A visit to Italy is incomplete without spending at least a day in “The Fashion Capital of the World”. Even outside of an incomparable shopping district, Milan has so much to offer! Whether you’re spending a day or even a week in the capital of Lombardy, make sure to check out these photo spots.
1. Duomo di Milano – Front Façade
Snapping a pic in front of the famous Duomo di Milano is one of the most popular Milan shots for tourists. However, if you’d like to get this photo without any people in the background, you’ll have to go early in the morning. For the best lighting with the least amount of people, I’d recommend going for sunrise! As an example, the picture above was taken on a Thursday morning at sunrise. If you don’t mind the crowds, it’s easy to visit the Duomo at any time of the day. Plus, its location is very central and right next to a few other photo spots that I’ll mention.
If you’d like to see the inside of the cathedral, you’ll need to go to the ticket office. Once there, you’ll take a number and wait in line until your number is called. The inside of the Duomo opens at 8 A.M. for visitors, while the Terrace doesn’t open until 9 A.M. If you’re interested in skipping the line on an individual guided tour, check out the options below.
2. Duomo di Milano – Terrace
After seeing the inside of the Milan Cathedral, you’ll want to make your way to the terrace! Remember that you’ll be able to buy your ticket for the terrace at the same time that you buy your entrance ticket. You’ll want to visit this part of the Duomo, even if you don’t see the inside of the cathedral! This is because the terrace offers some of the best views of Milan. Plus, it’s a great spot to watch the sunset. I suggest wearing comfortable shoes when you do the climb to the top of the cathedral. However, if you’d rather take the elevator, this option is also available for an additional fee. The best times to visit the terrace at the Duomo di Milano for photography are either early in the morning (before the crowds hit) or for sunset.
3. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
After visiting the famous Milan Cathedral, it’s only a one-minute walk to stop by Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. One of the significant landmarks in the city, this shopping center was designed and built during the 1860s. Between the glass-vaulted arcades and the beautiful luxury shops, the Galleria is a lovely place to pass the time during your stay in Milan. Whether you stop for a cappuccino, to shop, or even just pass through the Galleria on your way to another district of Milan, it’s definitely worth stopping to take a photo or two (or maybe 100!). For my photographers out there, you’ll want to pack your wide-angle lens for this shot!
4. Arco della Pace
The Arco della Pace (“Arch of Peace”) is another well-known landmark in Milan. Although it was constructed in the 1800s, the concept of a gate in the Porta Sempione area of the city dates back to the Roman Walls of Milan. Interestingly enough, this particular arch commemorates Napoleon’s brief presence in Italy. The road where this arch is located marks the beginning of Corso Sempione street, which connects Milan to Paris through the Simplon Pass. Thus, the idea would’ve been to have Napoleon pass through the Arch on his way into Milan. To snap an ideal shot of the arch, go early in the morning or during golden hour to avoid unnecessary shadows.
5. Navigli Canals
The Navigli neighborhood is a must-see district of Milan. Between the stunning Naviglio Grande canal, art galleries, and gelateria options, this area is a perfect place to explore as a tourist. Plus, the reflection of the vibrant buildings onto the water is very picturesque! Do yourself a favor: grab some gelato and take a stroll through this up-and-coming, artsy neighborhood.
6. Terrazza Aperol
After a long day of exploring Milan, head to Terrazza Aperol to unwind with a dazzling view of the Duomo. The drinks are a bit pricey, and you’ll have to be patient to score the perfect seat with a view, but I think it’s worth a try! After all, you can’t leave Italy without having at least one Aperol Spritz, am I right?
Check out my favorite Milan guidebooks below. Click the book cover to check each one out!
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