Known as the “District of Ideas”, Brera is of the most evocative areas in Milan’s historic centre, home of the famous Accademia di Belle Arti and the headquarters of Italy’s most important newspaper, the “Corriere della Sera”.
The Brera district runs from Via Brera to Via Solferino and is populated with galleries and shops dedicated to design, fashionable boutiques and picturesque cafés.
In fact, as you stroll along the streets of this ancient district, you cannot help but be enchanted by its almost surreal atmosphere boasting small artisan’s workshops or quaint stores selling canvases and paints. It is also a reference point for shopping and entertainment lovers. Additionally, Brera is home to the impressive Accademia di Belle Arti, where visitors can admire Milan’s famous painting collection at the Pinacoteca di Brera (the Brera Art Gallery, with stunning masterpieces by Caravaggio, Mantegna, Raffaello and many others), the historic Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense (Braidense National Library), the Museo Astronomico (Astronomical Museum), the oldest scientific research institute in the city, and the Giardino Botanico (Botanical Gardens), an evocative green space located in the heart of the city. The Pinacoteca di Brera can also be enjoyed from home thanks to convenient virtual tours.
In the evening, shopping gives way to a trendy nightlife atmosphere as its charming cobbled streets fill up with stalls, street musicians and visitors. As an aside, those interested in bargains or bric à brac should definitely make time to visit the Mercatino di Antiquariato e Brocantage, held on the third Sunday of each month.
A reference point for antique lovers, Brera boasts numerous antique shops and art galleries. Among these, Pettinaroli offers a wide selection of maps, antique prints and gifts. The array of boutiques continues with the elegant artisan footwear sold by Iliprandi or the tailor-made, Italian-style shoes by Alfonso Garlando, the collections of bijoux signed by Angela Caputi Giuggiù or the bespoke creations using only the finest crocodile skin designed to suit individual tastes, real made-to-measure items by Giosa Milano.
In addition to its picturesque artisanal workshops, Brera is slowly becoming populated with small yet delectable shops carrying only the most sought-after fragrances, transforming the area into a ‘district of Artistic Perfumery’. We suggest a short tour to experience the enchantment of ‘Haute Parfumerie’.
In Via Brera we find The Merchant of Venice boutique, a historic perfumery epitomizing the art of Venetian perfume-making, and the Olfattorio Bar-à-Parfums, dedicated to speciality perfumery. Then again around the corner L’Artisan Parfumeur, renowned for its pioneering spirit and contemporary fragrances for more than 40 years, Amouage, Dr.Vranjes, Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, Creed, 9Nine and Fragonard.