<p>View from the cathedral spires</p>
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The 10 secret places you didn’t know about Milan

Discover hidden gems and unseen places in the fashion capital of the world

We have selected a list of ten buildings and places not to be missed when visiting Milan. Get out mass touristy paths and follow unique perks!

1. A church with an architectural secret

Everyone visits the famous Milan Cathedral, but hardly anyone knows that just a few streets away lies a hidden jewel of Italian Renaissance art with a unique feature. Discover the visual deception created by the renowned Renaissance architect Donato Bramante.

Discover the full story here:


2. An ossuary chapel in the centre of Milan

“San Bernardino alle Ossa” is a small chapel in the centre of Milan, with a strong death connotation. It is a unique example of ossuary with thousands of bones that adorn the interior walls.

Discover the full story here: https://www.ptolemy.app/stories/an-ossuary-chapel-in-the-centre-of-milan

3. An ancient pandemic site: the dreadful Lazzaretto

Around three hundred years ago, this place was the last destination for many. With the spreading of the so called “black plague”, this place was hosting thousands of sick people seeking help. A wall remains in memory of old tales, between death and literature.

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4. The Devil Abode

Legend has it that the devil in person, lived in Milan, with his own house at Palazzo Acerbi, today still visible in Corso Di Porta Romana n.3.

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5. The macabre statue in the dome of Milan

Inside the Milan cathedral, there is a statue that goes unnoticed by many. It is the statue of Bartholomew, one of the twelve apostles of Christ, who suffered atrocious martyrdom, according to some sources.

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6. A stone with a curious irony

The Milanese call it ‘La Tosa’, and its meaning goes back to a brutal event in the city’s history. Disover the humour and the interesting image depicted in this sculpture.

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7. Omenoni house

Eight imposing unique sculptures guarding a peculiar building in the centre of Milan. Who where they? Discover what is the meaning behind this gothic façade.

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8. The hidden statue in the medieval colonnade

According to an ancient tale, the foundation of Milan has a peculiar connection with a wild animal. Hidden and hard to spot, lies a small statue in the ancient market of Milan.

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9. The forgotten battleground in Milan

Every day cars and pedestrians pass by, unaware of this ancient battlefield.

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10. The writer’s church in Milan

A unique place related to Alessandro Manzoni, the eternal poet and writer of “I Promessi Sposi” (The Betrothed). A decidedly evocative church that is closely linked to the writer’s life, albeit for a decidedly unfortunate event.


Last updated on
March 10, 2023

Ptolemy Team

All our content is conceived and written by our editorial team, consisting of students and recent graduates in Cultural Heritage, Ancient and Medieval History, and Arts.