History and the Property

Lardirago Castle is set in a dominant position near the Olona river.
Surrounded by countryside and the typical Lombard rice paddy fields, it dates back to the Visconti age (14th century).

The Castle

For more than 450 years the castle has belonged to the Fondazione Ghislieri which, in recent times, transformed it into a culture centre aimed at promoting the resources of the surrounding territory.

The Castle is located only a few kilometres from Milanand Pavia, perfectly balanced between the big metropolitan city and the university town. The Certosa di Pavia, a religious monument from the 15th century and a favourite destination for tourists and art historians, and the natural reserve of Sant’Alessio can also be easily reached from the Castle.


Built on a pre-existing 12th century structure, Lardirago Castle dates back to the 15th century.

It initially acted as a vital centre for the surrounding territory: first as a castrum, the administrative heart of the surrounding area; then as a dwelling of courtly life and, later, as a princely dwelling of the Renaissance era, surrounded by a magnificent garden.

After coming under the administration of the Collegio Ghislieriin the 15th century, Lardirago Castle was converted into a thriving agricultural court.

It subsequently acted as a warehouse for agricultural products and it hosted the administrative and social departments of the Lardirago Municipality.

With the passing of time, when both functions ceased to be necessary, the Castle progressively fell into disuse

A lengthy and radical restorationwas started in recent decades by the Fondazione Ghislieri, with the objective of promoting the structure, refurbishing it and devoting it to innovative activities that enhance the logistic, aesthetic and cultural strengths of the Castle.


Lardirago Castle has belonged to the Fondazione Ghislieri of Pavia since 1569. Two years earlier Pope Pius V, formerly known as Michele Ghislieri, had founded the Collegiostill named after him

Today the Fondazione Ghislieri represents a unified but multifaceted reality. It comprises the historic Collegio Ghislieri, a university college of merit under the High Patronage of the President of Italy and officially recognised as a Centre of higher cultural qualification; the Collegio Ca’ della Paglia, a high merit college for PhD, specialised and foreign students who intend to carry out a research project in Pavia; theAssociazione Alunni, of which former students of the Collegio Ghislieri can become members after their graduation; the Centro di Musica Antica, an early music production and research centre with a European feel, dedicated to baroque and classical music on period instruments. Through Lardirago Castle, the Fondazione Ghislieri also acts as a culture centre for the promotion of the local territory.

Visiting the Castle

Per prenotazioni o eventuali richieste potete contattare la Segreteria del Castello.

Prossimamente sarà possibile consultare il nostro calendario per conoscere orari e modalità di accesso alle visite guidate.