Chiesa di Santa Maria Presso di San Satiro

Duomo & San Babila

Chiesa di Santa Maria Presso di San Satiro exterior.

©Stephanie Ong/Lonely Planet

Here’s an escape from the Zara/Benetton/H&M maelstrom on Via Torino. Ludovico Sforza saw potential in this little church built on top of the 9th-century mausoleum of martyr San Satiro, and asked architect Donato Bramante to refurbish it in 1482. His ambition wasn’t dampened by the project’s scale: a trompe l'œil–coffered niche on the shallow apse makes the backdrop to the altar mimic the Pantheon in Rome.