Backpacking in Italy: 5 Things You Must do in Milan

“Mussolini hangs from a butcher’s hook” – Richey James Edwards.

Milan is the second biggest city in Italy in terms of population size. It is the financial, industrial and commercial capital of Italy. It is located in the north of Italy between Turin and Venice. When you’re backpacking in Italy it makes a cool and handy stop over for a few days.

Backpacking in Italy: 5 Things You Must do in Milan

Milan is known as Italy’s centre of fashion and design. However, it is also home to a number of beautiful theatres, museums and landmarks which makes it a popular destination for tourists.

“Propaganda as a substitute for action was the essence of fascism” – Mack Smith.

Backpacking in Milan

Visitors swarm to Milan in the summer months to shop, admire Renaissance artwork, and to see the beautiful architecture. It is also close to other popular cities like Venice, Pisa, Florence, Genoa and Bologna and so is often used as a base to travel to other cities. Milan has a large airport and so it is an easy city to get to. The city caters for travellers on all budgets. You may wish to look on for accommodation at a price that suits you. The transport within the city is easy to use and affordable. If you are planning a visit to Milan, here are five cool things that you must do during your stay.

The spot where Mussolini hanged

The spot where Mussolini hanged

1. The Duomo
The most famous building in Milan, this extravagantly designed Gothic cathedral has 135 spirals and 3200 statues. It is a pearly white architectural masterpiece that lies at the heart of Milan. The Duomo is as beautiful inside as it is outside. The interior is vast and is adorned with the most enormous stained glass windows that you will ever see! If you intend to marvel at the inside of the cathedral, you must make sure that you are appropriately dressed. Your shoulders and legs should be covered up, otherwise you will be denied entry. Climb or take the lift to the top of the building where you will get a stunning panoramic view of the city.

Duomo, Milan with Dad

2. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper
The famous work of art is situated next to the Santa Maria delle Grazie church in the monastery refectory. During the summer season when this area is heaving with tourists, it is highly recommended that you book a ticket to see the fresco in advance. You will only be allowed in to view the fresco for 15 minutes, so it is a good idea to do this as part of a guided tour so that you get the most information from your short visit. The church itself is full of Renaissance art so make sure you pop in while you are in the area.


3. The canals
Milan used to be a Medieval port, full of busy canals. Unfortunately, over time the need for these canals diminished and today there are only two remaining. The interesting canal district is well worth a visit and becomes alive at night due to its many and varied bars, restaurants and shops. You can also explore this part of the city by taking a relaxing boat trip along the canals.

Canals of Milan

4. San Siro Football Stadium
Home to both AC Milan and Inter Milan, this is one of the true homes of football. If you’re lucky you might just catch the famous derby between them. Crazy times! You can copy Polish tourist Rafal Kowalczyk and do a Krzysztof Piątek pose outside the famous stadium!

Kowalczyk does the Krzysztof Piątek

San Siro, Milano

The San Siro – home of AC Milan and Inter Milan.

5. Where Mussolini Was Hanged
Back at the end of the Second World War, Benito Mussolini’s body was hanged for all to see in Milan. Head to the place where it happened and reminisce on Fascist Italy. I studied Italian History at Tech in Newtownards and am fascinated by Mussolini’s reign so I went to find the spot, which has no marker at all, you just have to guess…

Mussolini hangs from a butcher's hook.

Mussolini hangs from a butcher’s hook.

Milan is a city rich in fashion, design, art and architecture. I hope that this information has inspired you to visit the city and explore all its wonders.

Safe travels.

9 thoughts on “Backpacking in Italy: 5 Things You Must do in Milan

  • Interesting to hear that they’ve made Mussolini’s hanging spot a tourist attraction. Also sad to hear of the loss of canals, they tend to give places a bit of character.

    I only have on recollection of Milan and it is not a positive one. In 1993 we were interrailing around Europe and had to change trains in Milan. We hit on a problem though where the train staff said that our interrail tickets were not valid for our planned train. As a result we had to wait for hours before a train we were allowed to catch.

    We were loaded down with rucksacks and had little information on the city. We spent a lot of time hanging around the train station but did venture out a little bit. Whilst memories are vague we headed to a church to see a famous painting yet the church was closed for renovations. I then followed some road signs for the San Siro and got completely lost/gave up after walking for ages.

    Wish we were better prepared 21 years ago for this unexpected visit. Maybe I can return some day and do the place some justice.
    The Guy recently posted…A Moment Of Reflection Away From A HolidayMy Profile

  • Great comment The Guy – the Mussolini thing is NOT a tourist attraction I have to say, I just put it in there as it’s of personal interest to me – I doubt any other travel blogs would cover that – I’m heavily into the early revolution of Italy during the Mussolini years, when word has it, he bribed officials to ensure Italy won two World Cups in a row (1934 and 1938). Where did it all go wrong? When he bumped into Hitler…

    Nice story there – 1993? Showing your age??! That was when Lentini and Boban used to play for AC Milan. Yonks before I was even a backpacker! Safe travels. Jonny

  • You have sent the chill in my spines by sharing the photograph of Mussolini hanged and the spot where it happened. I am fascinated to know what the common people of Milan think about the Man today? Cathedral is ofcourse one of the highlights and not to be missed, while on a visit to the Milan.

  • Hi Forza, Thanks for the comment and for checking my website. Apologies for the delay in response. Unfortunately I have been suffering from long-term depression caused by a liar and I wasn’t checking all comments and messages or replying. I hope you enjoyed my article. Stay safe. Jonny

  • Hi Ray, Thanks for the comment and for following my story. I was always fascinated (NOT fascistated!) with Benito Mussolini but to see how that square in Milan totally doesn’t exist with not even any proof of it anymore, that was odd. I think Italians want to forget that period. Stay safe! Jonny

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

CommentLuv badge