The Pinacoteca di Brera, one of Italy’s most important museums, is a highlight of Milan’s fashionable Brera neighborhood. This impressive collection of medieval and Renaissance paintings includes masterpieces by Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Piero della Francesca, and Andrea Mantegna.
Housed in the baroque 17th-century Palazzo di Brera, the Pinacoteca di Brera has grand interiors and a lovely neoclassical cloister, and a visit to its stellar collection is a must for any art enthusiast. The museum's headliner is The Lamentation of Christ by Andrea Mantegna, a Mannerist gem. The surrounding Brera district, a charming maze of narrow, cobblestone streets lined with boutiques and cafés near the Duomo in the city center, is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Milan. Join a walking tour of Brera that includes skip-the-line tickets to the Pinacoteca di Brera to explore both the neighborhood and its most famous attraction. Brera is also a great place to experience Milan’s excellent food and wine scene, so consider joining a small-group food walking tour that has a gastronomic bent.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Flash photography isn’t allowed inside the Brera Pinacoteca, but the surround neighborhood is one of the most photogenic in the city, so bring your camera anyway.
- A visit of the museum and tour of Brera requires a bit of walking, so wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
- The Pinacoteca is accessible to people with limited mobility via an entrance with an elevator, which is located at Via Fiori Oscuri, 2.
How to Get There
The Pinacoteca di Brera is right in the center of Milan, an easy walk north from the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Otherwise, the nearest metro stops are Lanza (M2 line), Montenapoleone (M3 line), and Cairoli (M1 line).
When to Get There
Try to avoid visiting the first Sunday of the month, when the Pinacoteca is free to enter—and therefore very crowded. Better to visit on a weekday morning (Tuesday through Sunday; the gallery is closed on Mondays) and take the afternoon to explore the surrounding neighborhood.
Milan’s Food and Wine Scene
You may be surprised to discover that the cosmopolitan city of Milan is known for more than just fashion. This northern Italian capital also has a thriving food and wine scene that features both traditional dishes rooted in the area’s history and up-and-coming contemporary cuisine, especially in Brera. Take a food or wine walking tour through the neighborhood, and experience the city’s gourmet side for yourself.