Palazzo della Ragione's colonade Milan

Image by Matteo Banchi

Palazzo della Ragione’s colonade – Talking stones

This is one of the places I really love to show friends and visitors for the reaction of those who accompanied me. The porch of the “Palazzo della Ragione” in Milan, besides hosting the Scrofa “semilanuta” (sow) bas relief in one of its columns, offers an absolutely extraordinary acoustic effect.

Inside the colonnade, with your faces turned toward the column that is at the outer corner of the building towards the Cathedral, you can talk to other people who are standing diagonally to the first quadrilateral of columns, also facing the inner wall of this column. It reminds me of “Chinese whispers” and makes me feel like a little boy, but it’s also architecturally really interesting.

Also, there’s another story. The sow “semilanuta” is a mythical animal, a symbol of the city of Milan before the municipal age. Legend says that the founder of Milan was the Celtic Belloveso, who crossed the Alps and the territory of the Aedui to get to the Po Valley. Belloveso saw the place indicated by a goddess in a dream, a sow boar that had the distinction of having very long hair on the front of the body (sow semilanuta). The Celtic boss therefore decided to build his city in that place and to call that “semilanuta”, Mediolanum (medium-lanum).

The square next it is called “Piazza dei Mercanti” where “mercanti” means “merchants”.
In fact, that was the old market. A place full of history.

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Details about this spot



Oiazza dei Mercanti, Milan

Opening Times

24 hour daily


Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)