Where®Milan met Annalisa Zanni, Director of the Poldi Pezzoli House Museum, who told to us about one of the oldest house museums in Europe, a true gem of Milanese history, culture and hospitality, housing almost 6,000 works.
How has the museum changed over the past few years?
I have tried to remain faithful to the ethical educational concepts of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli, who believed that beautiful artworks should be available to the public. Over the years, we have tried to make our guests’ visits as pleasurable as possible by enriching our current collection with contemporary artworks (an example is our latest exhibition by Giulio Paolini entitled ‘Expositio’).
What are the next projects on your rich events calendar?
On 25 November, we will be launching an exhibition dedicated to 20th century Italian jewelry featuring more than 150 exquisite creations representative of Italian goldsmiths of that period. Always in November, the Fondazione Pomodoro and the Municipality of Milan will promote a series of initiatives to celebrate Arnoldo Pomodoro’s 90th birthday. To mark this occasion, renovations will be made in the Arms Room (restyled by Pomodoro in 2000). Other initiatives will include an exhibition of set design sketches that the artist created for the theatre.
What are the museum’s strong points?
Apart from the collections, the fact that it is a house, means that all aspects of hospitality are highlighted. For example, to meet the demands of our foreign guests (who represent approximately 45% of our visitors), we have re-published our bi-lingual guide, and audio-guides in English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, French and Italian are also available. We also organize educational tours for families.
What top ten things should not be missed?
In order to really get a feel of the house, the visit should start at the neo-Baroque staircase decorated with a fountain by Bernini. This leads upstairs to the ‘Stucco Room’. The visitors should continue through the ‘Black Room’ to ‘Dante’s Study’, which reflects the ambience of that period. I would then suggest admiring the collections in the ‘Arms Room’, the ‘Golden Room’ and the ‘Clock Room’. Must-see masterpieces in the ‘Golden Room’ include the ‘Portrait of a Young Woman’ by Piero del Pollaiolo, the icon of the museum, and two panels by Botticelli. There are also paintings by Piero della Francesca, Giovanni Bellini, Mantegna and Moroni. Our collection of decorative art is particularly noteworthy and the signature pieces include a Persian hunting carpet, Meissen porcelain, Murano glass and a fabulous collection of enamels.
Via Manzoni, 12
M1 (red line)- M3(yellow line) Duomo
T: +39 02 794889/6334