Milan is well known for its renaissance art, but it also has some important collections of modern art, most notably at the Modern Art Gallery of Milan (GAM). The gallery is housed in Villa Reale and is open from 9am – 5.30pm every day except Mondays. GAM is one of Milan’s civic museums, so the cheapest way to visit if you are also planning on visiting any of the other civic museums is with the Tourist Museum Card. If you are a holder of a MilanoCard, you are entitled to a discount with your City Pass.
Also known as Villa Belgiojoso, Villa Reale was built in the 1790s for Count Ludovico Barbiano Belgiojoso. It was designed by Austrian architect Leopoldo Pollack. Over the years, it had many famous residents including Napoleon. It came under the ownership of the Commune of Milan in 1921 and the Gallery of Modern Art opened the following year.
The museum includes works by many of the world’s most famous modern artists. The collection spans from the neoclassical to Lombard Romanticism, including works by Andre Appiani, Antonio Canova, and Francesco Hayez.
Also housed here is the Grassi Collection with paintings from the 13th to the 20th century. In this collection you can admire works by Renoir, Manet, and Van Gough. While the Vismara Collection includes works from Milan’s contemporary art scene and the renowned artists Matisse and Picasso.
While you are there
Enjoy some fresh air in the nearby Giardini Pubblici Indro Montanelli, or stroll in the Villa’s pretty gardens including a small ‘botanical garden’. To learn more about the villa and the art, it is worth taking one of the museum’s guided tours. They are carried out in Italian, English, Spanish, French, and German. Booking is essential.