Milan is a city lavish on free pleasures for fans of art and cultural entertainment. Every first Sunday of the month, under the #DomenicalMuseo program, they are allowed here almost free of charge to almost all the main museums of the city of The Last Supper, of course, an exception. But there are museums in Milan that you can get to for free almost always. We will talk about some of the most remarkable of them in this article.
Helpful advice: To save money on excursions in Milan, install the city center audio guide app for iPhone. This is a ready-made audio tour, which contains about 60 objects along a single thought-out route and works even without the Internet.
You can listen to the first 5 points of the route for free, but to open all the objects, you will need to purchase the full version. It costs only 5 Euros, which is much more economical than even the cheapest group excursions. You can install the application on your iPhone on this page.
Royal Museum (Museo della Reggia)
The building of the Royal Palace (Palazzo Reale di Milano) is located right by the Duomo and for many years served as the city hall and the residence of the Dukes of Milan. The palace acquired its present appearance only during the time of the Habsburgs.
The Royal Palace was opened for visits in 1920, but was seriously damaged during the bombing in 1943 and was reconstructed only 20 years later.
Entrance to the interior of the palace and the palace theater is free
Today, the Palace serves as one of the main venues for the most interesting exhibitions held in the city. As a rule, entrance to the exhibitions is paid and amounts to approximately 8-9 euros. But the entrance to the interior of the palace is free. You can also get free of charge into the premises of the palace theater on the ground floor, which appeared here in the XVII century.
- Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 09.30-17.30, Mon - day off.
- Address: Piazza del Duomo, 12, 20122
House Museum of Boschi Di Stefano (Casa Museo Boschi Di Stefano)
The art museum appeared in an old mansion relatively recently - in 2003. But the paintings have been living here for many years: for many years, connoisseurs of art spouses Antonio Boschi and Miried di Stefano have collected them.
Of the 2000 exhibits, at the request of collectors donated to the city together with the apartments, about 300 were selected - they were placed in 11 rooms of the mansion in chronological order.
The museum has an interesting exposition of sculptures and paintings by famous Italian masters
This is primarily the paintings of famous Italians: Lucho Fontana, Umberto Boccioni, Piero Marussiga, Giorgio Morandi, Felice Casorati - as well as sculptures, ceramics, musical instruments and antique furniture.
- Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 10: 00-18: 00, Mon - day off
- Address: Via Giorgio Jan, 15, 20129
Museum-workshop of the Italian sculptor Francesco Messina (Studio Museo Francesco Messina)
From the outside, it is hardly possible to take the ancient church on via San Sisto for the workshop of the sculptor, but if not for Francesco Messina, perhaps this church would not exist at all today.
The fact is that in the late 1960s it was decided to give up a long empty building that was abandoned, but Messina drew attention to it and received permission from the city authorities to restore it. The famous sculptor settled here in 1974, and shortly before his death he donated all his creations and the “home” itself as a gift to the city.
The sculptor lived and worked in the building of this ancient church since 1974.
The Francesco Messina Museum has about 80 sculptures made of bronze, wax, gypsum and colored terracotta. The collection also contains sketches of the sculptor’s famous masterpieces: the monument to Pope Pius XI in St. Peter's Basilica and the figures of a dying horse installed near the main television station in Italy. Also in the extensive collection are portraits of famous contemporaries, graceful figures of La Scala dancers and other works.
On the ground floor there are graphic sheets, watercolors and pastels, pencil sketches and lithography.
- Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 10: 00-18: 00, Mon - day off
- Address: Via S. Sisto, 4, 20123
Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco)
Sforza Castle is one of the main and most famous attractions of Milan. The construction was so iconic that it served as a prototype for many subsequent fortifications, including, by the way, the Moscow Kremlin.
The best masters of their time, including Leonardo da Vinci, were invited to decorate the interiors of the Sforza castle. Unfortunately, his frescoes have hardly survived to our time.
Today, the castle has several interesting museums at once, which feature paintings by Mantegna, Bellini, Correggio, the last sculpture of Michelangelo and many other priceless masterpieces.
You can walk around the castle for free
You can see the exposition of these museums in Milan only by tickets, but walks through the castle are completely free. It is worth paying attention to the old bridge, a monument to the Czech St. John of Nepomuk in the courtyard and the ancient clock on the tower, reminiscent of the first owners of the castle and called the "Sun of Justice".
By the way, you can also get to the Sforza museums for free. Free admission is valid on Tuesdays from 14:00 and from Wednesday to Sunday from 16:00 to 17:00.
- Castle Hours: Mon-Sun: 07: 00-19: 30,
- Museum opening hours: Tue-Sun: 09: 00-17: 30
- Address: Piazza Castello, 20121
Milan Aquarium (Acquario Civico di Milano)
The Milan Aquarium can hardly boast of its size, but it is the oldest aquarium in Italy and the third in time in Europe.
The building where the aquarium is located was erected for the International Exhibition in 1906. Then a whole complex of similar structures appeared on the territory of Sempione Park, but only this has survived to this day. The white semicircular building is decorated with bas-reliefs on the marine theme, a fountain and a statue of Neptune, as well as a semicircular pool with a hippo head.
Inside you will find a walk under the arches of a glass tunnel and acquaintance with more than a hundred different types of fish, crayfish, mollusks and jellyfish, which are located in several dozen pools. They were brought here from the Mediterranean and Red Seas, as well as the nearest lakes and rivers.
The aquarium has many different types of fish, crayfish, shellfish and jellyfish
There is also a hydrobiological station and a library, and spacious halls introduce visitors not only to the various inhabitants of water spaces, but also to the works of contemporary Italian artists.
Entrance to the aquarium costs a symbolic 5 Euros, but you can visit it for free if you come an hour before closing time (at 16:30), on Tuesdays from 14:00 and every first Sunday of the month.
- Opening hours: Tue-Sun: 09: 00-17: 30, Mon - day off
- Address: Viale Gadio, 2,
The exhibition space was located on the territory of former industrial premises in 2004. Since then, exhibitions, seminars, laboratories and discussions have been regularly held here - and you can get to them almost always for free.
The Seven Heavenly Palaces by Anselm Kiefer
The chaotic and unpredictable world of contemporary art is held in place by two constant art compositions by contemporary world-class authors. Anselm Kiefer's "Seven Heavenly Palaces" - seven concrete towers 14-18 meters high - refer to the teachings of Kabbalah on the path of spiritual ascent. "Consistency" by Fausto Melloti does not allow the viewer to gain a holistic vision of the object from any point and thereby serves as a preface to what he sees when he gets into the exhibition halls.
- Thu-Sun: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
- Mon-Wed: weekend
Address: Via Chiese, 2, 20126
Monumental cemetery of Milan (Cimitero Monumentale di Milano)
If you believe the common saying: "There are no opera singers who do not want to shine on the stage of La Scala, and there are no sculptors who do not want to see their work in the Monumental cemetery" - the Monumental cemetery can be safely recognized as an open-air museum. It is no coincidence that it is listed in the top ten most beautiful and tombstone-rich cemeteries in Europe.
Here you can find a bronze replica of the Last Supper, which adorned the tombstone of the Kampari family, a miniature Greek temple, and glass constructions.
This Milan cemetery is called an open-air museum.
Many famous sculptors, artists and musicians are buried here, including Giuseppe Verdi. At the Monumental Cemetery in Milan, Albert Einstein's father found his last refuge.
- Tue-Sun: 08: 00-18: 00
- Mon - day off
Address: Piazzale Cimitero Monumentale, 20154
Museums in Milan Free
As we already briefly noted at the very beginning, you can get to many museums of the city absolutely free in every first Sunday of the month. Moreover, the rule applies not only to the museums of Milan, but also to other interesting places throughout Italy.
Of course, on the most popular sites these days there is a special crowd, and some of them work on a reduced schedule, but, nevertheless, this is a great opportunity for budget travelers.
Unfortunately, the rule does not apply to the most inaccessible museum of the city - inspection of the fresco of the Last Supper, since it has entry restrictions year-round. In more detail about how to get to the Fresco inspection, we wrote in a separate article.
But free Sunday is not the only day you can see priceless masterpieces without paying a dime. Many museums in Milan also have the rule of free admission on Tuesdays after 14:00 and one hour before closing.
You can visit the museums for free on Tuesdays after 14:00
Therefore, if you have cultural hunger, this is a great way to save. Just keep in mind that there are always exceptions in the rule, and you need to come just an hour before closing, because many museums stop visitors from accessing the halls 30 minutes before the end of work.
Finally, if you have very little time to visit Milan, then these articles will be extremely useful for you to organize your time as efficiently as possible:
- What to see in Milan on your own in 1 day
- Sights of Milan where you can buy tickets online
- Excursions in Milan in Russian: 5 most popular
We also recommend that you sign up for our free e-mail course with valuable tips and tricks for travelers to Italy. And be sure save this article to your social networkso as not to lose. On your trip to Milan, it may come in handy more than once.
Photos by: pixabay.com, G.dallorto, Renaud Camus, Heinz Bunse, Nathan Guy, casemuseo.it, Paul Barker Hemings, Meet the media Guru.