring Leonardo da Vinci’s impact on the city. Hopefully you are reading this guide before you come and you will have you already secured your tickets to visit his mural painting ‘The Last Supper’. If not, now is the time to visit the site and hope and pray there are some cancellations or free spaces. It really is a must see. If not, find yourself a bar to have your first coffee of the day and enjoy the lovely Santa Maria delle Grazie Church and its grounds.
10:00 – get lost!
You could head back to the city centre or alternatively in the direction of Sant’Ambrogio, a 4th-century church. For Sant’Ambrogio, the logical street to take would be Via Carducci. However, sidestep a little to the left and you can easily get lost in the quiet small streets, admiring the lovely shops and the elegant Milanese going about their daily business. You may also pass by some ancient Roman ruins, one of Milan’s universities (Cattolica) and other numerous churches. Hopefully you’ll make your way to Sant’ Ambrogio an important Milanese church named after the city’s patron saint.
Depending on time, you may wish to visit the National Museum of Science and Technology, just across the street. The museum also houses the Leonardo da Vinci Gallery where you can admire wooden models and sketches of the machines he invented.
13:30 – university life lunch time
From the Sant’Ambrogio area you can make your way over the area known as Le Colonne (the columns). Again, you can take a main road or choose to wind your way through the much quieter little streets behind Piazza Sant’Ambrogio. Following Via Lanzone you will arrive at Largo Carrobbio, and going left on to Porta Ticinese you will come across the Columns. Facing the Church of San Lorenzo, these are a set of Roman columns which have been standing here since the fourth century.
Along the way you’re sure to find a place to satisfy your hunger. Eateries here have a fairly casual, student vibe, and there’s a lovely restaurant opposite the Columns too.
15:30 – shopping time
How could you possible visit Milan without going shopping?! In this area, you’ll find some interesting boutique shops plus big brands. You can head back into the city by taking Via Torino or head in the direction out of the city via Corso Porta Ticinese.
Alternatively, you may wish to visit the San Lorenzo church or take some time to relax in the small park behind it.
17:00 – more da Vinci
If you didn’t take the Corso Porta Ticinese option, we suggest you do it now. Following this road, it will lead you to the new gateway to the city, the old one being just behind you near the Columns. This is Piazza 24 Maggio, recognisable by its large column monument in the middle. From here you can head to the Navigli area. This used to be the city’s port district. Port district? Yes, there may not be any sea but until the 19th
century, Milan hosted a series of canals which transported the marble to the Duomo and departed with handmade goods and textiles. Da Vinci had an influence on this network of canals and helped design locks.
There are two major canals, but make your way to the second one, the Naviglio Grande. Here you can see typical Milanese housing and on the right side of the canal, enter one of the courtyards and admire the long-running balconies which are typical of this housing. You will also find artists and other interesting boutique shops.
Keep an eye out for the Old Laundry on a little side street off the canal. You’ll see the old washing troughs where women used to wash clothes in the canal water.
19:00 – evening options
Staying on the canal, you can choose to make the most of happy hour or save yourself for a traditional Milanese dinner. Aim for a table alongside the canal and take in the Milanese night life and fashion! You can also find live music and nightclubs on the other canal, Naviglio Pavese.