Located upstairs from one of Italy’s most prestigious art schools, this gallery houses Milan’s collection of Old Masters, much of it ‘lifted’ from Venice by Napoleon. Rubens, Goya and Van Dyck all have a place, but you're here for the Italians: Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and the Bellini brothers. Much of the work has tremendous emotional clout, most notably Mantegna's brutal Lamentation over the Dead Christ.
Don't miss the glass-walled restoration laboratory, where you can see conservators at work. Audio guides are available in Italian, French, English, Spanish and German (€5). Every third Thursday, atmospheric musical concerts are held amid the artworks and entrance to the museum is €3.
Much anticipated is the opening, in autumn 2019, of the beautifully restored 18th-century Palazzo Citterio, which will provide a new 6,500-sq-metre home to Brera's modernist collection, as well as showcasing exciting temporary exhibitions in James Stirling's austere concrete bunker beneath the palace's frescoed halls.