Palazzo Saporiti
Palazzo Saporiti

Villas and palaces in Milan are used to indicate public and private buildings in Milan of particular artistic and architectural value. Milan has always been an important centre with regard to the construction of historical villas and palaces, ranging from the Romanesque to the neo-Gothic, from Baroque to Rococo.

History

The Emperor's Palace.

The spread of the construction of patrician villas in Milan has early origins. Archaeological excavations have revealed a complex system of villas from the first imperial age, going back to about the 1st century BCE.

After the fall of the Barbarians and the end of the Middle Ages, a new tradition of aristocratic refinement, chivalry and good taste was established in Milan by the ruling Visconti and Sforza families. Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries the local nobility built luxurious residences to demonstrate their power and influence. Today only a few examples of these can still be seen, such as the ducal apartments of the Castello Sforzesco and other private villas such as Casa Borromeo and Casa Pallavicini. Not only Lombard but also Venetian, Ligurian, Piedmontese and Tuscan artists contributed to their design and decoration, the latter especially in the creation of frescoes.

The Palazzo Castiglioni.
The Hotel Corso (ex Trianon).
The Hotel Corso (ex Trianon).

The subsequent Spanish domination somewhat curbed the carefree enthusiasm of the humanist era, tending to favour the development of private architecture and making way for it by demolishing existing buildings.

The 18th century above all was marked by the construction in Milan of so-called "villas of delight" (ville di delizia). As the concept of the summer residence spread, villas were built there for nobles from Rome, Venice, Turin, Bologna and Naples who conducted their business in Milan.

With the industrial revolution came a new period of growth and an enhancement of the architectural beauty of the city, brought about during the 19th century by the influence of the Habsburgs, who sought to endow Milan with a new visual dimension since at this stage it was the second city of the empire after Vienna.

The 20th century was the last period of the "villas of delight". When it entered the new Kingdom of Italy Milan had become an industrial centre of major importance to the new economy and in particular one of the key points for exchanges with Europe. The bourgeoisie then settled in the city as the new 'aristocrats' of the second industrial revolution, seeking to return Milan to the grandeur of the past.

Despite the extraordinary architectural heritage of the city, what can be seen today represents only a small part of what was created throughout the entire history of the city: the traditional tendency to build after having demolished already existing palaces, together with bombings from the second world war, greatly reduces the heritage of the city.

A list of palaces

Palazzo dei Giureconsulti.

Roman

The Palazzo Borromeo.

13th century

14th century

Palazzo di Brera.

15th century

16th century

Ca' Granda.

17th century

Palazzo Litta.
Rear view of Palazzo Litta.
Rear view of Palazzo Litta.
Palazzo Cusani.
Palazzo Cusani.
Palazzo del Senato.
Palazzo del Senato.
Palazzo Serbelloni.
Palazzo Serbelloni.
Palazzo Visconti di Grazzano.
Palazzo Visconti di Grazzano.
Palazzo Sormani Andreani.
Palazzo Sormani Andreani.

18th century

The Palazzo Marino.

19th century

20th century

Sources