milan photo tour

Capture the Duomo from unique angles. (Photo: Alamy)

Culture + Style

Ready, Set, Click: Where to Find Milan’s Top 8 Spots to Photograph

Milan doesn’t have many massive landmarks like the Colosseum or the Ponte Vecchio, iconic places that you can capture from all angles and in different lights. But a photo tour of the city will bring you to some unexpectedly beautiful sites — they’ll help you open your eyes and reimagine your Italian holiday from a new perspective.

The Roof of the Duomo

Milan’s most famous landmark, the Duomo — particularly the Gothic cathedral’s ornate white-marble facade — is also one of its most photographed monuments.

Be intrepid and seek out new perspectives of this old favorite; once you get your shot of the renowned exterior, hike up to the roof, where you can pose next to twisted spirals and beneath flying buttresses.

Or set up the perfect shot from a distance with a perch at Latitude 45, the rooftop hotel bar atop Palazzo Matteotti, The Dedica Anthology, Autograph Collection.

Fondazione Prada

Not only is the architecture cutting edge at Prada’s arts-and-culture venue, a complex designed by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA firm, but the contemporary art on display is itself quite striking — even the futuristic bathrooms make for a good backdrop.

After you finish taking a selfie in front of the “haunted house,” which is clad in 24-karat-gold leaf, or photographing artist Carsten Höller’s upside-down spinning mushrooms, head to Bar Luce, director Wes Anderson’s delightfully kitschy café, which is as carefully composed as one of his film sets.


This bohemian enclave blends the old, like 19th-century residential buildings, and the new — Bosco Verticale, a pair of towers carpeted in greenery — in a way that feels coherent rather than disjointed; plus, both architectural styles make for striking photos. The neighborhood is also home to some street art that is worth seeking out and snapping.

Monumental Cemetery

Okay, so a cemetery might not sound like the best spot for a photo shoot. But Milan’s Monumental Cemetery, one of the city’s largest, doubles as an open-air sculpture park, featuring works by famous homegrown artists including Giannino Castiglioni and Gio Ponti.

These sculptures and tombs were built to be admired, so go ahead and take some photos of your favorites.

Navigli District

Milan’s Navigli district — known for its waterways — is no Venice, but that doesn’t stop locals and tourists alike from flocking to the restaurants and bars along the neighborhood’s two canals and the harbor that connects them.

Come here at sundown to get a photo of the orange-streaked sky reflected in these tranquil waterways. Or better yet, snag an outside table at one of the bars and add in another blaze of red — your Campari spritz — to the shot.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

This is the shopping center to trump all shopping centers — to be expected in a fashion capital. The monumental arcade, with its soaring iron-and-glass roof, is home to some of the world’s most exclusive brands, including Prada and Gucci.

Whether you prefer sweeping shots of impressive architecture or close-ups of elaborate window displays, the Galleria has plenty to keep your camera busy.


Home to the oldest and largest Chinese community in Italy, Milan’s Chinatown is humming with clothing shops and an array of food markets and restaurants.

Stroll down Via Paolo Sarpi to get some photos of the streets strung with Chinese lanterns and then grab a jianbing (Chinese crepe) from Ravioleria Sarpi, a famous takeaway stand. You’ll be in the perfect place for taking food close-ups that will have your friends drooling (and likely asking where, exactly, you are again).

Milano Centrale

More often than not, train stations in Italy are utilitarian structures that function solely to transport people from point A to point B. But Milano Centrale, the city’s central railway hub, was built to impress (although not necessarily the right people — Mussolini wanted the station to represent the power of the Fascist regime).

It’s a fun challenge to try and capture the hulking interior, which manages to be both airy and substantial at the same time, while the art deco details make for some good Instagram fodder.