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Castello Sforzesco, Milan

Castello Sforzesco, Milan (must see)

Castello Sforzesco, one of the biggest fortresses in Europe that used to house the Duchy of Milan, now contains several museums and art collections. Constructed in the 14th century, it had been rebuilt and modified a number of times by later generations. The castle rooms were originally decorated with intricately detailed work of art, the most famous being the ceiling paintings by Leonardo da Vinci. Today, you can spend days wandering through Castello Sforzesco walking in the gardens and looking at the various restored details of the museums.

Across centuries, the castle survived many battles, occupations, sacking and destruction. One of its famous towers known as the Filarete tower was used to store ammunition. In 1521, a lightning rod hit the tower and resulted in the explosion of all the ammunition. The aftermath of this storm included many casualties and complete destruction of the entire fortress.

The castle has been restored several times until the assault by Napoleon's troops in 1796. The attack by Napoleon's army caused severe damage to the old fortress. Napoleon decided to demolish the external structure of the building and to use the Castle as quarters for the troops. The frescoed rooms at the ground floor of the Corte Ducale were even used as stables. 

With the Unification of Italy, architect Luca Beltrami carried out the reconstruction and restoration of the old fortress. The Castle was given back to the city of Milan in 1905 and became a major center of art and culture with seven different and distinct museums open to the general public.

Why You Should Visit:
In addition to being a great place to spend an afternoon, especially in its courtyard and extensive gardens, the castle also has a really lovely interior.
Each room is a treasure, not only for its exhibitions, monuments and sculptures, but the ceilings – some with heraldic shields, others with stars – are wonders in themselves.
Walking through the castle is free so if you're on a budget, just walk through it and admire the courtyards & architecture; however, the "all museums" fee is actually quite reasonable.

Tip:
Try to arrive on a Tuesday around 2pm to get free entry (entry on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month is free for all public museums).
There's no way to access the battlements or the "inside" (aside from the museums) except by guided tour – consider booking one in advance for that.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 9am-5:30pm

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Milan, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Castello Sforzesco on Map

Sight Name: Castello Sforzesco
Sight Location: Milan, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Milan, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Milan

Create Your Own Walk in Milan

Creating your own self-guided walk in Milan is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
West Centro Walking Tour

West Centro Walking Tour

Milan is a city steeped in history, but also a strategic economic center for Italy, as well as an international fashion hub. Thousands of tourists are attracted to the city's striking historic sites, as well as designer shops and other great places to explore. Take this tour and visit the main sites in Milan's Centro Storico.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.6 Km or 2.9 Miles
Central Milan Souvenir Shopping

Central Milan Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Milan without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Milan, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
Milan Introduction Walk

Milan Introduction Walk

Throughout its 2,000+ year-long history Milan has accumulated an impressive collection of architectural monuments, thanks to some of the best artists and architects this world had ever seen who blessed the city with their presence. Masterpieces like the Gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral and the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, housing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper,” vividly...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.2 Km or 3.9 Miles
Shopping Streets and Spots

Shopping Streets and Spots

Milan is a world-renown fashion and design capital. Here, you can find most of the world's top fashion brands, from Gucci, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana to Levi's and Diesel. Fashion is the second religion in Milan and this self-guided tour will take you to the worship places of the fashionistas and shopaholics.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles
East Centro Walking Tour

East Centro Walking Tour

Milan is a city steeped in history, but also a strategic economic center for Italy, as well as an international fashion hub. Thousands of tourists are attracted to the city's striking historic sites, as well as designer shops and other great places to explore. Take this tour and visit the main sites in Milan's Centro Storico.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Centro Museums and Galleries

Centro Museums and Galleries

Milan is not only the business and fashion center of Italy, it also a cultural center. The city of Milan offers numerous cultural activities, as well as countless art galleries and museums that exhibit some of the world's most famous and imposing artworks and artifacts. Most of these cultural centers are located in the very heart of Milan and within a pleasant walk.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles

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