Secret Milan

Milan is known all over the world: for many it is the most important city in Italy, a second capital that stands out from the rest of the country due to its cosmopolitan impetus, the connection with other European capitals, the innovative architecture, the representation of the Italian excellence in fashion and design.

The Flamingos at the Invernizzi Residence

In the frenzy of the big city, we go in search of a fascinating, surprising secret Milan.

Gardens animated by beautiful animals that normally flee the metropolis, buildings that tell an urban story of transformation over time into the undisputed center of the industrialization of northern Italy, increasingly attractive for workers, artisans, artists.

Explore Secret Milan

The Milan city Gates and their neighborhoods

I sestieri di Milano

hanno probabilmente un originale scopo difensivo già dall'epoca romana. Sono infatti racchiusi dall'anello del fossato navigabile dei Navigli che circondavano le mura della città. Presidiati da avamposti, i sestieri avevano una torre d'avanguardia, camminamenti e una Porta, che ancora oggi dà il nome al quartiere.

I sestieri di Milano
Porta Comasina Porta Nuova Porta Orientale Porta Romana Porta Ticinese Porta Vercellina

Porta Comasina

Porta Nuova

Porta Orientale

Porta Romana

Porta Ticinese

Porta Vercellina


The Porta Comasina area, now known as Porta Garibaldi, is Milan's skyscrapers district, with the Vertical Garden, the Centro Direzionale Gae Aulenti, and the Milan Movida.


At the center of an important urban reconstruction marked by innovation, the Solar Tree by Ross Lovegrove, powered by solar energy illuminates the Gate. In the neighborhood there is the innovative Residenza 4@1Home, the Incubator for Art, a space dedicated to social and cultural networking and the Diamond Tower, a glass and steel skyscraper icon of the new Milan.


Porta Orientale includes three different city gates, built within the Roman, medieval and Spanish perimeter, today the area is identified with Porta Venezia. Corso Buenos Aires and its shopping, Art Nouveau buildings such as the Albergo Diurno, Palazzo Castiglioni and Merri Benegalli are some of its attractions.


It owes its name to the Gate built in 1596 for the passage of Maria Margherita of Austria, bound for Madrid to marry Philip III of Spain. On the course, the Milanese nobility built its most luxurious residences for a long time. The Prada Museum, the Carcano Theater


The neighborhood around via Torino and corso di porta Ticinese along the Pavia route (the Roman Ticinum) is one of the oldest in Milan. The circus and the Roman amphitheater and the basilicas of San Lorenzo and Sant’Eustorgio are some of the most significant examples of ancient architecture in Milan.


Today known as Porta Magenta, it indicates an ancient district, where the tower of the Roman city walls is located, near the Renaissance San Maurizio at the Monastero Maggiore and the Baroque Palazzo Litta. Further along Corso Magenta is Santa Maria delle Grazie and the Casa degli Atellani, with Leonardo's vineyard, a gift from Ludovico to the artist at the time of the Cenacle.

The Neighborhood of Silence

A few steps from the most vibrant city center, you can wander in the peace of the Neighborhood of silence, near Porta Venezia. Stroll to discover the hidden gems of Milan: from pink flamingos to the most eccentric buildings, this guide will show you a unique aspect of the Fashion Capital that will leave you stunned.


Palazzo Berri Meregalli

Perfect example of eclectic architecture, it incorporates Gothic, romantic and Art Nouveau elements in a new and original structure. Inside, the golden mosaics and the marble sculpture by Adolfo Wildt La Vittoria celebrating the end of the First World War.


Pink Flamingos at Villa Invernizzi

Peering through the iron doors of the Residenza of the Invernizzi Family, dairy entrepreneurs of national fame, a few pink flamingos can be seen swimming in their pond. They were brought here in the 70s from Africa and Chile and will not fly away because their feathers are regularly cut and adapted in this new environment. They are fond of their shrimp and mixed cereal meals.


Ear-shaped intercom

An Art Nouveau building of the 1920s called “The House of the Ear “, takes its name from its bronze ear-shaped intercom. It is a work of art built by Adolfo Wildt. It is said that if you whisper your wishes to the intercom, one day they will become reality.


“770” (House of the Rabbi)

One of the 16 “770” identical worldwide, the only one in Europe. The original 770 was built in New York in the 1940s for Yoseph Yitzchok, the leading rabbi of this Jewish community fleeing Nazi Germany, hence the name “House of the Rabbi”. With elements reminiscent of Dutch architecture, this neo-gothic structure stands out in the Liberty district of Milan.


Palazzo Galimberti e Merri Benegalli

These are two main examples of the Liberty style – the Italian version of Art Nouveau – of the early 20th century. The first is a colorful and beautiful palace with nature, flora and fauna, paintings. The second has incredible sculptures and decorations for balconies. Both buildings were designed by the architect Bossi.

Useful tips for visiting Milan

How to travel in Milan

  • Milan boasts three city airports: Linate (8 km from the center), Malpensa (57 km from the center) and Orio al Serio (48 km from the center). All are connected by the public ATM service, taxi and bus shuttles.
  • To travel quickly in the city center, it is advisable to use the subway, which connects all the points of the city and also the suburbs. The cost of a ride is € 1.50, a daily carnet is € 4.50, the weekly one € 10.00, The carnet for 10 trips € 13.80
  • The Milano Card is recommended if you plan to visit many museums or city attractions by public transport: it includes audio guides and large discounts to enter over 200 places of cultural interest with paid access.
  • In Milan it is easy to get around by bike, as distances are never too big: BikeMi is the bike sharing service of the city of Milan,  to be used for short journeys.

In bici sulle strade di Milano

In bici sulle strade di Milano

Un caratteristico tram sulle strade di Milano

A characteristic tram on the streets of Milan

Milan by tram

The Milan trams are a feature of the Milanese city streets, beloved by the Milanese who cannot do without their cheerful rattling and tourists, now more and more often looking for historical and panoramic tours of the city.

The oldest trams date back to the early 1900s, many are found on Line 1, masterpieces of Italian craftsmanship, design and engineering. Their carriages are called the “perteghette” and offer a real journey through a past of style and excellence and a present of attention to the environment in Milan.

Not everyone knows that many Milanese trams no longer used are reused for transporting tourists to the streets of San Francisco in California.

The Route of Line 1 by tram in Milan

You can search for one of the many tours organized by tram in the center of Milan, or choose to take the route of Line 1, one of the most fascinating and panoramic area of the city:

  • Arco della Pace
  • Parco Sempione
  • Cairoli and Castello Sforzesco
  • Piazza della Scala e Piazza Duomo
  • Stazione Centrale e Piazza Cavour.

Best Experiences in Milan

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