Chiesa di San Maurizio
The Chiesa di San Maurizio is a tribute to the ancient history of Milan. The 16th-century church and surrounding gardens have been restored and feature some of the best-preserved frescoes in the city. The gardens contain the relics of a Maximian wall. History enthusiasts will love exploring the ruins.
The Chiesa was once home to one of the most significant women’s convents in Italy. Inside the former convent buildings is the Archaeological Museum of Milan. The museum covers the ancient history of the area, as well as dedicated exhibits to the medieval period and Greek and Egyptian history.
Start by exploring the grand church. The building itself dates back to 1503, but remains in excellent condition. The vaulted nave is home to a series of 16th-century frescoes by notable figures. See walls painted by Bernardino Luini and his son, Aurelio. Opposite these is a large piece by Simone Peterzano, said to be the painter’s first in Milan.
Visit the Hall of Nuns to discover paintings depicting Saint Catherine, Saint Agatha and the Marriage at Cana. Here you’ll also find the church’s pipe organ. The organ was constructed in 1554 and consists of 70 notes split between pedals and keys. Visit the church on a Sunday between October and June to hear the organ played during the celebration of the Byzantine Rite.
Outside the church you’ll discover two towers, one of which is the church’s bell tower. These polygonal towers are remnants of the Maximian wall that once cut through the church grounds. Continue through the gardens to reach the former convent, now home to Milan’s Archaeological Museum. Learn local history by seeing ancient relics and paintings. The museum contains information on both ancient and medieval Milan, as well as exhibits on Greece, Egypt and Israel.
The Chiesa di San Maurizio is located in central Milan. Reach the museum on foot by following Via Meravigli, which leads away from the Piazza del Duomo. Two metro stations also serve the area. The church is open daily. There is an admission fee for the archaeological museum.