The Brera Art Gallery, a palace converted into a museum

One of the key reasons for Milan’s fame is the abundance of historical landmarks and attractions. Art enthusiasts can spend hours wandering the city’s streets and discovering the city’s hidden gems. Brera Art Gallery, home to one of Italy’s finest art collections and the premier art museum in Milan. A must-see for every art lover, but especially for those planning a trip to Milan solely to see the city’s incredible collection of masterpieces. 

The Brera Art Gallery features an extensive collection of paintings spanning western art’s development over several centuries. There are, however, a few pieces that should not be missed, and it is well worth your time to spend an extra five minutes in front of the museum’s great masterpieces. If you’re looking for a day filled with architectural marvels and hip eateries, a trip to the Brera neighborhood in the heart of this Lombardy city is what you’ve been dreaming about. Don’t miss out on seeing some of the world’s most renowned Italian works of art at the Pinacoteca di Brera. The Castello Sforzesco, which features multiple museums, is another great option for art lovers.


With a self-guided audio tour from Vox City, you may learn more about the Pinacoteca di Brera and Milan from the time you reach your destination. Take use of its advanced navigation features right away and explore Milan on foot with the many suggested walking routes. As you get closer to Milan’s famous sites like the Duomo, Sforzesco Castle, Santa Maria delle Grazie, and Sempione Park, you’ll feel a strong sense of the city’s rich history and culture.


A fourteenth-century monastery’s location served as the foundation for the magnificent Palazzo Brera, which houses the art museum. The Jesuits were granted use of the land in 1572 to build a school there, and in the early seventeenth century, architect Francesco Maria Ricchini was commissioned to give the palace its current Baroque appearance.

In 1809, the Pinacoteca di Brera opened to the public, and the museum’s collection expanded during the Romantic era. At the same time, the Academy of Fine Arts was gaining recognition as a leading art history school. However, in 1882, the museum finally broke away from the Academy and began to function independently. It was necessary to relocate the artworks during both World Wars to prevent their destruction. Pinacoteca di Brera is now home to works of art by such greats as Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Rubens, and Rembrandt. All of these are displayed prominently in the gallery walls.

Most important works at Milan’s Brera Art Museum

From the Quattrocentro (1400–1499) through the early avant-garde of the 20th century, the structure houses hundreds of pieces. The visitor can trace the evolution of art over the years on a fascinating journey through paintings from Italy, France, and Central Europe.

The Pinacoteca is home to one of the finest art collections in all of Europe and is conveniently located in the middle of Milan. You may like to linger over a few really great pieces:

Lamentation over the dead Christ by Andrea Mantegna.

The Pinacoteca di Brera is home to many priceless works of art, including this realistic and unsettling painting. It was painted sometime around 1483, at the height of the artist’s career. The composition of the picture has a profound effect on the viewer’s feelings. Christ’s figure appears to emerge from the canvas because of the extreme foreshortening that occurs when he is positioned almost perpendicular to the spectator. Light and shadow are expertly handled, and perspective is used to great effect. The work as a whole is a proclamation of purpose to depict death in an uncompromisingly realistic manner. The creativity of the piece stands on its own.

Raphael’s “The Marriage of the Virgin” 

The next stop is an early masterwork by the celebrated artist Raphael, created around 1504. Raphael painted this just before visiting Florence, where he would have been exposed to the works of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, two other prominent Renaissance artists. This artwork is exceptional because it reveals Raphael’s radical departure from his earlier style. He pays homage to Bramante’s building by using perspective to highlight the significance of the background temple’s circular shape. There’s a lot of hidden meaning in this painting.

Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio

The former Italian baroque painting master shows off his technical prowess in spades with this masterpiece. All the hallmarks of Caravaggio’s technique are on full display here: dramatic lighting achieved by chiaroscuro and tenebrism, dramatic poses and expressions on the models, an intimate setting, and delicate color palette. This painting was finished in 1606—just four years before the artist passed away.

Francesco Hayez’s the Kiss.

In 1859, when political tensions were high in Italy and alliances were being forged to ensure the country’s future unity, Hayez created one of the Romantic era’s greatest works. He acts out a scene from the Middle Ages in which a young couple kiss passionately. This couple’s embrace is so deeply symbolic that it can’t be ignored as a metaphor for the unification of northern and southern Italy. As a result of the picture’s widespread acclaim, Hayez painted several sequels.


These are but a few of the many priceless works of art housed in the Pinacoteca di Brera. The many halls of this magnificent art collection also feature works by such masters as Piero della Francesca, the Bellini family, Tintoretto, Correggio, and Bronzino. Don’t leave without strolling the gorgeous courtyard and gazing at the arches, which date back to the 17th century. A massive bronze statue of Napoleon as the god Mars, attributed to the renowned neo-classical sculptor Antonio Canova, dominates the courtyard.

You may start your exploration of Milan the instant you land, by listening to a self-guided audio tour of the city provided by Vox City. This self-guided trip is ideal for those who are interested in learning about local culture and history but want to explore on their own time. Vox City makes it simple for you, thanks to its distinctive navigation capability, which facilitates self-guiding and offers a variety of suggested walking routes to explore.

Purchase your ticket here, and then listen to the audio commentary to learn about the most popular sights at your own pace. When you’re ready, use Vox City to map out your next steps through Milan, highlighting your top attractions and promising photo ops.

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