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Posts published in “Art & Culture”

The Museo del Novecento: Italian masters of the 20th century

The Museo del Novecento (the 20th century art museum) is one of the most important museums in town and features an impressive collection of artworks of the 20th century. The building The collection Surroundings The building The museum is hosted within the Palazzo dell’Arengario right next to the cathedral. The Arengario was built between 1936 and 1956 on a project by the architects Portaluppi, Muzio, Magistretti e Griffini. The bas-relieves that adorn the facade of the building were sculpted by artist Arturo Martini. The construction of the Arengario was put on hold during the second World War and it was finally opened…

The GAM: the modern art gallery of Milan

The GAM is the modern art gallery of Milan and one of the astonishing museums of the city. The collection is hosted inside Villa Belgioioso. The villa The collection Location Hours & Admission Surroundings Villa Belgioioso The villa Belgioioso was commissioned by the Count Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso in 1790 and was completed in 1796. It has been the residence of the most distinguished personality of the city like Napoleon the third and the royal family of Italy. In 1920 the villa became state property and in 1921 after an important renovation process it was converted into the GAM – The modern…

Milan: a quest for beauty

How Milan started its quest for beauty? The Belle Epoque The second half of the nineteenth century was a crucial period for the city. The whole Piazza del Duomo was subject to a relevant renovation. Architect Giuseppe Mengoni was in charge of the construction of the Galleria which was dedicated to the King of Italy as well as the equestrian monument in the middle of the square. The first powerhouse of continental Europe was installed in Milan in 1883 to enlighten the streets around the city centre. This demonstrates how eager the Milanese society was to keep up with the…

Piazza del Duomo

The Piazza del Duomo This is the heart of this concentric city. It has a 17.000 square meters surface and it is surrounded by several buildings on three sides while the fourth one is occupied by the cathedral. At its centre there is the equestrian statue of king Vittorio Emanuele the II, the first king of Italy. The two porticos on the right and left side were designed by architect Giuseppe Mengoni in 1865 while the building right next to the Duomo, the Palazzo dell’Arengario, designed by architects Portaluppi, Muzi, Magistretti and Griffini now hosts the Museo del Novecento. The…

History of Milan: the Modern Era

The Spanish domination: 12th of October 1492 is an important milestone in the history of the world. Christopher Columbus arrived to what he believed were the Indies and discovered America. This date marks the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the modern era. While Columbus’s fleet was sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in Milan Ludovico il Moro, lord of the city, was struggling to maintain his power against the French first and then the Spanish invaders. The Emperor Charles the Fifth conquered the city and so begun a 160 years period of Spanish domination. The Mediterranean area…

History of Milan: the Middle Ages

]It is hard to recap the middle ages in a few lines but we will give it a try. Steady, ready…go! The end of the Roman Empire During the whole fifth century AD Milan was often under attack. The barbarian invasions seriously affected the economy and prosperity of the city. In 452 AD Attila led his people (the Huns) to the city and confiscated goods and properties of the Milanese people. In 493 Teodorico (King of the Ostrogoths) defeated Odoacre responsible of the deposition of the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romolus Augustus. The uncertainty of the stability led Iustinian…

The Tempio della Vittoria, a monument for the Milanese people

The Tempio della Vittoria is a monument dedicated to the Milanese who died during the first world war and its construction begun in 1927 on a project by architect Giovanni Muzio with the cooperation of the famous designer and architect Gio Ponti. Where is it? The area chosen for the erection of this memorial monument is particularly meaningful. It was the cemeterium ad martyres (the cemetery of the martyrs) to ideally link the stories of the christian martyrs to the victims of the war. It was partially destroyed during the second world war by the allied bombing and its reconstruction…

History of Milan: The Roman Era

In 222 BC the Romans conquered the Celtic settlement and in 286 BC Milan, then called Mediolanum, became the capital of the Western Roman empire under Diocletian. In 313 AD the emperor Constantine the first, through the Edict of Milan guaranteed to the Christians freedom of religion. In 374 AD Ambrosgio became the archbishop of Milan by acclamation. The people wanted him to lead the Milanese church and he became priest on the 7th of December. This day is still a local holyday for the city of Milan. During his mandate Ambrosius commissioned the construction of three churches: the Basilica…

Tour of the Monumental Cemetery

It sounds creepy but a tour of the Milan’s Monumental Cemetery is an experience you cannot miss if you happen to be in Milan. The cemetery was officially opened to the public in 1866after two years of construction and was designed by architect Carlo Maciachini who is also responsible of the completion of the façade of the Saint Marco’s church in the Brera district. The main entrance of the cemetery features a building called the Famedio (from the latin words famae aedes – temple of fame) were are buried the most distinguished and notable Milanese. Among the people who are…