Brera is a district of Milan, Italy. It is located within the Zone 1 and it is centered on Via Brera. The name stems from Medieval Italian "braida" or "brera", derived from Old Lombardic "brayda", meaning a land expanse either cleared of trees or naturally lacking them. This is because around the year 900, the Brera district was situated just outside Milan's city walls and was kept clear for military reasons. The root of the word is the same as that of the Dutch city of Breda's name and the English word "broad".
Brera houses the Brera Academy of Fine Arts and the Brera Art Gallery, which prominently contributed to the development of Brera as an artists' neighborhood and a place of bohemian atmosphere, sometimes referred to as "the milanese Montmartre". Both the Academy and the Gallery are located in Palazzo Brera, the main historical building of the area; this same building also houses Milan's botanical garden as well as an astronomical observatory and the Braidense National Library. Other features that contribute to the character of Brera include restaurants, bars, night clubs, antique and art shops, colorful street markets, as well as fortune tellers' booths.