Museo Civico di Storia Naturale and the dinosaur room
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Natural History Civic Museum

General information

The first nucleus of the Museo di Storia Naturale dates back to 1838, when the Milanese nobleman Giuseppe De Cristofori and the botanist Giorgio Jan donated their personal collections to the municipality of Milan. The inauguration of the museum took place in September 1844 but the venue changed several times. Originally it was in the Santa Marta convent, which was subsequently destroyed, then in Palazzo Dugnani, in the Porta Venezia gardens, and finally, between the end of 1800s and early 1900s, it was moved to its current edifice that was purpose-built by Giovanni Ceruti in Romanesque Revival style.

This oldest museum in Milan includes seven sections: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Palaeontology, Paletnologia "Ottavio Cornaggia Castiglioni", Invertebrate Zoology and Vertebrate Zoology.

The main objectives are scientific research, conservation and enlargement of the collections but it also provides didactic activities. Indeed the museum collections are suitable for educational courses at various levels of research. Furthermore, in recent years, the Museo di Storia Naturale has been enriched by a series of frontline educational workshops on matters of earth sciences and palaeontology (Paleolab) and life sciences and meteorology (BIOLAB).

Don't miss

One of the Museo di Storia Naturale spaces that arouses most interest is Hall 7 which is part of the exhibition of Vertebrate Palaeontology. It is entirely devoted to dinosaurs, with a series of exhibits that illustrate their origin, evolution and biology. On display, amongst others, are a triceratops and a diorama reproducing a paleontological excavation that contains the complete skeleton of a duck-billed dinosaur. Without forgetting, of course, the dinosaur skeletons made from casts of originals and mounted in lifelike stances, displaying some of the most popular species including the Allosaurus, the Stegosaurus, the Dromaeosaurs and the Plateosaurus.

Anecdotes and curiosities

The bombardments in 1943 triggered a fire in the Museo di Storia Naturale which destroyed many of the most important collections causing it to be closed until 1952.

Useful details


  • A wheelchair user can NOT independently reach the entrance, enter the museum and visit all the rooms. NEITHER can they independently reach and use the toilets. An electric stair lift operated by the museum staff is available.
  • The names of the museum rooms and the directional arrows are in large format and are clearly visible, as are the toilet pictograms.
  • The museum provides 1 wheelchair for visitors.
  • Reservations and enquiries can be made via telephone and/or email.
  • Free entry for disabled visitors.
  • The fire alarm systems are audible


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      • Ticket information

        € 5
        Reduced price: € 3

        3 days ticket to the Civic Museums: € 12

        Free admission every first and third Tuesday of the month from 14:00 and every first Sunday of the month for the whole day

        Free admission: visitors up to the age of 18; high school students and accompanying teachers of school groups; tourist guides and tourist interpreters accompanying groups; disabled people and their carers; journalists; people with disabilities; scholars with special permission from the Museum management; officials of state and regional superintendencies; members of the ICOM.

        Admission with reduction: EU citizens between the ages of 18 and 25; University students and Fine Arts Academies; adults over 65

      • Internal links

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