The imposing and elegant Villa Reale is set in the Indro Montanelli gardens; it is also known as Villa di Belgiojoso in honour of the eponymous Count who commissioned its creation at the end of the 18th century. The sumptuous interiors of the Villa have housed the Galleria d'Arte Moderna (GAM) in Milan since 1921 and, in its history, it was inhabited by many illustrious characters. It had the function of representing the authority of Milan for those who came to visit from Vienna before it eventually became a museum space.
Adorned with mythological statues and reliefs, created by the neoclassical poet Giuseppe Parini and sculpted by the same artisans who toiled on the Duomo's facade, it is a timeless and immensely fascinating edifice.
Inside, a profusion of nineteenth-century masterpieces and international avant-garde works from the early 1900s make GAM one of the most extensive collections of modern art in Italy. From masterpieces by Antonio Canova and Lombard romanticism represented by Francesco Hayez up to the most famous works of the Scapigliatura and the Divisionist season with Medardo Rosso and Segantini. Not forgetting the great Italian and foreign names from the thirteenth to the twentieth century comprising amazing works by Renoir, Van Gogh, Manet, Fattori and Segantini, Morandi, Sironi, De Pisis and Modigliani, Picasso and Matisse together with a collection of ancient artefacts from the Far East.
The villa's wonderful English-style garden merits a leisurely visit, a natural mini-oasis in the heart of Milan. It's a small park where you can take refuge away from the city chaos: the perfect locus amoenus where you can stroll and listen to the water trickling from the rocks into a stream that runs through the garden. Pleasant undulating lawns between the wooden bridges and paths will guide you to the pond where you can admire the small temple dedicated to Love. The antithesis of an out-of-town trip bang in the city centre!
GOOD TO KNOW
Even without visiting the Art Gallery itself, you can enjoy a refreshing break at the LùBar, the museum's café, bistro and restaurant. The LùBar's chic and relaxing atmosphere has proved to be a mecca for lovers of instagrammable corners in the city. Did you know that Milan is famous for its design café? Discover them all!