Located in the former entrance hall of Milan’s Pinacoteca di Brera, the city’s foremost picture gallery, home to one of the leading collections of Italian paintings in the world, Caffè Fernanda welcomes the museum’s guests in a revamped space that embodies the institution’s venerable legacy and drive for renewal. Taking its name from the Pinacoteca’s visionary former director, Fernanda Wittgens, who managed to re-open the gallery following its partial destruction during World War II, the café is part of a larger, 3-year project entailing the redesign of the gallery and its art collection, designed by Milanese architecture practice rgastudio to echo – both aesthetically and in terms of curation – the renovated gallery rooms. Built in the 17th century by baroque architect Francesco Maria Richin on the remains of a monastery, Palazzo Brera was initially a Jesuit college before becoming (in 1773) home to a number of the city’s leading cultural and scientific institutions, including the Accademia di Belle Arti, a national library, an art school, an observatory and a botanical garden. Pinacoteca di Brera was founded by Napoleon a few decades later in 1809 to house the most important works of art from the Italian territories he had conquered. During that time the Palazzo was remodeled in the neoclassical style by Giuseppe Piermarini, one of Italy’s leading Neoclassical architects, before being heavily damaged in 1943 during aerial bombings. It took its determined director, Fernanda Wittgens, and talented architect, Piero Portaluppi, for the museum to reopen in 1950, both of whom the new café pays tribute to.