Unusual museums in Milan

In Milan there are museums that are impossible not to visit, because they can legitimately be considered a World Heritage Site (even if not certified by UNESCO.)

But the great Lombard metropolis offers tourists and citizens who care about culture, other places where to satisfy their personal curiosity. Galleries, museum and strange museums in Milan offer the possibility to spend pleasant days in contact with works of art and particular situations where even younger ones can find a way to have fun and most of all not get bored.

Among the special museums in Milan we want to talk about a few that deserve attention. Because art is not only Mona Lisas, but also peoples and cultures, and why not, stars in the sky and starfish.

The Ulrico Hoepli Civic Planetarium is located within the public gardens of Porta Venezia. It is housed in a building inaugurated in 1930 and still today is the largest planetarium in Italy: it has a dome of almost 20 meters in diameter on which are projected images and reconstructions of the sky, stars, planets and constellations included. It is a magical place for both adults and children where one can become familiar with astronomy, physics and space travel. Very unique are the swivel chairs used by visitors: they are original from the 1930s and are inspired by the barber chairs.

The Civic Aquarium of Milan is housed in a charming Art Nouveau building inside Parco Sempione near Castello Sforzesco and Arena Civica. Inside the building one is immersed in a world populated by fish, crustaceans, mollusks and strange aquatic animals. Modernized and refurbished, today the Civic Aquarium of Milan appears with new and large pools and a glass tunnel that runs over the heads of the visitors. Also in the building is a Hydrobiological Station and the Library specialized in the field of marine biology and aquatic sciences.

The Risorgimento Museum, located in Via Borgonuovo holds paintings, sculptures, weapons and memorabilia from the Italian history of the Napoleonic era and the period of Rome’s annexation to the Kingdom of Italy in 1870. Here the Risorgimento comes back to life, with descriptions of battles and characters of the time, but also with the narration of the key events that have seen protagonist Garibaldi and then Napoleon. The events of the Risorgimento are well detailed in the media room, but also in the library where there is a collection of over 120 000 volumes since 1748.

The Interactive Museum of Cinema is housed in the buildings of what was once the Tobacco Factory, in Viale Fulvio Testi. The project, implemented by the Italian Film Archive Foundation is a small jewel of technology and interactivity which houses more than 20 000 films from silent films to today’s, more than 15,000 original film posters and playbills, 100 000 stills and hundreds of antique technologies from production to projection.

Near Piazzale Lotto you can visit the Museum of Peoples and Cultures. In particular, the museum contains examples of all types of collections from Asia and China. A fascinating journey into a distant universe, but most of all a historical journey: the objects are collected from the beginning of 1900 by the missionaries of the PIME, the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions. It is located in Via Mosè Bianchi.

In Piazza della Scala, since November 2011, the Gallerie d’Italia museum is housed inside Palazzo Anguissola Antona Traversi and Palazzo Brentani. The Galleries offer nearly 200 masterpieces dating back to Italy’s 1800s, including 13 bas-reliefs by Antonio Canova, pre-futuristic works by Umberto Boccioni and other artists of the caliber of Hayez, Segantini, Fontana, Munari, Guttuso and Baj. All the works come from private collections of Cariplo Foundation and Intesa Sanpaolo.

Near the Public Gardens of Via Palestro, in Via Mozart, is located the house-museum Villa Necchi, a place that can hurl the visitors in the domestic life of the first half of the 20th century. Villa Necchi is a rare example of life of the Milanese bourgeoisie, the Necchi Campiglio family, who loved to be surrounded by stylish and precious objects, furniture and architecture. The garden surrounding the villa in the centre of Milan also hosts a swimming pool and a tennis court. Since 2001, thanks to a donation, Villa Necchi is owned by FAI, the Italian Environmental Fund.

Alessandro Manzoni’s house-museum, in Via Gerolamo Morone, off Via Manzoni, is the residence where the family lived between 1814 and 1873. Here Manzoni composed his works, novels and poems, sitting at the desk in the room where he received Giuseppe Garibaldi, but where daily gathered intellectuals and writers like Tommaso Grossi, Antonio Rosmini and Giovanni Berchet. The rooms of the house-museum display objects used by the Manzoni family and some first editions of the writer’s works.

One Response to Unusual museums in Milan

  1. stef says:

    And the Poldi-Pezzoli Museum, near the Scala, that houses some of the most important Renaissance paintings, as well as a splendid armory display by Aldo Pomodoro.


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