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Top Tours

 
Private Tour: Milan Walking Tour and Cooking Class
"Spend a memorable day in Milan appreciating fine art and fine food.Begin in the morning with a walking tour of the city center. Your guide will lead you on a stroll that takes in the major landmarks of Milan. Visit the Duomo Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II La Scala Opera House Via Dante and the Sforza Castle. (from 10am to 1pm)After you’ve reached the castle you’ll have some free time to explore the area before starting your cooking class.Around 6 pm during the afternoon class you’ll discover some of the best-kept secrets for creating an authentic Italian menu. An English-speaking chef will give you step-by-step guidance as you prepare and cook your meal
From EUR180.00
 
3-Hour Private Guided City Tour of Milan
"The tour is flexible and can be arranged with your private guide in advance.Below you’ll find a suggested itinerary:The tour guide will meet you in a prearranged place or you can be picked up at your hotel.Moving by public transport you’ll reach Piazza Duomo to admire the magnificent cathedral and visit the Gothic terraces above it from which you can have a complete overview of Milan.Crossing the famous Gal the noble residence of the Sforza dynasty and formidable fortress.There you’ll visit one of the most valuable masterpiece of the Castle’s museum the Rondanini Pieta' sculptured by Michelangelo during the last days of his life.Then you’ll reach the Sempione Park and after a short walk you’ll be in the Brera district very appreciated by art lovers for its antique shops
From CHF174.00
 
Classic Milan Photo Tour
"If you are on a tight schedule and you want to photograph Milan’s classics do it with us! This photo tour is planned to make good use of one of the largest pedestrian areas in Europe.With some smart detours and good planning you will shoot many attractions and new perspectives in half a day: Castello Sforzesco built by the Sforza House in 15th century Piazza Mercanti La Scala Galleria Meravigli Galleria Vittorio Emanuele (aka ‘Milan’s living room’) with its infamous bull ritual and a lot more.We will not miss Piazza del Duomo with its cathedral (3rd largest in the world)
From EUR180.00

Castello Sforzesco Tips (102)

Castllo Sforzesco

Castello Sforzesco is a large brick castle that has undergone many constructions and rebuildings over the last 700 plus years. Originally developed as a fortress to defend the city in the late 1300's it was significantly rebuilt by Frances Sforza around 1450. Sforza was the Duke of Milan and used the castle not only to fend off attacks from Venice but also as his private residence. Over the succeeding years the fortress was enlarged several times. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the castello was enlarged and rebuilt by Extensively rebuilt by Luca Beltrami. Today the area hosts a wide range of facilities including many of Milan's museums. Walking through the area you need to look closely to find some of the key sites in the area.

TooTallFinn24's Profile Photo
TooTallFinn24
Nov 23, 2016

Certainly Imposing!

This is probably Milan's second most visited tourist attraction (second to the Duomo) and certainly is an imposing building.

The original castle was built between 1358 and 1368 by the Visconti family and came into the hands of the Sforza family through the marriage of Francesco to the last heir of the Viscontis, Bianca Maria in 1477.

Francesco was a succesful general and was instrumental in the defeat of the Venetians after which he became the Duke of Milan. Francesco had the castle rebuilt between 1447 and 1450 and it was to be the seat of the Sforza family through the next two generations until Spanish domination in 1519.

Despite their relatively short-lived tenure the name Sforza has become attached to the edifice and these days the restored castle is owned by the city, housing most of the municipal museums and galleries.

Personally I just had a quick wander and took these few pics but had I had a bit more time I would have dropped into some of the exhibitions. It is quite a large complex and so a bit of pre-planning is recommended. The website below has comprehensive details regarding what's on offer, opening times, prices etc.

johngayton's Profile Photo
johngayton
Apr 03, 2016

The Sforzesco Castle

I liked Milan Cathedral, but when I abandoned my attempt to go on the roof due to the queue, I re-entered the Duomo Square still holding the money for going on the roof, not very visibly, in my hand. The not very visibly did not deter someone from unsuccessfully trying to snatch it from my hand. This in turn caused me to want to get the hell out of there.

The next two sights: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and the La Scala Opera House did nothing for me and I was beginning to wonder if I would like anything at all in Milan when we arrived at The Sforzesco Castle. Suddenly life was good again. It's a beautiful ruin set in a wonderful park. I loved it. Outside the front of the castle there was a large fountain. Inside there were courtyards, museums, statues.

We did not visit the museum. We just wandered around the courtyards. Then we explored the park, which I also loved with its statues, ornate bridges, aquarium, library and triumphal archway.

In 1358 the first Duke of Milan built a fortress. In 1447, during military upheaval, the Milanese people destroyed it. Then military leader Francesco Sforza declared himself Duke of Milan and hurriedly rebuilt the castle. Later the castle was neglected and turned into a barracks.

In 1861 the castle was in a sorry state and in danger of being demolished, but architect Luca Beltrami saved it by suggesting it was used as a public building.

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IreneMcKay
Jan 07, 2014

Castello Sforzesco

Present castle was built by Francesco Sforza in the mid of XV century. I always was puzzled why so well known and famous Condottiere built such outdated and old fashionable brick castle at the age of pretty much developed siege and field artillery? In fact present castle was the citadel or, let us say, huge mega keep encircled by quite modern outer curtain walls. Those walls were not very high but very thick and they were no vertical but built under certain angle causing the bouncing of cannon balls shot at them. Unfortunately those curtain walls haven’s survived until nowadays.
Admission to castle itself is free. If you wish to visit the museums of castle then you are required to by a ticket. Price of the ticket is 3 Euros.

Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
Oleg_D.
Dec 11, 2013
 
 
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Castle Museums. Corte Ducale.

Majority of Sforza Castle Museums are situated in the Cortile Ducale or the Ducal Yard. There is also the very small medieval internal yard with fountain. The quality of masonry and mason work is stunning!
Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.

Opening hours:
Tuesday through Sunday
9 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. (admission until 5 p.m.)

closed on Mondays (holidays included)
Closed on:
December 25, January 1, May 1, Easter Monday

Full price ticket 3 Euros

Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
Oleg_D.
Dec 11, 2013

Castle Museums. Upper Floor.

At the upper floor you shall be able to observe frescos, chests, murals, sculptures, wood carvings, decorative arts, furniture and paintings of XV-XVIII century.
If you like European culture then this is your place.
Visitors are allowed to take noncommercial photos without flash light and tripod.

Opening hours:
Tuesday through Sunday
9 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. (admission until 5 p.m.)

closed on Mondays (holidays included)
Closed on:
December 25, January 1, May 1, Easter Monday

Full price ticket 3 Euros

Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
Oleg_D.
Dec 11, 2013

Castello Sforzesco, Milan, Italy

After the Duomo, the "Castello Sforzesco" is Milan's main attraction - not least because of its 12 mini-museums and archives running all the way from Palaeolithic history through to 1950s furniture.

It was home to the noble Visconti family from 1368, and restored to its original splendour by the equally aristocratic Sforzas in the 1450s, and the court gathered here a few decades later by Francesco's son, Ludovico 'il Moro', was regarded as one of Europe's most refined. Castle and court fell into decline in 1499, and Ludovico's game of playing off the French under Charles VIII against Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I ended in disaster and imprisonment in 1500.

While Milan was bristling under French rule in the early 19th century, the castle's star-shaped bulwarks were knocked down. In the late 1800s there was much talk of demolishing the rest, but luckily for the city, architect Luca Beltrami fought to preserve it, coming up with the idea of headquartering Milan's various art collections here. From 1893 until 1904, Beltrami oversaw the castle's restoration, rearranging and rebuilding unashamedly; but it was his unorthodox efforts that saved the edifice from total oblivion. Coming to a spindly point above the façade is an early 20th-century recreation of a tower originally built by the 15th-century architect Antonio Averlino, dubbed Il Filarete (hence the tower's name, Torre del Filarete).

Visitors enter via the enormous piazza d'Armi; gates lead into the Rocchetta (the oldest part of the castle, on the left), and into the Cortile (courtyard), where sculptures are often displayed, and Palazzo della Corte Ducale (on the right), in Renaissance style. The entrance to the Civici Musei collection of museums is here.

Open Grounds 08:00am - 18:00pm daily, Museums 09.30am - 17:30pm Tuesday to Sunday.

Admission Grounds free, Museums €3.-,
free 14.30pm - 15.30pm Tuesday to Thursday,
14:00pm - 17:30pm on Friday.

TrendsetterME's Profile Photo
TrendsetterME
Jun 01, 2013

Castello Sforzesco

In my pre-trip planning, I had not given a very high priority to the Sforza Castle, merely listed it as a nice thing to do if we had time. In retrospect, it was a VERY nice thing to do, highlighted by the opportunity for a close-up view Michelangelo's unfinished Rondanini Pietá.

Our appointment to view The Last Supper was early in the morning, and having no set plans for the rest of the day, we then decided to check out the Sforza - about a fifteen minute walk away.

This giant citadel resembles a fortress more than what most of us think of as a castle. Principle inhabitants through the centuries have been the Visconti and Sforza families. The interior of the castle now includes several museums and art galleries which are covered in separate tips.

The former parade ground, located on what was once the country side of the castle, is now the small, but peaceful Parco Sempione (see separate tip), and from the front entry, the Torre del Filarete, you see the beginning of the Via Dante - Milan's premier pedestrian way (also a separate tip).

A fine day for us: The Last Supper; Castello Sforzesco; a stroll up the Via Dante.

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basstbn
Mar 16, 2013
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Diana75

"MILAN - As I've always wanted to visit"
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draguza

"Home sweet home!"
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Krystynn

"La Dolce Vita In Milano ;-)"
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Henrik_rrb

"Milan"
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ettiewyn

"Milan - surprising and fascinating"
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Castello Sforzesco

Castello Sforzesco was the very last attraction we visited on our trip, and we did not have much time left before we had to leave. It was clear that we would not have time to visit the interior, and so I expected that we would only be able to see the outer walls of the palace - but no! We were surprised to experience that it was possible to walk into the inner courtyards of the palace, and to walk around there and enjoy its beauty, for free! Only access to the museums within the buildings costs an entrance fee.

The palace was constructed in 1368 by the Visconti family, but it was almost completely destroyed in 1447. After that, it was rebuilt by the House of Sforza who in the meantime had become the Lords of Milan. During the renaissance, it became one of the most impressive and luxurious palaces in Italy, and Leonardo da Vinci lived and worked here. Some of the ceiling paintings he created in the rooms survive until today.
During the 16th and 17th century, the Spanish ruled Milan, and Castello Sforzesco became a huge military fort, one of the biggest in Europe. It had the shape of a star, and more than 2000 soldiers were stationed here. It then went to the Austrians who used it as a military fort as well. During these times, the wonders of the palace decayed, as beautiful rooms were used as barracks, workshops or stables.
In 1796, the palace was gained by Napoleon, and during the following years of military use, it decayed even further. When Napoleon was defeated in 1815, Milan became Austrian again, but in 1848, the palace came into possession of the City of Milan. After Italy 's unification, the restoration of the palace began, and it was finally opened to the public in 1900, showing its full glory after so many centuries.

I found the palace very interesting from the outside, but walking around the inner courtyards, I liked it even more. Although there were many people here, it was a beautiful and peaceful place, and it was so nice to walk around and enjoy this fantastic building. It looked so gorgeous in the sunshine, and many people were relaxing here and enjoying it just as we did. We were surprised that this area was so spacious, and, as I said earlier, even more so that it was free to come here!

Around the courtyards, there are the entrances to the different museums located in the palace, but we did not visit any of them. There are three museums here, showing ancient arts, arts and furniture from the 15th to the 20th century, and applied arts. I would of course like to visit them on a future trip, even if just to see the interior of the palace.

If you are in this part of Milan, I think to see the palace is a must!

ettiewyn's Profile Photo
ettiewyn
Sep 16, 2012

Via Dante

Via Dante (Dante Alghieri Street) connecting Piazza Cordusio and Castello Sforzesco, two of the most visited spots of Milano. This short but very bussy street is pedestrian mall with number of shops, sidewalk cafe-bars and restaurants. Both locals and visitors like to spend time in this cafe-bars, sipping drinks and watching people passing by.
Via Dante is of particular interest for me and my compatriots because the General Consulat of Republic of Croatia is situated right here in this street.

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croisbeauty
Dec 25, 2011

Castello Sforzesco.

Construction started in the 14th Century, but it was reconstructed and expanded over the centuries. It used to have a moat and a star-shaped wall but little remains of it. Leonardo da Vinci worked for the Sforza family as an engineer, and he had some input into the design of the castle. He is said to have lived in the tower at the front.

The castle currently houses 6 museums. The best known is the Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco, with an art collection which includes Michelangelo's last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietà, The Castello complex also includes The Museum of Ancient Art, The Furniture Museum, The Museum of Musical Instruments and the Applied Arts Collection, The Egyptian and Prehistoric sections of the Archaeological Museum and the Achille Bertarelli Print Collection.

Hours: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. (7-7 in the summer)
Admission to the grounds is free; Museum admission is 3 Euro (7 Euro for a 3-day pass)
The Museums are closed Monday. (I’m not sure about the castle grounds.)

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JessieLang
Oct 23, 2011

Castello Sforzesco

Since we had just arrived in Milan that morning, we decided to get settled into our hotel room and rest for a few hours. Refreshed and ready to get going, we got our directions from the concierge and headed out to explore the sites. One of the places we wanted to see was the Castello Sforzesco. It's a castle that used to be the seat and residence of the Duchy of Milan and one of the biggest citadels in Europe and now houses several of the city's museums and art collections.

Also located behind Castello Sforzesco & and Piazza Sempione is Parco Sempione. It's Milan's 116 acre urban park where locals and tourist can can enjoy formal gardens, monuments, fountains and a great view of the Arco della Pace (designed by Luigi Cagnola to hail Napoleon's entry into Milan).

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BLewJay
Sep 09, 2011

Things to Do Near Castello Sforzesco

Things to Do

Parco Sempione

What was once ceremonial parade grounds for the Castello Sforzesca (Sforza Castle) is now a pleasant urban green space known as Parco Sempione - a haven for nearby apartment dwellers out to walk their...
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Chiesa San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore - Church

That beautiful church was built in Milan, Lombardy between 1503 and 1518 as a subordinate church of Benedictine female Convent of Maggiore Monastery. In fact that church stands on the place of ancient...
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Things to Do

Pinacoteca di Brera

Pinacoteca di Brera Gallery starts its history in 1776 when in palazzo belonged to Jesuits disbanded three years earlier was organized first permanent collection of fine arts. It took place when Milan...
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Things to Do

Theater alla Scala

Perhaps the most venerated temple to opera in the world is the Teatro alla Scala but its outside appearance seems to belie its internal beauty. Designed by architect Giuseppe Piermarini, La Scala...
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Things to Do

Torre Branca

While it’s not Eiffel, the Torre Branca is a great place to take in the Milano sights. Built in 1933 in just two months—take that Alexandre Gustave Eiffel—you can take the lift all the way to the top...
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Things to Do

Corso Magenta

We visited Corso Magenta on our last day in Milan, and I must say that it was one of our favourite places. Somehow it felt more real and authentic than the other places we had seen. The buildings...
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Getting to Castello Sforzesco

Address

Piazza Castello

Hours

  • Sunday 09:00 to 17:00
  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 09:00 to 17:00
  • Wednesday 09:00 to 17:00
  • Thursday 09:00 to 17:00
  • Friday 09:00 to 17:00
  • Saturday 09:00 to 17:00

Map