A modern piece of art, shown in the photo above, honors all those who have lost their lives for their country (Italy) in war, and also in peacetime. Walking along the sidewalk, right before one gets to the entrance of the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio, to the right, at the edge of the parking lot, there is a white marble column, famous for the two holes that can easily be seen towards the bottom of the column. Legend has it that the holes were left in the stone by Satan’s horns, when he got them stuck during his struggle with Sant’Ambrogio. Satan had been trying to seduce the saint into temptation. The saint fought back, and when Satan attacked, he got his horns stuck in the white marble. The holes of the column are commonly referred to as the “Doorway to Hell,” and if you get close enough, you can actually detect an odor of sulfur in the air around them.
Our next stop was going to be the Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore. This church is a must-see for anyone traveling to Milan, because of the cycle of 16th-century frescoes that it holds. The church dates from 1503. The architect of the church is not known, though some think that it might have been designed by Gian Giacomo Dolcebuono. The cycle of frescoes, for which the church is famous, was commissioned by Alessandro Bentivoglio. All but one of the side altars of the sanctuary are dedicated to members of the Bentivoglio family. The frescoes themselves were restored in 1964, and then again in 1986. Much of the work in the church was done by the painter Bernardino Luini, and it is here, in this church, that the artist’s talent may be fully appreciated.
The fresco-covered wall, with the grilled window, separated the cloistered nuns from the populace, during the celebration of Holy Mass.
The organ of the church was designed by Giovan Giacomo Antegnati, and dates from 1557. The decorations of the housing of the instrument are by Girolamo and Francesco de’ Medici da Seregno.
Next up: We head next door, to the Museo Archeologico di Milano!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Milan, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!