Corso di Porta Ticinese, 95

Museo Diocesano Di Milano

The Diocesan Museum was established as an offshoot of the Ambrosian Diocese, expressing its art and, above all, its historical and ecclesiastical identity. The Museum houses and promotes the Diocese's precious artistic heritage, and valorizes its historical and religious significance: in such a scenario the encounter with the beauty of the works of art assumes new importance, with profound meaning. The Diocesan Museum was first conceived in 1931, when Blessed Ildefonso Schuster, Archbishop of Milan, addresses the clergy in a letter entitled Per l'arte sacra e per un Museo Diocesano (For Sacred Art and for a Diocesan Museum), fostering the idea of founding
an institution dedicated specifically to the promotion and refinement of the love of art in "persons dedicated to the Lord" and, at the same time, preventing the decline of the Diocese's remarkable artistic heritage.
The suggestion was not taken up until 1960, when Card. Giovan Battista Montini stipulated an agreement between the Curia and the Municipality of Milan, providing for the renovation of the Cloisters of Sant'Eustorgio, agreed as the home for the new museum, to be funded by the Opera Diocesana [Diocesan Authority], for the preservation and divulgation of the Faith. In actual fact, this agreement was not ratified and the scheme was left in limbo until the 1980s, when Card. Carlo Maria Martini started the rebuilding and conversion of the Cloisters, entrusting the project to the Lodovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso firm of architects. The new Museum was inaugurated on 5 November 2001.
The Diocesan Museum was set up bearing in mind the type of museum that is would be and the original features of t... [ Read all ]

Permanent Collection

The Diocesan Museum collection has over 600 works of art, of which almost 400 are on display, divided into various sections.
The Quadreria Arcivescovile picture gallery has contributed many of the artworks in the Museum, from the collections created by Milan's archbishops, providing an overview of the cultural preferences of those who succeeded Ambrose on the archbishop's throne. For instance, the Museum has part of the Visconti and Pozzobonelli collections, and the entire Erba Odescalchi collection.
The Diocesan Museum also contains numerous works from the Diocese, dated sixth to nineteenth century. Following a meticulous study of the Diocese's Artistic Heritage Archive, moved to the Museum in 1998, prior to its inauguration investigation and visits to the various parishes enabled the identification of some real hidden treasures. This was the start of the recovery and valorization of the Diocese's artistic heritage, which is one of the Museum's chief aims. This nucleus of works was enlarged by the addition of a section dedicated to St Ambrose, the Fondi Oro (artworks made on a gold background, produced mainly in Tuscany during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, collected by Prof. Alberto Crespi, and donated to the Museum in 2000), sculptures and paintings from the Marcenaro collection (loaned by the Fondazione Cariplo in 2004), the cycle of canvases from the Arciconfraternita del Santissimo Sacramento, Gaetano Previati's Via Crucis and, lastly, a significant section dedicated to religious furnishings. In the near future there are plans to dedicate an entire section to the 1900s. The Museum already has work by twentieth-century artists (Lucio Fontana, Aldo Carpi, ...+ [ Read all ]


From 04/03/2008 to 08/04/2008
Le parole sono la meraviglia del mondo
Letture di Anna Nogara
Percorso speciale
From 02/03/2008 to 30/03/2008
Iniziative per le Famiglie
Laboratori didattici sulla Cartapesta
From 13/02/2008 to 09/04/2008
Lente d’ingrandimento
Storie, segreti e meraviglie dei capolavori
From 15/01/2008 to 30/03/2008
La scultura in cartapesta
Sansovino, Bernini e i Maestri leccesi tra tecnica e artificio

Forthcoming exhibitions

From 11/04/2008 to 19/07/2008
I Ligari - Pittori del Settecento Lombardo
Milano, Palazzo delle Stelline e Museo Diocesano


Entrance € 6
- Groups (minimum 15 people) € 5
- Reductions (for 6-18 and over 65s, for parish groups of minimum 14 people) € 4
- Schools (per student) € 1
- Entrance discounts: participating organizations (ask for list at ticket office)
- Free entrance for: Accademia di Belle Arti, ICOM (International Council of Museums) members, journalists, teachers with pupils, those escorting the disabled, Art History, Architecture and Design students, children under 6.

Multiple tickets
- The Parco delle Basiliche and its treasures (Diocesan Museum, Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio and Portinari Chapel, Basilica of San Lorenzo and Sant'Aquilino Chapel) Full price € 9.50
- Reduced (for 6-18 and over 65s) € 5
- Reduced multiple ticket for students € 3.50

Multiple tickets are valid until the end of the year in which the ticket was purchased and the sites places can be visited at different times of the year.
Note:tickets can be purchased until half an hour before Museum closing.
Information service, bookings and guided tours for individuals and groups (maximum 25 people).

Opening hours

Tuesday - Sunday 10am-6pm
The museum is closed on:
1 st May
25/26 December
1 st January

Getting there

Visitors can reach the Museum as follows:
- from Piazza Duomo: with underground lines MM1 - MM3, with tram no. 3
- with tram nos. 9, 29, 30 that go to Piazza XXIV Maggio
- from Sant'Ambrogio with underground line MM2; with bus no. 94, alighting at the last stop in Via De Amicis

Other means of access through the Parco delle Basiliche:
- Via Molino delle Armi
- Via Banfi
- Piazza Sant'Eustorgio, Via Santa Croce

Car parks close to the Museum:
- Via Conca del Naviglio and surrounding area
- Piazza Quasimodo
- Via Calatafimi and surrounding area


Reception and wardrobe
In the entrance area, the Diocesan Museum Volunteers provide visitors with free information and pointers about how to find their way around the Museum, how a visit should evolve, and scheduled exhibitions and cultural initiative. To enhance the Museum visit and ensure suitable security standards for the works of art, visitors will be asked to leave umbrellas, large bags, backpacks and other unwieldy objects at the entrance; mobile phones must be switched off.

Audio Guides
Since it opened the Diocesan Museum has been offering a free audio guide service, which allows visitors to appreciate the Museum tour to the full, thanks to the support of two levels of commentary on the works: basic explanations or the Director's commentary. Moreover, the Artour service offers a visit of the Ticinese quarter, with its important historical and artistic heritage from the Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio to San Lorenzo, with Italian and English commentaries.

The bookshop has a consultation display and sells all the texts published by the Diocesan Museum, from its inauguration to the present time, alongside an excellent selection of publications on the Diocese of Milan's churches and museums, on Italian art history, on iconography and on the presence of religion in art. There are also postcards, posters and multimedia products. Purchases can also be made online from the Publications section.

Coffee Bar
The Museum has a lovely coffee bar where visitors can relax in a charming, quiet corner of the city. Lunch or dinner is available by prior booking, and it is also possible to organize special celebrations (birthdays, anniversaries, etc).

For informati...+ [ Read all ]

Museum internal and external photos (2)

Click on the images to enlarge


What criteria were applied to choose artworks from the Diocese to be included in the Diocesan Museum collection?
The works were chosen according to their specific iconography and religious significance, as much as for a historical and artistic criteria.
Religious works that are object of devotion or closely linked to a specific historical and artistic context have not been moved from their original locations. In most cases, the works on display were found in vestries, in parish houses or other places where they could not be adequately valorized and protected.
Research was undertaken by a careful study of the Diocese's Artistic Heritage Archive, in the Museum, followed by enquiries and local searches organized in the various parishes.
This brought to light some real hidden treasures and initiated a project to recover and valorize the Diocese's artistic heritage, which is a fundamental function of the Museum.

Will the works on display always be in the Museum collections?
From a legal point of view, the works are in the Museum as "permanent loan", apart from a few exceptions which are described as being in "temporary loan", for a minimum of five years.

Will the display layout remain as it is today?
Local searches are still in progress, with the objective of identifying more artworks in need of adequate valorization of their artistic and spiritual importance, or which are kept in risk conditions. For this reason, a rotation of works exhibited is being contemplated. Moreover, the Museum has air-conditioned storerooms housing works temporarily not on display.

Who owns the artworks?
The works on permanent and temporary loan remain the property of the ecclesias...+ [ Read all ]