The Royal palace is one of the most important cultural centres in Milan. The building, which lies in the heart of Milan near the Duomo, is actually home to three exhibition venues: the Rotonda on Via Besana, Palazzo della Ragione and Palazzo dell'Arengario. This immense exhibition space is also highly prestigious, as demonstrated by the many successful temporary exhibitions held here in recent years.
The history of the Royal Palace is inextricably linked to the history of Milan. The seat of the city government since the late Middle Ages, it strengthened its role as a political centre with the advent of the lordships of the Torriani, Visconti and Sforza dynasties. Over the years it became the hub of the sumptuous noble lifestyle, hosting investiture ceremonies and receptions, and in the second half of the 18th century, under Austrian rule, the building was covered with ornaments and decorations that were inspired by the baroque Teresian. Towards the end of that century the building underwent a major neoclassical transformation at the hand of the architect Giuseppe Piermarini. From that point onwards it served as the palace of the rulers, from Maria Theresa to Napoleon and from Ferdinand I to the Savoy King of Italy. Distinguished artists celebrated the glories of kings and emperors by enriching the palace with magnificent works of art, paintings and furniture.
In 1920, Royal Palace became the property of the Italian State and was opened to local visitors.
Following the bombings of 1943 that destroyed part of the building, only today, after a twenty-year arduous recovery and restoration process, the palace of the city of Milan now stands in its original glory.
Today, Royal Palace is one of Milan's most important exhibition venues, where panels of modern and contemporary art and exhibitions of fashion and design come together in an exquisite environment.
The following statistics reflect how important the palace is to the city: each year more than 1,500 masterpieces from the most famous museums in the world are displayed in this museum of 7 thousand square meters. Paintings that have often left a legacy behind them: the forms and inventions of Botero, abstract paintings by Kandinsky, the Futurist inventions of Boccioni and Balla, the Impressionism of Monet and the experience of Scapigliatura.