Established in 1618 by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is one of the best art galleries in Milan.
The Pinacoteca was created to inspire and support future fine art students through its works of art. This is why Borromeo also founded a library, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana and the Accademia del Disegno, where young Counter-Reformation artists could study.
The gallery consists of Federico Borromeo’s collection of paintings among other donations, including masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Bramantino, Tiziano, Caravaggio and Pieter Brueghel the Elder.
The most-renowned works of art are:
- The Madonna and Child with Three Angels (Madonna del Padiglione) by Botticelli.
- Basket of Fruit (Canestra di frutta) by Caravaggio.
- Portrait of a Musician by Leonardo da Vinci.
- Adoration of the Magi by Titian
The Biblioteca Ambrosiana was the second public library inaugurated in Europe in 1609. Currently, it has over 750,000 books and over 35,000 manuscripts.
Among the library’s most valuable possessions are over 1,000 pages of the Codex Atlanticus by Leonardo da Vinci, including pages with drawings and explanations of his inventions.
One of the best museums in Milan
The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is extremely interesting to visit, not only for its exhibitions but also because it is housed in a remarkable palazzo built in 1928 and attached to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The library is one of the most special places in the museum. The smell of wood and old books fills the atmosphere and transports you to days gone by, especially when you contemplate Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches.
A small part of the Codex Atlanticus is found in the Bramante Sacristy, which is located in the Basilica Santa Maria delle Grazie. If you have already visited the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana or are planning to go, then we do not necessarily recommend visiting the Bramante Sacristy.
Pinacoteca: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am until 6 pm.
Library: Monday to Friday from 9 am until 5 pm.
Young people (less than 18) and Seniors (aged over 65): €10.
Metro: Duomo, lines 1 and 3; Cordusio, line 1.
Tram: lines 2, 3, 12, 14 and 16.