Walking along the bustling Via Torino, you will come across the little Renaissance gem of Santa Maria presso San Satiro, renowned for the perspective illusion created by Bramante, for its Romanesque bell tower, and for the precious interior coatings.
Founded by Archbishop Ansperto in the 9th Century, the Church is devoted to San Satiro, brother of Sant’Ambrogio (Holy Patron of Milano). Santa Maria presso San Satiro was erected during the second Half of the 15the Century in order to preserve a miraculous icon: the votive painting “Madonna con Bambino”.
The great architect Donato Bramante was in charge of the project. Given the small space he had at the disposal, he came up with the ingenious solution to create a false stucco choir, a "trompe l’oeil" that gives the impression of a wider and harmonious environment. The optical illusion by Bramante recreats, in only 97 cm of depth, the image of a 9.70 meters deeep monumental apse, covered with a barrelled vault.
The basilica is structured in three aisles. The middle one is also covered with a barrelled vault and a huge hemispherical dome at the intersection of the transect. Only later, in 1872, the architect Giuseppe Vandoni realized the facade of the Church, since the one designed by Amadeo - on Bramante's commission - was never carried out.