Begin a journey to discover one of the prettiest neighborhoods of Milan.
Here we point out some of the most important attractions,... more »
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Begin a journey to discover one of the prettiest neighborhoods of Milan.
Here we point out some of the most important attractions,... more » although there are many, not explicitly mentioned, that you will also find along your tour, from churches and alleyways to splendid piazzas and palazzi...
Let your instinct guide you; take detours if you like – you won’t regret it!
First caveat: if it’s peace and quiet you’re after, avoid this itinerary on Saturdays, when teenagers shopping for the latest hoodies and sneakers tend to swarm the numerous clothing stores in the area.
Second caveat: tf you’re in the mood for something particular, keep in mind that Porta Ticinese is famous for for its vintage stores: you might come across some interesting finds!
DILETTA GRELLA (translation by Lauren Elizabeth Sanders). In collaboration with the Official Tourism Website www.italia.it less «
Begin this walking tour with Peck (via Spadari 9, tel. 0039-02-8023161, www.peck.it), a gastronomical city institution for more than a... more » century.
On the ground floor, admire the jubilee of gourmet cheeses, meats, sausages and salames, fresh pasta, oils, vinegars, teas and coffees…
On the first floor: a bar, a tea room, and a restaurant. Admittedly, the prices are high, but so is the quality of the amazing food.
Enjoy the atmosphere with a cappuccino and brioche and then start to walk. less «
A window onto the Renaissance can be found just a stone’s throw away from the Duomo: at the very beginning of via Torino, on the left (immediately after via Speronari) stands the Church of Santa Maria in San Satiro (late 1400s), built over a pre-existing Basilica from the 9th Century.
Once entering inside this little church, so lovely and... More intimate… stop just inside the threshold and look ahead of you, towards the presbyterium (where there is the altar): from this distance the apse will seem rather deep.
Then, move slowly forward and, step by step, continue to watch…
When you are close, you will notice that the apse’s volume has changed, thanks to the optical illusion in play. Residing in the apse is one stucco relief that is about 35.4 inches deep, realized (commendably) by Donato Bramante, according to the particular rules of perspective.
In fact, not having enough space to construct a true apse, the masterly Renaissance architect found an ideal solution that has allowed him the pleasure of deceiving visitors from around the globe to this day.
Do not miss the Sacello (or Chapel) of San Satiro, connected to the transept on the left, where a splendid 15th-Century Pietà is preserved, with 14 figures in polychrome terracotta. Unfortunately, due to repeated acts of vandalism, visitors can only see the sculpture at a distance.
The octagonal Baptistry, another Bramante work (right nave), is also a must-see.
Address: via Speronari 3
Monday to Friday: 7:30am–11:30am, 3:30pm-6:30pm
Sunday: 10am–12pm, 3:30pm–7pm
The Francesco Messina Studio Museum is a church, a museum, and a treasure chest bursting with works of art.
Arriving at the end of via Torino, take via San Sisto (on your right), where you will find the 17th-Century church of the same name, erected on a foundation that dates back to the Lombard era.
The building, by now deconsecrated, holds... More some of the most beautiful pieces by Francesco Messina, among the most important Italian sculptors from the 1900s.
The collection here includes 80 sculptures and 26 works on paper, spread out over two floors.
In the 1970s, the artist decided to donate his creations to the City of Milan, in exchange for a studio in the heart of the city. On his death, in 1995, the studio was transformed into a museum and Touring Club Italiano’s volounteers help to keep it open.
The large part of the sculptures exhibited are bronzes, but there are also works in terracotta, gypsum, marble and wax.
He used different techniques for his works on paper: lithographs, water colors, pencil and pastels…
Among the best items on display, are the sculptures of dancers and racing horses.
Observe the portrait of Cardinal Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster in gilded bronze, from 1941. The artist was able to render in the Cardinal’s face the enormous spirituality for which he was known, and at the same time his profound humanity, united with the pain for the Second World War.
Also re-evoking the horrors of WWII is the very intense series that treats the Impiccati or “Hanging Men.”
Address: via San Sisto 4/A
Tuesday to Friday: 10am–2pm
At the end of via Torino, before corso di Porta Ticinese, is a road widening known as Carrobbio.
It is possible that the name derives from the Latin "quadrivium" (it means the intersection of four streets). Or it could be from the word "carrus", meaning cart or wagon: here, wagons could reverse and make what in the modern day ... Morewe know as U-turns.
Etymology aside, this spot is rather interesting for the fact that it is the site of remnants from the oldest circle of Roman walls in the city (erected 49 b.C.): with via Torino behind you and turning right, you will come across the remains of one of the towers belonging to the old Porta Ticinensis.
The tower, just a little over 21 feet tall, is of octagonal form externally, yet perfectly round in its interior.
It is very easy to see inside the tower, as part of it has been incorporated into the bar-restaurant "Pane e vino". The staff will be happy to show you in!
This street takes its name from a citizen, who was a victim of one of the saddest periods in Milanese history.
In 1630, the city was hit by a plague epidemic that killed thousands.
Gian Giacomo Mora, a barber by profession, began to produce an ointment, that seemed to him a protection against contagion.
The authorities accused him of being an... More infector, i.e. one who purposely spread the disease. Mora was taken into custody of the authorities and, because tortured, confessed to the accusations. He was subsequently executed.
His home was situated at the corner of Corso di Porta Ticinese (and the present-day Via Mora), but it was destroyed and replaced by an “infamous column” in order to warn the rest of the city.
In 1778 the column, a testimony to the folly perpetrated by the judges against innocent persons, was toppled, while the plaque is conserved at the Sforzesco Castle.
In the column’s place, today you can see another plaque that reminds visitors of how terribly far the ignorance of man can go.
Celebrated writer Alessandro Manzoni, author of "The Betrothed", recounts these sad events in his work entitled "The Infamous Column".
Now we find ourselves facing the most famous Roman monument in Milan: the Columns of San Lorenzo.
Sixteen marble columns 25 feet tall stand in a row; they are decorated with Corinthian capitals of varying design, positioned in front of the Basilica of San Lorenzo.
The columns were taken from an unidentified edifice from the Classical Age (2nd-3rd... More Century) so that they could be integrated as part of a quadriportico opposite the church (which by now has disappeared).
Between the columns and the Basilica, you can see a statue of Constantine I (Constantine the Great), the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity. This statue is an exact copy of another one in Rome, in the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano.
At the base of the columns, you will catch a glimpse of the arches of the Medieval Porta Ticinese.
A beloved riddle of Milanese of a certain age: “How many columns are there in San Lorenzo?”.
But not necessarily… In reality, there is one more... If you turn your gaze upward, you will see, in the middle of the colonnade, a Medieval arch: there it is, the 17th column!
Tip: If you get the chance, try to see the columns in the stunning light of early morning, when no one is around. You will feel as if you stepped into a film set in ancient Rome.
In the evening, this area becomes the beating heart of Milanese night life. Crowds of young people hang out around the columns, drinking and chatting the night away…
Frankly, one does not see this Basilica at its best by merely observing its facade.
Our advice is to not go immediately inside, but rather walk around the edifice and be enchanted by the majesty and accord of its varying volumes that compose it and that date back to different epochs.
Step by step, you will reach the Park of the Basilicas: from... More here you can enjoy a truly beautiful vista on San Lorenzo.
The original, Paleo-Christian church was built sometime between the 4th and 5th Centuries. Then, due to fires and collapses throughout the centuries, it was reconstructed once in the Medieval Age and again during the late 1500s.
The dome stands out among the towers and other structures, imposing itself on everything – it is, after all, the biggest in the city.
Now, return to the Basilica’s front and go inside, noticing its square floor-plan, around which stand four exedras surrounded by loggias, and four corner towers, connected by colonnaded walkways.
The main altar opposite the entrance features the miraculous image of the “Madonna del Latte” (beginning of the 16th Century).
To the right of the entrance is the Chapel of St. Aquilino, built shortly after the central complex. The Chapel was dedicated to the Saint after he was assassinated by a group of heretics in 1015. Tradition holds that his body was carried on foot to the Basilica by a group of porters. Aquilino has been known as the protector of porters since.
It is likely that the Chapel sprung up from what was an Imperial Mausoleum. According to some it could have been erected by request of the Empress Galla Placidia, while others maintain that it was intended as a burial space for the Empress Justina.
Once you cross the atrium, covered in 4th-Century mosaics, you enter into the Chapel. Prominent here are the Paleo-Christian mosaics that depict “Christ with the Apostles” and “The Abduction of Elijah.” In the lunette over the entrance is the “Pietà of the Redeemer,” attributed to the Renaissance painter Bergognone.
Finally, a ladder lets you descend to the subterranean level, where you will find the Roman foundation.
Address: Corso di Porta Ticinese 35
Monday, Friday and Saturday: 7:30am–6:30pm
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 7:30am–12:30pm, 2:30pm–6:30pm
Chapel of Sant’Aquilino:
Opening Hours: every day 9.30am-12.30pm, 2.30pm-6.30pm
Entrance: 2 eurosLess
A magical place, a unique garden in the center of Milan, just a short walk from the Columns of San Lorenzo.
The Vivaio Riva is a botanical paradise born before World War II and managed by sisters Luisella and Angela Riva (today, unfortunately, only by the first, because mrs. Angela passed away).
It is impossible to cross its threshold and not... More feel that you are being slowly catapulted into a marvelous world of perfumes and colors.
Silence dominates, as do plants and flowers of all kinds. From the rarest of species, such as vanilla orchids, to splendid exemplars of Dipladenia and convolvulus or bindweed. And of course violets, primroses, azaleas, jasmine, lavendar, and hortensis…
Here, you can buy or simply enjoy the space: the owners will always welcome you with kindness and hospitality!
Every now and then, some cultural and charity aid events will take place amidst this elegant setting.
Entrance on Via Arena, across from no. 7
Monday to Saturday: 8:30am–12:30pm, 2:30pm–7pm (Closes at 6:30pm in winter)
For the Milanese this is the “Park of the Basilicas:” indeed it stands between the splendid Basilica of San Lorenzo and that of Sant’Eustorgio.
Divided in two from via Molino delle Armi, it is the perfect spot for enjoying a few moments of pure relaxation.
Once you’re inside, sit down on a bench and observe the play of varying volumes in the San ... MoreLorenzo complex: the dome, the towers, and the chapels. From here, in fact, you can enjoy a privileged point of view on one of Milan’s prettiest churches. Then, if you are there in the evening, under the light of the moon and the floodlights, the atmosphere is more than moving.
At one time, the ill-famed neighborhood of Vetra rose here.
Vetra was also the name for the malodorous canal that ran through this area, picking up the refuse of the local tanner shops and carrying it off in its flow.
Worse yet, capital punishment and public tortures even took place from the 11th to the 19th Centuries, and persons accused of witchery and hereticism were burned at the stake.
Where there was the gallows, you can see a statue dedicated to St. Lazarus.
Beginning in the 1920s, and above all after the Second World War, the old houses were demolished and the area was re-valorized and reconstructed.
Address: via Molino delle Armi, piazza della Vetra, via Vetere and via Santa Croce
April to September: 6:30am–11pm
October to March: 6:30am–10pm
The Museo Diocesano stands in the second cloister of the Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio and is spread out over three floors.
Inaugurated in 2001, it was built upon the request of three Cardinals who had a significant impact on the history of Milan.
The Museum was conceived with the intention of collecting, preserving and valorizing the works of art ... Moreoriginating from the Diocese: sacred paintings, sculptures, furnishings and vestments that, from the 4th to the 19th Centuries, were the unbroken testaments to the valued principles of faith and beauty.
The entire collection comprises 700 pieces, and is ever-expanding.
Be sure not to miss the section of gold works, so you can appreciate the fine skills of the master Lombard silver and gold smiths.
Then, the Collezione Fondi Oro A. Crespi: 41 artworks produced on gold backgrounds between the 1300s and the 1400s. They all treat sacred themes, and were realized mostly in Tuscany, Umbria and Lombardy.
Also of extraordinary importance are the collections of Archbishops Pozzobonelli (the only non-religious collection) and Monti. In the Monti's one, a canvas by Tintoretto, “Christ and the Adulterer,” and Guido Reni’s “St. Joseph with Child” certainly stand out.
Very touching is the recent addition of the section devoted to sculptor Lucio Fontana: the “White Via Crucis” (1955), in white ceramic glaze, conveys a singular dramatic intensity.
Numerous are the initiatives organized year-round by the Diocesan Museum: concerts, readings, sunday brunches, summer “camp” for children, cabaret and music revues on summer evenings....
Corso di Porta Ticinese 95
Tuesday to Sunday: 10am-6pm
From mid-June to mid-September, the museum is closed during the day, but open evenings from 7pm to Midnight, Tues. to Sun.).
Full Price: 8 euro
Reduced Price: 5 euro.
(every tuesday 4 euros)Less
Here we are in front of one of the most important Milan’s churches, beloved by the Milanese, who connect it to the cult of the Three Wise Men.
Indeed, according to tradition, the remains of the Three Kings were held in Constantinople, but the Bishop Eustorgius decided to take them elsewhere, loading them onto his cart in 4th century.
Once... More arrived in Milan, his cart became too heavy. Eustorgius interpreted such as a sign from the Divine and made the decision to erect a church in that very spot: the Basilica of St. Eustorgius, which would contain an urn for conserving the relics.
In 1162, when Federico Barbarossa raised the city of Milan to the ground, the Three Magi’s remains were transferred to Cologne.
It was not until 1904 that a few fragments from the relics made their return from Germany to Milan.
A beautiful procession takes place here every January 6th (the Three Wise Men day), travelling from the Duomo to the Basilica of St. Eustorgius.
The church was rebuilt in 1190, while the facade is Neo-Romanesque (late 17th-Century).
A curiosity: at the bell tower’s top, there is no cross -as is the norm-, but a star (that guided the Wise Men in their journey to Bethlehem).
Inside, in the right transept, we find the Chapel of the Three Kings, with the sarcophagus that is said to preserve their remains.
Behind the structure’s deep apse, are the ruins of the ancient Paleo-Christian church.
If you find an open door in the area of the choir, you can reach directly the Museum of St. Eustorgius: from here, taking a small stairway down below, you can visit the remnants of a Roman necropolis.
From the sacristy, steer yourselves toward the Portinari Chapel, a Lombard Renaissance masterpiece. It was constructed between 1462 and 1466 by the noble Pigello Portinari to preserve the relic of St. Peter the Martyr’s head. Splendid is the marble arch – by Giovanni di Balduccio – that contains the remains of the Saint.
St. Peter, killed by blows to his head, is considered the protector against migraines. On the last Sunday in April, a shrine containing this relic is exhibited: if you are in Milan on that day, go and ask for protection against headaches!
The Chapel’s frescoes (by Vincenzo Foppa, 1468) illustrate the life of the Saint. One of them is very particular: the “Madonna with Child”, in the right lunette, depicts both subjects horned. Actually, the figures are the false Madonna and Child; inside this facade hides the devil, unmasked by Peter as he raises a consecrated host.
Address: piazza Sant’Eustorgio
Daily: 7:30am–12pm, 3:30pm–6:30pm