Top Things to See in Milan: No. 3 Cimitero Monumentale

As the name implies, we’re talking about a cemetery. A monumental one. Yes, I know it's a bit strange, but this is one of the most beautiful creations I’ve ever seen in my life.

I used to ask taxi drivers what places they'd recommend for sightseeing in Milan. They always said Cimitero Monumentale and when I realised it meant a cemetery, I thought they were nuts. It took me over a year before I finally decided to go there and I was completely blown away.

The place is huge and it’s filled with a wide range of contemporary and classical life-sized Italian sculptures. There are also many beautiful buildings, tombs, and obelisks. It’s very hard to describe the beauty and strangeness with words. Perhaps you get a better understanding by looking at my photos in the video (or gallery below).

The cemetery was designed by Architect Carlo Maciachini and opened in 1866. The main entrance goes through the Famedio, which is a memorial chapel containing the tombs of some of Milan's and the country's most honoured citizens. Especially the tombs that belong to noted industrialist dynasties are simply stunning and often designed by renowned artists.

I’ve got a feeling that not too many tourists find their way to Cimitero Monumentale, even though it’s only a 2,6 km walk from Piazza del Duomo. Trams 12 and 14 are a nice way to get there, and you see a lot more sights with the tram compared to the metro. Today when somebody asks me what they should see in Milan, I always recommend the cemetery. And when they look at me confused I just say: go there and you’ll understand why.