Vigevano is surrounded by the Ticino park, which offers some spectacular views, and its town centre has a square that is a veritable architectural gem.
Its proximity and small size make it the ideal place for a day out, including for people who are in Milan on business.
Most importantly, Vigevano was, for a long time, the Italian capital of footwear, and sometimes the world capital, and its International Museum of Footwear, with a huge collection of shoes from all eras, is worth a visit for all specialists and fashion lovers.
Besides the Museum of Footwear, TheOneMilano recommends a walk around the perimeter of Piazza Ducale, calling at the Castello Sforzesco, the Duomo dedicated to Saint Ambrose and the “Leonardiana”, a virtual exhibition of the works of Leonardo da Vinci.
FROM MILAN TO VIGEVANO
TRAINS from Milan
Milano Porta Genova Station – trains heading to Mortara or Alessandria. (approx. 30 minutes)
Milano Lambrate Station – suburban train to Albairate + trains heading to Mortara or Alessandria
BY CAR FROM Milan
approx. 50 KM. approx. 1 hour 15 mins journey
MOTORWAY A7 (MILANO-GENOVA), GROPELLO PAVIA SUD exit, then follow signs for Vigevano
PIETRO BERTOLINI INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM OF FOOTWEAR
Located in the Castello Sforzesco, it is named after Cav. Bertolini, a footwear businessman who donated his collection of historic footwear, documents and items relating to shoes that he began in the Thirties of the 20th century.
The collection has grown over the years thanks to bequests and the commitment of footwear entrepreneurs, and today the display which was updated in October 2016 now offers visitors a very broad overview of the history of footwear, as well as an online catalogue that can be consulted in great detail, divided both by historical era (e.g. Renaissance, 1700s, Belle Époque, 21st century) and by theme (e.g. Stilettos, Great Designers, Ethnic groups, Personalities, Sports).
VISITOR INFO: It is free to visit the museum
Tuesday – Sunday 2 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, Public Holidays. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Schools and groups from Tuesday to Friday mornings, by reservation
CONTACT: Castello Sforzesco – Seconda scuderia – 1° floor, Piazza Ducale, 20 – Vigevano. Ph +39.0381.693952
PIAZZA DUCALE and TORRE DEL BRAMANTE
Vigevano’s Piazza Ducale, the heart of the city in both old and modern times, was built by Ludovico il Moro, the Duke of Milan, at the end of the 1400s as the entrance to the majestic Visconti-Sforza Castle. Designed by Bramante and built in the presence of Leonardo, it is one of the best examples of 15th century Lombardy architecture. The perimeter (134 m x 48 m) is surrounded on three sides by a portico of 84 columns all with different capitals; the fourth side has been occupied by the Baroque façade of the Duomo since 1680. The Torre del Bramante was built in several stages from 1198 and completed at the end of the 1400s by Bramante. With access from Piazza Ducale, it offers a complete view of the square, the castle and the whole city.
VISITOR INFO: ticket office CASTLE INFOPOINT
Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday 9.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.
Entry to the Tower 3€ – concessions 2€– students 1€
CONTACT: Piazza Ducale, entrance via the stairway under the portico under the Tower – Ph +39.0381.691636 / +39.329.3194342 – firstname.lastname@example.org
CASTLE and PALAZZO DUCALE
The architectural complex of Vigevano’s Visconti-Sforza Castle is like a small town within a town, as it is one of the largest fortified complexes in Europe: the area of its buildings measuring over 70,000 thousand square metres could hold Buckingham Palace two times over, St Peter’s Basilica three times over, and Milan’s Duomo six times over.
There is a Covered Road, a work of exceptional medieval military engineering, 167 metres long and 7 metres wide, that connects the Castle to the riding school.
You can visit the inside and the outside of the Castle, including the Museum of Footwear and the Pinacoteca Civica managed by the Comune di Vigevano, the Archaeological Museum of Lomellina (free entry) and the “Leonardiana”.
The following areas can be freely visited : Courtyard, Stables, Covered Road.
These areas can only be visited on guided tours: Palazzo Ducale, Ghiacciaia, former prisons, Falconiera (guided tour 10€ including 2€ entrance ticket).
ENTRANCES: from Piazza Ducale (stairs), from Corso della Repubblica (disabled access), from Via Rocca Vecchia
CONTACT: Piazza Ducale, entrance under the portico under the Tower – Ph +39.0381.691636 / +39.329.3194342 –email@example.com
Inside Vigevano’s Castle, the Leonardiana is the place that houses a multimedia exhibition exploring all the works of one of mankind’s greatest geniuses and his relationship with the town of Vigevano.
There are reproductions of drawings now kept in many museums and libraries around the world, notebooks, and the “Pinacoteca Impossibile”, which houses high-resolution life-size reproductions of all the paintings currently known to have been painted by Leonardo.
Each work is accompanied by a description that explains its history and the events that have made these masterpieces famous throughout the world.
VISITORS INFO: Tuesday – Sunday 10.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m.
CONTACT: Castello di Vigevano – Piazza Ducale – Vigevano – Ph: +39.0381.630310 firstname.lastname@example.org