Vigevano Museum of Entrepreneurship


The Museum of Entrepreneurship is located at Palazzo Merula, next to the Historical Archives of the City of Vigevano. It was established in 2005 by the City of Vigevano in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Vigevano Mortara.

The museum chronicles the economic development of the area through documents, posters and machinery that trace the technological and entrepreneurial evolution in different sectors.

The entrance section, located in the porticoed space of the cloister, consists of glass cases in which machinery that marked significant progress in the footwear industry is displayed, following the processing route from shaping to finishing.

The first room illustrates the premises and origins of the city’s economic development, recognizable as early as the late 1400s. Historical documents and HD video footage describe the subject matter to the visitor.

The second room houses the nineteenth-century experience of the textile industry, fostered by the construction of communication infrastructure, hydroelectric and hydraulic energy production.

The third room documents the most distinctive phase of Vigevano’s industry, that centered on the shoe and mechanical sectors. A production that propelled Vigevano to the center of world markets, giving rise to an extraordinary industrial district and directly influencing the development of the city. 

Admission is free.


MIC International Footwear Museum


The MIC – Museo Internazionale della Calzatura “Pietro Bertolini” in Vigevano is the first public institution in Italy dedicated to the history and evolution of the shoe. It is housed in the extraordinary setting of the Castello Sforzesco. It expresses the history and international evolution of the shoe whose production in Vigevano dates back to a municipal statute of 1392. 

In 1866 the first industrial-level shoe factory was established in Vigevano, the first footwear machine factory in 1901, and the first tennis shoes made of rubber in the 1920s. However, the international reputation as a footwear capital dates back to the 1950s/60s, when more than 21 million pairs of shoes were produced annually. Contextual with this golden age is the birth of the Museum, desired by historian Luigi Barni and named after its first supporter, entrepreneur Pietro Bertolini. Today the museum consists of four rooms and a gallery housing an exhibition of about 300 shoes, out of a total heritage of more than 3,000 pieces.

The museum displays pieces of rare historical value, such as Beatrice d’Este’s “pianella” dated 1495, romantic satin slippers from the late 18th century Venetian period, and precious creations from the 1920s, with details in noble metals and jeweled heels, which alternate with “autarkic” models, poor in appearance and ingenious in their use of alternative materials available during the war period. The historical section continues with a tribute to the footwear of the 1950s/60s, represented by the first specimens with stiletto heels made in Vigevano. In fact, it is precisely to the stiletto heel, which was born in Vigevano in 1953, that the gallery is dedicated, recounting – in chronological order – its birth, its heyday and its return from the 1990s to the present. It starts from the first models from historic Vigevano brands, which determined the success of this timeless symbol of feminine seduction, to the creations of the biggest Italian and international brands from the 1980s to today.

In the “Style and Design” section, the most celebrated designers of Italian and international fashion and footwear are represented, who have elaborated, through personal taste and sensibility, their own unique and defined creative form.

Accompanying visitors are audio guides in Italian and English, which can be used free of charge through their smartphones.



MIC – International Footwear Museum

Visit the website (


Museo dell’Imprenditoria vigevanese
Palazzo Merula, via Merula 40 Vigevano (Pavia)
MIC Museo Internazionale della Calzatura
Castello Sforzesco, Vigevano(Pavia)

Visit the website
Visit the website MIC

Share with