ANTOLINI, Giovanni Antonio
(b. 1756, Castel Bolognese, d. 1841, Bologna)

Foro Bonaparte, Milan

Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

Designed capital of the kingdom of Italy in 1805, Milan was intended by Napoleon to be appropriately enhanced with various large-scale development schemes. The most important project was a huge Foro Bonaparte, planned in 1800 for the Castello Sforzesco area by Giovanni Antonio Antolini. His expansive, circular open space, about 600 m in diameter, encloses the Castello Sforzesco in its centre. Napoleon had refused permission for it to be demolished as the Revolutionaries had demanded following the example of the Bastille. Instead, the medieval building would be "regularized" by the addition of new façades. Tempietto-style towers were to be provided at the corners plus giant temple façades in the centre of both main fronts. Incorporated in the colonnaded ring of buildings are 12 public buildings which include - among others - the theatre, stock exchange, a museum, a bath-house and various official organizations.

Because of expense, Antolini's project never got beyond the preliminary stage.

The picture shows an engraving of Antolini's plan of the Foro Bonaparte seen from the Porta Sempione, made by Alessandro Sanquirico (1777-1849) in 1806.