Brera Neighborhood, History, Art and Fashion

 

Architecture, history and fashion are the words that perfectly sum up the soul of one of the oldest and most fascinating areas of Milan: the Brera district. An area well known for its artistic excellence with the presence of the famous Pinacoteca Art museum and the many art galleries. It is a center of evening entertainment. The neighborhood is home to some of the most important buildings and roads of the past and recent history of Milan.

Enclosed between via Pontaccio, via Fatebenefratelli, via Monte di Pietà, Vetro bridge and via  Mercato, the area takes its name from the famous Via Brera , which comes from the Germanic word braida, which means uncultivated land, vegetable garden. The artists, who have spent their lives at the Academy of Fine Arts since the nineteenth century, have helped turn the district into one of the most characteristic of Milan. The best route will take you on the discovery of these places, starting up at Largo Greppi, where there are two buildings of one of the most prestigious theatrical institutions both locally and nation-wide: the Piccolo Teatro (one of the most important theatres in Italy). A stop at the beginning of Corso Garibaldi will allow you to retrace the medieval history of the city. The story of a medieval Milan continues inside the Basilica of San Marco, built in the mid -thirteenth century, where you can admire the Tuscan art contribution in the Lombardy region by looking at the beautiful frescoes and amazing Gothic sculptures.

Not to be missed is the square piazzetta di Brera, and the the courtyard inside the building that contains various institutions, of which the famous Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, which even today hosts students from around the world. The Pinacoteca Gallery, also housed by the Palazzo di Brera, is another stop that is not to be missed, has been around since 1809, a hidden treasure of masterpieces and a must for all art enthusiasts. Thirty-eight rooms collect the works of the most important Italian artists from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries, as well as those of some foreign artists. Among the most important are The Marriage of the Virgin by Raphael, The Dead Christ by Mantegna and Urbino Altarpiece by Piero della Francesca. Empress Maria Theresa of Austria founded the Academy in 1776 in order to ‘deprive the fine arts teaching to craftsmen and private artists, to subject their work to public supervision and public scrutiny’. The Palazzo di Brera also houses the Lombard Institute of Science and Arts, the National Braidense Library, the Astronomical Observatory and the Botanical Garden.

The chic district of Milan does not disappoint fashion and shopping lovers! Many boutiques and vintage shops peek out on the narrow streets of the area. Some great shops we recommend are the cartolibreria Rigadritto, Cesare Crispi, the papershop of Fabriano and, among boutiques Cameo vintage clothing shop, and the Marc Jacobs boutique in Piazza del Carmine. If you fancy an aperitif in the neighborhood, many bars and restaurants offer you the chance to spend an evening sitting in a characteristic gazebo in a typical bohemian setting. 

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