The creation and expansion of this artistic heritage, initially by the Cassa di Risparmio delle Province Lombarde (Cariplo) and then by the Cariplo Foundation, has involved the purchase both of works of art (paintings, sculptures, archaeological items, works of Eastern art and furnishings) and of monumental buildings such as the Santuario di San Giuseppe, Palazzo Confalonieri and Palazzo Melzi d’Eril.
The church of San Giuseppe, located on Via Verdi in Milan, designed by Richini and still retaining the altarpieces by Melchiorre Gherardini Giovanni and Stefano Doneda, known as Montalto, was purchased by the Cassa di Risparmio delle Province Lombarde in 1878. With a view to the future enlargement of its offices, the Cariplo then bought the Palazzo Confalonieri, the ancient home of the Milanese family of that name, early in the 20th century. It was the Cariplo Foundation that purchased the Palazzo Melzi d’Eril, a neoclassical building owned by the Melzi d’Eril family, one of the Lombard capital’s oldest noble dynasties.
Once the residences of old aristocratic families, the Palazzo Melzi d’Eril and Palazzo Confalonieri are today occupied respectively by the Foundation Cariplo and the Cariplo Conference Centre.