On Piazza Borromeo, you will find the Church of Santa Maria Podone. This Greek Orthodox Church, which is dedicated to the Holy Mother, takes its name from the fact that a nobleman, named Podone, donated the money to build it in 871. Remodeled in 1440, and again in 1625, it is an inviting sight, set at the end of the lovely piazza, as it is. The facade of the church was designed by Fabio Mangone. In front of the church, there stands a statue of San Carlo Borromeo, by the artist Dionigi Bussola.
As we walked along Via Santa Maria Fulcorina, we came upon the Chiesa di San Matteo alla Bacchetta. This small church was built in 1060 by Augfredo Fagnani, whose family home, Palazzo Fagnani-Ronzoni, is right next to it. Built as a private chapel for his family, this is one of the oldest private family chapels still in existence, and serving the same function even now.
Next to the church of Santa Maria alla Porta, there used to stand a shrine that was dedicated to the Madonna. On the night of August 12th, 1943, three Allied bombs fell on the structure, destroying it. Today, thanks to extensive restoration work, we can see part of the original marble floor of the shrine, as well as the only surviving artwork, a fresco of the Madonna del Grembiule, both of which are now outside, unfortunately, no longer protected from the elements. I love visiting this spot, whenever I am in Milan. I find it very beautiful and touching that this fresco remains here, for all to see.
The Chiesa di Santa Maria alla Porta, as we see it today, dates from 1652, and was designed by the architect Francesco Maria Richini. An earlier church, with the same name, stood at this site before 1105, and when it was demolished, precious relics were discovered, including a part of Jesus’ burial clothes, and the Holy Shroud, as well as the stone on which the Angel who announced the resurrection sat. A part of the True Cross, and a fragment of the dress worn by the Virgin at the Crucifixion, were also found.
Nearby, there is the Pasticceria Marchesi, a must-stop for anyone visiting the city, and in the area. This is one of Milan’s oldest pastry shops. First opened in 1824, to this day, the Milanese flock here, to enjoy the delicious treats still being prepared by the Marchesi family. I love this place!
Next up: More from Milan, including a visit to the Museo Studio Francesco Messina!
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!