LIBERTY ARCHITECTURE IN MILAN: WALKING THROUGH LA BELLE ÉPOQUE

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Milan is worldwide known for its fashion square and its gleaming windows. But not everyone knows that in Milan there is also a silent square. So here’s a visit to the city in search of its deepest and truest identity, told through the sinuous lines of XIX century palaces and wrought iron-clad houses with colourful tiles. This is the infinite charm of the Liberty architecture in Milan: buildings, streets and monuments that deserve to be told and re-discovered. A different city, lived through the inspiration and creativity of architects and artists who first were able to outline a precise stylistic and architectural evolution, translating it into shapes, volumes and patterns. All to underline Milan’s social and economic changes in the early XX century.

That’s how our walk through Liberty architecture in Milan begins. With some ideas for anyone willing to go out and walk heads-up. In fact, it is almost always on the top floors that the architects’ imagination blooms.

We start from Ermenegildo Castiglioni, a young gentleman well equipped with finances, culture and ideas. He wanted to build a princely palace, up-to-date with the new European trends. He met Giuseppe Sommaruga, and the chemistry was immediate, for even Sommaruga had amazing aspirations. In mid-May of 1903 the house appeared free of the scaffolding, with two merry maidens of stone glancing inside. The statues of the two women, undressed and portrayed in daring poses, caused great scandal. In two weeks time they had been removed.

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