All the information to visit the Castello Sforzesco in Milan, with the civic museums and temporary exhibitions that it hosts inside: how to get there, what to see and what to do.
The Sforzesco Castle is one of the undisputed symbols of Milan. Built in the fifteenth century by the will of Francesco Sforza, it is now home to important cultural institutions, civic museums and temporary exhibitions, as well as a tourist destination. It is also one of the largest castles in Europe and inside it preserves the works of some of the greatest Italian artists, from Leonardo da Vinci to Michelangelo, from Andrea Mantegna to Bramantino. Here, below, all the information you need to visit the Castello Sforzesco and its wonders, from the time to the price to its history.
How to get to the Castello Sforzesco
The Sforzesco Castle is located in Piazza Castello, in the historic center of Milan and near the famous Sempione Park and the Branca Tower . Getting there by public transport is easy and convenient: you can take the underground line 1 (Red) and get off at the “Cairoli” stop, which is right in front of the Castle entrance, or line 2 (Green) and get off to “Lanza” or “Cadorna”, close to the secondary entrances. Alternatively, you can use the bus, choosing between lines 18, 50, 37, 58, 61 and 94, or trams 1, 2, 4, 12, 14 and 19. The area is difficult to reach by car, especially due to the lack of parking. So the advice, if you have a car, is to park the cars in one of the parking lots at the terminus of the metro, with which you can then reach the desired place.
Timetable and prices for the visit to the Castello Sforzesco
The Sforzesco Castle is open every day from 07:00 to 19:30 and admission is free. If, on the other hand, you want to visit one of the civic museums or the temporary exhibitions housed inside it, access is provided from 09:00 to 17:30 from Tuesday to Sunday; closed on Mondays. The full ticket to access it costs 5 euros, 3 euros for the reduced; free for under 18s, for tourist guides, journalists and the handicapped. You can enter for free every Tuesday from 14:00, from Wednesday to Sunday from 16:30 and every first Sunday of the month until Sunday 4 December 2016. The center takes part in #domenicalmuseo, the initiative of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage that allows to freely visit museums and works throughout Italy. A single ticket allows entry to all the museums of the Castle. They can be purchased both at the ticket office and online at no additional cost on the TicketOne website . For more information, you can call 02.88463703 or 02.88463700 (Info Point) or visit the official website .
What to see at the Castello Sforzesco among civic museums and world-famous artists
Currently, the Castello Sforzesco houses a series of civic museums, which in turn preserve the works of some of the most important artists in Italian history. Here is the list below. We remind you that it is possible to access all the collections by purchasing a single ticket:
Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco : within an area made up of seven rooms on the first floor of the Castle, this art gallery develops which houses the paintings, among others, of Filippo Lippi, Antonello da Messina, Andrea Mantegna, Canaletto, Correggio and Tiepolo , the result of donations, regional deposits and simple purchases;
Archaeological Museum (Egyptian, prehistoric and protohistoric) : the Egyptian museum in particular is among the most important and largest in all of Italy, after those of Turin and Florence. It is divided into a series of sections, from writing to pharaoh, from the cult of the gods to mummies and sarcophagi;
Museum of ancient art : it is home to one of the most important collections of late antique, medieval and Renaissance sculptures and art objects in northern Italy with its over two thousand pieces exhibited in rooms decorated with frescoes from the Sforza and Spanish periods . Inside it is preserved the famous Pietà Rondanini by Michelangelo , which represents one of the masterpieces of the master of the Italian Renaissance, while in the Sala delle Asse you can admire the vault entirely frescoed by Leonardo Da Vinci;
Museum of musical instruments : musical instruments dated from the fifteenth to the twentieth century are preserved for a total of more than 700 specimens from all over Europe;
Museum of furniture and wooden sculptures : in this area of the Castello Sforzesco there is a large collection of furniture with particular attention to the history of Lombard furniture. Of particular importance are the works by Giuseppe Maggiolini and Giò Ponti;
Civic collections of applied art : this museum, located in the Ducal Rooms and in those of the Rocchetta of the Castello Sforzesco, is divided into different sections, among which the goldsmiths, ivories, bronzes, enamels and artistic glass sections stand out. The presence in the Sala della Balla of the Trivulzio tapestries, with drawings by Bramantino, should be noted;
Non-European collections : it is one of the many preserved inside the Castello Sforzesco, for a total of over eight thousand objects belonging to collections belonging to the Municipality of Milan from the pre-Columbian period of Peru to the early twentieth century;
State Archives and Trivulziana Library : the latter is an offshoot of the State Archives, it has about 180 thousand volumes, including ancient and modern books, photographs, posters and prints, some of Dante Alighieri’s works, and the famous Trivulziano Code of Leonardo da Vinci .
Alongside these, there is also the presence of the Art Library, the Civic Photographic Archive of Milan, the Civic collection of Achille Bertarelli prints, the Civic Cabinet of Drawings, the CASVA Castle Library, the Center for Advanced Studies on the Arts. Visual.
Events at the Castello Sforzesco in Milan
During the year, the Castello Sforzesco hosts a series of temporary exhibitions by national and international artists and events, such as summer appointments, Halloween for children , the Christmas tree among the largest in the city and special guided tours for The smallest. There are also many concerts and shows scheduled in the Piazzale delle Armi. To find out the complete calendar, you can visit the dedicated section of the official website of the Castle . In the past, it was the location for some races of the TV show “Giochi senza Frontiere” and for the public funeral of the writer Umberto Eco, who passed away in February 2016.
Brief history and structure of the Castello Sforzesco
The construction of the Castello Sforzesco dates back to the fifteenth century, when Francesco Sforza wanted to erect a structure that would express its full power when he became Duke of Milan. On his death, he was succeeded by his son Galeazzo Maria, who made the work continue. Then, at the end of the fifteenth century, when Ludovico il Moro took possession of it, this building became the seat of one of the most sumptuous courts in Europe: for this reason artists of the caliber of Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante were called to enrich the structure. Between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it became one of the main military citadels in Europe. Then restored in historicist style by Luca Beltrami between 1890 and 1905, it is now home to important cultural institutions and museums. In 2005, the last renovation of the halls and courtyards was completed.
Inside, it is still possible to admire the Torre del Filarete , the highest of the whole Castle and of which it constitutes the main entrance, the Piazza d’Armi , part of an ancient moat from the medieval era, and the so-called Rocchetta , the most impregnable part of the castle in which the Sforza took refuge in case of attack.