The Poldi Pezzoli museum is located just a stone’s throw from Piazza della Scala, right behind the city’s luxury shopping district. An unmissable stop for all lovers of decorative arts, the museum harbours the impressive collection of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli, which he bequeathed to his hometown. Born in 1822 to an influential and affluent local family, Gian Giacomo developed his passion for the arts in Paris and London, during the years he was exiled by the Austrian authorities while they ruled Milan. In 1849, when he could finally return to Italy, Poldi Pezzoli decided to transform the grand family home: the rooms were refurbished in a variety of styles, harbouring treasures ranging from Renaissance paintings to weaponry to the most precious artefacts, including Meissen porcelain and Persian rugs.
Poldi Pezzoli, who died heirless in 1879, wrote in his will that he wanted the building to be opened to the public after his death. In the past 50 years, the museum’s collection has expanded as a result of further bequests, including an important watch collection featuring the Chariot of Diana, a silver and bronze 1610 automaton table clock.