Milan boasts a number of trendy neighborhoods thick with hip bars, restaurants, and clubs. Of these, the Brera district—a maze of narrow, cobblestone streets lined with boutiques and cafés near the Duomo in the city center—is perhaps the most beautiful thanks to its laid-back pace and old-world charm.
Brera is one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in Milan for a before-dinner aperitivo and a great place to experience Milan’s excellent food and wine scene, so consider joining a small-group food tour or wine tasting. Food walking tours are also available in Brera.
In addition to strolling through Brera and enjoying the scene, you can visit the neighborhood’s main attraction: the famous Brera Art Gallery (Pinacoteca di Brera), one of Italy’s most important museums, with works by Botticelli, Raphael, Hayez, Titian, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Piero della Francesca, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Andrea Mantegna. The designer shopping district Quadrilatero d’Oro, where the elegant Milanese head to update their wardrobes, is also nearby.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Milan’s Brera neighborhood is one of the most photogenic in the city, so be sure to bring your camera.
- This area is best explored on foot; choose comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
- Brera is paved and well maintained, and is easily managed with a wheelchair or stroller.
How to Get There
Brera is right in the center of Milan, an easy walk north from the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Milan itself is well connected by train to Venice, Florence, and Rome.
When to Get There
The Brera neighborhood is most vibrant in summer, when cafés spill onto the sidewalks and make for an excellent place to do some serious people-watching. During the day, the main attractions are the area’s boutiques and museum; by night, most gather here for a drink or meal.
Milan Food Tours
The cosmopolitan city of Milan may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about Italian cuisine. So it may be surprising to discover that the city is known both for its fashion and its food, with a variety of traditional dishes rooted in the area’s history and a thriving up-and-coming contemporary food scene, especially in Brera. Consider taking a food-themed walking tour through the neighborhood to experience the city’s gourmet side for yourself.