“We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.”
— Katie Thurmes
But, let’s be honest, sometimes we also take them for the ‘gram… no shame. Whatever your intentions are for your photographs, capturing special moments and memories can be a very powerful thing. And, thanks to the internet, it is now easier than ever to share these moments and memories with whomever we want. It’s also become a lot easier to share knowledge regarding where to create the most memorable images. Which leads me to the purpose of this post!
Milan is often renowned for its reputation in fashion. And, flooded with talented designers, fashion shows, exclusive parties and events, and more, it is easy to see why. However, it is important to note that, when visiting this iconic city, it has far more to offer than simply a booming fashion scene. The theme of design can be found throughout the city’s architecture, canals, and incredibly unique neighbourhoods. So, without further ado, let’s jump into where you can witness it for yourself and capture the most beautiful Instagram shots to share with your loved ones!
1. Duomo di Milano
Okay, let’s be real, we obviously had to start here. Taking nearly 6 centuries to complete its construction, it has to be the most notable and recognizable spot in the city. It is the largest church in Italy, third-largest in Europe, and fourth-largest in the world, and can be enjoyed from many different perspectives around Duomo Square. Enjoy beautiful rooftops views from the Duomo itself, or a view of the intricately designed architecture from a local bar or cafe. My favourite views had to be from the Terrazza Aperol and the roof of the Duomo itself (both shown here below).
2. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Almost directly beside the Duomo di Milano you will find our next location: the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Essentially, this gorgeous building is Italy’s oldest shopping mall. It is here you will find luxury brands and shops from top Italian designers, restaurants, cafes and bars, and the world’s first certified 7 Star hotel — the Town House Galleria. A popular spot for tourists and fashion fanatics, it's best to head to these first two locations in the early hours of the morning to get the best snaps.
Venice isn’t the only spot in Italy with canals running through its city streets. Navigli is a popular area in Milan for evening aperitivo and Friday night drinks on the Darsena. here you will find several canals lined with pizzerias, gelaterias, bars, and more. Head here on the last Sunday of the month and you’ll also catch the Navigli Antique Market, where the banks of the Naviglio Grande are filled with countless vendors selling everything from furniture to books, paintings, porcelain, second-hand clothing, and more.
4. Santa Maria della Grazie
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for housing the famous original “Last Supper” mural by Leonardo da Vinci, this beautiful church is located between the metro stops of Conciliazione and Sant’Ambrogio. The church itself is lovely, but it also contains a quaint garden, whose entrance is so subtle, you could blink and miss it. To find this spot, walk around the back of the church and seek out a small black gate surrounded by greenery.
5. 10 Corso Como
10 Corso Como is a shopping and dining complex located in the North end of the city, in a more ‘modernized’ neighbourhood. Selling works of art, displaying exhibits of local designers and artists, books, and more, there is much more than meets the eye upon your arrival. A unique getaway from the bustling city streets, find your quiet oasis with a packed lunch or book on the 10 Corso Como rooftop where you’ll be surrounded by plants, picnic tables, lounging chairs, and more, and take in your surroundings where old meets modern.
6. Arco della Pace
Otherwise known as the “Arch of Peace”, this Neoclassical gate can be found between the Arena Civica and the Torre Branca and acts as an entrance to the beautiful Parco Sempione (a fantastic spot for picnics in the summer!). Oh yeah, and does this Arch remind you of something? It should — reflective of the Arc de Triomphe, this arch is located at the start of Corso Sempione, a road that connects Milan to Paris.
7. Colonne di San Lorenzo
Lining the square that resides in front of the Basilica di San Lorenzo in central Milan, you will find a group of ancient Roman Ruins estimated to date back to the 2nd Century. The square is a popular place for young adults to meet and socialize in the evenings and is an interesting spot to grab a unique shot between ancient ruins and modern graffiti art.
8. Pinacoteca di Brera / Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
Whether you’re into paintings, architecture, sculptures, or any other aspect of design, you should be sure to visit some of Milan’s museums. Not only are they incredibly interesting and informative, showcasing much of Milan’s history and artistic expression, they also make for great photo ops. Two of my favourite museums include the Pinacoteca di Brera (the main public gallery for paintings in the city) and the Pinacota Ambrosiana (one of the oldest cultural institutions in the city).
9. Bosco Verticale
Also known as the “Vertical Forest”, these two residential buildings in Milan are a project for reforestation — meant to contribute toward the regeneration of the environment and urban biodiversity without such strong impact from the city’s expansion. The towers are home to approximately 800 trees, 4,500 shrubs, and 15,000 plants (consisting of a wide range of flowers, herbs, and more). These buildings are not only incredibly photogenic, but are also an amazing display of design, art, and environmental innovation. Would you live in a vertical forest? 🙋
10. Castello Sforzesco
What was once one of the largest citadels in Europe, now houses several museums (including one which displays the last masterpiece of Michelangelo), and acts as the other gateway to Parco Sempione — opposite the Arco della Pace. With fountains, archways, and sculptures about, you’ll find a wide range of natural and architectural backdrops.
And that concludes the 10 Most Instagrammable Spots in Milan. I hope that this post has provided some inspiration and gotten your creative juices flowing so that you can head to this unique city and create some beautiful memories of your own. I would love to know if you have been to Milan and, if so, what your favourite places for photography were!