• Lifestyle

Milan from the Top

With its skyscrapers to challenge the dizzy heights of the Duomo and the surrounding mountains ...

Milan is going up… It has grown taller, vertically, over the years, to acquire new perspectives, to see further, opening a window on the future.

So here are the "top" buildings of the city - the view from here is spectacular, believe us!

Torre Branca began it all, almost a work of art made of steel, 108.60 metres high, situated in the heart of the Sempione Park. It was designed in 1933 by architect Gio Ponti, for the fifth Triennial exhibition, then restored and returned to the citizens of Milan by the Fratelli Branca distillery, hence its name. One of the panoramic viewpoints that is always open to the public, it is well worth a visit to admire the sight of Milan seen from above, at least once in a lifetime!

2. THE VELASCA TOWER

Think of Milan and you think of, in descending order, the Cathedral, the Sforza Castle and the Torre Velasca. Adored and criticised by enthusiasts and detractors, the building has become part of popular imaginary and, apart from anything, is of historical and cultural importance. On the one hand, for its unquestionable architectural value, interpretation of Brutalism and Neo-Liberty style and for the team of architects who designed it between 1956 and 1958 – the B.B.P.R., that is, Banfi, Barbiano di Belgiojoso, Peressutti and Rogers. On the other hand, for having become over the years a symbol of the economic growth and development of Milan.

Affectionately known as "Il Pirellone", this rationalist building, 127 metres high, is considered one of the finest works of architecture in post-War Milan. Built of glass, steel and concrete between 1956 and 1961, to a design by Gio Ponti, for years it was the headquarters of the Region of Lombardy. Not to be missed, a look at the view from its thirty-first floor, known as the Belvedere, only open on certain days of the year or for special events.

Who supplanted the Pirellone as a government building? Palazzo Lombardia, a modern complex of buildings with a sinusoidal shape covering an area of about 33,700 square metres. As well as the offices of the Region, it houses a nursery, a gym, cafés, restaurants, shops and multifunctional spaces, such as the Giovanni Testori auditorium, that host cultural events. The highest tower reaches 161.30 metres and its pride and joy is the panoramic thirty-ninth floor -looking out from the large windows, all Milan is at your feet! Unfortunately it is only open to the public on special occasions. If you do not want to miss these, you can subscribe to the Region's newsletter, which will keep you updated on all events and new openings.

And for the title of the highest building in Milan, the winner is… the three Unicredit Towers, with their sculptural spire that reaches a height of 231 metres, a spectacular building complex of reflective glass. Their sinuous, dynamic form encloses a new piazza, named after Gae Aulenti, which has become a new public and meeting space, used by citizens and visitors alike.

Take me here: Milan from the Top

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