Castello Sforzesco in Milan
Military fortress, palace of power, home to museums, libraries and important institutions of the city's culture: Castello Sforzesco has gone through seven centuries of ups and downs in the city's history. A stay in Milan is an opportunity to learn more about one of the symbolic places of the Lombard capital and to be surprised by the number of stories and treasures that are currently held inside.
The first part of the building was constructed by the Visconti, the Lords of the city in medieval times, who starting from the mid-1300s started the construction of a fortress with mainly defensive functions, located close to the ancient walls. However, Francesco Sforza transformed the original structure, which in the meantime had fallen into ruin, into what would soon become one of the most sumptuous and influential Renaissance courts.
From the mid-fifteenth century, major architects and artists of the time took turns in the construction and decoration of the structures of the Castello Sforzesco: for example, the famous architect and urban planner Filarete was responsible for the construction of the tower of the same name, the most characteristic of the building, which still overlooks the main entrance that leads to the large internal area, called the Cortile delle Armi.
With the rise to power in 1494 of Ludovico Maria Sforza, known as il Moro, the court was populated by some of the greatest artists and thinkers of the Renaissance, such as Donato Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci.
The fall of Ludovico Sforza by the French, which took place in 1500, gave way to 4 centuries of foreign domination which saw the Castello Sforzesco suffer serious damage. Only after the Second World War did the Castello Sforzesco regain its central place in the life of the Milanese, thanks to a meticulous restoration that allowed it to be handed over to future generations with renewed splendour and with an important cultural function.
Museums, libraries and archives housed in the Castello Sforzesco.
Today the Castello Sforzesco is a treasure chest that preserves, in addition to a rich collection of ancient and modern works of art, books, coins and musical instruments. Currently, the complex houses the stupendous Pinacoteca, which exhibits works by Bronzino, Correggio, Titian and Tintoretto and many others in its rooms.
We also recommend a visit to the Museo della Pietà Rondanini, the famous sculpture by Michelangelo housed in the rooms of the Castello's Spanish Hospital. Finally, the Egyptian Museum and the Museum of musical instruments are not to be missed.
Hours and ticket office
Castello Sforzesco is easily reached on foot (15 minutes from the Duomo) or by public transport (Metro line M1, Cairoli stop). Access to the courtyards is allowed from 7 to 19.30, while admission to the museums is scheduled every day from 10 to 17.30 (the ticket office closes at 16.30). The 5-euro ticket gives access to the Castle museums, while the cost is 10 euro to visit the wing that houses the Pietà Rondanini and to enter the exhibition. However, it is advisable to check first, through the official portal, the timetables and any temporary closures.
Travel to Milan with Air Dolomiti by selecting the flights and fares that best suit your needs and discover the treasures of the splendid Castello Sforzesco.