Milan, like every great city, boasts much noteworthy architecture. There were and still are many important families that have given prestige to the city and numerous patrons who have contributed to the present town planning. When you walk along the streets of the city centre, you can't help noticing the medley of styles that has inevitably been created with the passing of time. In the outskirts, however, the architecture is prevalently in the Modern and the so-called Post-Modern styles. It might be interesting to reverse the usual route of a visit and begin from the less well-known areas, with their modern buildings and structures. The XX century has certainly most contributed to the erection of industrial and commercial buildings. The most striking example is the Rho-Pero Trade Fair complex, built on a design by Massimiliano Fuksas, with its characteristic 'sail' covering in glass and steel frame. This has now taken the place of the Fiera Campionaria, in Piazza VI Febbraio, with its more modest pavilions, though the undisputed symbol of the much-celebrated business-city Milan. Built between the 1960s and '70s, the Palazzo Mondadori and the Palazzo dello Sport, by the San Siro stadium, are the respective symbols of the industry of culture, in which Milan has always shone, and of the pleasure of physical activity. Devotees of the 1950s will love the Velasca Tower, with its totally idiosyncratic silhouette, as well as, of course, the Pirelli Skyscraper and the nearby complex for the Servizi Tecnici del Comune (Municipality Technical Services), in Via Melchiorre Gioia. The previous decades are well represented by the Palace of Justice in Corso di Porta Vittoria, the Palace of Art and the Arengario (a building with a balcony from which to address the people). The Rational Architecture of the 1930s deserves a special mention. It has produced several groups of housing in the city, but the most famous building is the Palazzo Montedison in Largo Donegani 2. The vitality and momentum of the early part of the century are perfectly expressed the Art Nouveau style, and Milan offers exquisite examples of it in the side streets off Corso Buenos Aires. Those who prefer a more imposing, though equally ornate, style, need only walk along Corso Venezia, lined with a long succession of XIX century houses standing close to each other: the Casa Rossa by Andrea and Giovanni Bonni stands out from the rest. On the whole the buildings in the centre appear to tourists to be Neoclassical: the historical explanation to this is that they were built during the Hapsburg rule of the city, during the crucial years of political and intellectual renewal after the Enlightenment. At that times families who were in the public eye considered it a real point of honour to modernise their homes according to the new canons of European fashion. The result was the Palazzo Reale, Palazzo Marino, Palazzo Belgiojoso and Palazzo Serbelloni, to mention only the most famous, but there are many more to admire if you have the time. There are a few examples of XX century intrusions in this austere magnificence, for instance Palazzo Hoepli, in the street of the same name, which was built in 1957, and in the recent restoration of the main body of the Teatro alla Scala, by the architect Mario Botta. Of the oldest period, the Middle Ages, only a few traces survive: one of these is the Palazzo della Ragione, by the Loggia dei Mercanti, which was later modified in the Baroque period.





Buildings Tourism Office, via Dogana, 2
20123 Milan, Italy

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