Sforza Castle, a unique ducal palace
The Sforza Castle is a symbol of the city alongside the Duomo, renowned all over Europe as one of its most important castles.
Milan has a long history together with this fortification, built in the XVth century by Francesco Sforza, who had recently become Duke. It is a relevant destination for cultural and artistic tourism in Milan, attracting not only foreign visitors but the residents as well. Even though they pass across it every day, once in a while they may choose to stop by and get to know it better.
As with other castles in Milan, the original purpose of the Sforza Castle was to serve as a defensive stronghold, although it changed with the years: from fortress to residence, then military barracks and finally a place of culture and a hub for art institutions and exhibitions. It was damaged during World War II, but later restored to its former glory.
Nowadays the Sforza Castle guards the regional capital's civic museums such as the Ancient Art Museum, which harbors the last masterpiece by Michelangelo: the Pietà Rondanini, plus the Picture Gallery that showcases 230 prestigious works of Italian Painting encompassing the XIIth through XVIIIth centuries.
Those without enough time for tourism, there are singular tours dedicated to unusual itineraries, usually closed to the public.