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Sforza Castle

The ruling Sforza dynasty's residence for centuries, now holding some of Milan's most important artistic work.

TravelCurious Tip

Weather permitting, be sure to explore the beautiful Sempione park, which lies just adjacent to the castle

In 1447, when Filippo Maria Visconti, the Duke of Milan, died without an heir, the Milanese people proclaimed the Ambrosian Republic, razing the previous castle on this site to the ground. At the time the Republic was at war with Venice and had to turn to the military man Francesco Sforza for leadership; just three years later he proclaimed himself Duke of Milan and rebuilt Sforza Castle on the same spot. It was good while it lasted.


Over the centuries the iconic red-brick castle has been transformed into a magnificent Renaissance residence. Some of Italy’s greatest artists had a hand in decorating it, including Leonardo da Vinci, Donato Bramante and the inimitable Michaelangelo. His final work, the Rondanini Pietà, is kept in the frescoed hall of the castle’s Ospedale Spagnolo.


Brick-Red and the Seven Museums

The castle holds no less than seven museums, spread out over several floors around the Ducal courtyard, which shed light on Milan’s cultural and civic history. Highlights include the Museum of Ancient Art, which is found in the ducal apartments and contains fascinating examples of early Christian sculptures and reliefs showing Milan’s victory over the Holy Roman Emperor Barbarossa.


The history of music and art in Milan is also examined: the art gallery displays a range of Italian paintings, including Andrea Mantegna’s renowned Trivulzio Madonna, and the museum of musical instruments has some beautifully preserved artefacts, such as a sixteenth century Venetian harpsichord and a glass harmonica. For a complete tour of medieval Milan, the Sforza Castle is must.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Milan
The Theatre la Scala
An iconic theatre built in 1778 which has consistently held the most famous opera and ballet performances.
Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
This Dominican convent is a world heritage site which contains the mural of Da Vinci's "The Last Supper".
Piazza Mercanti
"Merchants square" is former epicentre of the city where swords, hats and suits of armour were once sold.
Da Vinci's The Last Supper
Da Vinci's iconic mural depicts the moment Jesus realises that he will be betrayed by one of his disciples.
Brera Palace
A neoclassical structure containing the Pinacoteca di Brera, an art gallery showing Milan's most famous work.
San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore
A royal chapel built in the 16th Century, with stunning frescos that often go missed by tourists.

Related Tours

Full Day Highlights of Milan with Da Vinci’s The Last Supper
In this six hour walking tour, your expert local guide will direct you to some of the most important historical and cultural sites of this magnificent city. 

Milan is a vast, modern city which plays an important role as an Italian economic and industrial hub. However behind this industrious veneer lies a city steeped in history, culture and fashion. Milan is home to stunning frescos and art including that of the great Leonardo Da Vinci. 

Note: this tour must be booked one month in advance for the last supper to be included.

  • Commence at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
  • Snap pictures of Da Vinci's iconic The Last Supper
  • Visit Milan's historic theatre, the Theatre la Scala
  • Walk through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the world's oldest shopping mall
  • Enjoy your time at Piazza Duomo, where the Gothic cathedral stands
  • Stroll through Piazza Mercanti, where suits of armour were once sold
  • Explore the artwork of  Sforza Castle
  • Learn about neoclassical artwork inside Brera Palace
  • Stand in awe of  the San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, a royal chapel
The Last Supper

Your guide will take you to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, a Dominican convent and world heritage site which contains world famous mural of Da Vinci's The Last Supper. This iconic mural depicts the moment Jesus realises that he will be betrayed by one of his disciples. This tour includes skip the line tickets. 

The Heart of Milan

You will visit the Theatre la Scala, an iconic theatre built in 1778 and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world's oldest shopping malls. A vast emporium known locally as "Milan's drawing room". Get to the heart of Milan’s fashion at the Quadrilatero d'oro, the world's most famous upmarket shopping district. Walk through the Piazza Duomo, "Cathedral Square" which is regarded as the heart of Milan to the spectacular Gothic cathedral itself, which took 600 years to build.

Your guide will take you to the Piazza Mercanti or "Merchants Square" where swords, hats and suits of armour were once sold. Explore Sforza Castle, which holds some of Milan's most important artistic work. You will visit the Brera Palace a neoclassical construct containing the Pinacoteca di Brera, an art gallery showcasing Milan's most famous work. Visit the San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore; a royal chapel built in the 16th Century, with stunning frescos that often go missed by Milans' tourists.
Half Day Highlights of Milan with Da Vinci’s The Last Supper
In this four hour tour, your expert local guide will direct you to some of the most important historical and cultural sites of this magnificent city.

Milan is a vast, modern city which plays an important role as an Italian economic and industrial hub. However behind this industrious veneer lies a city steeped in history, culture and fashion. The majestic churches and cathedrals contain stunning frescos and architecture that cannot be missed, and the world renowned fashion district is a fascinating place to explore. In addition the art collections found in Milan boast a wide variety of work which include none other than the great Leonardo Da Vinci. 

Note: this tour must be booked one month in advance for the last supper to be included.

  • Commence at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie
  • Snap pictures of Da Vinci's iconic The Last Supper
  • Visit Milan's historic theatre, the Theatre la Scala
  • Walk through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the world's oldest shopping mall
  • Enjoy your time at Piazza Duomo, where the Gothic cathedral stands
  • Stroll through Piazza Mercanti, where suits of armour were once sold
  • Explore the artwork of  Sforza Castle
The Last Supper

Your guide will take you to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, a Dominican convent and world heritage site which contains world famous mural of Da Vinci's The Last Supper. Da Vinci's iconic mural depicts the moment Jesus realises that he will be betrayed by one of his disciples. This tour includes skip the line tickets. 

Mercantile Milan 

You will visit the Theatre la Scala, an iconic theatre built in 1778 which has consistently held some of the most famous opera and ballet performances. Next will be a stroll in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world's oldest shopping malls. This vast emporium is known locally as "Milan's drawing room" and is built with an impressive glass-vaulted arcade design.

Your guide will be pleased to take you to the Piazza Mercanti or "Merchants square" where swords, hats and suits of armour were once sold. Explore the adjacent Sforza Castle, the former home of the ruling Sforza dynasty for centuries. It now holds some of Milan's most important artistic work.
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