Milan is one of the most dynamic and avant-garde cities in Italy, the capital of fashion and finance. That is not why a visit to Milan should be limited to the shopping streets and restaurants. Indeed, the Lombard regional capital is home to some of the most famous works of art in the history of art, starting with those collected at the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana.
Pinacoteca Ambrosiana: Famous Works
The most famous works in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana are those of the Renaissance: ‘Portrait of a Musician’ by Leonardo da Vinci, the preparatory cartoon for Raphael‘s ‘School of Athens’, together with works by Titian and Botticelli. We then find ‘The Basket of Fruit‘, a work by Caravaggio, at the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana precisely because it was made by the artist for Cardinal Federico Borromeo, to whom the collection originally belonged.
By Leonardo at the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana we find not only a painting, but also the Codex Atlanticus, an enormous collection (more than a thousand pages) of drawings and writings by the Renaissance inventor, scientist and artist.
Di Leonardo alla Pinacoteca Ambrosiana non troviamo solo un’opera pittorica, ma anche il Codex Atlanticus, un’enorme raccolta (più di mille pagine) di disegni e scritti dell’inventore, scienziato e artista del Rinascimento.
Tickets for the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan
Tickets for the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana allow access to the 24 rooms and discover the history of this ancient institution. The Pinacoteca routes are also accessible to wheelchair users. The Cardinal Borromeo collection can be visited every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except on Wednesdays, when it is closed. Tickets can be cancelled or rescheduled by midnight of the day before the visit.
In addition, you can combine the ticket for the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana with a visit to the Crypt of San Sepolcro. You will enter the Pinacoteca from Piazza Pio XI and exit from the side of the Crypt itself, in Piazza San Sepolcro. Here stands a church on two levels, whose foundation dates back to the 12th century, but which has been modified several times over the centuries. The exterior is in Lombard Romanesque style, while the interior is Baroque. The crypt is one of the oldest places in the city, and its flooring dates back to Roman times, when the Roman forum was located here at the intersection of the Cardo and Decumanus. In 1928, the church was acquired by the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, thus ceasing to operate as a parish.
The visit to the crypt is not suitable for those with mobility difficulties or in wheelchairs, due to the various differences in height inside. If you want to visit the Picture Gallery and the Crypt on the same day, consider that the former takes about an hour and a half to see, while the latter takes 30-40 minutes and the ticket can be cancelled up to 24 hours before the booked time. The Crypt of St Sepulchre is open until 6pm, but last admission is at 5.30pm.
It is possible to purchase a combined ticket for the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and the Duomo di Milano, two of the city’s most iconic attractions (both wheelchair-accessible).
With the ticket for the Duomo you can visit:
- the Duomo, the largest church in the Italian Republic (second, in the territory of the peninsula, only to St Peter’s Basilica, which, however, is located in the Vatican State)
- the Duomo Museum, where gold treasures and many original elements (such as statues, paintings and stained-glass windows) of the Duomo itself are preserved
- the Church of San Gottardo
- the Duomo terraces (accessible by wheelchair only up to the lower level, via the south lift)
From the latter, on a clear day, there is a breathtaking view of the city and when the sky is clear, even the Alps can be glimpsed. It is also here that the highest point of the Duomo (about 108 metres) is located, represented by the statue of the Madonnina, so dear to the Milanese.
With this ticket, you can visit the various sites only once within a 72-hour period. The Duomo complex is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., the church of San Gottardo is closed on Wednesdays, and in the event of a change of plans, tickets can be cancelled or rescheduled by midnight the day before the visit.
Pinacoteca Ambrosiana: how to get there
Milan’s Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is located in Piazza Pio XI at number 2, a five-minute walk from Milan Cathedral. From the Central Station and the rest of the city it can be reached by the yellow (3) and red (1) metro, getting off at the Duomo stop, while by tram the stop is Cordusio M1.