Milan is much more than just a fashionable city. Its unique mix of architectural styles makes it irresistible for art lovers.
The style of art named Art Nouveau was most popular from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th. The original Italian designation was Stile Floreale (Floral style) until Liberty was adopted as its official name after the name of a shop in London owned by Arthur Liberty, an English dealer of oriental goods.
We would like to tell you about some of the most joyous episodes of Milan’s Liberty period.
One of the most important expression of this style of architecture is Palazzo Castiglioni, the building on the corner between Via Dante and Via Meravigli, a work of Mengoni and Giuseppe Sommaruga, the most famous architect of Milan. The building reminds of the Parisian architecture for the profusion of the floral decorations. The Sommaruga’s masterpiece is currently used as the seat of the Unione Commercianti di Milano (Trader’s Union of Milan). The establishment features a rich use of decoration in all of its architectural elements. The two statues, depicting Industry and Peace, were removed a few days after the opening ceremony because of a big scandal due to their displaying of curvaceous naked female figures.
In the Porta Venezia area, there is the magnificent Casa Galimberti. Built in 1905 by architect Bossi, this edifice stands out thanks to its beautiful painted ceramic tiles, which cover the house, the stone corbels and the ledges.
Near Casa Galimberti you can admire casa Hahn, built in 1912, a perfect example of a gentleman’s town house with its meticulous decorations. The house is famous for the use of peacocks to adorn the top floor’s windows and for its abstract floral wood work and stain glasses.In this area we also have ex-cinema Dumont. Built in 1910, with its Liberty façade of flowers and foliage, this charming building is now a library (Biblioteca Venezia).In Porta Romana district, on the corner between via Piacenza and via Pesseroni, there is casa Sartorio, 1909, work of the architect Provasi. This construction is remarkable for the ability of the architect to take advantage of the scarce space, creating an angular solution with bow window on the top floor and a floral balcony which glaringly recalls Horta’s buildings in Bruxelles.So next time you visit Milan take the chance to explore his hidden but abundant architectural heritage and discover Italian’s Liberty masterpieces.
Xenia – CHICoverdose’s owner in Milan