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Castello Visconteo

Pav.4

The Visconti Castle is a typical example of Renaissance architecture with its quadrangular layout with corner towers. There is an elegant courtyard inside with a portico supported by stone columns, the setting for a series of cultural and musical events every summer. After the military barracks beside the castle had been demolished in the 18th century, the garden was built with the shady avenues that surround the castle today. The outer walls have lovely period windows and the higher swallow-tail battlements have been restored. The tower on the left is called “The Library” because it was the location of the library where Francesco Petrarca worked so hard on precious manuscripts. The right tower is called “the Relic Tower” because it was there that the relics of the saints were kept which visiting nobility often brought as a gift to the Dukes. In 1495, Ludovico il Moro, who had only recently become Duke, called Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante to come and decorate the great halls of the castle: Leonardo had the walls painted sky blue and decorated them in gold leaf. These halls now house the Museum of the Risorgimento and the Museum of the Gauls and Romans.