Casa Fontana Silvestri

Corso Venezia, 12. (Open Map)


Some of the most elegant buildings in the city can be found in Corso di Porta Venezia. Between ancient palazzos which represent the Liberty architectural style from the end of 1800 and fashionable shop windows there is Palazzo Fontana (now Silvestri), which is one of the few examples of private Renaissance buildings in Milan.
Largely attributed to Bramante, the building was built towards the end of ‘400 as the extension and renovation of a house built in the XIII / XIV centuries. The three sides of the building are constructed around the courtyard with an arched portico and granite columns.
The entrance, an arched portal with two candelabra semi-columns, decorated with acanthus leaves, is not symmetric and leads directly to the porch on the left side. The double storey façade has unevenly distributed windows: five square ones on the ground floor, seven arched on the first floor, six circular shaped for the attic floor.
The house was also called “ca' del guardian” (House of Guardians) as the Fontana family, who came from a distinguished military lineage, was entrusted with the task of controlling the Porta Orientale (Porta Venezia).