A new museum, the Fondazione Luigi Rovati Art Museum, has been created in Milano’s Porta Venezia district, ranked as one of Time Out’s forty coolest neighbourhoods in the world.
Antiquity and contemporary art coexist in the museum rooms: over 200 artworks comprising Etruscan vases, ex-votos, cinerary urns and bronzes are exhibited alongside masterpieces by Lucio Fontana, Arturo Martini, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol in a fluid and captivating dialogue.
Step across the threshold beneath the gaze of the four telamons, the enormous male stone figures who welcome visitors to the historic building in Corso Venezia. Constructed in 1871, the imposing edifice facing the Indro Montanelli Gardens was initially owned by the Bocconi family before it passed into the hands of the Rizzoli and, lastly, Rovati families. Admission is free to the garden which hosts temporary exhibitions and is a welcoming corner of verdant tranquillity in the city centre.
WHAT TO SEE AT THE MUSEUM
The visit starts from the underground rooms, designed by Mario Cucinella to evoke the Etruscan necropolis of Cerveteri, a world heritage site: three circular rooms and one elliptical, seamlessly constructed with curved lines, devoid of borders and joints. The walls in stone slabs, created individually and mounted on specially designed structures, emulate the stratifications of the earth.
The Etruscan finds are displayed beneath these incredible vaults, including the Cernuschi Warrior, the symbol of the museum, in dialogue with contemporary artworks, such as the Picasso vase that evokes an Etruscan banquet or the gilded bronze head by Alberto Giacometti.
The visit then continues on the main floor where the rooms have been renovated and redesigned to create a treasure chest worthy of the magnificent works on display: amongst the huge eighteenth-century mirrors, gilded doors, marble floors and fireplaces visitors can admire ancient and contemporary works that cohabit in the spaces.
Temporary exhibitions are organized in the museum rooms, along with series of conferences, study and research seminars, and workshops for children.
NOT TO BE MISSED
We strongly suggest visiting the Sala Ontani where the vibrant fuchsia colour of the walls makes a bold statement and becomes an essential part of the experience. Visitors can admire both the modern artworks on the walls and the Etruscan artefacts displayed on the contemporary central table.
AN ARTISTIC BREAK
For a relaxing break, let yourself be tempted by the café-bistro overlooking the garden and the top-floor restaurant, both of which are the reign of Andrea Aprea, the two-star Michelin chef who introduces great taste to the Foundation spaces.