A quiet street, close to the Fashion district, where strolling means coming across houses with elegant façades and hidden courtyards that maintain sophisticated oasis of silence.
We are talking about Via Sant’Andrea: here you can chase boutiques and bakeries and, between a window and the other, you can linger a bit in the splendor of a sixteenth-century courtyard belonging to an aristocratic Palace housing temporary and permanent exhibitions.
It’s the Palazzo Morando, and this is what you need to know … and to see!
Elegant arcades, mosaic floor, lavish interiors: Palazzo Morando architecture has kept its uniqueness since the sixteenth century, when it was built. Important aristocratic families and intellectuals have lived in its rooms, like the Casati (late sixteenth century – 1713), the Villa (1733-1845) and De Cristofori (1845-1877).
The building followed the needs and the tastes of the different families, often changing appearances and furnishings. Villa’s works were fundamental to the Palazzo and gave it its contemporary structure and look.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Palazzo Morando was donated to the City of Milan by Lydia Caprara Morando Bolognini, intellectual countess with no heirs. Until after World War II, Palazzo Sormani monumental rooms had preserved the City of Milan Museum.
After the bombings, the City Hall decided to move the Sormani museum collection to Palazzo Morando, or at least the part that had survived the war destruction and that mainly belonged to Luigi Beretta’s private collection. Others works of art soon came to enrich the Palazzo rooms. Its role of mere art gallery seemed too limitative for a space that had seen aristocrats’ footsteps and still held their vibrant fervor.
Thus, also thanks to the Costume Moda Immagine intervention, Palazzo Morando gained back its dual identity of both Milanese art gallery and noble mansion.
Palazzo Morando museum preserves two distinct paths. Upon entering the first floor, the visitors immediately face the Pinacoteca, an art gallery housing a major iconography collection.
The viewers will find themselves projected in representations of Milanese daily actions belonging to the seventeenth and nineteenth century: through paintings, artifacts and reconstructions, you can witness the era that was able to make Milan the current European metropolis.
The second part of the exhibition sees the eighteenth century rooms restored according to their original layout and to the typical features of an aristocratic mansion. In 2010, Palazzo Morando welcomed the Moda e Costume del Comune di Milano collection: the rooms of the building, in this way, have seen parading vintage clothes which, in turn, are displayed.
Clothes are of a rare and very high quality: they embellish the space in which they stand and witness the splendor of the noble people that lived in those rooms.
In addition to the permanent exhibitions, Palazzo Morando also hosts temporary ones that are designed to introduce new aspects of the old city life.
Until February 14, you’ll be able to see a part of Milan most people don’t know: that of a city surrounded by water. The exhibition, Milano, città d’acqua, stresses the importance of water for Milan and shows how the city has changed its architecture over the years.
150 vintage photographs, historical maps and unpublished documents will be presented in the halls of the Palazzo, while the voice of the famous Italian DJ Linus will walk the visitor from room to room.
Until February 21, Palazzo Morando will host another exhibition, this one made of satirical sheets, views, calendars and advertising posters. From both civic and private collections, the exhibition bears the name of “L’immagine dei Milanesi nella vita quotidiana (1790 – 1890)” and aims at portraying the lives of the people of Milan through their most humble and common daily gestures.
Official website: www.costumemodaimmagine.mi.it