Brera, Milan, Italy

Living in Brera, Milan

Iyna Bort Caruso

Brera is located in the central historic core of Milan, Italy, and yet it is said to feel more like a town with winding cobbled alleyways, pretty piazzas and few roadways that cut through it.

The Zone 1 neighborhood is within walking distance of Milan’s main square, which is just south. Brera has been lauded for its “bohemian beauty.” Part of that beauty comes from the vibrantly painted building facades and balconies filled with flowerpots brimming with colorful blooms. The bohemian part stems from Brera’s standing as an area of art and artists. Some even call it the Milanese Montmartre,” a reference to the famous artist district of Paris. Its streets of boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs are loaded with charm.

Palazzo di Brera is the centerpiece of the area and one of the city’s major cultural institutions. The historic building dates back centuries and houses the city’s art academy and gallery, botanical garden, observatory and national library.

Brera is one of the most prestigious neighborhoods of Milan, Italy’s second-largest city. This northern metropolis, the capital city of the Lombardy region, is well-connected to major European cities by air, rail and highway. For Milanese, it is also well situated for getaways. It’s less than an hour’s drive to Lake Cuomo. Skiing to the north and the Italian Riviera to the south can both be accessed in a few hours.

In addition to Brera being a home for artists, it is also popular with those who work in finance and fashion. Apartments dominate the property market here. Most apartments were built in the 18th century, although some date back hundreds of years earlier. Premium prices go for renovated units as well as those that overlook gardens and courtyards. For international buyers, there are no real estate restrictions.