Discover the rich history of Milan with the Sforza Castle. Throughout your visit, you’ll learn more about Italy and admire works produced by Italy’s most famous artists.
To help you prepare for your visit, read the most important information in this article.
Sforza Castle: a journey through Milanese history
The Sforza Castle, a true witness to Milan’s history, was built in the 15th century by the Sforza family. The well-preserved ramparts bear witness to this medieval past.
Built in the heart of Milan, this imposing fortress with its red brick walls is now home to a number of museums and art collections, delighting lovers of history and aesthetics.
Its treasures include works by Renaissance masters Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
As you wander through its halls and courtyards, you’ll be transported into a captivating world, where the splendors of the past rub shoulders with the curiosities of the present.
What can you see at Sforza Castle?
The Sforza Castle is more than just a fortress. It’s a veritable cultural showcase housing several museums and collections. Here are just a few of the must-see areas:
Museum of Ancient Art (Museo d’Arte Antica)
In this museum, you’ll be greeted by Michelangelo’s Pieta Rondanini, an unfinished but moving sculpture that bears witness to the end of the artist’s life.
The museum also displays an impressive collection of sculptures, armor and antique furniture, illustrating the wealth of the Sforza family.
Salle des Asse (Sala delle Asse)
This remarkable room is famous for its mural by Leonardo da Vinci. He painted an interlacing pattern of branches and foliage, creating a veritable trompe-l’œil forest.
Museum of Musical Instruments (Museo degli Strumenti Musicali)
This museum features a collection of antique musical instruments, some dating back to the 15th century. A must for music lovers!
Pinacoteca del Castello Sforzesco (Castello Sforzesco Picture Gallery)
This art gallery features a collection of pictorial works dating from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, with painters such as Mantegna, Bellini and Canaletto.
Egyptian and Prehistoric Art Collection
For those interested in ancient history, these collections feature prehistoric objects found in the Lombardy region and pieces of Egyptian art.
How much does it cost to enter the Sforza Castle?
Like many activities in Italy, the price is more than reasonable:
- Admission is €5.
- The reduced rate for under-25s and over-65s is €3.
- Admission is free for children.
Please note that 5€ is the price for all the museums, not per museum.
Check out the current price on GetyourGuide.
How long does a visit to Sforza Castle last?
Allow at least 2 hours for a quick tour of the castle and museums. If you take your time, you’ll probably need around 4 hours.
Where is the Sforza Castle?
The Sforza castle stands in Milan’s Piazza Castello.
How do I get to Sforza Castle?
If you’re driving, you can park in one of the many parking lots close to the château.
For public transport, metro lines M1 and M2 drop you off at Cadorna station, just a few minutes’ walk from the castle.
Alternatively, streetcars 1, 4, 19 and 27 and bus 61 also stop nearby.
What are the opening hours of the Sforza Castle?
The château is open every day except Monday.
Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On-site ticketing closes at 4.30p.m., while the last entrance to the château is at 5p.m.
The only closing days are January 1, May 1 and December 25.
My opinion of the Sforza castle: all for €5, really?
The Sforza castle is one of my most memorable visits to Rome. Everything starts off on the right foot, arriving at the excellently preserved ramparts. The bright colors are surprisingly different from the castles I’m used to visiting in France.
Then, once inside the castle, I was more than surprised at how much there was to see. I’d read about it on the web before visiting, but €5 for so many museums is almost a gift!
Of course, I can’t remain indifferent to the work of Michelangelo and da Vinci. But the other discoveries are well worth the trip. Less interested in ancient musical instruments, I loved the Pinacothèque with its medieval works. The Egyptian art is a little surprising compared with other museums, but it’s a lot of fun to visit.
With Amélie, our visits lasted over 4 hours. If our feet didn’t hurt, we could have stayed even longer.
What else can you do near Sforza Castle?
Once your visit to the Sforza Castle is over, Milan has no shortage of other attractions to explore. Here are a few suggestions:
- Parco Sempione: This large green park just behind the castle is the ideal place for a relaxing break.
- Pinacoteca di Brera: A museum housing a rich collection of Italian art.
- Scala de Milan: One of the world’s most famous opera houses.
- Duomo di Milano: A magnificent Gothic cathedral, a symbol of the city.
- Brera district: A charming district, ideal for a stroll, with its stores, cafés and restaurants.