What makes this tour special
Explore the artistic wonders of the Italian Renaissance on this immersive private tour of Milan, a city famous for its fashion, art and architecture with visits to some of its pre-eminent museums, churches, palaces and quarters of the city. On your private tour, you will:
- Enjoy the personal attention of your expert private guide.
- Discover the treasure troves of Renaissance Italian art in the Poldi Pezzoli and Bagatti Valsecchi Museums. Entrance tickets to both are included.
- Enjoy walking between locations, stopping at important monuments and buildings.
- Explore Milan’s notorious fashion quarter the opulent Quadrilatero d’Oro, or Golden Quadrangle, where you can find every major fashion house including Gucci, Armani, and Versace.
- Admire the impressive Sforzesco Castle, a vast 15th-century fortress built by Francesco Sforza, the Duke of Milan: a veritable citadel and repository of incredible art, including Michelangelo’s last sculpture and a codex by Da Vinci.
- End your tour with a visit to the Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, a 16th-century royal chapel and former Benedictine nunnery, famous for its exquisite frescoes and the ‘Hall of Nuns’.
Milan is a vast, affluent modern city in the north of Italy – a central hub of Italian finance and industry. It is also famous for its fashion, its Renaissance architecture – and of course its art collections. Your tour takes you to some lesser-known gems, ‘museum houses’ to really discover the artistic heart of this vibrant city. On your private walking tour, you will discover these artistic treasure troves in the Poldi Pezzoli and Bagatti Valsecchi Museums, the magnificent Castello Sforzesco, and the beautiful church of San Maurizio.
The Poldi Pezzoli has variously been described as a casket of wonders, a shrine of art and precious things, and was the life-passion of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli, an Italian count and voracious art collector in the 19th century. The museum is really his private house, filled with gems from the Italian Renaissance by artists such as Botticelli, Canaletto, Bellini and Piero Della Francesco among others. It contains a vast, eclectic collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, armoury, jewellery, clocks and watches, porcelain and pottery, glass and textiles. Truly an Aladdin’s Cave of wonders.
Next, explore another historic ‘house-museum’ the fabulous and eccentric Museo Bagatti Valsecchi with a stunning collection of sculptures and paintings from the Renaissance. Founded by two brothers, Barons Giuseppe and Fausto Bagatti Valsecchi at the end of the 19th century, it is filled with art, pottery, scientific instruments and of course Renaissance masterpieces. Of particular note is Bellini’s Saint Justine. As Giuseppe described it:
“The intention was not to create a museum or a collection, but to reconstruct a lordly mansion of the mid 16th century in which were very disparate objects of the 15th and 16th centuries: paintings; tapestries; rugs; furniture; arms; ceramics; items of bronze, glass and iron; jewellery, and domestic utensils of every kind, all collected with careful study and returned to their original use.”
Very close by, enjoy a stroll through Milan’s famous fashion district, the Quadrilatero d'Or, the world's most famous upmarket shopping district including Chanel, Versace, Gucci and all the major houses!
The Castello Sforzesco is a mighty complex, built in the 15th century by the Duke of Milan, and today contains an impressive collection of museums dedicated to art, architecture, weaponry, history and ancient history including an Egyptian wing and a prehistoric wing. Here you will be able to absorb the regal atmosphere of this austere ducal palace, and admire precious works by Titian, Tintoretto, Canaletto and the most recently found Caravaggios! You’ll also see a codex by Leonardo da Vinci, and the extraordinary last sculpture completed by Michelangelo, the Rondanini Pieta. Lastly, visit the quietly majestic Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, a royal chapel built in the 16th Century, often missed by tourists, with stunning frescos and a peaceful atmosphere.