The church of San Marco was first time mentioned in 1254 when the Augustinians built a Gothic style building on the site of an pre-existing construction. The church was dedicated to San Marco, the saint patron of Venice, after the help given by the Venetian Republic in the war against Frederick Barbarossa in the 12th century.
The church was completely modified in the Baroque style during the 17th century and its present look dates from 1871 when the facade was restored but not changed. The belltower dates from the 14th century, restored and completed in 1885. The Baroque interior has a nave and two aisles.
If you ever come to Milano you shouldn't miss the "Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnica Leonardo da Vinci". It is located right in the center of the town, on Piazza San Carlo, which is a foot from the Duomo.
There are many interesting sections in the museum: printing press, transports, astronomy, music etc., but the main reson to visit the museum is the Leonardo section. In this section you can see wooden reproduction of his inventions and reproductions of his drawings.
Admits droves of neo-Classical buildings all over Milano, Sant' Alessandro is tucked away in completely Baroque little corner of the city. The 17th century square is completely dominated by the imposing facade of the church of Sant' Alessandro, one of the loveliest examples of Baroque in Milano.
The church, built over the site of a pre-existing medieval building, was designed by Barnabite monk, Lorenzo Binago, who gave it a round plan with a dome. The rich Baroque facade is accompained by two belltowers on either side designed by Bianchi in the typical early 18th century style. The church was built on the Greek cross plan with a central dome and a separate presbytery. The interior preserves very important works of Lombard Baroque artists, including Camillo Procaccini and Daniele Crespi.
We just visited this church by accident! Arriving at the metro stop "Sant' Ambrogio", we did not know in which direction to go to get to Sant' Ambrogio, but we soon spotted a church close by and thought that this must be it. Only when we were inside and I got out my guidebook to read about the details did I realize that this could not be Sant' Ambrogio, because that church was much bigger and also had a courtyard! It was a lucky accident, though, because San Vittore is a very beautiful church, too. It is much smaller than the famous churches of Milan, but has a magnificent interior.
The first church at this location was built in the 4th century, but a new one was constructed in the 11th and 12th century. Today it has a very splendid baroque interior, because a lot of changes were made in the 16th century. Something to look out for are the interesting puttoes on the façade.
Address: Via San Vittore 25
Directions: Close to the metro stop "Sant' Ambrogio"
San Fedele is a church close to the Duomo. We approached it from the back and it didn't look as nice as first because this area was a little dodgy, but walking around and approaching from the front it looked different. The façade is quite imposing and severe looking, as is typical for the style of the Counter-Reformation.
Construction of this church started in 1569 and was finished in 1652. In front of it, there is a small square or piazza with a statue of Alessandro Manzoni. Manzoni is a famous author who, among other works, wrote the novel The Betrothed (I Promessi Sposi). From 1814 to his death in 1873, Manzoni lived in a house nearby (Casa Manzoni in Via Morone, 3 - now a museum). He actually died because he fell down the stairs of San Fedele!
Unfortunately the church was closed when we visited, so we couldn't see the interior.
Address: Piazza San Fedele
Directions: Very close to the Duomo and Teatro alla Scala
Phone: 02 863 521
I came across this church unexpectedly on my long, wandering walk back from Nord Cadorna to Milan Centrale, passing through the Brera district en route.
The first mention of a church on the site is in 1254, but it has clearly undergone much modification since (and especially in the 17th century).
The facade in the photo only dates from 1871, but the bell-tower is 14th-century (and restored, of course).
Inside there are numerous frescoes and artworks, including some from the 1300s. The chapel of Capella 'Foppa' particularly caught my eye, its dome painted with hundreds of figures (Lamazzo 1571)....and the rather lovely black and white Madonna fresco as well. I've not seen a monochrome in an Italian church before.
Well worth popping in if you are in the Brera area. The church is at Via San Marco 2
This church lies along Corso Porta Romana (the start of the Roman road to Rome), not far the the Duomo and Piazza Missori.
S Nazarro is one of the four churches founded by St Ambrose during the 4th century..that's the 300s, so it is a truly ancient site. Unfortunately it has been destroyed several times over the subsequent centuries, both by fires and by bombs during the Second World War, so much has been rebuilt. Although light and airy and pleasant (especially as a choir was practising at the time) I did not find it especially atmospheric.
It does have a rather interesting entrance though, an octagonal chapel designed by Bramantino. Entering a church through one's own personal chapel (it was for Giangiacomo Trivulzio) is certainly a good way to make sure everyone remembers you!
The tombs of Trivulzio and various family members are housed in niches above the church entrance.
You might wander around the back of the church before moving onwards: there are several very ancient tombs tucked away there (I imagine they were discovered during the various restorations and rebuildings and were placed there for safekeeping).
TheCivic Temple of San Sebastiano was built at the end of the 16th century. The citizens wanted to build a votive temple to stop the plague, as requested by Cardinal Carlo Borromeo in 1576. The project by Pellegrino Tibaldi was realized by architect Fabio Mangone, but the church remained inachieved. The presbytery was added at a later date.
We came across these Roman columns and church and our way to and from the aperitivo area of Navigli. There are 16 towering columns in all in front of the church that was built between AD 355 and 372. The place is a lively spot for a bit of open air drinking with the locals.
Piazzza Vetra, nearest Metro stop is Missori
Together with the wonderful abside, the stunning belfry of the San Gottardo in Corte church is the only remaining part of the old church of Visconti, built by Pecorari between 1330 and 1336.
The red brick tall belfry is finished by a lodge with small columns and arcades surmounted by a cone.
San Sebastiano, situated in Via Torino, was commissioned by St. Carlo Borromeo and financed by the city in 1576 in fullfilment of a vow taken with the hope that the terrible plague epidemic would come to an end.
The original circular plan was designed by Pellegrini whose design entalied a two storey cylindrical building topped by a dome. Other architecs later called in modified the original design and also added a presbytery.
Only the lovely apse and the even lovelier belltower are left of the church Pecorari was commissioned to build by Azzone Visconti between 1330 and 1336 for the court of the Visconti lords.
The tower is quite unusual. It starts out square-shaped, then becomes an octagon, and is topped with a cone cap.
The neo-Classical interior contains a fragment of a Crucifixtion scene frescoed by an unknown follower of the master Giotto, as well as other frescoes commissioned by the Visconti family from Tuscan masters whose style of painting already foreshadowed the new Renaissance manner, the seeds of which were planted during the early 14th centur by the great Giotto himself in faroff Tuscany.
The famous Pusterla di Sant' Ambrogio (St. Ambrose Gateway) is actually an imposing double arch gateway built in 1171 within the medieval city walls. On one of the double facades is a tabernacle with statues of Sts. Ambrose, Gervase and Protasois.
Every year on St. Ambroses's feast-say in December, a colorful fair is held here, and this is one of the rare traditions that has withstood the onslaught progress.
The Pusterla is situated in between Via Carducci and Piazza di Sant' Ambrogio.
If you have time, visit the Milan Synagogue. Via Guastalla 19.
Jews have lived in Italy since Roman times. During the middle ages, they were alternatively protected and attacked by various popes and local rulers. Italian Jews were subjected to forced conversion lectures beginning in the 13th century. By the 1500's they were ordered to live in ghettos in Rome, Venice, Ferrara, Mantua, Leghorn and other cities.
Today, Italy's 30,000 Jews live in Rome, Milan, Turin, Florence and Leghorn (Livorno). Communities numbering in the hundreds are also organized in Bologna, Genoa, Trieste and Venice.
This is a picture of St. Josephs. It is not in any guide book and is not really well known. I found it by accident. Leaving the statue of Michaelangelo in Piazza Della Scala I took the street directly in front of me and walked behind the Opera Hall. As I walked along the street I came across this wonderful little chapel. Although it looks very plain and small from the outside it is quite surprising inside. Like many things in Milan it is a hidden treasure. I found beautiful art work on the walls and ceilings. It was very small, but very beautiful. Milan is full of little surprises like this. Take some time and walk the streets and see what you can find.