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Museums 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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Teatrale Alla Scala
La Scala, or Teatro alla Scala in Italian, is one of the most famous opera houses in the world. Its sober and elegant exterior never fails to surprise those that visit it for the first time. The Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este commissioned the construction of a new Ducal Theatre when a fire burnt down the previous theatre in 1776. The opera house was built on the site where the former site of the Church Santa Maria alla Scala, hence the name of the Teatro alla Scala. Like other theatres of the same period, La Scala also housed a casino during its early years. In 1943, during World War II, the theatre was badly damaged by bombing. It was reconstructed three years later. In 2002, the Opera House was closed for two years while it was renovated and opened in November 2004 with an opening performance of Europa riconosciuta by Antonio Salieri, which is the same opera that was performed when the theatre was inaugurated in 1778. Many famous operas have had their first production in La Scala, such as Othello, Nabucco by Verdi or Madame Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini. During its early years, the composer Giuseppe Verdi did not want his work to be represented in the Teatro alla Scala because he was convinced that the orchestra modified his compositions. Nevertheless, he then established a very close relationship with the Opera House. The Theatre Museum contains a large collection of paintings, busts, costumes and several other objects related to the world of opera and theatre. The visit includes discovering the theatre’s grand foyer, an elegant and sparsely decorated hall. Then you will be taken to the small box seats covered in red satin, where the high society enjoyed and still enjoys the various operas and ballets performed in La Scala. The enormous auditorium is made of wood and covered in red velvet, adorned with golden coloured stuccos. The stage is lit by a huge Bohemian crystal chandelier with 383 bulbs.
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Villa Mirabello
It seems that in the first half of the 15th century the Visconti stayed "in the countryside", a step away from the current Marche metro stop in Milan, in Villa Mirabello. At the time, however, the building we are talking about was called Cascina Mirabello, and it can be found in the documents of 1468 that recognized it as the property of this Pigello Portinari. The Florentine nobleman dear to Prince Sforza, general manager of the annuities of the Milanese duchy and representative of the Florentine House of the Medici in Milan, was also the promoter of the construction of the Portinari Chapel in Sant'Eustorgio. Towards the end of the 15th century, the villa changed hands, becoming the property of the noble Landriani. Antonio Landriani, awarded by Francesco Sforza as mayor of Milan in 1456, then appointed prefect of the ducal treasury by Galeazzo Maria Sforza, later president of the Mint of Milan by the appointment of Gian Galeazzo Sforza, then became a trusted man and adviser politician of Ludovico il Moro. Ludovico himself was a guest of the Landriani in Villa Mirabello on February 4, 1500. A few years later the villa became one of the houses of the order of the Humiliati, of which Gerolamo Landriani was general. The Landriani family remained the owner of Villa Mirabello for some tens of years, enough to leave traces still visible today in the form of coats of arms that stand out on the fireplace of the main hall and on the ceilings, together with the motto "always el duty ”frescoed on the walls of the villa next to pomegranate figures and blue crosses. It seems that the villa then passed from Landriani to Marino, a rich family of Genoese origin whose member Tommaso entrusted Galeazzo Alessi with nothing less than the construction of Palazzo Marino in Piazza Della Scala. The history of the villa, in the following years, is rather confused, but it is known that it later became the property of the Serbelloni family and that, starting from the mid-1500s, it faced a sad decline: the building was reduced exclusively to uses agricultural and over the next three centuries it became increasingly dilapidated, until Luca Beltrami, in 1891, considered it by re-evaluating it as an illustrious example of Lombard architectural art.
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Museum of the Pieta Rondanini
The new museum, created inside the ancient Ospedale Spagnolo (Spanish Hospital) in the Castello Sforzesco, is a fascinating space that has never opened to the public before and is exclusively dedicated to Michelangelo’s last masterpiece.
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Archaeology Museum
The first exhibition of the current Archaeology Museum was located in the Loggia under the Palazzo della Ragione, in Piazza Vecchia, where it was simply a “collection of old stuff” and included several epigraphs.
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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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Museo Baroffio
Dedicated to the ones interested in the history of Santa Maria del Monte, it includes and shows romanesque sculptures, precious miniatures, a collection of important paintings of Giuseppe Baroffio Dall’Aglio and a section of sacred art from the 20th century. You'll find 20th-century bright rooms but also hidden old rooms situated under the Sanctuary, with remains of fifteenth-century frescos. The museum includes also a beautiful terrace with one of the most beautiful views in Lombardia. The Madonna con il Bambino by Domenico and Lanfranco from Ligurno is the symbol painting of the museum.
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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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Swiss Customs Museum
The Customs Museum’s exhibitions document the work of customs agents and their tasks from the past up to the present day.
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Fondazione Lindenberg - Villa Pia
The Museum Villa Pia in Porza, created by the "Fondazione d'Arte Erich Lindenberg" costituted in 2008 by Mareen Koch, has as mission the conservation and promotion of the German painter Lindenberg (Gronau 1938 - Berlin 2006).
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Ecomuseo della Pietra da Cantoni
It may seem strange entitle a museum to a stone, but a visit to the Ecomuseo della Pietra da Cantoni clarifies why this unique material is so important to the Monferrato’s culture.
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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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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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Chamber of Saint Paul and Saint Catherine
The chamber of Saint Paul used to be part of the abbess' apartment in the Benedectine Convent of Saint Paul, decorated from 1514 at the order of Abbess Giovanna da Piacenza, whose priorate was characterized by a lively cultural life.
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Strada Nuova Museums - Palazzo Rosso
On display in Palazzo Rosso, a noble residence decorated with valuable furnishings and frescoes by Liguria's greatest painters of the 17th Century, is a rich gallery of paintings, collected over more than two centuries by the noble Brignole-Sale family.
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The Parks of Nervi
The Parks of Nervi are an important historical/nature complex formed from the combination of several gardens that once belonged to private villas: Villa Gropallo, Villa Saluzzo Serra, and Villa Grimaldi Fassio. Today, these villas belong to the City of Genoa and have been transformed into museums.
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Royal Palace
In 1563, with the transfer of the ducat's capital from Chambéry to Turin, Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy established his residence in the palace of the bishop at the Duomo; already in 1584, Carlo Emanuele I entrusted the architect Ascanio Vittozzi with the construction of a new factory. After 1643, with the regency of Maria Cristina of France, the direction of the work passed to Carlo di Castellamonte and then to Carlo Morello.
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Turin Museum of Antiquities
The Museum of Antiquities consists of several sections: the New Channel, with the Archeology exhibition in Turin and the Marengo Treasure Halls; the Territory, dedicated to the archeology of Piedmont and the "Exhibitions on the catwalk"; the Collections, the "historical" nucleus of the Museum and location of the setting up of the Papyrus of Artemidorus. The underground floor of the Manica Nuova of Palazzo Reale has been the venue since 2013 for the renewed display of the Marengo Treasury and the Archeology exhibition in Turin which presents the city's archaeological materials, originating from the collections of the sixteenth-century scholars, increased by the antiquaries of the following centuries and merged into the royal collections, together with the new acquisitions resulting from recent archaeological excavations. The section connects with the archaeological area of ​​the Roman theater which partially contains and overlooks it.
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MUSE Science Museum
The new MUSE is located south of the historic Palazzo delle Albere in the new city district Le Albere, which was also planned by Renzo Piano. In this museum science and technology show the interaction of humans and the environment. The MUSE especially invites young, children and families to a wonderful journey into science and nature. The metaphor of the mountain is used in the exhibition to relate life on earth, the first Alpine dwellers, the history of the Dolomites and nature of the Alps. The MUSE also organises numerous events and temporary exhibitions. A special experience is “Maxi Ooh!”, a room for children from 0 to 6 years. A place of sensory experiences with touching, smelling, looking, seeing, and hearing. Fun is guaranteed!
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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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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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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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The Jewish Museum of Hohenems
The Jewish Museum of Hohenems remembers the Jewish community of Hohenems and its various contributions to the development of Vorarlberg and the surrounding regions of the Alps. It tells a story about the Diaspora and it confronts contemporary questions of Jewish life and culture in Europe, questions of living together and of migration. The museum also deals with the end of the community of Hohenems, the regional Nazi history, the expulsion or deportation of the last members of the community, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Along with these fragmented lines of regional and global history, it is also devoted to the people, their experiences and their histories. And it maintains a close relationship with the descendants of Jewish families from Hohenems around the world. The museum offers annually changing exhibitions and an extensive program of events.
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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.
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The Kunsthaus Zurich
The Kunsthaus Zurich (art museum) is a must for all art enthusiasts with one of the most important modern art collections in Zurich and various temporary exhibitions.
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Old Town (Altstadt)
Zurich's Old Town is the historic part of town – and by historic, we mean medieval. Winding cobblestone alleys run alongside quintessential Zurich attractions like the Great Minster. You'll also find several acclaimed museums – such as the Swiss National Museum and the Museum of Art – and hotels in and around the district. Though all of the neighborhood's buildings are worth admiring, when visiting Old Town, be sure to check out Muhlesteg Footbridge. This bridge, which is famous for its array of love locks, comes highly recommended by past travelers. But those traveling with kids should consider visiting during the day. Old Town boasts the highest concentration of nightclubs in Switzerland, which come alive once the sun goes down.
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Swiss National Museum (Landesmuseum Zurich)
The Swiss National Museum resides within a historic, castle-like building in the northern tip of Kreis 1. The museum surveys Swiss art, history and culture from as far back as the fourth century B.C. Exhibits cover everything from medieval and religious frescoes to weapons and Swiss furniture. There are also several ornate rooms to explore during your visit. According to many past visitors, the Swiss National Museum's architecture alone is worth seeing. However, should you decide to go inside, expect to find a comprehensive overview of Switzerland's history.
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The Certosa di Calci
As you exit the main highway at Cascina on the east to west road called the FI-PI-LI and start to drive towards the Apuane Alps, you slowly shake off the busy industrial sensations and start to ease yourself into the quiet and tranquility that first drew the Carthusian monks to this area.
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Vorarlberg museum
Located between the lake and the city centre, in direct proximity to the Art House and the State Theatre, the architectural masterpiece of the new vorarlberg museum forms the end of the culture boulevard.The main point of attraction is the more than 150,000 artefacts from art, history, folklore and archaeology that deal with the history and present of Austria’s westernmost federal state from a wide range of perspectives. Inspired by Terra Sigillata vessels, Roman ceramics from the museum collection, the artists used the base of commercial PET bottles as the shape and equipped the outer wall of the museum with a structure that seems random at first glance but that, in reality, was calculated in a complex mathematical process. Seen from the lake, the historicism facade of the former district commission structures the building. The most noticeable feature is the huge panoramic window on the top floor, which provides a fantastic view of Lake Constance and the Lindau bank, where the guest, stirred by the many impressions, experiences a moment of tranquillity and contemplation.
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Vaud Museum of Fine Arts
Opened in 1841, the Vaud Museum of Fine Arts in Lausanne is one of the oldest Swiss museums exclusively dedicated to art. Located in the Palais de Rumine, it presents several temporary exhibitions a year from its collection of 10,000 works.
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Musuem in the Castle of Nidau
"The exhibition impressively documents the meaning and purpose of political work and the chance to realize visions. I think it is an exciting, informative and well-made exhibition. It promotes understanding of a formidable achievement that has had an enduring impact on the landscape of the Seeland.
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Oceanographic Museum
Boasting world-renowned expertise, the Museum presents more than 6000 specimens in their faithfully reconstructed natural habitat. Come and discover the amazing species of the Mediterranean, the incredible diversity of the inhabitants of the coral reef and the monumental Shark Lagoon, all under the same roof. From the highly colourful tropical zone to the spellbinding charm of the Mediterranean section, the Oceanographic museum invites you to observe the underwater world in all its authenticity. The one hundred or so pools, ranging in size from 100 to 450,000 litres, are home to several thousand fish specimens, more than 200 species of invertebrates and around one hundred species of hard and soft corals.
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Prince's Palace of Monaco
The Prince's Palace is the private residence of the ruling Prince but the State Apartments are open for public visits part of the year. The original fortress and ramparts were built by the Genoese in 1215 and throughout the centuries was transformed into one of the most luxurious residences in the style of Louis XIV. Prince Honore II was responsible for re-assembling the rich collections of art, which had been auctioned off during the French Revolution when the Palace was turned into a hospital for the Italian Army. However, Prince Rainier III is credited for restoring the Palace to its former glory and the magnificent state in which it can be seen today. Beginning at the top of the Hercule Gallery and descending on to the main courtyard is a spectacular double-revolution Carrera marble staircase dating from the 13th century and inspired by a similar staircase at the Chateau of Fontainebleau. Adorning the gallery walls are frescoes of mythological figures attributed to Francesco Mazzucchelli dating from the 16th century and the Genovese artist Orazio Ferrari in the 17th century. The frescoes in the Palatine chapel in the north end of the main courtyard depict the history of Saint Devote, the patron Saint of the Principality. The chapel, built-in 1665, is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.
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Museum of Stamps & Coins
The Museum, of contemporary design, houses rare stamps depicting the Principality’s postal history, as well as all the documents which have been used in the stamp-printing process from the first Charles III stamp in 1885 to the present day. The Museum of Philately and Coinage is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm (6 pm in July and August). It sells currently available stamps and coins issued by the Principality.