City of Vigevano

City of Vigevano

Vigevano is a city in northern Italy located just 36 kilometers from the centre of Milan. This historically important city with a beautiful city square called Piazza Ducale and the enchanting castle called Castello Sforzesco should draw more attention of an international tourist, due to its proximity to Milan and all the things it has to offer.

Vigevano is located in northern Italy in the Lombardy province just around 36 kilometers from Milan. Its current population is around 63,000 people.
The city is believed to have had ancient origins, but the city can be said with certainty to have existed in 963 when there was a mention of the city in the documents for the first time. In the 12th century, due to its location the city oft found itself amidst battles between the city of Milan and Pavia that lasted for more than 150 years. The history of the city is closely related to that of Milan, under which Vigevano often was. Therefore, large changes in the city happened during the reign of Ludovico il Moro, who was also responsible for many architectural wonders in Milan. He improved the irrigation system which benefited the agriculture, enlarged the city’s castle and built the beautiful Piazza Ducale.
After Ludovico was defeated by French troops the dark period started for the city, followed by wars and different foreign occupations up until the unification of Italy.

In the 19th century, Vigevano was famous for its shoemaking industry. The boom was so massive that this sector comprised 900 companies which employed more than 20000 people. After the Second World War there was a huge decline in this industry, and even though the shoemaking is still present in Vigevano it is beyond any comparison with its previous splendor.

What not to miss
Piazza Ducale
Piazza Ducale in Vigevano is one of the most beautiful city squares in Italy. It was built by Ludovico il Moro in only two years between 1492 and 1494. The square has a rectangle shape and it is surrounded by buildings on its three sides, while on the forth side there is the Duomo Cathedral of Vigevano.

Duomo of Vigevano
Duomo of Vigevano is the main religious Cathedral in the city, dedicated to Saint Ambrose and it is located on one side of the famous Piazza Ducale. The construction started in 1532 by Francesco iI Sforza and was completed in 1612.

Vigevano castle
This castle consists of different buildings that take up more than two hectares. The whole complex nowadays is hidden in-between other buildings and only after finding the right entrance can tourists thoroughly enjoy the vast courtyard and the view onto the castle interior. The construction of the castle started with the family Visconti in the 13th century and finished with the Sforza family in the 15th century. At the beginning, the existing buildings were demolished in order to make room for the castle. Afterwards, some parts of the castle were destroyed, while it even changed the owner a few times until the final transformation ordered by Ludovico il Moro. The next transformation of the castle happened only in the 19th century, which brought in architectural changes of some parts of the castle. Finally only in 1980 did the project of restoration start after years of neglect.

Museum of shoes (shoemaking)
This museum is located within the Vigevano castle. It stands in silent testimony of the incredibly developed shoemaking industry that was once the strongest industrial sector of the region, which employed the major part of local population. Here visitors may see a unique collection that demonstrates the evolution of shoemaking. It also has an incredible number of contemporary models of world famous designers which may prove to be a unique experience or even the source of inspiration for female visitors.
Ticket price for the Museum of shoes in Vigevano
Entrance is FREE of charge.
Audio guide is FREE of charge.
Working hours of the Museum of shoes in Vigevano
From Tuesday to Friday working hours of the museum are: 14-17h.
On Saturdays and Sundays working hours are: 10-18h.

Civil Art Gallery (Pinacoteca Civica)
Next to the Museum of Shoes, there is also the Civic art gallery. This art gallery was named Casimiro Ottone, after one of the famous local painters who also restored the frescos of the Piazza Ducale. In ten rooms of this art gallery visitors will be able to enjoy mostly the works of art of the local artists who lived and worked between the 15th and the 20th century. There is also a room called “Gallery in Movement” where the current artistic achievements of the local artists are exhibited. This room is dedicated to local artists who want to show their work to the wider public so  the exhibited art pieces are constantly changing.
Ticket price for the Civil Art Gallery in Vigevano
Entrance is FREE of charge.
Audio guide is FREE of charge.
Working hours of the Civil Art Gallery in Vigevano
From Tuesday to Friday working hours are: 14-17h.
On Saturdays and Sundays working hours are: 10-18h.
We advise visitors to check the working hours on the official webpage of the Civil art Gallery.

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