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Palazzo Archinto


Known as “Il Castello” or castle because of the two towers on its only remaining wing, Villa Archinto is one of the most ambitious and impressive buildings on the Navigli. Villa Archinto was designed by the architect Federico Pietrasanta and commissioned by Count Filippo Archinto. The original design called for a pinched H-shaped complex with a central block on three floors with four courtyards laid out geometrically around it. This would have made its similar to the French palaces of the second half of the 17th century. However this project was never actually completed. Once the two wings with the towers had been completed, it was decided, probably due to lack of funds, to interrupt the work and demolish one of the two blocks just completed in order to recover building materials for the Palace of the Archinto family in Milan. In the centuries that followed, Villa Archinto was used for different purposes: a residence, stables, barn, and dairy. In 2003 restoration work was begun to restore the villa to its former beauty and this was completed in 2004. The Palace is now home to the public library and a permanent photographic museum on the Navigli which was inaugurated in 2008). Reception rooms in the basement can be rented out for weddings and other ceremonial events.