May 18

Quirky Travel Photo: the ‘Great Men’ of Milan at Casa degli Omenoni

by in Europe, History, Photography

The House of the Titans - Milan Italy zoedawes

The ‘Great Men’ of Casa degli Omenoni

Tucked away in a little backstreet near Il Duomo, Milan’s famous Cathedral, is Clubino, an exclusive gentlemen’s club. Historically it is better known,  appropriately, as the Casa degli Omenoni – the House of the Great Men (rebuilt 1565-67). Adorning its facade are eight enormous male figures with serious features. They were made by sculptor Antonio Abondio, to a design by renowned Italian sculptor Leone Leoni (c1509 – 1590) to decorate his own mansion. They are Atlantes (Titans), named after Atlas, decorative supporting figures, their heads bowed to take the weight of the structure above.

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Casa degli Omenoni facade with ‘Atlantes’

I was shown this impressive building during a walking tour of Milan with Milanese travel blogger Simon Falvo; you can read her fascinating blog Wild about Travel.  It’s great to go round with a local as you get to see sights that a tourist often misses. I only spent 24 hours in the city and barely scratched the surface of its many historical and architectural treasures, but these figures made a big impression. In his poem ‘The House of the Titans’ George William Russell refers to “… the tender shadow of long-vanquished pain and brightening wisdom …” which sculptor Abondoni has captured beautifully in these evocative figures.

Casa degli Omenoni Atlantes Milan Italy zoedawes

Casa degli Omenoni

If you visit Milan, search out the Casa degli Omenoni; you’ll find it at No 3 Via degli Omenoni; well worth a detour from nearby Piazza Il Duomo .

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3 Responses to “Quirky Travel Photo: the ‘Great Men’ of Milan at Casa degli Omenoni”

  1. From Simon:

    Great memories, Zoe.
    There’s a lot more to see in Milan, and your stay was way too short. So… Come back soon!

    Posted on May 20, 2016 at 2:16 pm #
  2. From Zoe Dawes:

    Thanks Simon – I’d love to return someday and explore more of your magnificent city 🙂 Maybe we can do something with Milan Tourism and The Quirky Traveller – then I can combine work and fun!

    Posted on May 20, 2016 at 2:34 pm #
  3. From Zoe Dawes:

    Milan is renowned for its fashion and finance but it also has a lot of interesting buildings, museums and of course, Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’ – just make sure you book to see it. I didn’t and couldn’t get in on the only free day I had.

    Posted on May 20, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

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