The Ducal Courtyard

The Portico of the Elephant, designed by the Tuscan architect, Benedetto Ferrini in 1473, and so called for the fresco that is still visible to this day, marks the beginning of the ducal residence. On the wall adjacent to the portico one can also make out the paws of what must have been another imposing animal, most probably a lion. The residence of Galeazzo Maria Sforza since 1468, the ducal apartments were on both the ground and first floors and were connected by a shallow-stepped staircase that allowed the duke access to the upper floor apartments on horseback.