Gaze up at the city hall and the world-renowned theater from the green island at the core of this plaza, which pays tribute to Leonardo da Vinci.
With its opera house and circular garden, the Piazza della Scala is among the most iconic squares in Milan. This semi-pedestrian plaza is linked to the central Duomo Square by the glass-covered Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping arcade full of upscale stores, cafés and restaurants. Sit at one of the benches in the central garden and watch people go by in the heart of the city.
Although a road surrounds the edges of the piazza, the large inner square is for pedestrians only. Admire the red and gray patterns of the brick cobbles and concrete slabs that encircle the grassy patches at the plaza’s nucleus. Rising from the center is a white marble statue of Leonardo da Vinci, with portrayals of four of his students beneath his feet. Admire the reliefs depicting the artist’s main specialties: architecture, painting, sculpting and engineering.
Find out more about da Vinci in the adjacent Leonardo3 Museum, which showcases working replicas of his machines. The polymath is celebrated in Milan, where he painted his famous ecclesiastical work The Last Supper.
The square’s crowning jewel is the 18th-century Teatro alla Scala, which covers the plaza’s northwestern side. Admire the colonnade and pediment of the neoclassical façade. Note that renowned composer Antonio Salieri performed on the opening night in 1778. Today, it remains a key element of Milan’s cultural scene, offering regular ballet shows, operatic performances and musical recitals. Bring your kids to the performing arts workshops.
At the opposing end of the square stands the Palazzo Marino, which serves as Milan’s city hall. Take photos of the majestic frontage of this 16th-century edifice. Walk through the triumphal arch of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and browse the exclusive shops.
Find the Piazza della Scala in the center of Milan. It has a range of transportation links, including the Cordusio and Duomo metro stations, the Teatro alla Scala tram stop and many nearby bus stops. While in this central zone, go to the San Fedele Church, the Palazzo dei Giureconsulti and the Magazzini Contratti.