View of the Palazzo Reale

Palazzo Reale

Duomo & San Babila

Empress Maria Theresa’s favourite architect, Giuseppe Piermarini, gave this town hall and Visconti palace a neoclassical overhaul in the late 18th century. The supremely elegant interiors were all but destroyed by WWII bombs; the Sala delle Cariatidi remains unrenovated as a reminder of war’s indiscriminate destruction. Now the once opulent palace hosts blockbuster art exhibits, attracting serious crowds to shows featuring artists as diverse as Escher, Caravaggio and Arnaldo Pomodoro.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Duomo & San Babila attractions

1. Il Grande Museo del Duomo

0.02 MILES

Stepping through Guido Canali’s glowing spaces in the Duomo's museum is like coming upon the sets for a Game of Thrones episode. Gargoyles leer down…

2. Chiesa di San Gottardo in Corte

0.04 MILES

Milan’s founding father, murderous Azzone Visconti, is entombed in this ducal chapel that sports Milan’s prettiest, and oldest, octagonal clock tower,…

3. Museo del Novecento

0.07 MILES

Overlooking Piazza del Duomo, with fabulous views of the cathedral, is Mussolini's Arengario, from where he would harangue huge crowds in his heyday. Now…

4. Duomo

0.09 MILES

A vision in pink Candoglia marble, Milan's extravagant Gothic cathedral, 600 years in the making, aptly reflects the city's creativity and ambition. Its…

6. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II


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…

7. 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…

8. Torre Velasca

0.22 MILES

Studio BBPR’s 1958 skyscraper is an iconic Milanese landmark. The top-heavy tower camply tilts at Castello Sforzesco and the Duomo’s lovely buttresses…