Fabio Mangone, the master builder of the Duomo and favorite arch tect of Cardinal Federico Borromeo began to construct this austere edifice in 1620.
It was intended to house the Collegio Elvetico. Mangone was responsible for the two big couryards with loggias and for the wide halls which give a magnificent aspect. In Napoleonic times it became the seat of the Senate of the Kingdom of Italy. It now houses the State Archives.