Massimiliano Fuksas’ brilliantly engineered exhibition space was built on the Agip oil refinery in Rho-Pero, around 40 minutes out of town by metro. In action since 2006, its billowing glass-and-steel sail floats over 1.4km of halls, capable of holding up to half-a-million visitors.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Milan attractions

1. Casa Milan

3.91 MILES

Designed by Fabio Novembre, this huge, glass wedge topped by a giant TV screen houses the new HQ of AC Milan, incorporating not only the club’s admin, but…

2. Cimitero Monumentale

5.16 MILES

Behind striking Renaissance-revival black-and-white walls, Milan’s wealthy have kept their dynastic ambitions alive long after death with grand sculptural…

3. Arco della Pace

5.25 MILES

Situated at the northwestern edge of Parco Sempione is Napoleon's 25m-high triumphal arch. Designed by Luigi Cagnola in 1807, it echoes Paris' Arc de…

4. Santuario di Santa Maria alla Fontana

5.35 MILES

Originally situated in a bosky wood, this sanctuary once enclosed a pool of healing thaumaturgical water, frequented since ancient times by the old, tired…

5. Torre Branca

5.36 MILES

Giò Ponti's spindly 1933 steel tower (built in two months flat for a Triennale exhibition) provides a fantastic 108m-high viewing platform over Parco…

6. Triennale di Milano

5.44 MILES

Italy’s first Triennale took place in 1923 in Monza. It aimed to promote Italian design and applied arts, and its success led to the construction of…

7. Parco Sempione

5.47 MILES

Situated behind Castello Sforzesco, Parco Sempione was once the preserve of hunting Sforza dukes. Then Napoleon came to town and set about landscaping…

8. Arena Civica


The arena was Napoleon’s mini-colosseum, which he opened in flamboyant style with a chariot race in 1807. Built by Luigi Canonica, its design allowed it…