The Sforza Castle, one of the most famous monuments in Milan, has seen long historical vicissitudes during the past years. It was demolished, then rebuilt several times, embellished and restored to become a symbol of both happy and dramatic events that are to be found in the historical background of the city.
Ticket allows the visit to the Sforza Castle Museums:
- Art Gallery (Pinacoteca): on display 230 works of art, which include masterpieces by famous Italian painters such as Mantegna, Antonello da Messina, Foppa, Cesare da Sesto, Procaccini, Cerano, and many others.
- Museum of Prehistory and Early History: mainly objects from Northern Italy that illustrate the history of the area in the last 5000 years before Christ.
- Egyptian Museum: a selection of nearly 250 pieces, presenting a thematic trail that allows visitors to appreciate the complexity of writing, society and religious life of ancient Egypt.
- Museum of Ancient Art: works ranging from the early Christian age to the 16th century, and rooms as the Hall of the Banner, the decorated Ducal Chapel and the "Sala delle Asse" painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
- Museum of Musical Instruments: one of the largest in Europe and the second in Italy in importance and number of pieces, ranging from the 16th century to the second half of the 20th century.
- Furnishings Museum: it documents the history of Lombard furniture, with some rather large openings about Baroque Roman and Genoese cabinet-making, and Venetian 18th century.
- Collections of Applied Arts: a time span ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, with furniture, tapestries, textiles, ceramics, glass, jewelery, wood carvings and ivory, bronze and wrought ironwork, weapons, hides and scientific instruments.
Tickets can be used for only one visit to each museum.
Tuesday to Sunday 9 am to 5:30pm (last admission 5pm)
Closed on Mondays (holidays included), December 25, January 1, May 1, Easter Monday.
Reservations must be made with a minimum of 1-day notice.
- Cancellations and changes without penalty if communicated within 24 hours from the original booking
- For cancellations or changes up to 3 days before the date of the visit, the cost of the service is due as penalty
- For cancellation or changes from 3 days before the date of the visit, no refund of the ticket, service, or ancillary services such as guides or earphones will be granted.
- Any change is subject to confirmation according to availability.
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INFORMATION about access for visitors with limited mobility and disabilities: museum is accessible, except rooms 9,10-15-23,24
How to get there:
- Underground: MM1 Cadorna, Cairoli - MM2 Cadorna, Lanza
- Buses: 18,50,37,58,61,94
- Trams: 1,2,4,12,14,19
Before You Book
PLEASE NOTE: Immediately after submitting an order, you will receive two emails. The first email contains your order summary (this one you receive immediately after placing your order), the second email confirms your successful payment (one business day after placing the order). In order to receive these two emails, please make sure that you enter your email address correctly and check that antispam or antivirus filters do not block emails from our [email protected] address. Users of AOL, Comcast and Sbcglobal.net need to pay special attention to this, please. Vouchers will also be available, one business day after the request, at your dashboard.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The time you select on the order form is your preferred time. The closest available time, which can be anytime during opening hours on the selected date, will be automatically confirmed if your preferred time is no longer available.
Sforza Castle Museums
The Sforza Castle of Milan is one of the city's most famous monuments with museums well worth your attention. The Sforza Castle has emerged from a long history during which it was demolished, then rebuilt several times, embellished and restored to become a symbol of both happy and dramatic events in the historical background of the city.
Art Gallery (Pinacoteca)
After four years work on renovation and new displays, the Sforza Castle Art Gallery, Milan's biggest and most important art museum (along with the Brera Museum) reopened to the public in 2005. Visitors can admire 230 works of art including masterpieces by Mantegna, Antonello da Messina, Foppa, Cesare da Sesto, Procaccini, Cerano, and many others.
The Art Gallery was created to display Milanese art, and houses several old Milanese collections such as the Trivulzio's family, acquired in 1935 with funds raised among the city population. For two centuries, the City Art Gallery has grown through donations from illustrious citizens, patriots, scholars, collectors, and art lovers. Prestigious regional collections and acquisitions by the city government have increased and enhanced the collection, adding works by Antonello da Messina, Canaletto, and Bellotto. The Art Gallery now possesses 1,508 paintings.
Museum of Prehistory and Early History
The collections consist mainly of prehistoric objects from Northern Italy that illustrate the history of the area over the 5,000 years before Christ. The collections were formed through purchases, donations from individuals, and new discoveries made in the area since the mid-nineteenth century. The current presentation illustrates the transformation of the ways of life in Northern Italy during the last 4,000 years before Christ. The main themes are the work techniques and changes in social organization.
The display of the Egyptian Collection of the Civic Archaeological Museum offers the public access to a selection of about 250 of the more than 2,500 pieces forming the entire collection. Starting from a first group of objects – including the mummy and the sarcophagus of Peftjauauyaset – the collection has been amplified with items donated by individuals as well as the collection of discoveries from the excavations of the Fayum oasis. You'll see numerous objects that document the daily life in an Egyptian village of the Greco-Roman era, as well as findings of great artistic quality and historical significance, including the statue of Pharaoh Amenemhat III (XII dynasty, 1853-1806/5 BC).
An itinerary through the exhibition invites you to appreciate the complexity of writing, society, and religious life of ancient Egypt, and accompanies you in the discovery of the sacred as well as the secular developments of the ancient inhabitants of the Nile Valley.
Museum of Ancient Art
The Museum of Ancient Art contains works ranging from early Christian times to the 16th century, and spaces such as the “Hall of the Banner,” the decorated Ducal Chapel, and the "Sala delle Asse" painted by Leonardo da Vinci. In the final exhibition space of the museum, you'll see notable examples of Lombard sculpture from the 16th century, such as the splendid Mora Bust. At the center of the room there are two exceptional pieces, among the most famous of the Museum – the grandiose funerary monument of Gaston de Foix, an absolute masterpiece by Bambaja, and the unfinished sculpture Michelangelo worked on during the last days of his life – the Rondanini Pietà.
Museum of Musical Instruments
The Civic Museum of Musical Instruments is one of the largest in Europe, and the second in Italy in importance and number of pieces, ranging from the 16th century to the second half of the 20th century. It is largely formed by master Natale Gallini's collection from the first half of the 20th century. The Museum has expanded through acquisitions and donations including that of the De Musica Foundation dedicated to Antonio Monzino, who enriched the collection in the year 2000 with 80 instruments collected and produced by his family of musical instrument makers active in Milan since 1750.
Among the most historically significant pieces of the collection, you'll see a double virginal (harpsichord family) from the early 17th century produced by a member of the Ruckers family, the most renowned manufacturers of keyboard instruments of Antwerp. You'll also be able to admire the Grancino viola from 1662 – one of the rare stringed instruments from the Baroque period that still retains its original neck. See the finely decorated Mango Longo guitar from 1624, the beautiful and perfectly preserved Anciuti ivory oboe (1722), and make sure you don't miss the two Viennese horns from 1712, the oldest pair of orchestra horns preserved in the world.
The collection of furniture, which currently amounts to around 2,000 pieces, documents the history of Lombard furniture, with special focus on Roman and Genoese Baroque cabinet-making, and the Venetian 18th century. Among the most important pieces, you'll find the 15th century Torchiara chapel, the Passalacqua cabinet – rich Lombard work from 1613 – and the vast collection of furniture made by Giuseppe Maggiolini, including a series of three chests of drawers documenting the evolution from rococo to neoclassical furniture. The museum also includes a small section devoted to Liberty furniture and designer furniture from Gio Ponti to Ettore Sottsass.
Collections of Applied Arts
The Collections of Applied Art is an important part of the Civic Museums of the Sforza Castle. They include a great many collections extremely varied in type, with a time span ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, and including items such as furniture, tapestries, textiles, ceramics, glass, jewelry, wood and ivory sculptures, bronze and wrought ironwork, weapons, leather, scientific instruments... to form one of the most important collections in the world for quality and quantity. Among the masterpieces of the museum you'll find the rare Trivulzio tapestries, consisting of a full set dedicated to the 12 months of the year, woven in Vigevano between 1503 and 1509, based on a drawing by the famous painter Bramantino. These rich tapestries decorate the large and impressive “Hall of the Balla”. On the other side of the museum, in the courtyard of the Doge, you can admire the impressive banner of the city of Milan. It is a two sided flag 4 meters high and 3 and a half wide (13.1' x 11'), created between 1565 and 1567 by the embroiderers Scipione Delfinone and Camillo Pusterla. The giant image of Saint Ambrose, Milan's patron saint, is created on the canvas support, partly painted and partly embroidered with precious metal wires and multi-material inserts.
One of the rarest and most prestigious collections of the museum is that of ivory sculptures. The collected works include several pieces from the late phase of the Roman Empire, such as the famous tablet of sacred subjects with the representation of the Marys at the Tomb. Noteworthy are also several pieces from the High and Late Middle Ages, such as the relief representing the emperor Otto, his wife and son kneeling in front of Christ, or the tablets with stories of Saint Mark, from a bishop's throne of the 17th century. Next to the ivories, a remarkable group of medieval goldsmith items, including a reliquary of Saints Cyprian and Justina from the beginning of the 11th century, a very rare Eucharistic knife from the beginning of the 12th century with the boxwood handle carved with the activities of the 12 months, and the monstrance of Voghera, dated 1456.
A great pride of the museum is the ceramics collection, including Medieval and Renaissance graphites, majolica, earthenware, and porcelain, representing all periods and all Italian and European manufacturers. The remarkable collection of Renaissance majolica from Urbino, inspired by Raphael's models, is particularly charming.