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Historical Sites in Milan

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Sforza Castle
Castello Sforzesco is a surprising monument sheltering several specialized museums and traces of the city’s past. An oasis of art and culture. It was originally a Visconti fortress and later home to the mighty Sforzas, the rulers of Milan, who transformed it into a magnificent ducal palace thought to have been decorated by several of the greatest artists of the times including Donato Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci. Transformed into a military complex during four centuries of foreign occupation and subsequently used as the barracks of the Italian army, at the end of the 19th century the Castle was restored by architect Luca Beltrami who turned it into the headquarters of Milan’s Civic Museums. Today the Castle sits in all of its glory in the eponymous square with its 70m-tall “Torre del Filarete” and a number of majestic circular keep-towers.
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Torba Abbey
Set deep in the countryside north of Varese by the Castelseprio Archaeological Park, the site of Torba Abbey is home to more than a millennium of history. It started out as a military outpost towards the end of the Roman Empire and later fell into the hands of the Goths and then the Longobards (with defensive walls and towers dating back to the fifth and sixth centuries). Later Torba became a peaceful place of prayer and work for Benedictine nuns which led to the church and abbey being built in the thirteenth century.
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Villa Olmo
This villa is a great example of neoclassical architecture. Its construction started at the end of 18th century and was finished in 1812 by marquesses Odescalchi. It belonged to family Raimondi and Visconti di Modrone.
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Panperduto
A gem of industrial hydroengineering, Panperduto represents an area of great interest to make visitors aware of cultural, historical, agricultural and environmental heritage. Located on the banks of the Ticino river, at Somma Lombardo along the European E1 trail and a few kilometres away from the Lago Maggiore and Milan, Panperduto is a place rich of history and culture. The old residence of the dam workers has been authentically restructured and today welcomes tourists following the cycleways, footpaths and points of interest along the watercourses. There is accommodation available with the opportunity to take guided tours of the whole complex, from the river confluence to the museum of the Italo-Swiss watercourses including a garden of interactive water games, to the migratory passage for fish and the beautiful trails immersed in the Ticino nature reserve.
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Badia di Ganna
The San Gemolo Abbey in Ganna is an architectural complex formed by the church (consecrated in 1160), the bell tower, the cloister and the monks' homes. The abbey is located in the municipality of Valganna and is a place of worship dedicated to the memory of San Gemolo. According to the legend, the Saint walked to the abbey to be buried, bringing his own head in the hand. The cloister hosts the Museum of the Abbey with heterogeneous material, from prehistoric finds to nineteenth-century laces and embroideries.
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Padernello castle
This imposing residential castle was built between the 15th and 16th centuries by the noble Martinengo family.
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Uviglie Castle
The property with its ancient park because of its architectural importance and its artistic heritage, it is under the Royal Law Decree of June 1939 and it belongs today to the Società Semplice Castello d’Uviglie.
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The castle of Locarno
The Castello Visconteo served as the seat of the Visconti Dukes of Milan from 1513 to 1798. It is now an archaeological museum, housing Locarnese artefacts from the late Bronze Age to the High Middle Ages.
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Val dArda is Castell Arquato
Among the treasures of Val d’Arda is Castell’Arquato with a rich historical centre towered over by the Praetorian Palace and by the Fortress of the XIV century stands out.
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Fortress of Castell
A great number of medieval castles overlook the valleys and countryside creating very suggestive landscapes such as the Fortress of Castell’Arquato.
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Rocca and Ugo da Como house-museum
The town of Lonato boasts an exceptional monumental complex. Even the most demanding tourists will find it worth visiting.
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Pilotta palace
The vast but unfinished complex, named after the game pelota that was played in one of the courtyards, was built in the second half of the 16th century at the order of Ranuccio I around the Visconti stronghold and alongside the existing church of San Pietro martire.
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Baron Gamba Castle
Gamba Castle Built at the beginning of the 1900s from the designs of the engineer Carlo Saroldi, it was commissioned by Charles Maurice Gamba, husband of Angélique d‘Entrèves, daughter of Count Christin d‘Entrèves. Since 1982 it has been the property of the Valle d’Aosta Autonomous Region. After a complex restoration, today the castle houses an exhibition route that winds through 13 rooms, displaying over 150 works of art such as paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings and photographs belonging to a regional collection dating back from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. Alongside the works of the 20th-century masters, including sculptures by Martini, Mastroianni, Manzù, Arnaldo and Giò Pomodoro, and paintings by Casorati, De Pisis, Carrà and Guttuso, the collection documents Italian figurative art produced from the second half of the century up to contemporary study exponents, such as Schifano, Baruchello, Rama and Mainolfi. A vast and varied selection of works testifies to the movements that have animated the Italian art scene over the past 25 years: for example, the exhibition hosts representations of Informal art, Geometric abstraction, Transavantgarde and Pop art. Particular importance is given to Valle d’Aosta region through the activity of local artists, or those active in Valley, on regional commission. For visitors seeking both learning and distraction, the exhibition offers a series of services designed to bring different groups of visitors (families, adults, schools, children, young people) closer to modern and contemporary art through workshop activities, guided tours and events.
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Villa Serego - Alighieri
The oldest part of the villa dates back to 1353, the year in which Pietro, son of the poet Dante Alighieri, established himself in Gargagnago.
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The Royal Castle of Racconigi
The Royal Castle of Racconigi is situated in the province of Cuneo in the region of Piemonte. It was the official residence of the Carignano line of the House of Savoy and is one of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy included by UNESCO in the World Heritage Sites list.
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Tridentine Diocesan Museum
The home of the Tridentine Diocesan Museum is the Pretorio Palace, first Episcopal residence of the town, in the heart of Trento. The museum was founded in 1903, also the Early Christian St. Vigil Basilica and the exhibition in the Libera Palace in the district of Villa Lagarina belong to it. In the halls of the museum the artistic and cultural treasures (from the 11th - 19th century) can be admired, all of them come from the churches of the Trentino: paintings, wooden sculptures, winged altars, pictorial manuscripts, valuable specimens of goldsmith’s work, ancient art embroideries and Flemish tapestries. The museum also houses the treasury of the cathedral with the large processional casket of St. Vigil. The multimedia station shows the most important stages of the building of the cathedral in three-d. At one passage in the museum a gorgeous view on the near located cathedral can be enjoyed and the archaeological zone of Porta Veronesis can be visited. The museum is also responsible for the near located Early Christian Basilica of St. Vigil.
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Buonconsiglio Castle
The Buonconsiglio Castle is the largest and most important monumental complex of the Trentino Alto Adige region. It was the residence of the prince-bishops of Trento from the 13th century to the end of the 18th century, and is composed of a series of buildings of different eras, enclosed by walls and positioned slightly higher than the city. Castelvecchio is the oldest nucleus, dominated by an imposing cylindrical tower; the Magno Palazzo is the 16th century expansion in the Italian Renaissance-style as commissioned by the Prince-Bishop and Cardinal Bernardo Cles (1485-1539); the Baroque-style Giunta Albertiana dates from the end of the 17th century. At the extreme south of the complex is the Torre Aquila, within which is conserved the famous Cycle of the Months, one of the most fascinating secular pictorial cycles of the late Middle Ages. Also of exceptional interest are the extensive cycle of frescoes commissioned by the bishops to decorate the interior walls of the Castle, mainly in the late Middle Ages to the Renaissance period.
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Tourbillon Castle
The construction of Tourbillon Castle dates back to the very start of the 14th Century. However, the hill on which it is located had been used since prehistoric times as a defensive vantage point in battles. Made from earth and wood, the primitive defences erected there were temporary structures, which have long since vanished without trace.
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Valais History Museum
A monumental and natural site crowned by a well-preserved church. 50'000 years of history presented in the labyrinthine spaces of a restored medieval castle at the heart of the Valais. A collection of unique objects that make a second visit worthwhile.
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Castles Vidomnat and Majorie
The construction of the castles goes to the 12.-13. century back. Her name refers to the episcopal officials Meier and Viztum, who originally resided here. From the late 14th century, Majorie Castle belonged to the prince-bishop.
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St. Francis and the Basilica
The World Heritage Committee included on its list the Basilica and other sites important to the Franciscan Order, due to the fact that they represent an amalgamation of masterpieces stemming from creative human genius
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Castle Church Spiez
Castle Church Spiez (St. Laurentius) is evangelical-reformed First church: 7/8th century (762 first mentioned) Refurbished: 1949/50
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Basilica Palladiana
The magnificent bigger-than-life Basilica Palladiana is not a church at all and was only partially designed by Palladio. Beneath it stood a Gothic-style Palazzo della Ragione (Law Courts and Assembly Hall) that Palladio was commissioned to convert to a High Renaissance style befitting a flourishing late- 16th-century city under Venice’s benevolent patronage.
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Huenegg Castle
At Hünegg Castle time appears to have stood still. The rooms are still furnished just as they were under the original castle owners
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Thun Castle and Museum
Built by the Dukes of Zähringen, the 12th century Thun Castle with its four towers overlooks the town and is its most visible feature. Discover the unmistakeable landmark of Thun.
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Rapperswil Castle
Rapperswil Castle is the landmark of the picturesque “City of Roses”, which lies on the shores of Lake Zurich. The castle, which was built towards the end of the 12th century and subsequently renovated on a number of occasions, can be seen from far away.
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The Praglia Abbey
As the abbey of Santa Giustina, to which was added in the fifteenth century, the Praglia Abbey has enjoyed various events. Founded in the eleventh century, it was built in fief by Emperor Frederick II in the thirteenth century. Subsequently independent, then in, and finally added to Santa Giustina until 1810 when Napoleon suppressed.
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The Pinacoteca Art Gallery
The Pinacoteca is located not far from The Due Torri (the Two Towers, symbols of Bologna), inside the former St. Ignatius Jesuit Novitiate, built in the second half of the 15th century house young men who were to join the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order). Besides the Pinacoteca, the building is also the headquarters of the Accademia delle Belle Arti (Figurative Arts Academy) as well as the Historical Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage Authority
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The Zytglogge (Clock Tower)
The Zytglogge (Clock Tower) was Bern's first western city gate (1191-1256) and is now one of Bern's most important sights.The ornate astronomical clock with its moving figures was built in 1530. It served as the city's main clock and thus had an authoritative function in Bern.
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House of Parliament
The Parliament Building houses the Swiss Parliament. The Swiss federal government has its headquarters in this impressive structure where the National Council and Council of States convene for regular sessions four times a year.
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Prison tower
"When I get to the top, I feel like Napoleon Bonaparte. Yes, the man who said: “From the top of these pyramids, 40 centuries gaze upon you”. Except, for me, it’s not pyramids but a Tower, the Tour des Prisons. It’s not 40 centuries either, but 10, which isn’t bad either. Because the town of Neuchâtel, spread before my eyes, celebrated its 1000th birthday in 2011.
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Alt-Ems Castle Ruins
Once you climbed a steep trail top of the mountain you can enjoy beautiful views of the Alt-Ems castle. Old masonry has been decaying since it is no longer needed and nobody has been taking care of it for a long time. The castle ruins at Alt-Ems have been properly torn down – during the redevelopment period of several houses in Marktstraße, Hohenems, stones originally from the castle walls were found. Now, during the redevelopment of the ruins, some of them have been returned to the castle hill. However, that is another story which starts in the early Middle Ages and which demonstrates the cultural importance of the small town at the foot of the castle hill.
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Camposanto Monumentale
The Cemetery is the last monument on Piazza del Duomo, its long marble wall flanking the northern boundary and completing its shape. It was founded in 1277 to accommodate the graves that until then were scattered all around the Cathedral. Archbishop Federico Visconti wanted the building to be a “large and dignified, secluded and enclosed place”. This is how one of the oldest Christian Medieval architectures for the devotion of the dead came into being.