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Biblioteca Ambrosiana

The Biblioteca Ambrosiana is a historic library in Milan, Italy, also housing the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, the Ambrosian art gallery. Named after Ambrose, the patron saint of Milan, it was founded by Cardinal Federico Borromeo (1564–1631), whose agents scoured Western Europe and even Greece and Syria for books and manuscripts. Some major acquisitions of complete libraries were the manuscripts of the Benedictine monastery of Bobbio (1606) and the library of the Paduan Vincenzo Pinelli, whose more than 800 manuscripts filled 70 cases when they were sent to Milan and included the famous Iliad, the Ilia Picta. The library acquired twelve manuscripts of Leonardo da Vinci, including the Codex Atlanticus. The library now contains some 12,000 drawings by European artists, from the 14th through the 19th centuries, which have come from the collections of a wide range of patrons and artists, academicians, collectors, art dealers, and architects. Prized manuscripts, including the Leonardo codices, were requisitioned by the French during the Napoleonic occupation, and only partly returned after 1815. Among the 30,000 manuscripts, which range from Greek and Latin to Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopian, Turkish and Persian, is the Muratorian fragment, of ca 170 A.D., the earliest example of a Biblical canon and an original copy of De divina proportione by Luca Pacioli. Among Christian and Islamic Arabic manuscripts are treatises on medicine, a unique 11th-century diwan of poets, and the oldest copy of the Kitab Sibawahaihi.

For more information and enquiries please contact Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Piazza Pio XI, 2 - 20123 Milano, E-mail:

Facade of the palace housing both the Pinacoteca
Ambrosiana (Ambrosian Gallery) and the Biblioteca Ambrosiana
Photo by G.dallorto

Museo Poldi Pezzoli

The Museo Poldi Pezzoli is an art museum in Milan, Italy. The museum was originated in the 19th century as private collection of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli and his mother, Rosa Trivulzio, of the family of the condottiero Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, and has a particularly broad collection of Northern Italian and (for Italy) Netherlandish/Flemish artists. Sited in the centre of the city, works on display include Italian painters such as: Mariotto Albertinelli; Giovanni d'Alemagna, the uncle of Antonio Vivarini; Sofonisba Anguissola; Lorenzo Bartolini; Fra Bartolomeo; Luca Baudo; Alessandro Mazzola Bedoli; Jacopo Bellini; Giuseppe Bertini; Vitale da Bologna; Francesco Bonsignori; Paolo Borroni; il Moretto from Brescia; Botticelli, Giulio Campi; Canaletto; Francesco Capella (Dagił); Cristoforo Caselli; Jacopo del Casentino;G.B and many others. Northern European painters include Breughel the younger;Cranach; Goltzius; James Baker Pyne; Thomas Shotter Boys; Sutterman; Teniers the younger; Jacob Toorenvliet; Pierre Tetar van Elven; Mathijs Van Hellemont; Jan Van der Meer II; Willem Van Mieris; Jacob Ferdinand Voet; Nicolaus Alexander Mair Von Landshut, (Mair Landshut); and Cornelis de Wael. The museums exhibition also includes weaponry, glassworks, ceramics, goldworks and others.

For more information and enquiries please contact Museo Poldi Pezzoli, via Manzoni 12, 20121 MILANO, Tel: 02 796334, E-mail:

Museo Poldi Pezzoli

Lamentation over the Dead Christ, by Sandro Botticelli found in Museo Poldi Pezzoli

Castello Sforzesco

Castello Sforzesco is a castle in Milan, Italy, that used to be the seat and residence of the Duchy of Milan and one of the biggest citadels in Europe and now houses several of the city's museums and art collections. The best known of the current civic museums is the Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco, with an art collection which includes Michelangelo's last sculpture, the Rondanini Pietą, Andrea Mantegna's Trivulzio Madonna and Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Trivulzianus manuscript. The Castello complex also includes The Museum of Ancient Art, The Furniture Museum, The Museum of Musical Instruments and the Applied Arts Collection, The Egyptian and Prehistoric sections of the Archaeological Museum and the Achille Bertarelli Print Collection.

For more information and enquiries please contact Castle Service, Piazza Castello, 3 20121 Milan, Tel: 884 - 63 - 700, E-mail:

Castello Sforzesco

Castello Sforzesco in Milan
Copyright © Marco Bonavoglia

Museum of the Risorgimento (Milan)

The Museum of the Risorgimento located in the eighteenth-century Milanese Palazzo Moriggia, houses a collection of objects and artworks which illustrate the history of Italian unification from Napoleon's first Italian campaign of 1796 to the annexation of Rome in 1870. There is particular coverage of Milan’s part in this process, notably the 1848 uprising against Austrian rule known as the Five Days of Milan. The Museum, along with the Museum of Contemporary History and the Museum of Milan, forms part of the Civic Historical Collections, which have an educational and cultural objective. Its collections include Baldassare Verazzi's Episode from the Five Days and Francesco Hayez's 1840 Portrait of Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria. The exhibition is set out so as to follow the chronological order of events of the Risorgimento, leading the visitor through fifteen rooms, to which the new Weapons Room has been recently added. The latest refurbishment in 1998 included the redesign of the permanent exhibitions, to accentuate the highlights of the collections, particularly the relics. The Museum boasts the green and silver velvet cloak and the valuable regal insignia of Napoleon Bonaparte’s coronation, the banner of the Legione Lombarda Cacciatori a Cavallo (Lombard Legion on Horseback) and the first Italian flag.

For more information including enquiries regarding guided tours of the Museum of the Risorgimento please contact at Via Borgonuovo, 23 - 20121, Milan, Tel: 02 884 6417 7 / 64176

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