The Palazzo Mezzanotte in Milan was built in the 1930s as the seat of the city’s Stock Exchange. Beneath the building are the ruins of the Teatro Romano. The beautifully named Sala della Grida (“Hall of the Scream”) has a ceiling that is 36 meters high. It is also known under the name Palazzo della Borsa.
Palazzo Mezzanotte Milan
The address of the Palazzo Mezzanotte is Piazza degli Affari, 6 – 20123 Milan (tel. +39 0280287554). Metro: Cordusio (M1). Entrance: Free.
History and description
The Palazzo Mezzanotte was built in 1932. The architect was the man to whom it also owes its name, Paolo Mezzanotte, and construction was commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce (Camera di Commercio).
The intention was to bring together the various sock excanges of the city in one structure. The Palazzo della Borsa, built earlier for this purpose, had quickly become inadequate.
The marble facade of the building is graced with allegorical sculptures referring to economic wealth and labor.
When it was built, the building was considered extremely progressive. On of its innovations was a huge screen where one could see the price of the 78 companies listed at the Borsa di Milano.
The most important room was the Sala della Grida (“Hall of the Scream”), whose glass ceiling is as high as the building itself (36 meters). As of 1987, everything is done via computers and the traders (unfortunately) no longer make their intentions known by shouting at the top of their voices.
In the basement, foodstuffs were traded. Its majolica decoration was designed by Giò Ponti and executed by Richard Ginori, depicting female figures and trees of plenty. (There used to also be a day hotel and a restaurant here).
During the construction, ruins of the Roman Theatre were discovered. This dates from the period between the 1st century B.C. and the 1st century A.D. The excavations can be viewed in the underground part of the Palazzo Mezzanotte and of the adjacent Chamber of Commerce.