Arch of Peace

Corso Sempione, 1. (Open Map)


Arco della Pace provides the backdrop for life in the surrounding district. The monument is one of the most interesting episodes of Neoclassical architecture in the city.
Its construction began in 1807 when the city was under Napoleonic rule. It is located at the centre of the large square, Piazza Sempione. Building went on after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, and it was completed by Francis I of Austria who dedicated it to Peace.
In his book “A Moveable Feast”, Ernest Hemingway reports the erroneous conviction that the Arco della Pace is aligned with the Arc de Triomphe at the Carousel and the Arc du Triomphe at the Étoile, both in Paris. Originally the enormous group consisting of the chariot and six horses faced France, but after the fall of Napoleon and the advent of the Austrian domination in Milan, the chariot was turned around to face the city centre.On the face of the monument, there are embodiments of the rivers of Lombardy and Veneto: the rivers Po, Ticino, Adda and Tagliamento.The monument is built from Baveno granite, clad in marble from Creola d’Òssola. At the top there is a superb statuary group in bronze, the “Chariot of Peace” drawn by six horses, and four “Victorias on horseback”.