Street view of the Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli e San Celso.

©Stephanie Ong/Lonely Planet

Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli e San Celso


This church’s Renaissance facade festooned with statues seems distinctly un-Milanese with its gleaming Carrara marble and mannerist extravagance, but after the Duomo and Sant’Ambrogio it holds a special place in Milanese hearts thanks to its miracle-performing, 15th-century fresco of the Madonna and Child in the left aisle. Inside, lavish Renaissance frescoes by Bergognone, Procaccini and Appiani give the interior a technicolour glow and newlyweds still flock here to leave a token bouquet of flowers for a happy life together.

Adjacent to the church, you’ll find one of the original 11th-century chapels that stood on the site, where Saint Ambrose discovered the bodies of Roman martyrs Nazaro and Celso. It's sometimes used for art exhibits and concerts.

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