Milan is one of the most modern cities in Italy. It is a city famous for its shopping being home to many of the signature Italian brands such as Ferragamo, Versace and Armani. In every corner in Milan, you can find a fashionable boutique that attests to the city’s reputation as one of the fashion centers of the world. On the flip side, Milan is also home to the world’s greatest architectures including the oldest churches in Italy. The capital of the late Roman Empire, it stood as Italy’s pride and power of the Catholic Church. You can walk around Milan and see magnificent churches that are timeless as they are beautiful.
1The Duomo. Built in 1386, the Duomo is Milan’s most popular cathedral. It is a massive Gothic structure with white marble floor and pillars. Outside, you can see impressive spires that seem to reach for the sky. Statues are also found in the exterior and frescoes cover the façade both inside and outside. You can take the bus or train to the Duomo. If you are near the area, it would be best to take a stroll and view the equally beautiful sights along the way. The church opens at 9:00 in the morning and closes at 5:30 in the afternoon. Be sure though to wear something appropriate. No revealing clothes for the women and bags are required to be deposited at the entrance.
2Saint Ambrose. This church is representative of the colorful and heavily ornate design of the Byzantine era. This church survived the bombing during World War II but some reconstruction was required to revive this beautiful building. It has inside some of the world’s most beautiful Byzantine mosaics that can simply take your breath away.
3Saint Mary of the Graces (Santa Maria delle Grazie). This is a World Heritage Site protected by the UNESCO and is famous for housing Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper located at the refectory in the convent of the church. Ordered by the Francesco Sforza, the Duke of Milan, Santa Maria delle Grazie was started in 1469 and completed in 1490. The convent was the first to be completed and housed Dominican friars and nuns. Later, the church was added and Ludovico Sforza, the succeeding duke decided to make the church the family’s official burial ground. Today, visitors can go in and view da Vinci’s masterpiece which, due to the wars that ensued, reduced the painting only to one-fourth of the original.
4Basilica of Saint Eustorgio. The bell tower of the picturesque Basilica of Saint Eustorgio is one of its many interesting architectural aspects. Instead of the usual cross on top which marks it as a Catholic Church, the Basilica’s bell tower has the form of a star which signifies the Three Magi or Kings whose tombs are enshrined here. The Basilica built in the 14th century is named after Saint Eustorgio II. It was believed that the remains of the Three Magi were discovered by Saint Helena in 314. She brought them to Constantinople and from there, Saint Eustorgio II traveled the remains to Milan. The Portinari Chapel inside the Basilica is a striking example of Renaissance art featuring frescoes and marble sepulcher.