Art lovers will certainly get their fix among the exquisite collection of more than 500 Italian and European masterpieces that call the romantic 17th-century Pinacoteca di Brera home. The building shares the same site as the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, a prestigious art school founded in 1776 that’s still training talented artists today.
Much smaller than the Louvre in Paris but still impressive in the quality of its collections, Pinacoteca di Brera takes you on a journey of art and history from the 13th through the 20th century. Feast your eyes on the works of Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Goya, Rubens, Van Dyck, Veronese and more. Two of the gallery’s highlights include the chilling Renaissance masterpiece Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Italian painter Andrea Mantegna and Raphael’s Marriage of the Virgin.
Wander through Pinacoteca di Brera’s 38 rooms, one of which is a glass-walled restoration room so you can look in on art conservators hard at work. If you want to get an earful about these works of fine art, audio guides are available for a small fee. And the on-site bookshop is a must for mementos and souvenirs of the more arty variety.
Pinacoteca di Brera is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 8:30am to 7:15pm; it stays open until 11pm on Saturdays. Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month. You’ll find it in the quaint Milanese neighbourhood of Brera, along with cobblestone streets, cafes, antiques shops and an overall charming atmosphere. To get to the gallery, take the tube to the Lanza or Montenapoleone stops. For more museums – all in one place – include Sforza Castle on your itinerary. This historic fortress is now home to a whole collection of museums, and it’s less than a 15-minute walk from the Pinacoteca di Brera.