View of the Piazza degli Affari

Piazza degli Affari

Corso Magenta & Sant'Ambrogio

Home to the Italian stock exchange (Palazzo della Borsa), this square is a famous hub of financial activity. But that’s not all it’s known for. In the centre of the piazza is Milan's most controversial public sculpture, Maurizio Cattelan’s L.O.V.E. (standing for 'Liberty, Hatred, Vendetta and Eternity'). A four-metre-high fist with a raised middle finger, many believe it’s a statement on the economic crisis as it was erected just after the financial crash, although the artist has refrained from commenting.

Still, its message may be even more subversive, as commentators have noted the finger points away from the Borsa and towards the city.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Corso Magenta & Sant'Ambrogio attractions

1. Biblioteca e Pinacoteca Ambrosiana

0.15 MILES

One of Europe’s earliest public libraries (built 1609), the Biblioteca Ambrosiana was more a symbol of intellectual ferment than of quiet scholarship. It…

2. Chiesa di San Maurizio

0.22 MILES

This 16th-century royal chapel and one-time Benedictine convent is Milan's hidden crown jewel. Its somewhat sombre facade belies a gorgeous interior,…

3. Palazzo della Ragione

0.22 MILES

Erected between 1228 and 1251, Milan's 'Palace of Reason' is one of the few remaining medieval constructions to survive. Its Romanesque arcade served as a…

4. Palazzo Clerici

0.24 MILES

The blank façade of this 18th-century palace disguises the most extravagant interiors in Milan, including a golden hall frescoed by Tiepolo. It was owned…

6. Civico Museo Archeologico

0.25 MILES

The 8th-century Monastero Maggiore, once the most important Benedictine convent in the city, is now home to Milan's archaeological museum. Access is via a…

7. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

0.33 MILES

So much more than a shopping arcade, the neoclassical Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a soaring structure of iron and glass. Nicknamed 'il salotto di…

8. Museo Teatrale alla Scala

0.34 MILES

Giuseppe Piermarini's 2800-seat theatre was inaugurated in 1778, replacing the previous theatre, which burnt down in a fire after a carnival gala. Costs…