Free Things To Do in Milan
- #2View all Photos#2 in MilanMonuments and Memorials, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMonuments and Memorials, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
It might seem strange to visit a cemetery during your vacation, but once you get a peek at the architecture that makes up Monumental Cemetery, you'll see why it's considered such a must-visit site. Opened near the end of the 19th century, Il Cimitero Monumentale is filled with graves, yes, but also Greek temples, ornate obelisks and impressive, nearly life-like sculptures throughout. The cemetery is so decorative, travelers say it could easily double as an outdoor museum. The reason the cemetery looks as beautiful as it does is because parts of the cemetery were once exclusively reserved for the rich and famous. So instead of rows of basic tombstones, the near and dear of the departed adorned burial sites with, or turned them into, works of art. Travelers say it doesn't take long to run into some pretty moving graves (think: angels standing over plots, statues spread out crying over tombs), make sure to keep an eye out for the bronze "Last Supper" recreation, a burial site that belonged to a prominent Campari family.
Located north of the city center, you can hop off the Monumentale metro stop to get to Monumental Cemetery. The cemetery is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sundays and is free to visit. Allot a couple hours here, as travelers say they ended up staying way longer than they had anticipated. For more information, you can visit the Milan tourism board's website.
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Even if you can't afford to buy anything in this elegant complex, it's still worth a peek for its stunning makeup. This galleria – built at the height of 19th-century belle époque – is a glorified shopping mall, housing high-end Italian designers from Prada to Gucci to Armani under its steel-and-glass arcade. You'll also find other shopping options, including lower-end clothing shops and bookstores rife with fashion literature. There are also a small handful of restaurants and cafes within. Expect to pay loads more for a cup of coffee here. But then again, you could always go to McDonald's (one of the restaurants housed here). Whatever your budget, travelers say the mall's glorious architecture, beautiful paintings and intricate floor tiles are worth a quick visit.
You'll find the galleria off the Duomo metro stop, connecting the Piazza della Scala to the Piazza Duomo. Before you leave, remember to "step on the bull." Supposedly, turning your heel on a painting of a bull on the galleria's floor will bring you luck. The galleria is free to visit and open 24/7, however, individual stores have their own hours.
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