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The magnificent Palazzo Serbelloni, spread over 4,000 square metres, was designed by the Swiss architect Simone Cantoni and completed in 1793; it has witnessed more than two centuries of Italian and international history. Its construction, commissioned by Duke Gabrio Serbelloni and his eldest son Gio Galeazzo, initiated the renewal of the district around the Porta Orientale which, up until that time, had been comprised mainly of orchards, farms and convents.
Amongst other famous names, it hosted Napoleon - who has a room named in his honour - Klemens von Metternich, Napoleon III and Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy.
As the sitting room of the Lombard Enlightement it counted the poet Giuseppe Parini - tutor of the four sons of Duke Gabrio Serbelloni - amongst the literati that frequented it.
The facade is crowned by a majestic portico and, between the columns, a bas-relief of Donato and Francesco Carabelli with scenes celebrating the Lombard League. The main floor is accessed from the lobby by means of by spiral staircase. The halls are all laid out in sequence and the grand foyer overlooks the courtyard which is the largest of all the historic buildings of Milan and is surrounded by a portico.
Cultural, artistic, business and fashion events are organised in the Palazzo’s spaces.
From 1951 to 2010, it was the headquarters of the Circolo della Stampa - Press Club.
The “Circolo della Stampa,” Press Club, saw the presence of Sofia Loren and Vittorio De Sica on 22 December 1960, during a reception for the presentation of the film 'La Ciociara' (The Woman from Ciociara). In 1969, Lucio Battisti was present at the Circolo dinner for the presentation of the “Juke Box Sottovoce” award in the 5th Festivalbar competition.
The 1943 air-raids destroyed extensive sections of the Neoclassical construction, including the famous library with its 75,000 books, and the frescoes in the first-floor state rooms by Traballesi.