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Palazzo Marino, Milan - Lombardy

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Palazzo Marino

»2 Piazza della Scala

Palazzo Marino, a sixteenth century work by the Perugian architect Galeazzo Alessi, it's a noble palace of Milan, seat of the municipal administration from the 19 September 1861.
Already owned by Tommaso Marino, but soon distrained because of his debts and ended up in the hands of the banker Emilio Omodei, was bought by the State in 1781, becoming the aftermath of the Unity of Italy headquarters of the municipality of Milan.
Located on the eastern front of piazza della Scala appears today in the forms of restoration completed by Luca Beltrami in 1892.

The palace was commissioned by the Genoese banker and merchant Tommaso Marino as a noble residence of the wealthy Marino family.
It was built between the 1557 and the 1563 on a project by the Perugian architect Galeazzo Alessi, specifically convened in Milan just for the occasion.
The building originally oriented towards Piazza San Fedele.

Many sculptors of the Fabbrica del Duomo they actively participated in the construction of the palace carvings.
The Milanese, however, were unhappy with this grandiose project, so much so that when in the 1560 Count Tommaso Marino had obtained permission to open a new road that, starting from the main entrance of the building, would be joined until Piazza Mercanti, the popular discontent could even stop its realization.

The construction of the palace continued with a style comparable to that of the richest courts in the whole of Christendom: in the courtyard of the palace were depicted "the Labors of Hercules" and "the Metamorphoses of Ovid".
The Hall of Honor (today known as the Salon of the Alessi) had painted on the ceiling "the Wedding of Love and Psyche in the banquet of the Gods" and had made the stucco always with stories of Love and Psyche.
At the corners of the ceiling Aurelio Busso had painted "the Four Seasons".
Under the cornice "le Muse, Bacco, Apollo e Mercurio" frescoed by Ottavio Semino, alternating with bas-reliefs with "the stories of Perseus".
The busts of Mars and Minerva were placed on the entrances.

An unfounded legend has it that the palace was wanted by Count Tommaso Marino to house his wife, the beautiful Bettina Doria, also Genoese and closely related to Andrea Doria, great admiral and prominent figure of the Republic of Genoa.

On the death of Tommaso Marino, the great prosperity of the family suffered a profound collapse, which would culminate in the 1577 with the seizure by the public administration of the same building, to balance the numerous debts incurred.

During this long period the building began to deteriorate and in the 1626 saw the removal of the balustrade above the cornice because it was unsafe.
In the 1632 the State, which was facing the plague, managed to sell the palace to the heirs of the banker Emilio Omodei, the great financier of the Spanish government.
The Omodei never lived in the palace that continued to be called the Marino.
The ground floor continued to carry out activities of a fiscal nature (gabelles and duties), while the main floor was from time to time rented to illustrious personalities.

In the 1772, with the tax reform of Maria Theresa of Habsburg, the Fermieri came to perform fiscal duties and in the 1781, with the abolition of the general Fender wanted by Pietro Verri, Verri would have been the one to work for the building to return to the hands from the state as the headquarters of the new financial and tax offices.

The change of ownership occurred on 14 July 1781 for the sum of 250.000 lire.
The purchase allowed a series of restorations and the completion of the façade towards via Case Rotte, conducted following the original style of the Alessi under the strict supervision of Piermarini, who was operating in that area different interventions.
The palace then found the Royal Chamber of Accounts, the Royal General Direction, the Treasury, the Dazio Grande with its offices and the Imperial Bank of the Bank of Vienna.

During the Kingdom of Italy the names of the managers changed, but the offices remained with the same functions.
The Ministry of Finance, the Public Treasury and the Customs also found a seat in the building.
With the Restoration on the first floor the rooms of the court would have been transferred, while on the ground floor the customs, the offices of the liquidation, the treasury and the central cash desk.

In the 1848, after the five days in Milan, the building interrupted its bureaucratic office for some months and became the seat of the provisional government of Lombardy.
Liberated Lombardy from the Austrians in the 1859, the palace passed from the ownership of the state to that of the municipality through an exchange between State and Municipality between Palazzo del Broletto Brand new e Palazzo Marino.

The 19 September 1861 Palazzo Marino officially became the seat of the Municipality, while the tax functions hitherto present in the building moved to the Broletto.
Previously the city hall of Milan was located inside Palazzo Carmagnola.

The purchase of the building by the municipality coincided with the demolition of the block between the palace and the Scala and the opening of the new Piazza della Scala.
On this square, embellished by the monument to Leonardo da Vinci, now appeared a sequence of old buildings, judged unworthy to represent the new Municipal Administration and the new Italian face of Milan in the aftermath of the Unification of Italy.

Even the interiors of the building turned out to be quite shabby, starting with the big one Hall of Honor.
In 1872 Angelo Colla was commissioned to restore the salon, while at the same time a competition was launched for the new façade on piazza della Scala.
The economic crisis of those years, however, caused a postponement of the work up to 1888 when the project of Luca Beltrami was approved, completed in 1892.

This first deep restoration will be followed by a second one at the end of the Second World War to restore the parts demolished by the 1943 bombs.
The Salone dell'Alessi itself was particularly damaged.
The original stuccos of the vault were replaced by the representation of the Aurora, of the Day, of the Twilight, of the Night above the windows.
On the sides of the windows: Air, Earth, Water and Fire sculpted by Oliva, Supino, Brioschi, Ciminaghi, Gasparetti, Tavenari, Pepe, Ruy, Pellini, Wildt and Saponaro while the four seasons at the four corners of the Salone d'Onore have been repainted from P. Cortelezzi and G. Valerio.

This last restoration ended the 12 April 1954 under the direction of the engineer architect Arrigo Buonomo.

Text taken from:
- Wikipedia (Creative Commons)

Photo by: Arbalete

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GPS / Geographic coordinates of Palazzo Marino
45 ° 28'0.44 " N
09 ° 11'25.6 " E

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