Museo Poldi Pezzoli
Rather like New York’s Frick Museum, Museo Poldi Pezzoli was originally the private palazzo of unmarried nobleman Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli (1822 – 1879) and it has turned into one of the most historically enlightening museums in Milan after he gave it to the city since he had no heirs. Born to art-collecting parents, Poldi Pezzoli augmented their collections on his European travels. Armour and weapons were his passion, and in the dark and dramatic neo-Gothic armoury recently re-designed by Pomodoro is a veritable iron army of 16th-century European suits of armour and ceremonial weapons. Room after room is devoted to his collections: tapestries and Persian carpets, Se`vres and Wedgwood ceramics, 16th- and 17th-century timepieces, books, lace and embroidery, including his own bedlinen. There’s plenty of art as well, including masterpieces from Botticelli and Raphael. With its arched ceilings and elaborate cornices, the palazzo also gives a good idea of 19th-century noble life (English guides available).