Napoleonic residence in Milan to be discovered

Napoleonic residence in Milan to be discovered
Napoleonic residence in Milan to be discovered

MILAN – The Weather in Palazzina Appiani, in Milan, is located in the Brera Design District, a stone’s throw from the Arena Civica of Parco Sempione. The building was built to accommodate the grandstand for Napoleon’s public appearances and is in fact called the Royal Loggia. With its classical forms, it hosts on the first floor the Hall of Honor with friezes running along the entire ceiling and which want to reproduce Roman bas-reliefs from the imperial age. You can also admire two large crystal chandeliers.

According to documents and historical artifacts, when in 1796 the French troops led by Napoleon broke into Milan, a brief but intense political and civil season began for the city which saw it as the protagonist of great plans destined to give it a metropolitan and cultural dimension worthy of a capital. Architecture too had to respond to this need for change and transformation with projects that celebrated the magnificence of Napoleonic power. The urban reorganization of the vast area around the Castello Sforzesco became its emblem: it was conceived as a large parade ground, even equipped with a triumphal arch – the Arco della Pace – and an arena for public performances, designed in 1805 by Luigi Canonica on the model of the ancient Roman circuses.

Today the Civic Arena is one of the few buildings left as evidence of Napoleon’s ambitious plans, who also wanted a tribune of honor here for his public appearances. Thus arose a loggia with monumental classical forms open on the amphitheater and included in a building with simple and compact lines, which faces the external front on the park with an already neoclassical porticoed facade. Inside, a Hall of honor decorated with marble, crystals and a continuous frieze that evokes the triumphal processions of the Roman bas-reliefs of the imperial age, painted in the manner of the neoclassical painter Andrea Appiani from whom the Palazzina takes its name.

Palazzina Appiani has been a property under FAI concession since 2015. The structure opens to the public with guided tours and events often dedicated to children to discover and enjoy a neoclassical jewel immersed in the greenery and history of Milan. For information on events and guided tours, visit the Fondo Ambiente Italiano website.

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