The church is used every Sunday from October to June to celebrate in the Byzantine Rite, in Greek - head along for something a little different!
San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore was built on ancient Roman edifices, including part of a Hippodrome, and was consecrated in 1518. It was once attached to a female convent of the Benedictines, Monastero Maggiore, which is now used as an archaeological museum. Until 1794 the nuns were strictly forbidden to cross the dividing wall — they even had their own section of the church.
The rather plain and austere grey Ornavasso stone of the church’s façade contrasts dramatically with its stunning interior. The walls and the chapels are totally covered in frescoes which were added between 1510 to 1578. When they ran out of room they just started painting new frescoes on top of the old ones. It’s almost an overdose of colour and beauty — Milan’s version of the Sistine Chapel.
A Family Affair
The most famous frescoes are attributed to Bernardino Luini, a student of Leonard da Vinci. His works on either side of the partition wall are considered among the finest in Milan. But he wasn’t the only Luini to get involved: his brother Aurelio painted the Adoration of the Magi and his sons also decorated the Bergamina chapel.
Join the fastest growing community of professional tour guides.
Use our easy to integrate toolset to include Tours & Attractions in your customer journey.