Not far from the Sforzesco Castle, there’s an outdoor archaeological site, freely open, where you can touch the old history of the city with your own hands. Milan is well known as one of the most powerful cities in Italy during the Middle Ages, but actually, it had great importance for Europe even before.
In fact, during the Roman Empire, in the last years of the 3rd century, Mediolanum (that’s the Latin name of the city) became the capital of the Western Roman Empire, and it lasted for a long time (from 286 AD to 402 AD). The emperor of that time, Massimianus, wanted a great “domus”, or house of the emperor, in the city. At last, he built not only a great house but even a great circus in front of it, where he and other citizens of Milan could watch chariot racing.
If you go around the main archaeological site and look at the ground, you will even find spectacular mosaics that were originally parts of the residence which spanned 80.000 m2. Basically, most of the center of Milan was taken by this giant construction, and if you wander around you’ll find in every little corner hidden pieces of it. Unfortunately in the X century, the new inhabitants of Milano, the Longobards, abandoned the palace, and today you’ll find only the ruins of it. By the way, it’s one of the coolest and most hidden spots in the city so make sure to check it out!