Even in Italy’s banking and commerce capital, it’s not all about making money. It’s about spending it, too, and the Milanese are known... more » for their largesse in making their city a center for music, art and culture. It’s an ongoing process, and Milan’s forward-looking residents place a high value on contemporary cultural activity, as well as on the past glories of Italian art.
Within the relatively few streets covered in this tour are outstanding collections and important landmarks in music, art, architecture, literature and cinema, as well as a few palaces and a healthy smattering of history. All this without straying far from one street, Via Manzoni, whose name remembers one of Italy’s most immortal writers, Alessandro Manzoni. Along with the great monuments are more intimate places connected with the lives of Manzoni, Verdi and the sculptor Leone Leoni.
As in the heart of almost any European city, Milan’s history lies layer upon layer in this neighborhood north of the Duomo, so it’s sometimes hard for a visitor to put places, people and events in their chronological order. And, of course, it’s almost impossible in a walking tour. At least in this tour, apart from one last remnant of Medieval walls, the time periods include only those since the end of the Renaissance.
The style that was getting the most attention then, in the mid-1500s was Mannerism, with its rather artificial “posed” and often distorted figures, but by late in that century it was already old hat and being replaced by baroque. Examples of both are found in this tour, along with more recent styles of both art and architecture. less «