What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of Milan? Fashion? Yes, I was in the same boat. Little did I know, Milan has its own castle and Leonardo da Vinci lived and worked in it!
Milan’s Castello Sforzesco (Sforza Castle) was built by the noble Visconti family in 1368 and was destroyed in 1447. It was rebuilt by the House of Sforza, the Lords of Milan. The family acquired it by marriage when Francesco Sforza married Bianca Maria Visconti. Francesco became the Duke of Milan and it was the seat of the Sforza family until the Spanish took over in 1519, then France and Austria followed. This fortress has been destroyed and rebuilt many times throughout history.
Leonardo da Vinci was an engineer for the Sforza family and helped design the castle when it was time to rebuild. He also painted frescoes for the interior. It is also said that he resided in the castle’s tower, Filarete Tower.
The castle is great to visit for a leisurely walk and located behind the castle is Parco Sempione, Milan’s 116 acre park filled with gardens and fountains for great photo ops!
Unfortunately, we were in Milan during Fashion Week and the castle was taken over by models, stylists, designers and everything else under the sun so we couldn’t really tour the castle like we wanted. But if you do visit, I hear there are seven museums inside. The courtyard is really nice too!
What is your favorite castle or one that’s on your bucket list to visit?