The Italian Lakes

The Gothic Duomo, with its white-and-green-banded facade, contains a key early-medieval treasure, the Corona Ferrea (Iron Crown), fashioned according to legend with one of the nails from the Crucifixion. Charlemagne, King of the Franks and the first Holy Roman Emperor, saw it as a symbol of empire, and he was not alone. Various other Holy Roman emperors, including Frederick I (Barbarossa) and Napoleon, had themselves crowned with it. It's on show in the chapel (from Tuesday to Sunday) dedicated to the Lombard queen Theodolinda.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Italian Lakes attractions

1. Museo e Tesoro del Duomo

0.02 MILES

Religious art museums are often dull, full of faded priestly vestments and tarnished silver that hasn’t been polished since the Risorgimento. But this…

2. Giardini Reali

0.62 MILES

The ‘Royal Gardens’ run to a modest 40 hectares and couch the Villa Reale in a sea of artfully cultivated greenery. They were one of Northern Italy's…

3. Villa Reale

0.69 MILES

In Monza's colossal park stands this equally colossal palace. Built between 1777 and 1780 as a viceregal residence for Archduke Ferdinand of Austria,…

4. Parco di Monza

1.87 MILES

This enormous park is the green lung of the city; it's also one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe, with some 295 hectares of bello bosco (charming…

5. Pirelli HangarBicocca

5.13 MILES

This stunning, multipurpose exhibition space inhabits a huge former locomotive factory on the outskirts of Milan. Temporary exhibits include smartly…

6. Stazione Centrale

7.55 MILES

Annually, nearly 100 million people pass through these hulking portals and onto train platforms beneath a cinematic cylindrical glass roof. Begun in 1912…

7. Santuario di Santa Maria alla Fontana

7.57 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…

8. Torre Pirelli

7.72 MILES

Construction began in 1956 on Milan’s tallest grattacielo (skyscraper). The 32-storey Pirelli Tower sits on the site of the company’s 19th-century factory…