Civico Planetario Ulrico Hoepli: the biggest in Italy
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"Ulrico Hoepli" Civic Planetarium

General information

The Ulrico Hoepli" Civic Planetarium is a cultural institution for the propagation and teaching of astronomy and related sciences (physics, space, earth sciences, etc.).

It is the largest in Italy and was inaugurated in 1930. In 1929 Ulrico Hoepli, founder of the publishing house, donated it to Milan. It was established shortly after the planetarium in Rome (1928) which, however, is now closed. It organizes conferences on astronomical topics and has had over five million visitors in the over seventy years it has been open.

The Planetarium is named after the “planetarium” instrument which it has installed. A planetarium is a projection system that realistically reproduces the starry night sky as well as astronomical phenomena as observed from any place on earth at any time in the past, the present and the future.

The planetarium instrument - model IV, by the German company Carl Zeiss - is placed at the centre of a hall topped by a hemispherical dome that serves as a projection screen. A multimedia system enables users to view images, films and animated graphics.

The neoclassical building was designed by the architect Piero Portaluppi. It is an octagonal building reminiscent of the Pantheon in Rome. An external staircase, at the end of which there are four columns supporting a pediment, leads to the atrium.

Don't miss

The profile of the carved panels at the base of the inner surface of the dome, which acts as a projection screen, reproduces the outlines of buildings on the horizon of Milan as they appeared in the '30s from the gardens of Porta Venezia. Today the skyline of the city is decidedly different.

Anecdotes and curiosities

During the World War II bombardments in Milan, the custodian Aldo Venturi disassembled the planetarium instrument and concealed it in the church of the Asylum of Limbiate to keep it safe from damage and requisitions. In honour of his activities in favour of the "Ulrico Hoepli" Civic Planetarium, Aldo Venturi was subsequently nominated Knight of the Republic.

In 1969, the Planetarium transmitted the Italian exclusive of the footage of the moon landing.

The Thonet swivel chairs for the public largely date back to the '30s.

Useful details

Public transport:

  • Tram 9
  • Underground MM1 Palestro and MM1 Porta Venezia stops
  • Passante Ferroviario, Porta Venezia stop


  • The stair lift for disabled visitors is situated on the ramp of the first side door to the right. Please ask staff for activation. A wheelchair user can also independently reach and use the toilets equipped in compliance with the regulations for persons with physical disabilities.
  • One wheelchair is available for visitors.
  • Reservations and enquiries can be made via telephone and/or email.
  • Tickets: disabled visitors pay a reduced price; the accompanying carer has free entry.


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      • Ticket information

        € 5
        Reduced price (under 18 and over 65): € 3

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