Milan museums & exhibition spaces - Part 2: Around the Sforza Castle

The refectory of the Santa Maria delle Grazie (on the left side of the church’s façade) is the home of one of the most recognizable artworks in human history: The Last Supper of Leonardo da Vinci. Despite the damages caused from humidity, wars and bombing, the mural stands as majestic as ever, for over 500 years now and it would be a crime not to visit, if you are in the city. The number of people admitted every day is limited so it is essential to reserve an entrance ticket in advance. After your visit, it is advisable to spend some time in the church, built by Ludovico Sforza in 1469 as the Sforza family burial site. The magnificent altarpiece is by Titian while Bramante is said to have contributed to the church’s design.

Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper. Refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Copyright © Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici e per il Paesaggio di Milano

The Lisson Gallery, a very active gallery with spaces in Milan and London, is only a couple of blocks away as is Fondazione Stelline, an exhibition space dedicated to contemporary art,  further down the Corso Magenta, to the east. Both venues regularly present very interesting temporary exhibitions so, when visiting Milan, check cityartnow for current shows.

Fondazione Stelline Courtyard. Image courtesy of Turismo Milano. Copyright © 2015 Comune di Milano.

Still on Corso Magenta, in an 8-minute walk on-foot, you can find the Archaeological Museum of the city. Housed in the 8th century former convent of the Monastero Maggiore of San Maurizio the museum spread its collection of Roman, Etruscan and Greek antiquities into three floors. The Living in Mediolanum section is very informative. The brand new (opened in 2015) Forma Meravigli, a few blocks from the Archaeological Museum, is the new Fondazione Forma exhibition space for photography.
Heading towards the vast Sempione Park, to the north, you can find Fondazione Matalon, an exhibition space founded by artist Luciana Matalon to promote new artistic ideas on contemporary art. Several exhibition projects are on view throughout the year (cityartnow) as well as a permanent exhibition showing works by the artist.
Heading north, just 3 blocks away, you find yourself entering the Park and reaching the Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle) Complex. The seat of power of Renaissance Milan, the castle of Francesco Sforza, now houses the civic museums of Milan: The Museum of Ancient Art, the Museum of Musical instruments, the Egyptian Museum, the prehistoric collections of the Archaeological Museum, the Applied Arts collection, the Antique Furniture Museum, a print collection, the Art Gallery (with works by Titian, Tintoretto, Tiepolo, Canaletto and Mantegna) and the Rondanini Pietà Museum (which exhibits Michelangelo’s last sculpture, the unfinished Rondanini Pietà).


Sforza Castle, Art Gallery. Image courtesy of Turismo Milano. Copyright © 2015 Comune di Milano.

Also in the Sempione Park, you can visit the Palazzo dell’ Arte, the home of Milan’s Triennale, held every three years. The surrounding area is in fact an open museum displaying art & structures from previous editions of the Triennale, such as Giorgio de Chirico’s Mysterious Baths fountain. The permanent collection of Triennale is continually changing and there is an interesting exhibition program of art and design that you should definitely keep up with.

La Triennale di Milano. Image courtesy of Turismo Milano. Copyright © 2015 Comune di Milano.

Practical information
Santa Maria delle Grazie Piazza di Santa Maria delle Grazie (map)
Lisson Gallery Via Bernardino Zenale 3 (map) - Admission: Free
Fondazione Stelline Corso Magenta, 61 (map)
Archaeological Museum Corso Magenta 15 (map)
Forma Meravigli Via Meravigli 5 (map)
Fondazione Matalon Foro Buonaparte 67 (map)
Sforza Castle Piazza Castello (map)
La Triennale di Milano Viale Emilio Alemagna 6 (map)



Share this article