Cultural Italy Blog: Art, Coffee & Love

Piazza Ducale in Vigevano


134 meters long by 48 meters wide, and surrounded by continuous arcades on its three sides, this giant piazza in Vigevano seems to be almost out of scale. It is really surprising indeed that such a tiny town possesses such a spectacular and epic city square. Impressive, however not only in terms of its dimensions, but relevant also for its stunning architecture.

Designed as a regal antechamber for the Vigevano’s Sforzesco Castle, Piazza Ducale was built between 1492 and 1494. Besides the aforesaid perimeter porches, the square is a perfect place to admire the Cathedral dedicated to Saint Ambrose, the statue of Saint John of Nepomuk and, of course, the Bramante Tower, a 70-meters-high Castle’s entrance.

The secret of Vigevano (and the reason why such a small town has such a precious architectural gem) is the tight link to Milan and its ruling family House of Sforza. If fact it was the Milan’s patron Ludovico Maria Sforza “the Moor” himself to commission the construction of the Square, while the Cathedral is the work of his son Francesco II Sforza. Not to mention the spectacular Sforzesco Castle (and its Tower), which name speaks for itself. Piazza Ducale is stunning and not to be missed.

Maria Novozhilova


twitter: @NovozhilovaM