Milan is famous all over the world for being the Italian capital of fashion, economy and finance. Also a fun place for young travelers to visit just to have fun and shop.
However, not many people know that Milan is also a city rich in history and culture, as well as having a long and glorious tradition in food and wine.
With this guide, we would like to give you some suggestions on a Milan walking tour, among hidden gems and street food, also suggesting some destinations for the eyes and the palate that can’t be missed!
The route of an ideal Milan walking tour: from the Duomo to Navigli
If you want to visit Milan on your own and taste all that the city has to offer, the ideal route starts from the Duomo cathedral and ends along the canals of the Ticinese District, the so called Navigli.
We advise not using the subway along your route because you could miss half of the beautiful things you’d be able to see while walking. However, if using the subway is a must, then your first stop is Duomo station (on the yellow line) while the last one is Porta Genova (on the green line). You’ll have to make some train changes, but it all comes down to just a few minutes by train. Alternatively, you can take a tram which is very efficient in Milan. The historic yellow trams of the early Twentieth century also run in the historic center.
Let’s suppose you want to do a city tour by foot. We start from the place where the most famous monument of Milan is located, the Duomo.
It is a unique building of its kind. It dates back to the Middle Ages and it is the emblem of world Gothic architecture, along with Notre Dame de Paris.
With its tall spires and the pure white marble that covers the facade with the many saint statues all over the roof, the cathedral of Milan dazzles tourists, especially during summer days.
Next to the cathedra, there is the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery, a splendid modern building with glass vaults, now inhabited by luxury shops.
Take a look but don’t let yourself be tempted by the shop windows! Cross the Piazza del Duomo and go along Via Torino. This street is full of shops but along it you can also see some historical shops, small book shops and delicatessens where you can taste typical cold cuts and cheeses.
You can walk Via Torino in a short amount of time and will have gotten halfway once arriving in front of a colonnade. Here starts the Ticino District, the heart of a Milan walking tour. The Basilica of San Lorenzo and its colonnade are meeting points for young people. The timeless beauty of this historic building contrasts with the modern shops behind it. This area is full of venues for dinner or aperitivo time, and vintage shops to browse around.
Continue along Corso di Porta Ticinese, between murals and poems hanging on the walls, until you reach the canals. You’ll stumble across a canal of water, which is the Naviglio Grande, a recently renovated canal. The locals like jogging, walking, reading or taking lunch breaks here. The river is navigable and sometimes sport tournaments are held.
There are also many other navigable smaller canals which is possible to have lunch or dinner on board a boat.
Along the Naviglio Grande, you can browse through the vintage stalls, bookstores, craft shops and ateliers of local artists. Here is where the walking tour of Milan ends, or begins, as there is so much to do in this city. You decide!