You are halfway in Corso di Porta Venezia, close to the Giardini Indro Montanelli. Palazzo Castiglioni is the starting point of our walk and opens up its doors to Art Nouveau in Milano, thanks to a young innovative entrepreneur and a star architect like Giuseppe Sommaruga. From a trip in Europe they brought back the latest thing, the modernist movement which in Italy would go by the name of Liberty.
Revolutionary, so different from the corso’s aristocratic palaces, with its asymmetries and exuberant decoration: such as the two scandalous women, naked from behind, that used to adorn the main entrance. They stood for Peace and Industry, but as they were naked and offered onlookers their rump, the place was soon known to everybody as Ca' di Ciapp, or “The House of Buttocks”, even as the statues were soon removed to another location (Villa Romeo Faccanoni, now a private clinic).
Touch the basement’s rough stone, admire the iron winding up in branches and reaching out to the leaves and flowers of the decorated windows. And if you look up to the eaves, you will find honeybees, a symbol of the hard-working businessmen of those days, who had embraced novelty in style.