- By Kevin
- On Oct 23, 2017
- Travel Tips
All Milan's history,not to mention the considerable wealth generated by its favored commercial position,has left Milan with an abundance of art,cultural,and architectural treasures for you to enjoy.Best things to do in Milan may be suit for you now:
The church of Sant'Ambrogio was founded in 386 by St.Ambrose,who was born in Milan and is the city's patron saint.The present church is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture,built in the 12th century around the choir from an earlier ninth-century church.There's a lot to see here,beginning with the large portico,also from the ninth century,and the atrium,whose carved stone capitals and portal rank it high among Europe's best examples of the Romanesque period.Inside,be sure to see the pulpit with late Romanesque carving,and the richly carved 4th-century Stilicone sarcophagus underneath it.The casing(paliotto)of the high altar is a masterpiece of Carolingian art made in 835 at either Milan or Rheims.It's easy to miss the mosaic dome of the original 4th-century Sacello di San Vittore,accessed through the last chapel on the right.
Address:Piazza Sant'Ambrogio 15,Milan
Piazza dei Mercanti
With all the high-rise buildings filling the skyline,it's hard to find places that give any sense of medieval Milan.But hidden less than a five-minute walk from Piazza del Duomo is tiny Piazza dei Mercanti,where you will feel as though you've stepped back centuries into the Middle Ages.Forming one side is the Palazzo della Ragione,the old town hall dating from 1233.This made the little square the political heart of Milan,while the stone market arcade made it the commercial heart as well.Enclosing the other side of the piazza is the 1316 Loggia degli Osii,faced in black and white marble and originally housing offices for judges and notaries.Be sure to notice the statues over the arcades;they are by the most outstanding stoneworkers of medieval Italy,the Maestri Campionesi from Lake Lugano.The tower,Torre del Comune,dates from 1272.The only thing that doesn't match the medieval setting is the impressive Renaissance law courts building,but it's only visible in glimpses through the market arcade.
Museo Bagatti Valsecchi
Several things make this an especially interesting place to visit.Two brothers in the 19th century spent their lives collecting furnishings and decorative arts to make the interior of their Renaissance palazzo look as it might have appeared originally.Not only will you see a home of that era in a livable state-as opposed to just rooms of display cases and walls of paintings,but you can follow their collecting process through the excellent English signage.So you get to share a bit of the excitement of the chase amid the historical and artistic information about each piece.Most of all,though,it's nice to see the furniture,tapestries,glassware,books,children's items,and paintings by Renaissance masters in a household setting.
Address:Via S Spirito 10,Milan