Piazza dei Mercanti, Milano
Piazza dei Mercanti, Milano | Photo by Stefano Stabile

Palazzo della Ragione Fotografia

Good To Know

The ticket price includes the use of an audioguide

The Palazzo della Ragione Fotografia in Milan is an exhibition space dedicated entirely to photography. It hosts international exhibitions and installations in an impressive 13th century building.

The Palazzo della Ragione is located at the Piazza dei Mercanti, in what is now a secluded corner of the historic centre of Milan and a pedestrian area only a few steps from the Duomo. Construction of this administrative building, where also merchants, bankers and notaries gathered, started in 1228. Quickly after its completion in 1233, the building became crucial to the economic and political life of the city.

The Palazzo was called delle Ragioni (“of reason”) because here justice was administered to the people by the judges. The symbols of the judges were the rooster and the horse, to the represent alertness and swiftness of justice, and these symbols can still be seen today on the outside walls.

In the 16th century the Palazzo underwent several adaptations and in 1770, by order of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, the architect Francesco Croce equipped the building with an additional floor with large oval windows. The building became the seat of the Notarial Archives, a place where all the papers filed at the notaries of Milan and the province were collected, a function which it retained until 1961.

Practical Information

Piazza dei Mercanti 1, Milan, Italy
+39 02 4335 3535
Opening Times
Monday Closed
Tuesday 09:30 - 20:30
Wednesday 09:30 - 20:30
Thursday 09:30 - 22:30
Friday 09:30 - 20:30
Saturday 09:30 - 22:30
Sunday 09:30 - 20:30
How To Get There

Metro : Red line (1) or Yellow line (3) station: Duomo

Tram : 2, 3, 12, 14, 16, 19, 24 (stop: Duomo)

Bus : 54 (stop: Duomo)

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Past Exhibitions

Edward Burtynsky, Xiaolangdi Dam nr 1, Yellow River, China (2011)

Edward Burtynsky – Acqua Shock

The exhibition Acqua Shock at the Palazzo della Ragione Fotografia in Milan displays images by the Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, that have as topic water. Natural resources are at the centre of Burtynsky’s work and after a series about caves and a series dedicated to … [read more]

Claudio Sabatino, Pompei (2000)

Italia Inside Out – Part 1: INSIDE

Italia Inside Out at Palazzo della Ragione Fotografia in Milan is the largest photographic exhibition ever to be dedicated to Italy. The exhibition consists of two parts: INSIDE and OUT. INSIDE is the first part and runs from March 21 to August 2. It shows … [read more]

David Seymour, Bernhard Berenson looking at Pauline Borghese by Antonio Canova (1955)

Italia Inside Out – Part 2: OUT

Italia Inside Out at Palazzo della Ragione Fotografia in Milan is the largest photographic exhibition ever to be dedicated to Italy. The exhibition consists of two parts: INSIDE and OUT. OUT is the second part of the exhibition and runs from November 10 to February … [read more]

Walter Bonatti, Easter-Island (1969)

Walter Bonatti

The exhibition Walter Bonatti – Fotografie dai Grandi Spazi (Photographs from the Great Outdoors) tells in a visual way the engaging story of one of the greatest mountain climbers of all time. Walter Bonatti (1930-2011) was an Italian mountaineer and journalist, who became famous in … [read more]

Antarctic Peninsula, Sebastião Salgado (2005)

Sebastião Salgado – Genesi

The first exhibition to be held in the new exhibition space Palazzo della Ragione Fotografia in Milan is Genesi, with 245 stunning photographs by Sebastião Salgado, the Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist. His black and white images show the rare beauty of the most … [read more]