Guides Milan Milan's Less Touristy Places & Hidden Gems to Visit in 2023

Milan's Less Touristy Places & Hidden Gems to Visit in 2023

City Guide September 13, 2023

Milan, often revered as the fashion capital and a global center of art and culture, has much more to offer than its well-known tourist attractions. In 2023, take the road less traveled and explore the hidden gems and less touristy places that reveal Milan's true essence. From natural beauty to world-class dining and historic sites, this guide will introduce you to Milan's secret treasures. And to make your exploration even more enjoyable, discover where to find luggage storage for a day in Milan.

Before we embark on our journey to explore Milan's hidden gems, let's address your luggage. Finding secure luggage storage for a day in Milan is essential for unburdened exploration. Utilize storage facilities like Nannybag and set off on your adventure with peace of mind. Don’t let bags be a burden when visiting Milan, use Nannybag for safe and reliable storage!

Amidst Milan's paths, where UNESCO-listed treasures like the awe-inspiring Duomo and the ingenious works of Leonardo da Vinci brings travelers from across Europe, lie the city's hidden gems, steeped in centuries of history. Away from the bustling crowds of Rome, Milan unveils its quieter, more authentic side in districts like Navigli, where centuries-old canals wind through cobblestone streets, offering a picturesque backdrop for indulging in a genuine Italian aperitivo experience. For those seeking respite from the urban clamor, the surrounding mountains hold a secret: tranquil lakeside retreats, a well-kept sanctuary cherished by savvy travelers. Here, in the heart of Italy, the blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage creates an enchanting destination. In addition to its artistic allure, Milan is a thriving fashion capital, but it's also a living testament to Italy's rich history. Moreover, the city offers a range of affordable things to do, ensuring there’s something for every visitor. As you explore these hidden corners, you'll see the true essence of Milan—a city where time brings together centuries of history.


Milan's Less Touristy Places

While shopping at renowned places like the Quadrilatero della Moda, which is often referred to as Milan's fashion quadrangle and is famous for its high-end boutiques and designer stores, can be a thrilling experience, it can also be overwhelming due to the bustling crowds and luxury price tags.

For those seeking a more relaxed and local shopping experience, Milan offers plenty of less touristy places that provide a peaceful escape. These hidden gems allow you to immerse yourself in the city's authentic culture while indulging in some retail therapy.

Consider exploring areas like Brera or Navigli, where you'll find charming boutique shops, artisanal stores, and vintage markets. Brera, in particular, is known for its artsy atmosphere, and you can discover unique art galleries, independent boutiques, and artisan workshops.

In Navigli, you can explore quaint antique shops and craft stores along the picturesque canals. It's an excellent place to hunt for one-of-a-kind souvenirs or artistic treasures.

Moreover, Porta Ticinese is another fantastic district that offers a more relaxed shopping experience. Here, you can browse various independent stores, including fashion boutiques, homeware shops, and artisanal food stores. It's a great spot to find trendy and locally made items.

By venturing beyond the touristy areas and exploring these less crowded neighborhoods, you'll enjoy a quieter shopping experience and better understand Milan's vibrant and diverse retail scene. These hidden shopping havens provide the perfect opportunity to connect with the city more intimately while uncovering unique finds. Here are some other hidden gems in Milan:


Porta Romana

This district in southern Milan exudes historical charm. Stroll along its cobblestone streets, admire the architecture and visit local shops and cafes. Porta Romana offers a glimpse into Milan's residential life away from the tourist crowds.


San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo is a neighborhood often overlooked by tourists. It's known for its quiet streets, artisan workshops, and the charming San Lorenzo Maggiore Basilica. Take a leisurely walk and savor the serene atmosphere.


Parco Sempione

While not exactly hidden, Parco Sempione is a tranquil oasis in the city's heart. Enjoy a peaceful afternoon by the Sempione pond, visit the striking Arco della Pace, or explore the park's gardens and walking paths.


San Bernardino alle Ossa

This lesser-known church is a true hidden gem. The interior is adorned with intricate bone decorations, creating a unique and somewhat eerie atmosphere. It's a place of quiet contemplation away from the tourist crowds.


Navigli Antique Market

Occurs on the last Sunday of every month along the picturesque Navigli canals. This open-air market specializes in antiques, vintage items, and unique collectibles. It's a place to shop and an opportunity to enjoy the charming ambiance of Milan's Navigli district.


Colonne di San Lorenzo

The Columns of San Lorenzo are located in a square in front of the Basilica of Saint Lawrence in Milan. They are lined by an impressive row of columns that date back to Roman times, specifically the 2nd century. These columns are considered part of a Roman temple or public baths from that era.

The site of the Columns of San Lorenzo not only stands as a testament to Milan's Roman history but also serves as a popular meeting place for locals and tourists alike. Many restaurants, cafes, and bars surround the square, making it lively, especially in the evenings. The columns are often lighted at night, creating a unique and picturesque atmosphere.



Hidden Gems to Visit in 2023

National Park of the Bellagio Peninsula

Located on the west coast of Lake Como, this national park offers pristine natural beauty. Explore lush forests, hiking trails, and hidden coves. It's a destination for nature lovers looking to escape the city.


White Sand Beaches on Lake Garda

While Milan is inland, nearby Lake Garda offers stunning white sand beaches on its western shore. Perfect for a day trip, you can relax on the shores of this enchanting lake.


Michelin-Starred Restaurants

Milan boasts several Michelin-starred restaurants that tourists often overlook. Dining at these establishments, such as Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia or Joia, can be a culinary journey to remember.


Hotel Openings

Keep an eye out for new luxury hotel openings in Milan. Some of the city's historic buildings are being transformed into boutique hotels, offering a unique and intimate accommodation experience.



Fashion History at Pinacoteca di Brera

While Pinacoteca di Brera is not exactly hidden, its art collection often overshadows its fashion exhibits. Explore Milan's role in the fashion world through fascinating displays and exhibitions.


Bucket List Experiences

Embrace the spirit of travel in 2023 by checking off Milan's bucket list experiences. Attend an opera at Teatro alla Scala, explore the historic Biblioteca Ambrosiana, or take a leisurely boat ride on the Naviglio Grande Canal.

Milan's less touristy places and hidden gems are waiting to be discovered in 2023. Milan has something special to offer, whether you're drawn to the city's natural beauty, world-class dining, or historic sites. And with the convenience of luggage storage for a day in Milan, you can easily explore these treasures. So, venture off the beaten path, uncover Milan's hidden delights, and create memories in this multifaceted Italian city.

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