Milan in July: Three days in Italy’s commercial centre

On arrival from Bergamo at Milan central railway station
Inside Milano Centrale
The facade of Milan central railway station. Completed in 1931, the impressive terminus displays a mix of classical, Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles
A billboard at night
The Duomo (Cathedral) at night
The 14th-century Gothic cathedral is the third largest church in the world
One of Europe’s most famous shopping arcades, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The Arco della Pace (Arch of Peace) in Parco Sempione
Inside the Arena Civica (1807)
Outside the Arena Civica, also known as the Arena Gianni Brera
Sforza castle
Detail of the Duomo from its viewing platform
View of the Porta Nuova business district from the Duomo
The Duomo during the day
Looking up at the central roof of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
Italian ties on sale in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
The San Siro stadium. Unfortunately no cameras were allowed inside!
A closer look at the San Siro, the largest stadium in Italy and one of the world’s most iconic football venues
The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which houses Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper
A public sculpture called Needle, Thread and Knot (Ago, Filo e Nodo) near Cadorna railway station. It was installed in 2000
Long-exposure shot on the Milan metro
A concert poster with the Velasca Tower in the background
The modernist Torre Velasca was completed in 1958
The tower’s lower floors are occupied by offices and shops, while those above are residential
The tower’s design is said to be a modern interpretation of an Italian medieval castle
The business district viewed from the top of the Torre Branca
Facing north, with the Arch of Peace in the foreground
The tower was built during Italy’s fascist 1930s. It was closed in 1972, but reopened to the public in 2002
The UniCredit Tower, completed in 2011, is the tallest building in Italy
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Bergamo in July: A day in Milan’s picturesque neighbour

Those who land at Milan Bergamo airport and immediately head 50km west to the Lombard capital miss out on a historic city that is ideal for a day’s sightseeing. This was my first visit to Italy, but Bergamo seemed to be a postcard Italian town, with its tight, cobbled streets and picturesque views over orange Venetian rooftops and the beginnings of the Alps. The city is divided between the old, walled Citta Alta and the more modern lower city. I stayed at a hostel in the north and spent the day gradually making my way south (and downhill) towards the railway station before taking the train to Milan.

The city is divided between the old, walled Citta Alta and the more modern lower city. I stayed at a hostel in the north and spent the day gradually making my way south (and downhill) towards the railway station before taking the train to Milan.

The view of the Citta Alta (upper city) from the Ostello di Bergamo in the north of the city
The badge of Atalanta BC, Bergamo’s football team
The club finished 4th in Serie A (Italy’s top flight) last year
Outside the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, which was built in 1926 and holds 26,500
The main entrance of the Accademia Carrara art gallery
The gallery was established in 1794 by the aristocrat Giacomo Carrara
The gallery is unique in Italy for being made up entirely of private bequests
A couple looking at Van Dyck’s ‘Lamentation over a Dead Christ’ (1650-1670)
Francesco Hayez’s ‘Caterina Cornaro Deposed from the Throne of Cyprus’ (1842)
The view north towards the Alps from the Citta Alta
The highermost part of the Citta Alta from the Civic Tower (Campanone)
Facing east towards the Torre del Gombito from the Civic Tower
The public library on the Piazza Vecchia from the Civic Tower
The view of the lower city from Saint Vigilio
The funicular railway approaching Saint Vigilio
A typical backstreet in the upper city
Tourists at the 16th-century Porta San Giacomo, made of rosewood marble 
Zipwiring near the Venetian walls of the Citta Alta
The lower city in the background is the modern and commercial centre of Bergamo
When in Italy…
Bergamo railway station
The train to Milan