Museums of the Sforza Castel

Museums of the Sforza Castel

If you just have time to visit only one museum during your stay in Milan, we suggest you consider visiting the Museums of the Sforza Castle. These museums are located in the Sforza Castle, in beautiful castle rooms, one of which was decorated by Leonardo da Vinci. The last Michelangelo’s statue "La Pietà Rondinini” is also on display, while the rest of the collection is really impressive.

There are several exhibitions explained in the further text that compose the collection of Museums of the Sforza Castle. The Museum is located right within the walls of the Castle Sforza, and the beauty of it is that it is located on several levels and many different rooms of the castle, allowing you not only to see the exhibited works of art, but to enjoy the history of the castle as well.
Museum of Ancient Art
The museum hosts the collection of sculptures from the early Christian period (3rd -4th century) till 16th century, including the Michelangelo’s statue "La Pietà Rondinini”. You can even enjoy areas such as: Salla delle Asse decorated by Leonardo da Vinci, Sala del Gonfalone and Cappella Ducale.
Pinacoteca (Art gallery)
Pinacoteca holds around 1500 art pieces, and with Brera it has the biggest and the most important collection of paintings in Milan. Here you can find works of Mantegna, Antonello da Messina, Foppa, Cesare da Sesto, Procaccini, Cerano and many others.
Museum of Prehistory
Here, the collection of archeological pieces mostly from Northern Italy is exhibited in chronological order. The collection documents the evolution from the Neolithic man to that of the Iron Age.
Egyptian Museum
The collection consists of some 250 exponents selected out of 2500, which comprise the whole collection. To the observer it will offer an insight into the daily life and funeral customs of Ancient Egypt. The piece that provokes most interest is the “Book of Dead” which is a scroll 6m long, consisting of all the formulas pronounced during the funeral in order to ensure the safe passage of the deceased.
Museum of musical instruments
The second largest in Italy and one of the most significant collections of musical instruments can be found here. It consists of some 1600 pieces, among which there are instruments made by local masters, the viola of Givani Grancino, and unique pieces such as the guitar Mango Longo, oboe in ivory and much more.
Museum of decorative arts
The collection of porcelain and tin glazed pottery mostly between 11th and 17th century is exhibited here. There is a rich collection of Renaissance ceramics from the best-known regions in Italy as well as those produced in Lombardy.
Furniture museum
Under the slogan “from Sforza to design” this museum holds pieces of furniture from the 15th up till the 20th century. The collection tells a story of the evolution of furniture during the six centuries of history. The furniture is grouped and accompanied with other art pieces in order to allow the visitor to imagine the original ambient and the original purpose of individual pieces.

Ticket prices for the Sforza Castle Museums in Milan
Regular ticket price is: 5 Euros (€).
Reduced ticket price is: 3 Euros (€).
Free entrance- every day an hour before closing, all Tuesdays after 14:00h, individuals under 18 years old.
Reduced price- university students, individuals over 65 years old.
(!) Always keep the ticket with you, because there is not just one exhibition area and upon entering each area you will be asked to show the ticket.
We advise you to check ticket prices and working hours before visiting – check the official website of the Sforza Castle Museums.

Working hours of the Sforza Castle Museums in Milan
From Tuesday to Sunday working hours of the Sforza museums are: 9:00-17:30h.
Last entry at 17:00h.
Closed- all Mondays, January 1st, May 1st, December 25th, Easter Monday.

Interesting facts

  • Michelangelo’s statue “La Pietà Rondinini” exhibited in the Museum of Ancient Art was the last sculpture of Michelangelo that was never finished - according to some sources he worked on this art piece till just a few days before his death.
  • Allegedly, in 1550 Michelangelo started working on the first version of the statue, which he wanted to place on his tomb, but during the process in an advance stage the sculpture fell apart due to the imperfection of the marble. He was so furious that he tried to destroy it, and eventually he left it abandoned. After this fiasco he started working on a new version that he was never able to finish and which is now exhibited in the museum.
  • If you decide to take a look at the statue (La Pietà Rondinini) from the side, it looks like the Christ is actually holding Virgin Mary and not vice versa. There is a belief that Michelangelo wanted to express in this way how Jesus Christ’s spirit was holding Mary and tried to comfort her in the immense pain of losing her son.
  • In the Egyptian section of the museum there are two mummies, one of a man that lived 650 years before Christ.
  • In 1466, before he married Bona di Savoia, Galeazzo Maria ordered a series of renovations to be done. His brother Ludovico il Moro was responsible for the work and he gathered the best-known artists of the time, among which was Leonardo da Vinci. So called Sala delle Asse (Room 7) where the coats of arms were displayed was painted by Leonardo.
  • In the museum a painting called Madonna con Bambino (Madonna with a Child) is on display. This work of art has only recently been attributed to Francesco Galli called Napoletano, who studied and worked in Leonardo’s workshop.