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Between the 13th and 16th century, Milan was ruled by families such as the Visconti and Sforza. Under their reign, the city was embellished with magnificent murals, extraordinary churches and other architectural delights. The Visconti, who reached the pinnacle of their power around 1395, commissioned the construction of architectural gems such as the Duomo and San Marco.
After the male branch of the Visconti family ended in 1447, they were replaced by the Sforza. Ludovico il Moro (1452) in particular was instrumental in the city’s cultural blossoming. For 20 years he employed Leonardo da Vinci who painted such masterpieces as The Last Supper under Ludovico’s reign. Thanks to Il Moro, today you can admire the famous murals by da Vinci in the Sala delle Asse room at the Sforza Castle. Standing under the ceiling fresco, you can see 18 willow trees with intertwining branches. This symbolises the marriage of Il Moro to his wife, both who came from powerful families.
“Matteo Visconti the Great convinced the residents of Milan that one of his ancestors freed the city from a dragon”