The diocese of Milan is one of the largest in the world and is the only bishopric in the Occident (the only one in the Western world) to maintain its own Ambrosian liturgical rite that was introduced by Saint Ambrose, the patron saint of the city. This extensive and important diocese includes some of the major Catholic sites.

The first stop on this ecclesiastical itinerary is the iconic symbol of Milan, and the major Gothic building in Italy, the Duomo. The second is the first Western church built in the shape of a Latin cross, San Nazaro, followed by the paleochristian basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore.
Shortly afterwards we come across two of the most ancient churches in Milan, Sant'Eustorgio and Sant’Ambrogio. The latter is the most important example of Romanesque architecture in Lombardy. The itinerary then leads to two Renaissance jewels: Santa Maria delle Grazie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore. The itinerary ends up with San Marco - the cradle of the Augustinians, San Simpliciano - one of the basilicas founded by Sant’Ambrogio, and the late-Renaissance church, Santa Maria della Passione.

Duomo di Milano - Cathedral

The symbol of the city. The Late Gothic style Duomo, in pink-veined white marble with its characteristic spires and gilded statue of Our Lady, the “Madonnina”, represents Milan in the world.

San Nazaro Maggiore

Founded in the fourth century by St.Ambrose, the Basilica of San Nazaro Maggiore was the first religious built in the shape of a Latin cross in the Western Catholic world. It houses relics of the Apostles and the body of San Nazaro.

San Lorenzo Maggiore

Even though it has been restored several times over the centuries, the magnificent early Christian basilica, dating back to the late IV - early V century, still retains its imposing monumentality.

Sant'Eustorgio

The Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio in the Porta Ticinese area - historically a crossroads for communication and commercial exchange due to the vicinity of the laghetto di Sant’Eustorgio (the current Darsena dock), is one of the oldest churches in Milan. It was built on the site where St. Barnabas baptized the first Christians and it is famous for the legend regarding the relics of the Three Kings that were once preserved herein. 

Sant'Ambrogio

The basilica, founded by Bishop Ambrose in the late fourth century, was rebuilt in the Romanesque style in the eleventh century and this is the building which we can still see to this day. However, it still keeps the original composition, plus, late Roman and early Christian sculptural and epigraphic features; the inner chapel of San Vittore in Ciel d'Oro houses holds some splendid fifth-century mosaics.

Santa Maria delle Grazie

The Santa Maria delle Grazie church and Dominican convent is an exceptional testimony of Renaissance architecture in Milan; its history is associated with the Duca Ludovico il Moro and his sumptuous court. It is also associated with the Last Supper fresco by Leonardo da Vinci.

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore

The church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is often described as ‘the Sistine Chapel of Milan’ because it contains intact one of the most beautiful and complete cycles of sixteenth-century Lombard frescoes.

San Marco

The church, whose facade originally cast its reflection in the waters of the Martesana canal and the Inner Ring, outside the city walls, has been rebuilt several times. It is worth paying a visit inside to delve into the mysteries of Milan but, above all, to admire frescoes and paintings by Paolo Lomazzo, Procaccini, G.B. Crespi and Bernardino Campi.

San Simpliciano

The largest basilica commissioned by Saint Ambrose was dedicated to the virgins and was built in the fourth century on an area that originally belonged to the city’s pagan cemetery. Inside are the relics of Saints Martirio, Sisino, Alessandro and Simpliciano.

Santa Maria della Passione

The Basilica of Santa Maria della Passione is one of the major late-Renaissance monuments in Milan and can be considered as an authentic art gallery.

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