Expo in Milan: the secret places in Milan

10 secret places that hide between the characteristics streets of the Lombard city: streets, buildings and gardens to see the city from a different perspective.


Casa Galimberti is a wonderful palace in via Malpighi 3 designed by Giovanni Battista Bossi in 1903-1905. A brilliant example of Milanese liberty style. Ceramic tiles, with motifs drawn with fire by the same architect, cover the majority of the facade and draw curvaceous women on the first floor and floral patterns on the upper floors.


In the Navigli area, among bars and restaurants, the vicolo dei Lavandai sounds of history. Recently renovated, in the historic alley you can admire a centrifuge of the early ‘900, still intact, where women used to go to wash linen at the end of the 50s. It is curious that the alley is dedicated to the male gender, this is because during the nineteenth century were the men who were devote to the cleaning and they met in a fraternity: the Brotherhood of Lavandai.


Villa Necchi Campiglio, an historic home in via Mozart 14, is a precious example of a private villa of the ’30s. Designed by Piero Portaluppi, the villa is surrounded by a large garden with tennis court and swimming pool. Necchi sisters, members of the Lombard industrial upper class, donated the villa to the Fondo Ambientale Italiano (Italian Environmental Fund) which decided to open it to the public in 2008.


Villa Invernizzi, a palace inspired by classicism located between Corso Venezia and Via Cappuccini, contains a magical garden that hosts a large colony of pink flamingos since several years. An oasis of tranquility in the heart of Milan.


Located in the heart of Milan, 3 minutes from the Duomo, in Via Verziere 2, the Church of San Bernardino alle Ossa is famous for its ossuary, built in 1210 because the cemetery was too full and had no place left. The ossuary is characterized by a frescoes ceiling made by Sebastiano Ricci in 1695 and the walls are entirely covered with skulls and bones. The church was built almost 60 years later, in 1269.


Palazzo Brera, in the heart of the city, hides a fascinating and little-known Botanical Garden with 300 different species in 5000 square meters. The Garden, built by Empress Maria Teresa of Austria in 1774, was recovered and restored by the University of Milan. Inside also a greenhouse attributed to Giuseppe Piermarini and an eighteenth century basin with iris and lilies.


The Istituto dei Ciechi (Institute for Blind people) in Milan, in Via Vivaio 5, hosts Dialogo nel buio, a project started in 2005 that provides many activities inside the building. From percorso al buio where visitors can explore different environments relying on touch, hearing, smell and taste to Cafénoir where you can taste an aperitvo between cocktails and live music in total darkness, until TrattoNero, a real dinner with four courses where to play in recognizing objects and distinguish flavors. Another activity is the Teatro al Buio, a play where rediscover the value of words, the intensity of the noise and immerse themselves in an intimate atmosphere


The circo romano (Roman Circus) of Milan was built between the third and fourth century by Emperor Maximilian. Located in the west  part of Mediolanum (Milan), the facility was set up like the Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus) in Rome with two straight runs joined by two curves. Furthermore, it was located near the imperial palace, very important place between 286 and 402 when Mediolanum was capital of the Roman Empire.


La Vigna di Leonardo, located near Borgo delle Grazie in the district of Porta Vercellina, is a vineyard that Ludovico il Moro gave as a present, on April 26th, 1499, to Leonardo da Vinci, a great lover of wine and coming from a family of winemakers.


MUDEC – the Museo delle Culture (Culture’s Museum) is a new exhibition space located in the former Ansaldo factory in Tortona area. Designed as a meeting place between cultures and communities, the museum has several spaces and hosts cultural events. Currently there are two exhibitions: on display “MONDI A MILANO. Culture ed esposizioni, 1874 – 1940”, until July 19 and  “AFRICA – La terra degli spiriti”, until August 30.