5 libraries and archives in Milan
1) Braidense National Library
The most important room is dedicated to Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, who wanted to open this library to the public in 1786. The walnut wood shelving with the continuous walkway, designed by architect Giuseppe Piermarini, and the 18th-century chandeliers in Bohemian crystal are striking. The latter originally hung in the Palazzo Reale, where they were damaged during WWII.
2) Ca’ Granda Historical Archive
In 2018, Ca’ Granda’s Historical Archive and crypt opened to the public. The former is a place of extraordinary beauty, with materials that document over 600 years of history; many Milanese patriots are buried in the latter.
3) Main public library of Milan
This library has a large reading room with newspapers and magazines. Among the most interesting spaces is the room called ‘del Grechetto’, with 23 paintings of the myth of Orpheus taming the animals. But the most enchanting place to read is in the garden at the rear of the building, which is open from April to October.
4) Biblioteca Venezia
Behind busy Corso Buenos Aires, there is an open space where a magnolia almost conceals this beautiful art nouveau building from the early 1900s, the old Dumont cinema. Today this neighbourhood library is a good place to read a newspaper or magazine.
5) The Trees Library
An open-air library, with trees instead of books. A modern botanic garden, designed by the landscape artist Petra Blaisse, covering 8 hectares under the Porta Nuova skyscrapers. The most unique section is that of the ‘vegetable rooms’, or circular mini-forests created with single species. There are also meadows and pedestrian and cycling paths.
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The 500 Hidden Secrets of Milan reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Milan's best-kept secrets.
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