Castello Sforzesco, (Sforzesco Castle) is one of the main features of Milan. It has served both foreign and local rulers throughout the centuries. At the beginning of the 20th century, the castle was spared from demolition and it now serves as the site of many museums.
The most intriguing museum is the Musei d’Arte Antica. It is exhibited within the ducal apartments, and some were even frescoed by da Vinci himself. You will also find the equestrian tomb of Bernarbò Visconti and the reliefs depicting Milan’s glory over Barbarossa, as well as several ancient sculptures. The displays effectively tell birth of the first commune, the grand ambitions of dynastic Italy, and many more, carving its place within Europe’s finest courts.
In the four centuries, Milan was under foreign occupation, the castle mainly used as a soldier barracks. It was bombarded during 1521, but it remained standing. And as more years went by, parts of the castle were demolished and renovated. Most of these were added during Napoleon’s occupation of Milan, while other fortifications were added by the Spanish during the later part of the century.
Today, the castle is host to a handful of galleries and museums. Here, particularly at the Museum of Ancient Art, you can see the works of Michelangelo. At the Pinacoteca, you can view several paintings by Bellini and Titian.
Furnishings and wooden sculptures teem the Museum of Applied Arts. Here you will find exhibits of Egyptian and ancient civilization artifacts.
Near the center of the castle, adjoining the homes of the Sforza dukes, you’ll find two enclosed courtyards: the Corte Ducale and the Cortile Della Rocchetta. You can definitely enjoy the courtyards and take in the sights to your heart’s content.
The Rocchetta was the stronghold of the castle. It also served as the refuge in case of a siege. During Ludovico Il Moro’s reign, the homes around the courtyard were majestically adorned with frescoes. At that time, the Torre Castellana was used as a treasury.
Entry is free from 2:00 PM every Tuesday. On any other day, entry is free on the last hour.
Address: Italy, Piazza Castello, 20121 Milano MI
Hours now · 7:00 AM – 7:30 PM
Style: Renaissance architecture
Website: Castello Sforzesco