Milan Off The Beaten Path Tips by leics

Milan Off The Beaten Path: 152 reviews and 229 photos

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Monochrome Madonna - Milan

Monochrome Madonna

Chiesa di San Marco Churches Review

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

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Mar 6, 2011
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Church exterior - Milan

Church exterior

San Nazaro Maggiore Churches Review

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).

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Mar 5, 2011
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S Giovanni in Conca - Milan

S Giovanni in Conca

The Crypt of Basilica S. Giovanni in Conca

Milan was, of course, a Roman city....Mediolanum...and although it has far fewer obvious remains than other Italian cities it has more than you might expect.

I came across this little collection quite unexpectedly. spotting an interesting ruin in the middle of a bus traffic intersection I made my way over to it, to find that the restored crypt below had many historical and archeological points of interest.

S Giovanni in Conca was built on the site of a 3rd century Roman residential district. It dates from the 5th century, but was deconsecrated in the mid 1700s, used for storage and gradually dismantled over the subsequent centuries. All that now remains of it is the curved section of apse wall in the photo (deliberately crested to look like a ruin) and its crypt.

The crypt itself is a marvel of pillars and barrel vaulting, and one of the few examples of its type to be found in Italy. But it also displays various Roman artefacts found on the site....statues, inscriptions, sections of well as the open excavation of a Roman water cistern.

It was within the crypt that I spotted a map of various Roman sites within the modern city, with route marked and information about each site in Italian and English. I'm sure you can get this in the form of a leaflet from the tourist information office and, if you are a Romanist, it would be well worth seeking out.

If you are in the vicinity of Piazza Missori, it's worth visiting this site. From the Duomo walk south along Via Mazzini and after about 500m you will come to the Piazza.

Open Tuesday to Friday 0900 -1300, Saturday 1430-1830.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Mar 5, 2011
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