What to see in Vigevano, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy

    Piazza Ducale, the vibrant city center, the Castle Tower, the Cathedral and some beautiful museums to see in Vigevano
    What to see in Vigevano, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy

    The good hall, the beating heart of they lived, but also one of the most beautiful squares in Italy.




    È ducal square, a square from the end of the 15th century where everything is elegant and harmoniously measured, a scenic space where, if you visit when the weather is more clement (spring, autumn), it is pleasant to stop on one of the terraces to have a coffee or drink a snack. A square desired by ludovico the moro, Lord of Milan, who actually moved here with the entire court in what should have been the hunting lodge. The large plaza must have been the entrance antechamber to the nearby and imposing Castillo Visconti Sforza, one of the largest in Europe.

    What to see in Vigevano, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy

    Its construction dates back to 1492 (an emblematic date), leaving it ready, after two years, to receive the visit of Charles VIII of France. The design was carried out by Twine y Leonardo da Vinci. Remains of Vigevano that appear in Leonardo's documents, but there is no evidence that da Vinci's genius contributed to the design of the square, but rather to the channeling of the surrounding canals. In 2019 we will celebrate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo's death and many events and new itineraries are planned (Leonardo's Paths, for example) that tell the story of the Italian genius' stay in Vigevano.




    Two new spaces enrich the visit to the Palacio dei Duchi in Vigevano Castle. After the reopening of the party rooms and judicial shows in April 2017, they become accessible Beatriz d'Este's rooms. The two rooms are part of the female wing of the Castle, commissioned by Ludovico the Moor and designed by Donato Bramante as the Duchess' "nursery", accommodation for the maids, private spaces for wardrobes, clothing and art collections and which can be visited. , for the first time in 500 years, on Saturday, January 27 and Sunday, January 28, 2018.

    What to see in Vigevano, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy

    Piazza Ducale is clearly one of the first examples of a Renaissance square built on the model of the Roman forum and a luminous testimony of 15th century Lombard architecture. It looks like an elongated rectangle. 134 meters long and 48 meters wide, built on three sides (the fourth is occupied by the cathedral church). The square desired by Ludovico il Moro was a little different from the current one: in correspondence with the streets now known as via del Popolo and via Silva there were two triumphal arches and, to access the Castle, You went up a long stone ramp, passable on horseback, located in the center of the square and in line with the current entrance under the Tower.

    What to see in Vigevano, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy

    The Piazza Ducale began to change when its bishop - also an architect and mathematician - Juan Caramuel y Lobkowitz, in 1680, closed the fourth side with the Baroque facade of the Cathedral, the triumphal arches and the access ramp to the Castle were eliminated. A kind of Plaza Mayor like the one he had seen in Madrid. From then on and until the Napoleonic era, the square was called "Duomo", embellished, since its construction, by the porticos, the arches and the 84 columns with capitals all different from each other and, above each column, a medallion . with the portrait of a character from the Roman and Renaissance times, including Ludovico the Moor and his wife Beatrice d'Este, accompanied by mottos and sayings. A gem: the room on the second floor of the Largo 34 bar overlooking the square, the Sala dell'affresco, preserves practically intact splendid frescoes that all visitors can admire.




    What to see in Vigevano, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy

    To monitor the square, in addition to the Bramante Tower, there are brick chimneys that peek out from the roofs of the houses, all deliberately different from each other because they reproduce the towers of the castles that were part of the Vigevano fiefdom in the time of the Sforza. And the concave facade of the Cathedral, the cathedral dedicated to the city's patron saint, Sant'Ambrogio, perfectly completes the design of the square, although it came later and does not match the rest of the church.


    What to see in Vigevano, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy

    Inside the building is the “Cathedral Treasure” Museum (visited, with reservation, from Monday to Friday), whose collections were expanded from 1534 with progressive donations to the bishop of Vigevano: precious chalices, pyxes and vestments, Roman missals and manuscripts of great value to the precious vestments. Preserved, embroidered with gold thread, used by the Pope to crown Napoleon Bonaparte, king of Italy, in the cathedral of Milan, on May 26, 1805.

    What to see in Vigevano, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy

    Once in the square you still have to visit the Ducal Palace – old Vigevano Castle – using one of its entrances, the one located under the porticoes, between the shops, where the ramp was located, which allows you to immediately find access to the Bramante Tower.

    What to see in Vigevano, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy



    The building is very large - it extends over 70 thousand square meters on five floors - a large number of its spaces can be visited independently and free of charge except the leonardiana, the museum space dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci that houses important documents and manuscripts, including the famous Codex Vigevano with sketches of "water machines" and various atmospheric phenomena. Inside the Doge's Palace complex it is also worth paying attention to International Shoe Museum and to the covered path that served to protect the passage of the Lords of Milan. The castle was a military barracks until 1968 and many rooms were used to house the thousands of horses available to the men. Some old stables located under the castle were not opened until 2017.

    What to see in Vigevano, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy

    Returning to the square, there is time to admire for the last time the decorations of the buildings, which underwent restoration during the nineties, which are mostly the work of the Vigevan painters Casimiro Ottone and Luigi Bocca, who executed them in 1903, based in traces and fragments of paintings from the XNUMXth century.

    Captivated by the sinuous figures of the pavement made of black and white pebbles from the Ticino River, while the first cast iron street lamps, installed here in 1911, which, at night, give the complex a noble and serene appearance. It is the elegance of the heart, ancient and modern, of Vigevano.

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