Very nearby is the rather beautiful and little known Chiesa di San Marco. Pay it a visit and admire the frescoes!
Formerly a Jesuit college, the Palazzo Brera is now home to several of Milan’s preeminent cultural institutions, including the Accademia di Brera and the Pinacoteca di Brera. Throughout Milan’s eventful history, the Palazzo has changed hands with the spoils of war and the mantle of power. The pope, the plague, the Habsburgs and Napoleon have all played a part in its story.
An Imperial Decree
The Pinacoteca di Brera alone warrants a visit to the Palazzo: it is one of Italy’s most important galleries. When Napoleon declared Milan capital of the Kingdom of Italy, treasures were brought in from across the country to underline its new status. Masterpieces from Raphael and Caravaggio were added to the collection, and a later exchange with the Louvre brought Flemish works to Italy, including pieces by Rubens and Van Dyck. Displayed chronologically, a trip to the Pinacoteca takes you through six centuries of Europe’s finest art.
The Elder Tree
The Orto Botanico di Brera is a botanical garden found between the Palazzo. Take a stroll between its rectangular, brick-trimmed flower beds and its elliptical ponds, and be sure to visit its 19th century greenhouse which contains one of the oldest Ginkgo biloba trees in Europe.
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