The Brera is one of my favourite areas of Milan.
Found just beyond the Duomo and La Scala, it is an area full of fabulous art galleries, fun shops, excellent restaurants and small B&Bs.
The Pinacotera di Milan, Milan’s famous art gallery is in Via Brera. The gallery houses a world renown collection of renaissance art.
The atmosphere of the Brera is best reflected in Via Fiori Chiari. This cobblestone street, with it’s planter boxes is lined with boutiques, restaurants and antique shops. My favourite shop, ‘Candele Mum’ at No 16 sells beautiful candles of all different shapes and sizes.
Another cobblestone street, Via Madonnina leads off from here at Ristorante Il Cestino, winding past intriguing shops and buildings, eventually taking you to the Church of the Santa Maria del Carmine and it’s piazza.
Near here are a couple of my favourite spots, both in Via Cusani.
Da Claudio: By day, it is a fish shop and quick lunch stop. At night it becomes a popular bar where prosecco is on tap and seafood antipasti available. In summer the crowd spills out on to the pavement
Antonio: Over the road from Da Claudio are three fabulous shops under the name Antonio – Antonio Shoes, Antonio Donna and Antonio Uomi – all displaying the latest fashions
Milan has a fabulous aperitivo culture. Bars offer a selection of antipasti with drinks, none more so than those in the Brera. The Brera comes alive at night, especially on the weekend. Restaurants and bars are full and people are window shopping or perusing the street markets that line Via Fiori Chiari.
Via Solferino is another busy street in the Brera. There are some interesting shops here. Look out for Jamin Peuch for fabulous bags, AG Spalding & Bros for luggage accessories and L’Artigiano di Brera for great flats. Further up the street, you will find Antica Locanda Solferino, a popular B&B.
Fioraio Bianchi Caffè, is not far from here. Dine amongst the flowers or relax with coffee and cake.
On Monday or Thursday morning, the Via San Marco markets take place.
On the outskirts of the Brera, Corso Como is where you will find Milan’s eclectic fashion emporium,10 Corso Como. This is also another interesting area with many boutiques, bars and restaurants.
To get here, take Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi which borders the Brera on one side.
On the way, stop at Radetzky Cafe for coffee, lunch or aperitivo. I can highly recommend Sunday brunch!
Don’t want to explore the Brera on foot. Hire a bike instead!
Like many European cities, Milan has their own bike sharing programme called BikeMi. Dotted around the city are many bike stations where you can pick up or drop off your bike. Hire it for as long as you like, it’s a great way to get from one spot to the other. The first thirty minutes are free!
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