Chiesa di San Maurizio

Corso Magenta & Sant'Ambrogio

This 16th-century royal chapel and one-time Benedictine convent is Milan's hidden crown jewel. Its somewhat sombre facade belies a gorgeous interior, every inch covered in breathtaking frescoes, most of them executed by Bernardino Luini, who worked with Leonardo da Vinci. Many of the frescoes immortalise Ippolita Sforza, Milanese literary maven, and other members of the powerful Sforza and Bentivoglio clans who paid for the chapel's decoration.

Duck through a small doorway to the left of the altar to enter the secluded convent hall where blissful martyred saints bear their tribulations serenely – note St Lucia calmly holding her lost eyes, and St Agata casually carrying her breasts on a platter.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Corso Magenta & Sant'Ambrogio attractions

1. Civico Museo Archeologico

0.02 MILES

The 8th-century Monastero Maggiore, once the most important Benedictine convent in the city, is now home to Milan's archaeological museum. Access is via a…

2. Piazza degli Affari

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Home to the Italian stock exchange (Palazzo della Borsa), this square is a famous hub of financial activity. But that’s not all it’s known for. In the…

3. Tempio della Vittoria

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Situated over an ancient cemetery where Christian martyrs were laid to rest, this awesome, fascist-style mausoleum honours Milan’s World War I victims,…

4. Studio Museo Achille Castiglioni

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Architect, designer and teacher Achille Castiglioni was one of Italy’s most influential 20th-century thinkers. This is the studio where he worked until…

5. Castello Sforzesco


Originally a Visconti fortress, this iconic red-brick castle was later home to the mighty Sforza dynasty, who ruled Renaissance Milan. The castle's…

6. Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio


St Ambrose, Milan’s patron saint and one-time superstar bishop, is buried in the crypt of this red-brick cathedral, which he founded in AD 379. It’s a…

7. Biblioteca e Pinacoteca Ambrosiana

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One of Europe’s earliest public libraries (built 1609), the Biblioteca Ambrosiana was more a symbol of intellectual ferment than of quiet scholarship. It…

8. La Vigna di Leonardo

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Behind the 15th-century Casa degli Atellani, home of Renaissance courtiers dell’Atella, lies one of the most interesting gardens in Milan. Set within them…