Via Torino, Cinque Vie and S. Ambrogio

You will be surprised by how rich in history is the area that spans from Sant’Ambrogio to via Torino in Milan.

Time needed: more then one afternoon

What to see

Milano might not be known for its historical or archaeological sites but it has many of them, mostly unknown even to the locals. To find them you have to explore and walk a lot along the streets of the centre, often spying behind the portals of the monumental doors and gates in streets such as via Torino and Via Magenta, where every gate might hide an awe-inspiring “hidden treasure”. To find them you have to deep into the silence of 5vie neighbourhood and Sant’Ambrogio. Are you ready for this adventure?

L'abside della chiesa di San Lorenzo
L’abside della chiesa di San Lorenzo visto da via Molino delle Armi

The antique roman Milano was called Mediolanum and it is still well preserved in the Museo Archeologico and in the nearby area. In the complex where the museum is located, you can visit the permanent exhibition and also a piece of the Roman walls as well as a tower that used to be part of a Roman circus. Inside the museum, they also keep an interesting mockup that shows well how the town used to be in the Roman time and makes it easy to compare to how the town is now.

Behind the museum you will find the most beautiful church of Milano: San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore. This church has the most breathtaking frescoes (inspired by the style of Leonardo da Vinci) in Milan and the choir is a true gem.

Not far from here you can also visit the lombardromanesque church of Sant’Ambrogio which can be considered the most important church in town with the Duomo: it is the church devoted to the town’s patron saint of Milano Sant’Ambrogio and it’s one of the most antique churches in town. Our tip is: have a look at the cloister designed by Bramante.

Walk five minutes and you’ll reach Piazza Affari, the headquarter of the Italian stock market and also home to Cattelan’s controversial statue.

The so-called Cinque vie (or 5vie) is a very charming part of the neighbourhood characterized by its small streets and a bunch of elegant shops such as the quirky Funky Table and Wait and See. Start from via Santa Marta and get lost around here!

Via Bagnera is also not far from here. It is the narrowest street in Milano but it is well known mainly for a very gruesome reason. It was home to the first Italian serial killer, the so-called “Monster of Bagnera Lane” who can be described as sort of Italian Jack the Ripper (but his story sounds more similar to what happens in Crime and Punishment by Dostoevskij). Legend has it that the ghost of the killer Antonio Boggia still roams the streets close to Via Bagnera. So, be careful around here 😉

Eat and drink

Zibo Cuochi Itineranti Milano
Zibo – Cuochi itineranti © 2015 | All Rights Reserved

Our favourite restaurant in the area is Zibo Campobase. Here you can try many different traditional Italian main dishes but… in the form of dumplings! Try their “carbonara raviolizzata“. It is a strong mouthwatering experience even for a local! If you want to go during the weekend, it is better to book since it is always full. Remember that it is closed on monday and sunday.

Starting from April and for the whole summer, you have to pay at least a visit to Chiosco Mentana. It’s a very rare kind of drink bar for Milano: it is a lively open-air bar in the middle of a tree-lined square hidden behind via Torino.

Nell'itinirario di milano non può mancare un passaggio alle Colonne di San Lorenzo
Porta Ticinese, Milano

Colonne di San Lorenzo is usually filled with students hanging out here at night. It is a square where you can hang out with friends having a beer sitting in the piazza. If it’s too cold to spend your time outside, just go to the nearby Ostello Bello: it is a hostel but it has a bar that is also open for the locals that come here to hang out, have aperitivo in the evening or brunch in the weekend.

Do you need to buy a book (and have a drink or coffee at the same time)? Go to Verso, a bookstore located just a few steps from Colonne di San Lorenzo.

Do you need to work with your computer, instead? The best place to do it in the area is the newly opened Walden, a quiet cafe located in a side street of corso di Porta Ticinese.

Travel Slow Score

Authenticity ✪✪✪
History ✪✪✪✪✪
Taste ✪✪
Instagram Factor ✪✪✪
Surprise Factor ✪✪✪

How to get here

How to visit the area that spans from Sant’Ambrogo to via Torino in Milan? The perfect Metro stop to start an itinerary in the area is Sant’Ambrogio (green line) but you can also start in Duomo and walk till Sant’Ambrogio. Moreover, wherever you come from, there are many other public means of transport that can get you here. Check on Google Maps!

Come here if…

… you want to know more about the antique history of Milan, walk in some of the most charming streets of the centre or have a beer watching the sky.

To explore the other neighbourhoods of Milan, click here.