Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle) was built as a fortress during the fourteenth century and is one of the most famous landmarks in Milan. Presently, it houses one of the best museums in the city.
The first fortification on this site was built in 1368. Years later it was enlarged and became a splendid ducal palace, which was then practically completely destroyed during the Golden Ambrosian Republic.
The Sforza family reconstructed the castle and made it into one of the most magnificent residences in Italy. Years later, the castle was used once more as a fortification under the Spanish and Austrian domination.
Napoleon ordered the demolition of the castle in 1800 and a year later the Spanish bastions and towers were destroyed.
During the second half of the nineteenth century the population was torn between keeping the Castle or destroying it to build a residential neighborhood. However, the castle remained and the architect Luca Beltrami was instructed to renovate the castle, restoring it as it was when the Sforza family resided in it. The restoration was completed in 1905 and the central tower (Torre Filarete) and the Parco Sempione were inaugurated. The park was built on the former parade grounds.
During World War II the castle was severely damaged.
At the end of the twentieth century the Castle square was built with a fountain in the center. However, in the sixties it was destroyed when the Milan Metro was built. In 2005, the restoration of the Cortile della Ghirlanda and the halls of the castle were completed.
The Castle houses several museums:
The Castello also features other exhibitions, such as: the Rondanini Museum, the Medal and Numistica Collection, the “Sala delle Asse” by Leonardo da Vinci, the drawing collection and engraving collection “Achille Bertarelli”.
Some of the Castle’s museum are truly interesting. The entrance ticket includes a visit to all the fortification’s museums. If you do not want to visit the museums, we suggest exploring the castle's central courtyard, which is open to the public and is free to visit.
Castello: Every day from 7 am until 7:30 pm.
Museum: Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am until 5:30 pm
Castello: free entry.
Students and Seniors (aged over 65): 3€.
Young people (less than 25): free entry.
Friday from 2 pm until 5:30 pm: free entry.
Tuesday to Thursday and weekends: 4:30 pm until 5:30 pm: free entry.
Metro: Cadorna, line M1; Cairoli, line M1; Lanza, line M2.
Bus: lines 18, 50, 37, 58, 61 and 94.
Tram: lines 1, 2, 4, 12, 14 and 19.