For over a century, this historic castle has been home to many of Milan’s most notable galleries and museums. Discover the history of the Castello Sforzesco on tours or visit the cultural institutions housed within, including the Museum of Ancient Art.
Prior to being rejuvenated as a cultural hub, Castello Sforzesco had a tumultuous history. It began its life as a citadel, became the home of the Visconti royalty and was then torn to the ground by the Milanese people after the last of the Viscontis died. Just a few years later it was rebuilt in its current form, featuring a 230-foot (70-meter) tower at its center. During this period the castle served as one of the largest fortresses in Europe, and featured Renaissance artwork by Leonardo da Vinci, among others. The following centuries saw a range of occupants, many battles and much damage to the castle. Finally, at the end of the 19th century, restoration began. In 1900 the castle was opened to the public in its current form.
Visit Castello Sforzesco to discover the whole history of the compound. Tours can be arranged through local operators who will guide you through the structures that still remain on the site. See the two towers, Torrione Dei Carmini and Torrione Di Santo Spirito, which were built to guard the castle. Many of the fortress walls also remain.
Venture inside to some of the city’s premier cultural institutions housed inside the complex. The Museum of Ancient Art includes pieces by Michelangelo, while the Trivulziana Library is home to the original manuscript of da Vinci’s Codex Trivulzianus. The Museum of Musical Instruments, Antique Furniture and Wooden Sculpture Museum and Applied Arts Collection all contain important artifacts from Italy’s past.
Castello Sforzesco is located within Parco Sempione, the largest park in the city of Milan. It can be reached on foot or by car, with ample parking available for a fee. A metro station also serves the castle and park. The castle is closed Mondays and some holidays. A small admission fee applies.