It was once the whole complex of the suppressed monastery of St. Maria della Stella, then – in the 1600 – having become a public institution for housing and educating orphan girls (the “Stelline”), by the will of San Carlo Borromeo.
Today the palace – bound up indissolubly with the history and culture of Milan and outstanding figures such as Leonardo da Vinci and Saint Carlo Borromeo, as well as more contemporary personages such as like Paolo Grassi who here founded his School of Dramatic Art – has undergone profound structural changes and uses.
Purchased by the city of Milan to become the headquarters of the International Institute for Management Technology, was restored by the architect Jan Battistoni in the Seventies. The whole project was faithful to the original structure of the building and retains its original features, the stone staircases, the passages in the cloister and the magnolia in the centre, which has become its symbol.
In 1986 the Lombardy Region and the City of Milan established the Stelline Foundation, in order to maintain and enhance the refurbished Palace, encourage the development of nationally and internationally social and economic, cultural enterprises, and from the last years in order to promote exhibitions devoted to contemporary and 20th century art.