A tour of the city: Milan – first part

The "Short walk of the seven churches": a walk which covers 2000 years of history

Foto panoramica di Milano

Milan is the city of fashion, finance, design, of starred restaurants (well 17!). But what we want to tell you is a Milan a bit ‘more secret, hidden, that of Romanesque and Renaissance churches, the picturesque neighborhoods Brera, with the eye of one who does not stop in front of the glittering shop windows, or the visits, d’ obligation, to the Cathedral and the Cenacolo Vinciano, but with that of the curious and discerning travelers.

Walking through the most secret MILAN

We begin our tour by taking from via Bramante, in the heart of what for years was considered the Milanese Chinatown as to be also shown on the map of the town who deliver the Urban Center in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the tram line 14 which cuts Foro Bonaparte, Piazza Cordusio, Piazza Duomo, via Torino leading up to Porta Genova.

We go down in via Torino to begin the “Short walk of the seven churches of Milan”, a walk that covers 2,000 years of religious history, social, urban and architecture in Milan in an unusual and little known itinerary.

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The path on the long shopping street full of shops of all kinds, including some of the seven of the most beautiful churches in the city, starting from Santa Maria at San Satiro. Inside dazzles the amazing visual effect created by the chancel, a masterpiece of Bramante, who was able to give the idea of a great perspective in a small space.

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Even the church of San Sebastiano has a strong symbolic value for the city as kind to the people’s will to thank the saint for having freed the city from the plague in 1576. The Temple looks circular so that the Milanese people is called “La Rotonda”.

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It was built about halfway via Torino because according to tradition this is where the martyr lived his youth and here already stood an ancient church of San Tranquillino in which there was an altar dedicated to St. Sebastian. The structure is inspired by the Basilica of San Lorenzo, the Christian buildings and the Pantheon in Rome. As well as four chapels, inside there are the coats of arms of the city districts who gathered here in the festivities.

Then we reach the church of St. George in the Palace, on the homonymous square.

Milano segretaThe origin of this church dates back to 750 A.D. and the building is located on the ancient ruins of the imperial palace built by the Emperor Diocletian.

Inside three naves are preserved valuable works of art, including the “Chapel of the Passion”, with frescoed ceiling and walls decorated by a cycle of tables of Bernardino Luini, dating back to 1516.

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After leaving the San Giorgio square the tour continues to “The Carrobbio”, one of the oldest areas and mysterious of Milan. The term “Carrobbio” seems to derive from the Latin “Quadruvium”, confluence of many streets in the Porta Ticinese.

A place steeped in history: here it was consumed worship of the god Mithras, it formalizes the freedom of slaves, was the seat of the Holy Inquisition, and it is said that you did stop even the Three Kings.

It is in this scenario that presents the magnificent early Christian basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore, which is framed by sixteen marble columns from a Roman temple from the second century.

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At the center of the square there is a copy of a statue of Constantine who legalized Christian worship in Milan in 313. The church still retains its monumentality, although it has been restored several times over the centuries. The oldest part included the central part of San Lorenzo and the chapel of St. Hippolytus, built together with corner towers, while the Sant’Aquilino chapel was erected at a later date, and that of San Sisto is an addition built in VI century.

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The basilica is considered one of the oldest churches in Italy and its plant is formed by a square and a circle overlaid with four apses, one on each side. The central area of the church is topped by a large dome egg wedges, which has been rebuilt several times since it was devastated by fire and then struck by lightning that caused the collapse; the current one was built between 1574 and 1591. In the building dominates the large central room connected to the chapels, arranged radially around, which is even larger because of exedras that dilate the space and give an impression of grandeur and solemnity.

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Back in the square we head toward the arches of Porta Ticinese, which was called by Milan people Porta Cicca, because it was the smallest of the gates of Milan and had a single opening.

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It’s one of the six main gates of Milan, the only together with the arches of Porta Nuova, to have come to this day, and built inside the ramparts, which borders the district that runs along the axis of Via Torino and Corso di Porta Ticinese towards Pavia (the Roman Ticinum), one of the oldest in Milan.
Milano segretaRemaining in the south of the city, but we move in the car, we then reached the South Agricultural Park, which covers several hectares in an area between Milan and the southern borders, east and west of the metropolitan area of spring, paddy fields and farms on the banks of Navigli, Lambro and Adda.

The cascine (farmhouses) are typical agricultural structures of the Lombard Po Valley, once the courts farm locations. Today there are large farms with stables, dairies, barns, granaries, ovens, mills, often open on Saturday and Sunday lunch with gastronomic respectable prepared with their products, especially meat, rice and cheese.

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Our tour ends here, at the moment…


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