Palazzo Carmagnola, between intrigues and drama plays

Here is it, finally, the third broletto of Milan! The Carmagnola Palace is in via Rovello, clearly visible from Via Dante, the road that connects the Castle to the Cathedral. It was built in the early 1400 by the Visconti family, and then donated by Filippo Maria Visconti to Francesco Bussone, adventurer known with the name of Carmagnola, in gratitude for the positive outcomes of his expansionist quests (in short, he conquered several cities of Lombardy as well as Genoa).

Palazzo Carmagnola witnesses a large part of the city’s history. Accused of treason, Carmagnola was beheaded in 1432 and, after his death, the palace came in Dal Verme’s noble hands and was then requisitioned by Ludovico il Moro who had it restored by Bramante.

Have you ever wondered who is the woman depicted in the Leonardo’s painting Lady with an Ermine? And are you wondering right now what has this lady to do with this building? Well, read on. Polished and renewed, the palace became the residence of Ludovico il Moro’s lover. Yes, that’s her: the woman with the necklace of beads tied tightly around the neck, the red dress and the ermine in her arms…Cecilia Gallerani!

During the Spanish sovereignity, the building was converted into a warehouse for the gathering of grain, flour and provisions.
With the Austrian reignance the building was chosen as the local administrative office and then called Broletto Nuovissimo. During the Cinque Giornate it was used as the rebels’ headquarters and, during the Fascist period, the palace was used as a recreational club house (with a tavern, a theater and a cinema). Finally, the Second World War converted the Palace into a place used to torture people from the Resistance. In 1947, two young artists, Paolo Grassi and Giorgio Strelher, obtained by the City a permission to turn it into a theater and recently a further restoration has allowed us to rediscover the beauty of the Renaissance cloisters in the central courtyard, which now houses a bar- restaurant and a library.

Additional information:

Via Rovello, 2, Milano, MI, Italia

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