Discovering Piazza Santo Stefano

Private & Custom Tours in The Veneto

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Tour description provided by Viator

For all state university students in Milan, Piazza Santo Stefano is an almost obligatory stop. As well as for all those who must arrive at the Via Larga. In this square we find the church that bears the same name, in fact Santo Stefano.
Built in the V century BC and dedicated initially to St. Zacharias, Santo Stefano was destroyed by a great fire, along with much of the city in 1075. It was rebuilt starting in 1585 and designed by Di Meda after Charles Borromeo elevates it to stational basilica. The bell tower is the work of Buzzi (1643), which replaced the previously collapsed. Inside the church we find the historical diocesan archives; to the right of the priest you can admire the Trivulzio chapel of Meda. Next to the church an hospital was founded in 1145, at that time the largest in the city which was later absorbed by Ca'Granda. Right in front of the entrance you can see a pillar where Galeazzo Maria Sforza was killed on the 26 December 1476. In this church Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio, was baptized.In the same square we can admire San Bernardino alle Ossa: of medieval origin, it was rebuilt by the end of the seventeenth century by Biffi. Around 1930 the rectory which he builted, went to replace the old houses of the orchard. Here, you can see the family tomb of Christopher Columbus. On the right is the ossuary chapel built in 1210, who was remodeled in 1695. The vault was frescoed by Ricci and the whole environment is covered with human bones, coming from the cemeteries abolished in the seventeenth century. Along a few hundred meters we arrive at Ca'Granda. Now known as University of Milan, the former Ospedale Maggiore was strongly backed by Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria Visconti as a hospital for the poors. He gathered in one place the various hospital centers present at the time (1456). The name Ca 'Granda is due to the fact that it was a particularly large building, especially for the time. Opera Filarete, was one of the first Renaissance buildings in Milan; revised in 1600 by Richini, a wing was added in the following century. Even today you can admire the original cloisters (served as warehouses for wood) that give the name to the various courtyards. On the Via F.Sforza you can still see the portal for access to the ship, right next to the Santa Maria Annunciata Church, whose characteristic is that it does not have the façade as inserted in the arcade of the central courtyard.

What’s included

  • Professional guide

What’s not included

  • Transportation to/from attractions


  • Choice of morning or afternoon departure
  • Explore the local streets on a walking tour of the city
  • Led by a local guide