The elegant Corso di Porta Romana (the former city gate of Milan) has long been the centre of city life in Milan and was the place chosen by the local nobility to build their mansions. Triumphant ceremonies and joyful celebrations were held here. At the end of the eighteenth century, its importance began to decline as a result of new districts that flourished in different areas of the city.
The Porta Romana is located at the end of the corso in a square called Medaglie d'Oro. It was once part of the Spanish walls, which were among the most famous in Europe, a fragment of which remains on the right side of the door. The arch was built in 1598 to designs by Aurelio Trezzi on the occasion of the arrival in Milan of Maria Theresa of Austria, who was on her way to Madrid to marry Philip III of Spain.
Today in this old district in central Milan, you can still soak up the atmosphere of the old Milan by sipping a coffee at one of the famous historic bars or stopping for lunch at one of the many typical trattorias.
Nearby are the Teatro Carcano, one of the most important theatres in the city, built on the ruins of the former convent of St. Lazarus, and the Terme di Milano, an elegant spa complex with saunas, steam baths, Jacuzzi and relaxation areas.