This article is part of a guide to Milan from FT Globetrotter

Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte

The Neoclassical facade of Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte
© Paolo Romiti/Alamy

The best spot in the whole city is not as well known as you would think: the Villa Belgiojoso Bonaparte a lovely 18th-century villa in the Neoclassical style with a park and garden. Website; Directions

— Paolo Gabriele di Sessa, banker, Milan

The roof of the Duomo

The spires of the roof of the Duomo in Milan
© Iuliia Zavalishina/Alamy

The roof of the Duomo is exhilarating. Wander among the spires as if it were the world’s most dramatic playground. Look down upon Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and much of the city; and without too much eye strain, you can see the mountains north of the city. All just a short elevator ride from the rear of the cathedral. Website; Directions

— Douglas Lucius, economist, Washington DC

Villa Necchi Campiglio

© FAI – Fondo per l’Ambiente

My favourite place in Milan is Villa Necchi Campiglio. It used to be a private residence and it is now under the custodianship of FAI (Fondo Ambientale Italiano), which is a sort of [equivalent of the UK’s] National Trust. It is open from Wednesday to Sunday and is probably the best example in Milan of Modernist architecture applied to residential homes. There is a garden, a swimming pool and a space that used to be the tennis court. There is also a restaurant. The interiors represent the peak of 1930s Italian design. Website; Directions

— Carmelo Raimondo, lawyer, Milan

Kasa dei Libri

Kasa dei Libri — home to an amazing private collection of books. Not far from the Garibaldi district, it also organises exhibitions focused on art and literature. Where to eat around there: Momo Milano for a rich breakfast; and Berberè for a proper Italian pizza. Website; Directions

Erica Rosati, marketing manager, Milan

Naviglio Martesana and Eastriver

© @eastriver_martesana

Naviglio Martesana. It is the lesser-known canal in Milan, but also the most authentic. It is in the north-east of the city, close to the metro stations Turro and Gorla metro stations (both on the Red Line (M1)). Along the canal, you’ll parks, residential buildings but also cool places to stop for food and drink (starting from breakfast until drinks after dinner). It is ideal for a pub crawl during the summer months as there are lots of nice bars. Directions

And my absolute favourite place on the canal is Eastriver: a sort of a club with a spacious garden, it’s great for families with kids. Fair prices, good food and drink — you can spend an evening here surrounded by trees and cool objects. You can also rent canoes in the summer. Website; Directions

— Danja Nebuloni, tourism consultant, Milan 


King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard at Alcatraz, Milan, March 2023
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard at Alcatraz, March 2023 © SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Milan is a regular stop in countless bands’ global tours. The city is ideally located and perfectly connected to attract visitors from across Italy and beyond. There are many venues to choose from, although I recently visited to watch Australian rock band King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard play at Alcatraz — one of the most well-established venues in Milan, in the north of the city and well served by public transport to the centre. With its tiered interior and large stage, it is not difficult to see why it draws such an international crowd, with plenty of food and drink opportunities just around the corner including Edit, a trendy beer and wine lounge. This area is perfect for those looking for an experience beyond the city centre, and for those keen to catch their favourite artists as they tour Europe. Website; Directions

Matthew McCloy, marketing student, Glasgow 


Idroscalo lake
© Getty Images/iStockphoto

Milan has some lovely green spaces to walk and cycle in. Near Linate airport is Idroscalo. You can reach it by bike, car or bus. Once there, you can walk or cycle around the lake, rent a canoe or go waterskiing. The forest around the lake is great for running, and there are bars and restaurants too. Look out for the various sporting events or dance parties. Directions

Paola Cairella, IT consultant, Milan

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore

An ornate painted archway of religious scenes at San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore
© AGF Srl/Alamy

Often referred to as the Sistine Chapel of Milan. Known only by people born here, really. Very few visitors, lovely atmosphere, brilliant art. Website; Directions

Marco, journalist, Milan


Aerial shot of a swimming pool and tennis courts in Milan’s PlayMore! complex

PlayMore! is a sports centre for everyone. People with any kind of disability can practise and train with others in a safe and inclusive environment. It’s way cheaper than anywhere else, and the trainers are skilled and certified. It is in the centre, surrounded by some of the best touristic spots in the city. Its projects include RunChallenge and Blind Tennis. Both can be joined by anyone, with or without disabilities. The first, in particular, is aimed at participating in the Milano City Relay Marathon to raise money for inclusivity projects. Website; Directions

Cecilia Vicinanza, key account manager, Milan

What’s your favourite place in Milan? Tell us in the comments below. And follow FT Globetrotter on Instagram at @FTGlobetrotter

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