Exploring the traditional and yet bohemian district of Brera, Milan

The Brera district of Milan is the heart of contemporary culture, happening bohemian art and where the creative youth hang out. Yet despite this it is also the traditional centre of the city, the way the Milan of old would have been: Narrow cobbled streets, colourful Italian facades and a maze like layout. Here you can step back to a world before the wide roads and high rises of the downtown area and wander the backstreet in search of inspiration and something original…which you are guaranteed to find!

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The Brera district fast became our favourite area of the city where we could go for a wander around the extensive and yet compact feeling area. With hundreds if not thousands of place to eat to choose from, galleries on almost every corner to wander in for free and the buzz of the Milan Design festival in full swing.

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The place was alive with colour and activity, on every street was an event showcasing the latest trend, and what better place to do that than here. The heart of creativity in the city of style!

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Even the food that we ate here: A vegetarian pesto and cheese lasagna was a work of art. Served on a piece of slate and carefully presented it was almost too good to eat! But eat it we did and every mouthful was an absolute pleasure…just what you expect and dream of when it comes to authentic Italian food. Although it can be expensive to eat around here if you aren’t too picky, we managed to have this amazing meal for less than 30 Euros (with Bruschetta and drinks – this was a treat after cooking our own food/ eating for free at the hostel/ eating cheap pizza – which was actually amazing too!)

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Often referred to as the “Milanese Montartre”, this artistic and bohemian centre of the city, the district fans out around Brera street. The name comes from the old medieval Italian word “braida” meaning land lacking in trees. Around 900 years ago this area would have been outside of the city limits and would have been kept clear for the military.

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So Brera’s history goes back a long way, but places like the historic Brera Academy of art and impressive Brera Art gallery helped to make this area an artistic haven. The restaurants, bars, clubs, antique shops, boutique galleries, market stalls and student population make this a wonderful area for a stroll. At times it can feel almost like a completely different city to that of the rest of Milan which almost amazing, can be harsh and full of barging tourists. Even when the area is bustling there is a chilled out and easy going vibe that we totally fell in love with.

brera, art, bohemian, culture, milan, milano, design week, italy, italia, off the beaten path, off the beaten track, places to see, things to do, places to eat, vegetarian food, explore, wander, travel, travelling, traveling, backpack though europe 

Have you visited Milan or the Brera district?

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Exploring the traditional and yet bohemian district of Brera, Milan > http://theroamingrenegades.com/exploring-the-traditional-and-yet-bohemian-district-of-brera-milan.html 

Nicola Hilditch-Short

Nic is one half of the Roaming Renegades, a passionate traveller, climber, adventurer, photographer and artist who has a B.A in Fine Art and M.A in Design & Art Direction.
  • Aisha Niang

    I love the photos. You had me at lasagna.

  • Crizzy Kiss

    I’ll be visiting Milan soon, great to read about this. I like that building with plants hanging around! 😉

  • Looks such a beautiful place and the lasagna made me hungry!! 🙂

    • It is our favourite area of the city for sure and that meal one of the best we have had!

  • Mmmm that baclava looks amazeballs! The architecture is cool too 🙂 Great article

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  • Jessica

    Interesting blend of themes in this part of Milan. Never been here but definitely would love to go. 🙂

  • We’ve been to Italy, but missed the NW section. I would love to get back at some point and explore some more. The Brera district sounds like a must-see stop so we’ll add it to our list!

    • There is so much to see up here! To be fair we need to get out and see more of the rest of the country too. But if you get to Milan then make sure you see this area.

  • Carol

    We have not been to this part of Italy. The Brera district looks inviting enough. Well Milan is reason enough to go there!

  • Nathan Aguilera

    I went to Italy years ago before I was so into food and wine. I would like to go back again– I think it would be a completely different experience. The lasagna looks amazing!

    http://www.foodieflashpacker.com

  • Dani

    I love this kind of bohemian neighborhoods. It’s all about the details: The old Tramway, the food…. Great read!

  • A Datsev

    I have been following your travels. Very nice and informative post as always!

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