• Art & Culture

6 Discovering Lombardy - virtual tour

A virtual tour of discovery of places in the area, without leaving home: from Milan to Mantua, via Varese, Montichiari, Vigevano and Sondrio.

For many people it is synonymous with inner well-being, with nourishment for the mind: culture is an endless source of beauty, an antidote to boredom and a stimulus to satisfy our thirst for knowledge. During these days spent at home, you can take advantage of an opportunity that will delight lovers of exhibitions and museums.

In Lombardy, there are a great many initiatives designed to make the loveliest places in the area accessible, even from a distance.  If you are curious to discover little known destinations and places that can be explored with all the family, here, we are offering you some fascinating virtual tours, so you can visit the beauties of the regional heritage, without moving from your living room.


Palazzo Te in Mantua

Palazzo Te, was built and decorated between 1525 and 1535 and is a masterpiece by Giulio Romano, who designed it as a place of leisure for Federico II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua. In short, a place created to enhance “honest idleness", meaning pleasant and refined activities, to be cultivated in free time. What better time then, to devote yourself to touring it from the peace and quiet of home?

Some interesting facts: the name TE, in the latinised form Teietum, refers to a place of rustic dwellings located to the south of the city, not far from the walls. Here, as well as admiring the works of Giulio Romano and of the artists Zandomeneghi and Spadini, you'll be able to tour the palazzo's large garden.

Tour Palazzo Te in Mantua.


Casa Museo Pogliaghi in Varese

Casa Museo Lodovico Pogliaghi was the home of the eclectic artist and collector Lodovico Pogliaghi who, won over by the tranquillity and beauty of the area around Varese, decided to create a studio and museum in which to exhibit his art collection and devote himself to study.

Some interesting facts: Inside the museum, you will find paintings and sculptures, textiles, historic furniture, but also Pogliaghi's own sketches, plaster casts, designs and working materials. If you would like to stay in the area and enjoy the breathtaking scenery, don't miss out on the tours of the Campo dei Fiori Regional Park .

See the wonders of Casa Museo Pogliaghi in Varese close up.


Sforza Castle in Milan

The imposing Milanese fortress was built in the second half of the 14th century on the orders of the Visconti family, who were then the lords of Milan. In later years, the building was successively dominated by the Sforza family and then various foreign powers (French, Spanish, Austrian) and fulfilled various functions. From 1800 onwards, it has housed civic museums, archives and cultural organisations. Inside, you can discover 8 themed stories and 288 detailed studies carried out by experts on the castle, contributing to 12 virtual tours around the different works.

Some interesting facts: There is something for everyone: you can admire the Pietà Rondanini by Michelangelo Buonarroti, prepare to be intrigued by the Museum of Musical Instruments, lingering to observe the details of The Madonna and Child by Giovanni Bellini, the objets d'art in the Trivulzio Collection and much more besides.

Step inside the fascinating Sforza Castle in Milan.

Bonoris Castle in Montichiari, in the province of Brescia

The Museums of Montichiari website allows you to step back into the Middle Ages and visit the fairytale Bonoris Castle, just a few kilometres from Garda, with its beautifully cared for gardens and rooms.
The earliest records of the castle date back to 1107, when Montichiari was the centre of the rural stronghold of the counts of Longhi, located between Brescia and Mantua. 

Some interesting facts: The rich fresco decorations of the interiors of the rooms are the work of Giuseppe Rollini and were created around 1898-1900. The grounds around the castle were remodelled in 1901 to a design by Giuseppe Roda, a landscape architect from Turin. In 1996, restoration of the castle began, returning it to its original splendour.

Tour of Bonoris Castle in Montichiari (Brescia).


Mulino di Mora Bassa in Vigevano, in the province of Pavia

The story of the mill dates back to 1494, when Ludovico il Moro gave it as a wedding gift to his wife Beatrice d’Este. Later, Napoleon seized a large part of the estates which finally ended up in the hands of the Milanese counts Archinto and Gropallo Saporiti. The mill now houses an ecomuseum, an important permanent collection devoted to the machines of Leonardo da Vinci.

Some interesting facts: As part of the Digital Home-School Experience project, guided tours of the mill for groups of schoolchildren are organised  , with the aid of a webcam and the Google Hangouts platform (for more information, contact the Associazione La Città Ideale by email). 

Discover the Mulino di Mora Bassa in Vigevano.


Palazzo Besta in Teglio, in the province of Sondrio 

Palazzo Besta is sixteenth-century building and an authentic jewel of the Renaissance. It was built in the late fifteenth century with an interior decorated with frescoes depicting mythological, biblical and historical themes.  The elegant stone portal at the entrance leads to a square courtyard, the real heart of the palazzo.

Some interesting facts: Exploring all the details of the rooms in the palazzo will be easy, thanks to the immersive tour available on the dedicated website. There are two amazing guides to accompany younger visitors through the building's rooms: Leo the lion and Otto the falcon, the animals that symbolise the story of Besta family.

Tour of the rooms of Palazzo Besta in Sondrio.

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