Milan, the capital of fashion and design, is also a city full of history and art. Behind the flagship stores, boutiques and ateliers spread in every corner of the city, you can discover the authentic Milan made of Liberty palaces, gardens, hidden courts and museums. Everything in Milan has a unique architecture, so there are a lot of places that can give you the best Milan tour experience. Indeed, once in Milan, walking around the main districts is the best way to get the most from the city. Let`s see which sites and buildings you should not miss.
Based in and around a former engine-coil factory, HangarBicocca is a complex that hosts multinationals, a university and, since 2004, a contemporary art museum. The museum gives the visitors the chance to admire photography expositions, the best collections of contemporary artists from all over the world and allows also to take part to exclusive events: a unique opportunity to complete your Milan tour with something special. Until the mid-1980`s the entire distric of Bicocca, where the Hangar is located, was entirely occupied by the Pirelli complex. Only in the recent years the distric became part of one of the European most ambitius regeneration projects.
One of the most famous but also mischievous artworks welcomes in Piazza Affari, the Italian Exchange location. At first glance this peculiar sculpture will shock you: with only the middle finger remaining, this artwork became one of the symbols of Milan since 2010, the placement year. The artist, Maurizio Cattelan, has intended to criticise tha facist salute and, consequently, every form of totalitarianism. Now you are wondering: “what does L.O.V.E. stand for?” The acronym gathers together the Italian words for freedom (libertà), hate (odio), revenge (vendetta) and eternity (eternità). Even though the acronym is the official sculpture title, the locals are used to calling it as Il Dito – The Finger. It is pointless to say: without L.O.V.E. your Milan tour will be incomplete.
The most revolutionary and the only eco-friendly skyscrapers can be found in the new centre of Milan. Behind Piazza Gae Aulenti, Bosco Verticale is a pair of residential tower made of 11,000 plants, 5,000 shrubs and 900 trees. Built on a vacant lot, the two towers are the result of an environmental project made to solve Milan’s density and pollution problems. This sort of “vertical forest” was completed in 2014 and hosts the equivalent of a hectare of foliage. Obviously, the towers are also equipped with a recycled grey-water irrigation system and integrated photovoltaic panels to provide energy. Add Bosco Verticale to your Milan tour for an unforgettable architecture experience.
Have you visited Expo 2015 but you have not seen the trade-fair complex next to the Expo site? Now you have the chance to visit another unique example of contemporary architecture in Milan that will leave you astonished. Fiera Milano was built on the ground of a former oil refinery: it took only 24 months to complete the all site. This structure is the result of a massive regeneration project which has also involved innovative solutions to help keep the urban development as green as possible. An example of eco-friendly strategies is the photocatalytic paint used to cover the pavilions: according to the experts, this kind of paint can neutralise the air pollution produced by 15,000 cars. Do you want to see it with your own eyes? Then, Fiera Milano will be definitely on your Milan tour list.
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