The Pinacoteca di Brera is a fundamental part of the complete cultural tours in the capital of Lombardy. Although the main center of interest in the city is the Sforzesco Castle, just two streets away is this museum, undoubtedly one of the must-see when planning what to see and do in Milan.
The collection of this temple of art includes from the famous Holy Family by Bramantino to the Madonna with Angels by Andrea Mantegna. There are more than 400 renowned works. Without a doubt, this is a paradise for art lovers and those interested in general culture. Read on to learn more about how to visit the Pinacoteca in Milan.
Explore Brera Art Gallery with this guided tour
Understand the history and value of the masterpieces of the Pinacoteca di Milano thanks to the explanations of an expert guide who will also take you to discover the picturesque Brera district.
Thanks to this guided tour of the Pinacoteca di Brera you can access the interior of the museum directly and without waiting at the ticket office. Inside you can admire the beautiful works of Raphael, Caravaggio, Rubens and Titian, among many others. Thanks to the explanations of the guide who will accompany you on the tour you will learn about the historical and artistic context.
But the approximately two-hour guided tour also includes a walk through the central district of Brera, where the Pinacoteca is located and one of the most select in Milan. You will be able to wander through the narrow streets and discover its exclusive stores and restaurants.
Recommended if... You want to know in depth one of the most important Italian art collections in the world with a guide who will explain its history and get closer to the culture of Brera, one of the most charming neighborhoods of Milan.
How much does it cost to visit the Pinacoteca in Milan?
The general admission ticket for the Pinacoteca in Milan can be purchased for about 15 ¤.
The purchase of the ticket must be done online and in advance, as the ticket office of the museum is intended only to assist the visitor but does not sell tickets.
Reduced price tickets: who can buy them?
- Persons over 65 years of age have a preferential rate on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Their ticket costs €1.
- European Community citizens between 18 and 25 years of age pay only €2 for their tickets.
- Italian citizens with an unemployment certificate pay only 5 €.
- Citizens of Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein pay only 2 € for their tickets.
The best option, the guided tour with tour of Brera
However, the tickets do not include an audio guide. They have an additional cost and are in English and Italian. For this reason, I recommend that for a little more you book in advance a guided tour of the Pinacoteca in Milan.
You will take a 2-hour tour of the museum grounds in which a guide will teach you to appreciate the significance of such important works as 'The Finding of St. Mark' by Tintoretto or 'Christ Dead in the Sepulchre' by Raphael, among many others.
In addition, this visit includes a tour of the Brera district in which the art gallery is located, a complete experience not only for art lovers but for anyone who wants to approach the historical and cultural heritage of the city of Milan.
Are there guided tours of the Pinacoteca di Milano and is it worth it?
Of course it is, especially if you are not an art connoisseur and you are interested in knowing the history of the works, the styles, messages and curiosities of each piece. Remember that there are five centuries of history, tradition and culture.
The important collection of works by artists such as Raphael, Caravaggio, Hayez or Mantegna at the Pinacoteca di Milano is well worth a guided visit by an art expert to help you contextualize and understand the symbolism of each piece. In addition, if you are interested in making it more personalized, when booking the guided tour of the Pinacoteca di Milano you can select the private tour option , exclusive for you and your group.
In addition, the specialized guide will take you to discover the Brera Palace, where the museum is located and which was founded by the Jesuits. On your tour, you will not miss the inner courtyard of the building, a marvel of Italian architecture.
Is it possible to visit the Pinacoteca for free?
- People with certified disabilities. If an accompanying person is required, that person will also be entitled to the same benefit.
- Italian citizens living abroad who present their certificate (AIRE).
- Italian teachers with their MIUR certification.
- Members of the Museums of Lombardy.
- I.C.C.C.R.O.M. members. They must present a valid card.
- Inspectors and honorary curators of the Italian Ministry of Culture.
- Military personnel of the Italian Cultural Heritage Protection Unit.
- Teachers and students of:
- The Italian Academy of Fine Arts or its equivalent in the European Community. 2. Architecture, Cultural Heritage Conservation, Education, Art-oriented Literature or Archaeology of Italian Universities or their equivalent in the European Community. 3. Advanced training courses in the Schools of the Italian Ministry of Culture.
The Pinacoteca reserves the right to grant this privilege to other groups in the interest of protecting the museum and promoting the study of art in the Italian territory.
Are tickets to the Pinacoteca di Brera included in any of the city's tourist passes?
No, the tourist passes such as the Milano Pass include tickets to the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana but not the Pinacoteca di Brera. However, being the Brera neighborhood the bohemian luxury, the La Grande Brera Passport was created.
By visiting 5 of the points of interest in Brera such as the Palazzo Citterio or the Scala Theater Museum, you can fill in the stamps that fill your passport and get your free admission to the Pinacoteca di Brera!
How to get to the Pinacoteca di Milano
The address of the Pinacoteca di Milano is Via Brera, 28, 20121 Milano. Due to its central location in the capital of Lombardy, you can reach the museum in several ways:
- By bus: with the city lines 61 and 57.
- By Metro: You can reach the Palazzo de Breda by Lanza line 2, by Montenapoleone line 3 or by Cairoli line 1.
- By streetcar: You will connect with lines 1, 4, 8, 8, 12, 14 and 27.
- By private car: You can reach it from Via Brera 3, where there is a parking lot.
Family activities at the Pinacoteca di Milano
One of the family activities offered by the Pinacoteca di Brera is the Arte Orto project, born with the idea of combining art and garden.
The routes offer adults, families and children a series of artistic botanical itineraries, designed to focus attention on the different types of medicinal plants represented in the Pinacoteca di Brera and connect them with their sisters in the Botanical Garden.
The project began in 2014, under the direction of the Brera museum complex (Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Museo del Novecento and Palazzo della Ragione) in collaboration with Aboca Spa. I recommend you to check in advance their calendar of activities.
On the other hand, when budget or time is not enough to visit the Pinacoteca di Brera inside, you can opt to take a bike tour of Milan and walk around the inner courtyard of the building which you can access for free.
What not to miss at the Pinacoteca di Milano
At the Pinacoteca di Brera you will witness a vast list of works, the most complete in Italy according to experts. Its provenance dates back to 1571 when the Jesuits began the construction of the Palazzo di Brera to turn it into a prestigious college. Later, Empress Maria Theresa of Austria founded the Pinacoteca in 1776 along with the Academy of Fine Arts.
As an interesting fact, at the entrance you are greeted by a sphinx of Napoleon Bonaparte, who reopened the place on August 15, 1809, his birthday. The military man's intention was to gather as many paintings as possible from the Italian areas that had been conquered, it was a symbol of power, that's why he turned it into a museum.
How is the Pinacoteca di Brera divided?
A total of 38 rooms make up the Pinacoteca di Brera. In them you will find the works organized according to two criteria. First, in chronological order and second, by each artist or school to which they belong.
The most famous collection of works of art in Milan is not found only in the Palazzo Brera, as there are other very interesting areas.
Its most important works
The collection of works in this museum brings together an extensive range of frescoes. Some media, such as The Telegraph, claim that there are more than 500 artistic jewels, others say that the amount is around 450 pieces among Canaletto, Raphael, Modigliani, Bramante, Rubens, Titian, Rembrandt and more.
Although it is not clear on the number of pieces in the collection, there is a top 10 with the works of the Pinacoteca di Brera that are often the focus of attention among art lovers:
- The Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio.
- The Kiss by Francesco Hayes.
- The Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Andrea Mantegna.
- The Betrothal of the Virgin by Raphael.
- Christ at the Column by Donato Bramante.
- Madonna with saints and Federico de Montefeltro as donor by Piero della Francesca.
- Still lifes by Giorgio Morandi.
- The Virgin of Mount Carmel by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
- The Pietà by Giovanni Bellini.
- The Miracle of St. Mark by Tintoretto.
The Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense
It is better known as the Brera Library and was founded in 1770 by Maria Theresa of Habsburg - Lorraine, but its doors were not opened to the public until 1786. It constitutes an essential part of the cultural offer of the city. It specializes in art, literature and curatorial. The Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense directly overlooks Piazza Brera, one of the ancient buildings in the historic center of Milan.
The Brera Astronomical Museum
With its thirty or so scientific instruments dedicated to researching the cosmos, such as Schiaparelli's Amici telescope, it is unique for the prestige it represents.
The Brera Astronomical Museum enjoys social relevance for its commitment to scientific development. If you are looking for things to do in Milan in the spring or fall, this is an ideal stop, especially between the months of May and July, when cultural activities will be the order of the day.
The Orto Botanico
A unique space to take a break from the architecture and surrender to nature. The Orto Botanico is considered the small green lung because of its proximity to the Sempione Park.
If you visit the Milan Castle, you will understand the reason for its nickname, while the flowers, trees and ornaments draw a landscape of 10 in front of your eyes.
Did you know that
Did you know that some of the classics of the Pinacoteca di Brera are so coveted that they reached the NFTs market? Yes, everyone wants to get their hands on the certified digital copies and you are still wondering if you should visit the museum?
How long does a visit to the Pinacoteca last?
Visitors who go on their own have 90 minutes to tour the Pinacoteca di Brera during each visit. Please note that the guided tour lasts about two hours.
It is important to remember that the entrance hours are strict. You will have up to 15 minutes after the time stated on your ticket to enter the museum.
If you exceed that time window, the entrance will be deserted. The recommendation is to arrive 5 minutes before the time of the ticket to avoid inconveniences.
How many people can visit the Pinacoteca in a group?
In order to provide the best attention that visitors require and to take care of the museum, a maximum of 24 people can enter each shift, including the guide where appropriate.
What are the opening hours of the Pinacoteca di Milano?
From Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 am to 7:15 pm. These hours are open all year round except Mondays, January 1st, May 1st and December 25th, when the museum is closed.
Tips for visiting the Pinacoteca of Milan
- Show up at the time on your ticket on time. They are strict on that point.
- Wear comfortable shoes. There are 24,000 square meters and the visit lasts 90 minutes.
- Hire a guide. The space is very large and the audio guide is not offered in Spanish. A local expert will be able to assist you, provide information and relevant data to your tour.
This is the store of the Pinacoteca of Milan
The philosophy at Brera is to study art in order to know it, respect it and treasure it. This is how it became the "luxury bohemian" and following this mission, the Brera Pinacoteca store opened its doors: the Bottega Brera.
This space expresses the deep-rooted cultural identity of Milan. Here you will find a bookstore, a collection of design objects, clothing, jewelry and souvenirs. From the courtyard of honor of the Palazzo di Brera you can take a souvenir home.
- Bottega Brera opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. Access to this area is free.
Where to eat near the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan
Options to stop to enjoy a good Neapolitan meal there are many in the Brera neighborhood, however, I highlight a top 5 places that does not disappoint:
- Ristorante Nabucco Their bet is on classic Italian food. Its risottos, milanesas and fresh pastas do not disappoint and the tiramisu of this restaurant is described by many as a real delicacy. Do not miss it, all diners, highlight the quality of the products of this dessert, a delight not to be missed. It is located in Via Fiori Chiari 10, 20121.
- Tramé: If you are looking for a quick stop to continue your excursion, Tramé is the solution. They are dedicated to the sale of succulent sandwiches in the style of Venice. They cater to all tastes and the prices are affordable. From 7 € you can enjoy a sandwich and a spritz, doesn't it sound good? Find them in Piazza San Simpliciano Corso Garibaldi 22, 20121.
- Ristorante Lucca: Their menu is versatile, adapting to all tastes. They include a variety of traditional, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free food. The style of Tuscany, and central Italy are the central themes of their cuisine. This restaurant is often visited by customers looking for dinner and they stay for its treatment, music, good food and the possibility of being served in Spanish. It is located in Via Panfilo Castaldi 33, 20124.
- La Tartina: a tapas place in the Brera district you said, La Tartina is the answer. This quiet place is ideal to enjoy an ice-cold beer accompanied by Italian bruschettas, the local version of tapas, here much more abundant, homemade Milanese style. Ask for the board with cold meats and cheese or the gourmet canapés, they are delicious. You can find it in Via San Carpoforo 4 Brera Area, 20121.
- Carminio: You can eat any dish you like in this place but their salads and soups are on another level. Each dish more sumptuous and richer than the last. Located in Via del Carmine 3, 20121.
The virtual tour of the Pinacoteca di Brera
The School of Fine Arts has created a virtual catalog in which you will find about 600 works of art.
A summary about the history of the frescoes, the artists behind them, inspiration and the date of creation are available on the website of the Pinacoteca in Milan in English and Italian.
You might also be interested in visiting near the Pinacoteca
- The Palazzo Citterio, adjacent to the Orto Botanico. It is an imposing 18th century palace where there are often exhibitions of ancient and modern art.
- If you are interested in the world famous Milan Opera, visit the Teatro La Scala, here you will find all the information you need, tickets, schedules and how to visit the theater inside.
- The Poldi Pezzoli Museum. This museum is constantly renewed offering exhibitions of ancient, modern and contemporary art. See its itinerary here
- The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, where luxury and fine cuisine combine in a fixed meeting point in the city.
- Visit the Castle of Milan. Two blocks from the Pinacoteca, this Milan fortress bears the imprint of Leonardo da Vinci throughout the work.