All SEE in Lombardy

One of the most beautiful countries in the world, Italy is well known for its rich art and culture, and for its numerous landmarks. With 54 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, more than any other country in the world, and an estimated 100,000 monuments of any sort (churches, palaces, museums, fountains, sculptures and archaeological remains), Italy is home to about half of the world’s artistic treasures. And if you are looking for inspiration, find below a list of the most famous tourist attractions in Lombardy…

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    Cimitero Monumentale di Milano

    Cimitero Monumentale di Milano (Monumental Cemetery of Milan) is a large cemetery in Milan. Famous for the abundance of artistic tombs and monuments, the cemetery is an open-air museum, which definitely deserves to be on the list of the most important tourist attractions of the city.   SHORT HISTORY In 1837, the Austrian administration of the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom requested for the construction of a new cemetery to replace the six pre-existing Milanese cemeteries. The winner of the final competition organized by the Municipality was the project of the architect Carlo Maciachini, designed in 1864 in an Eclectic style, with Byzantine, Gothic and Romanesque references. The inaugural blessing was given by Monsignor Giuseppe Calvi on November 2, 1866, in the presence of the mayor of Milan, Antonio Beretta. On the same day, the first burial took place, that of the body of the composer Gustavo Noseda. The official opening of the cemetery took place on January 1, 1867. Since then, the cemetery was gradually enriched with funerary works of classical and contemporary genre.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE For the high artistic value of sculptures, tombs, funeral shrines and other works inside, the Milan Monumental Cemetery is among the most artistically and Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie

    The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is a church in Milan, located in the square of the same name. The church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for housing Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, which is located in the refectory of the convent.   SHORT HISTORY In 1460, the Congregation of Dominicans in Milan received a piece of land from Count Gaspare Vimercati. On this land, there was a small chapel dedicated to Santa Maria delle Grazie (Holy Mary of Grace), where the Dominicans decided to built a new church. On September 10, 1463, the first stone was laid, and the work began under the supervision of the architect Guiniforte Solari. Thanks to the patronage of the Vimercati, the convent was completed in 1469. Simultaneously with the construction of the convent, the building of the church began. The project was for a basilica with 3 naves, with ogival vaults and a gabled facade. Terracotta was used for the walls, while granite was used for the columns and capitals. In 1492, the new Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, also known as il Moro (the Moor), decided to rebuilt the cloister and the apse of the church. The apse is Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio

    Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio is a beautiful church in Milan, located in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio. One of the oldest churches in the city, it is traditionally considered the second most important church in Milan, after the Duomo.   SHORT HISTORY A first church was built on this place between 379 and 386, at the behest of the bishop of Milan, Ambrogio, in an area where Christians martyrs of the Roman persecutions were buried. For this, it was dedicated to the martyrs and called Basilica Martyrum. Ambrogio wanted to place here all the relics of the holy martyrs Vittore, Nabore, Felice, Vitale, Valeria, Gervasio and Protasio. In 397, he was also buried here, and the church was later renamed in his honor. In the 9th century, the bishop Angilbert II added a large apse to the church, preceded by a room with a barrel vault, under which the liturgical functions took place. In the same period, the apse was decorated with a large mosaic, the Redeemer enthroned between the martyrs Protasio and Gervasio, with the archangels Michael and Gabriel above. The basilica received its current shape between 1088 and 1099, when, at the behest of Bishop Anselmo III da Rho, it was radically Read more [...]

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    Capitolium

    The Capitolium, or the Capitoline Temple (Tempio Capitolino), is a Roman temple located in Brescia, in Piazza del Foro, along Via dei Musei. The Capitolium represents the nucleus of the ancient Roman city of Brixia, and together with the theater and the ruins of the forum, is the most important Roman archaeological complex in northern Italy.   SHORT HISTORY The Capitolium was built in 73 AD on the site of a former temple dating back to the period of the Roman Republic. The structure was erected by the Emperor Vespasian after his battle with the General Vitellio, held on a plain between Goito and Cremona. The origin of the temple is confirmed by the writing on the pediment. The temple was destroyed by fire during the barbarian invasions that afflicted Italy in the 4th century AD and never rebuilt. Later, during the Middle Ages, it was buried by a landslide of the Cidneo Hill. The Capitoline Temple was unearthed only in 1823, thanks to the support of the Municipality of Brescia and the University, which demolished public housing and a small park to bring the complex to light. The complex was partially reconstructed between 1935 and 1938. The Corinthian columns Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Loggia

    Palazzo della Loggia is a beautiful palace built in Renaissance style in Brescia, located in the square of the same name, today the seat of the city’s Municipal Council.   SHORT HISTORY In 1484, the municipal authorities of Brescia decided to build a grandiose palace as an expression of good governance, replacing the original loggia and increasing the monumentality of the Piazza della Loggia, which was rising at the time. The first project was presented by Tomaso Formentone, an architect from Vicenza. The project of Formentone involved the construction of a building entirely in wood, an option that was immediately abandoned. The first stone was laid in 1492 and the construction site was directed, between about 1495 and 1510, by Filippo Grassi. The works were interrupted in 1512 by the sack of Brescia, to resume only in 1549. The Loggia was completed in 1574 after numerous interventions by the most famous architects of the time, such as Jacopo Sansovino and Andrea Palladio, as well as Lodovico Beretta from Brescia. The latter was responsible for the large windows on the second floor.   ARCHITECTURE The white Botticino marble facade of the palace is vertically composed of two distinct architectural sections. In Read more [...]

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    Bergamo Cathedral of Sant’Alessandro

    The Cathedral of Sant’Alessandro is the cathedral of Bergamo, dedicated to Saint Alexander, the patron saint of the city. The cathedral is located in the historical center of the city – Città Alta, in the small but beautiful Piazza del Duomo, near the Palazzo della Ragione and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.   SHORT HISTORY In the 8th century, a church in Romanesque style was built on this place, on the site of a paleochristian place of worship dating back to the 5th century. The church was dedicated to San Vincenzo (Saint Vincent of Saragossa). Around the middle of the 15th century, the bishop Giovanni Barozzi decided to build a larger church, entrusting the project to the Florentine architect Filarete. On May 3, 1459, the first stone was laid, and in 1467 the first chapel on the left side was completed and dedicated to Saint Catherine and Saint Jerome. However, after a couple of years, the works suffered an abrupt interruption due to the death of Filarete and to the simultaneous election of bishop Barozzi as Patriarch of Venice. In 1561, the Church of Sant’Alessandro in Colonna was demolished for the construction of the Venetian Walls. The relics of Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore

    Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore is a beautiful church in Bergamo, located in the historical part of the city – Città Alta, in the small Piazza del Duomo.   SHORT HISTORY According to popular tradition, in 1133, the local people promised to built a church dedicated to the Madonna, if the city will be spared by the plague that threatened the northern Italy. The church was built in 1137 on the site of another church from the 8th century, which in turn was built on a pagan temple dedicated to the goddess Clementia. The exterior of the church testifies its construction in two different phases: in the first phase, were built the apsidal area, the northern arm of the transept and the lower part of the southern arm in gray sandstone, with square ashlars, while the remaining parts were built in the second phase, in light ocher sandstone, with rather small ashlars. With the central apse and the transept built, the high altar was consecrated in 1185, and the presbytery and apses on the east side of the transept were completed in 1187. Work slowed down during the 13th century due to economic difficulties. However, the blind facade and the Read more [...]

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    Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

    Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a covered pedestrian street located near the Milan Cathedral, which connects Piazza del Duomo to Piazza della Scala, in Milan. The gallery is one of the oldest shopping malls in Italy and one of the most famous landmarks of Milan. Since its inauguration in the 19th century, due to the presence of elegant shops and cafés, the gallery became the meeting place of the Milanese bourgeoisie, being known as the living room of Milan.   SHORT HISTORY The idea of a street that connected Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Scala was first promoted in 1839 by the writer Carlo Cattaneo, as a solution for the area in front of the Milan Cathedral. In 1863, the Municipality of Milan announced a competition for the new street project. The winner was the project of the architect Giuseppe Mengoni, for a cross-shaped gallery and a porticoed building in Piazza del Duomo. The ceremony for the laying of the first stone by King Vittorio Emanuele II took place on March 7, 1865. The works, excluding the triumphal entry arch, were completed in less than three years. The gallery was finished only ten years later, in 1878, when the Read more [...]

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    Milan Cathedral of the Nativity of Saint Mary

    The Cathedral of the Nativity of Saint Mary, better known as Duomo di Milano, is the largest church in Italy and the fourth largest in the world. The Cathedral, which took almost six hundred years to complete, is the most important tourist attraction in Milan and the most famous symbol of the city.   SHORT HISTORY Once, on the place where the Duomo stands today, there was the ancient Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Basilica of Santa Tecla. After the collapse of the bell tower of the cathedral, the Archbishop Antonio de’ Saluzzi, supported by the population, proposed in 1386 the building of a new and larger cathedral. For the new church, both previous churches were demolished. In January 1387, the foundations of the pylons were laid. The chief architect was Simone d’Orsenigo, who, in 1388, began the perimeter walls. Between 1389 and 1390, the French Nicolas de Bonaventure was commissioned to design the windows. In 1393, the first capital of the pillars was sculpted by Giovannino de’ Grassi, who was the main architect of the work until his death, in 1398. In 1400, Filippino degli Orgi took his place, who focused on the construction of the apse Read more [...]

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    Castello Sforzesco

    Castello Sforzesco, one of the largest castles in Europe, was built in the 15th century by Francesco Sforza. Located outside the historical center of Milan, the castle was one of the main military citadels of Europe between the 16th and 17th centuries. Restored between 1890 and 1905, it is now home to cultural institutions and important museums.   SHORT HISTORY Between 1360 and 1370, a fortification was built on this place by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the first Duke of Milan. The fortification was called Castello di Porta Giovia and had a defensive function. Castello di Porta Giovia was a square-shaped castle with 200 meters long sides and four towers at the corners, two of which were particularly imposing, and 7 meters thick walls. The building became a permanent residence of the Visconti dynasty, to be later destroyed in 1447 by the newborn Repubblica Ambrosiana, founded by the Milanese nobles. After the fall of the Ambrosian Republic, the new Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, began the reconstruction of the castle in 1450, to make it his residence. In 1452, the architect Filarete was hired by the Duke for the construction and decoration of the median tower, which is still called Torre Read more [...]

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    Torre Velasca

    Torre Velasca is a skyscraper in Milan, located in the homonymous square. Its name derives from the name of the Spanish politician Juan Fernández de Velasco, Duke of Milan in the 17th century.   SHORT HISTORY The building was designed by Studio BBPR for the company Ri.C.E. (Ricostruzione Comparti Edilizi SpA), which in 1949 obtained from the Municipality of Milan the license to build a multi-storey building for mixed commercial and residential use, following the devastation inflicted by the heavy bombings of the Second World War. The design studies began in 1950, with the collaboration of the Turin engineer Arturo Danusso, and were immediately directed towards the creation of a new symbol of the post-war rebirth of Milan. The final design of the building was completed in 1955, and was approved by the client and carried out by the General Real Estate Company between 1956 and 1957. The construction work lasted 292 days, ending eight days ahead of schedule. Following some changes of ownership in the 2000s, the building passed to the Fondiaria Sai, part of the Ligresti Group and, subsequently, after the merging with Unipol, it became part of the real estate assets of the new company UnipolSai, which Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria del Carmine

    The Church of Santa Maria del Carmine is a beautiful church in Milan, located in Piazza del Carmine, in the Brera district.   SHORT HISTORY In 1268, the Carmelites settled near the Castello Sforzesco, where, starting from the 14th century, they began to build their convent and an adjoining church, which was destroyed by fire in 1330. The current church was built beginning with 1339 on a project by Fra Bernardo from Venice. The works were completed in 1446 by the architect Pietro Antonio Solari. As soon as it was finished, the vault of the church collapsed and, only three years later, the restoration work began. In the 17th century, the presbytery was radically restored in Baroque style and assumed its current conformation. The current facade, built in 1880, is the work of Carlo Maciachini.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church overlooks the square of the same name. Built in 1880 in a rich neo-Gothic style, it is the work of Carlo Maciachini, famous also for the design of the Monumental Cemetery of Milan. The facade is divided by large pilasters, each surmounted by a Gothic canopy. Above the central portal, there is a mosaic lunette with Read more [...]

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    Temple of Victory

    The Temple of Victory (Tempio della Vittoria), known also as the Memorial to Fallen Milanese Soldiers (Sacrario dei Caduti Milanesi), is a monument in Milan, located in Largo Agostino Gemelli, near the apse area of the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio.   SHORT HISTORY The monument, dedicated to the memory of the Milanese soldiers who fell during the First World War, was built on a project by the architect Giovanni Muzio, with the collaboration of Alberto Alpago Novello, Tomaso Buzzi, Ottavio Cabiati and Gio Ponti, between 1927 and 1930. According to tradition, the memorial is located on a site where, in ancient times, there was the cemetery of the martyrs of the early Christian era, to which martyred soldiers of the First World War relate. The monument was inaugurated on November 4, 1928, with a great ceremony, in which the Prince Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta and commander of the Italian Third Army during the First World War, read the text of the Victory Bulletin to the huge crowd present, composed mainly of veterans from 1918. Severely damaged during the heavy bombings of Milan from 1943, the monument was rebuilt after the war. It was expanded in 1973 with the large memorial Read more [...]

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    Columns of San Lorenzo

    The Columns of San Lorenzo (Colonne di San Lorenzo) is a late Roman monument in Milan, located in front of the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore, near the Medieval Ticinese Gate (Porta Ticinese Medievale). The Columns have a particular emotional meaning for the Milanese, testifying the history of the ancient Mediolanum, capital of the Western Roman Empire between the 3rd and the 5th century.   SHORT HISTORY The Columns of San Lorenzo were brought here in the 4th century, to form an atrium in front of the ancient basilica. The columns came from various Roman buildings dating back to the 2nd or 3rd century, probably from a pagan temple located in the area of today’s Piazza Santa Maria Beltrade. Until 1935, in the current square located between the Columns and the Basilica of San Lorenzo, there were old buildings, which were demolished to give greater coherence and monumentality to the basilica. The new square was subsequently occupied by the tram tracks, which in the 1990s were moved beyond the Columns. In 1937, the bronze statue of the Emperor Constantine was placed in the square, a modern copy of the antique original preserved in Rome.   ARCHITECTURE The Columns of San Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore

    Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore is one of the oldest churches in Milan, and together with the Columns of San Lorenzo, located a few meters away, is considered an important Roman monumental complex. The church is dedicated to Saint Lawrence, one of the seven deacons of Rome, who was martyred in 258 during the persecution of the Christians by the Roman Emperor Valerian.   SHORT HISTORY The church dates back to a period between the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 5th century, and was built on the remains of a temple dedicated to Hercules by the Emperor Maximian. The church was damaged by fire in 1071 and 1072, its dome collapsed in 1103, and it was destroyed again by fire in 1124. The church was then rebuilt in Romanesque style, maintaining the original internal layout. During the Middle Ages, the basilica remained a symbol of the Roman heritage in Milan, and a privileged burial place for the city’s bishops. In 1573, the dome of the church collapsed once again during a liturgical celebration. Given the importance of the building, Cardinal Carlo Borromeo comissioned the architect Martino Bassi to rebuilt the dome according to the tastes of Read more [...]

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    Piazza Paolo VI

    Piazza Paolo VI, also known as Piazza del Duomo, is one of the main squares of Brescia, located about 100 meters from Piazza della Loggia and about the same from Piazza della Vittoria. Part of the historical center of Brescia, it is known as Piazza del Duomo due to the presence of the two cathedrals of the city, and it was named after Pope Paul VI after his death.   ARCHITECTURE The square appeared in medieval times, through the construction of the buildings that surround it. One of the buildings of that era is Palazzo Broletto, which today also includes the Civic Tower (Torre del Pegol) and the Loggia delle Grida, located on the northeast side of the square, dating back to the 13th century. Palazzo Broletto is considered the oldest public building in Brescia, and today it houses the Prefecture, the Provincial Administration and some municipal offices. On the eastern part of the square, we can also find the New Cathedral of Brescia, built between 1604 and 1825, in various architectural styles ranging from the late Baroque to the Rococo. The next structure is the Old Cathedral of the city, known also as La Rotonda, an example of Romanesque Read more [...]

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    Church of San Lorenzo

    Rich in pictorial and sculptural works of art, the Church of San Lorenzo, dedicated to Saint Lawrence, is one of the most important churches in Brescia.   SHORT HISTORY The first mention of the church can be found in a document dating back to the 11th century, but the place of worship was probably built long before this time. The first important interventions on the ancient structure took place at the end of the 15th century, at the behest of the provost Bernardino Fabio. At the beginning of the 16th century, Girolamo Romani, better known as Romanino, was commissioned to paint the Lamentation over the Dead Christ for the Chapel of the Passion. The painting remained in the chapel until 1871, and then was sold and transferred to various private collections in Italy and England. Today, the work is found in Venice, in the Gallerie dell’Accademia. From this moment on, many other artists worked in the church, including Callisto Piazza, Lattanzio Gambara, Pietro Marone and Prospero Rabaglio. In the 17th century, with the spread of the cult of Saint Carlo Borromeo, the church was enriched with an altar dedicated to him, decorated with an altarpiece by Francesco Giugno. The other Read more [...]

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    Monument to Bella Italia

    The Monument to Bella Italia, officially a monument dedicated to the fallen of the Ten Days of Brescia, is a sculpture located in the northeast area of Piazza della Loggia, in Brescia. The sculpture is the work of Giovanni Battista Lombardi from 1864 and was donated to the city by King Vittorio Emanuele II.   SHORT HISTORY On the site where the monument stands today, there was originally a column with the Lion of Saint Mark on top, a sign of the domination of the Republic of Venice over the city of Brescia. The column was erected between 1454 and 1455, and near its base there were held, for centuries, the executions of those condemned to death, in front of a large public. Finally demolished in 1797 by the revolutionaries, it left an empty space which was filled a few decades later, in 1864, by the new monument. The statue was conceived in the full Italian Unification climate to commemorate the fallen of the Ten Days of Brescia and was executed by the sculptor Giovanni Battista Lombardi at the behest of Vittorio Emanuele II. The inauguration took place in 1864, and the sculpture still occupies the northeastern portion of the Read more [...]

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    Church of San Francesco d’Assisi

    The Church of San Francesco d’Assisi is a church in Brescia, dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi. The church is flanked by an ancient Franciscan convent dating back to the 14th century.   SHORT HISTORY The church was completed in 1265, but it was not frescoed until the early 14th century. In the 15th century, the church was enriched with 5 altars, two of which painted by Moretto (Alessandro Bonvicino) and Romanino (Girolamo Romani), great masters of the early Renaissance in Brescia. In the 16th century, in the left nave of the church, the Chapel of the Immaculate was built in Renaissance style. With the advent of the French in 1797, the church and the adjoining convent underwent a phase of decadence in which archives were destroyed and many rooms were ruined. Only in 1839, thanks to the architect Rodolfo Vantini, the church was the subject of modernization work, taking on some Neoclassical elements. In 1928, the Friars Minor returned to live in both the convent and the church, and thanks to various restorations, they were able to recover a part of the ancient artistic heritage.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church, in Romanesque-Gothic style, restored in Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Martinengo Palatini

    Palazzo Martinengo Palatini is a beautiful palace in Brescia, located in Piazza del Mercato. Built in the 15th century and completely rebuilt at the beginning of the 18th century, is one of the most elegant Baroque palaces of the city.   SHORT HISTORY In 1457, Giovanni Martinengo bought a piece of land in the area where the ancient medieval walls were located. With other successive purchases, the family became the owner of the entire space between Piazza delle Erbe, now Piazza del Mercato, Corso Palestro and Via Fratelli Porcellaga. In 1479, the sons of Giovanni were appointed palatine counts by the Emperor Maximilian of Austria, which generated the new family branch of the Martinengo Palatini. One of their descendants, Teofilo, decided to demolish the 15th-century palace and to build a new one. Teofilo began the construction, but never see it finished, dying in the early 18th century. The palace was finally completed by his son, Curzio III, in 1710. With the extinction of the family branch in 1874, the building was donated to the Municipality of Brescia, which set up some offices in the palace, as well as the Musical Institute Venturi, which used the main hall as an auditorium Read more [...]

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    Piazza del Mercato

    Piazza del Mercato is a beautiful square in Brescia, located southwest of Piazza della Vittoria and Piazza della Loggia, along Corso Palestro.   SHORT HISTORY In 1435, on the southern part of the square, sellers of cloths and linen appeared, placing their wooden huts there. In 1481, the Municipality of Brescia built a long arcade with residences for the shopkeepers on the first floor. In 1558, a similar structure was built on the northern part of the square, where Lodovico Beretta erected a palace with the same function, known today as Palazzo Beretta. During the 17th century, the last two monumental buildings in the square were built: the Church of the Madonna del Lino, in the southern part, in 1608, and the Martinengo Palatini Palace in the western part, began in 1672, but completed only in 1710. At the beginning of the 19th century, other interventions were made to the square: the wooden huts leaning against the buildings were eliminated, the arcades were paved and, in the center, a large fountain was built after a design by Giovanni Donegani with the statue of Abundance by Giovanni Antonio Labus. The bombardments of the Second World War seriously damaged the square and Read more [...]

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    Brescia Old Cathedral

    The Old Cathedral (Duomo Vecchio), also known as La Rotonda because of its round layout and officially as the Winter Co-Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, is a Romanesque church in Brescia. The Old Cathedral is located near the New Cathedral (Duomo Nuovo), in Piazza Paolo VI.   SHORT HISTORY The history of the Old Cathedral begins with the demolition of the ancient Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore de Dom, an early Christian structure built perhaps in the 7th century. The construction of the cathedral began in the 11th century and was completed in the first half of the 12th century. Towards the end of the 13th century, Berardo Maggi, bishop of Brescia, made an enlargement of the presbytery and had the interiors decorated. Between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, the architect Bernardino da Martinengo extended the presbytery to the east, covering it with cross vaults in Gothic style. Around the same time, the transept was also added, completed with the Chapel of the Holy Crosses on the left side. In this phase of construction, Filippo Grassi, the future architect of the Palazzo della Loggia, also participated. The keystones are the work of Read more [...]

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    Piazza della Vittoria

    Piazza della Vittoria is a beautiful square in Brescia, located about 100 meters away from the Piazza della Loggia and the Palazzo della Loggia.   SHORT HISTORY In 1927, the Municipality of Brescia, supported by the Fascist politician Augusto Turati, by the Fascist Party and by Benito Mussolini himself, held a competition for a new urban redesign of the ancient medieval area of the Pescherie district. The winner was the Roman architect Marcello Piacentini. The demolition of the area began in 1929 and was completed in less than two years. During the works, buildings of great historical value were lost, such as the 15th-century slaughterhouse and the Romanesque Church of Sant’Ambrogio, rebuilt in the 18th century. In 1932, during the ceremony of inauguration of the square, which coincided with the tenth anniversary of the birth of fascism, Benito Mussolini himself was present and gave a speech. The construction of the large underground car park, which took place in 1974, forced large ventilation grids to be opened over a large part of the central area of the square. The general renovation of the square, connected to the creation of the Metro station, was completed at the end of 2013. The area Read more [...]

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    Torre dell’Orologio

    Torre dell’Orologio is a beautiful clock tower in Brescia, located in Piazza della Loggia, opposite the Palazzo della Loggia.   SHORT HISTORY The Clock Tower was built between 1540 and 1550 on a design by Lodovico Beretta, a local architect who also contributed to the construction of the Palazzo della Loggia. The tower houses a complex mechanical clock, installed between 1544 and 1546, probably replacing a previous mechanism. The clock, on two different dials, marks the hours, the moon phases and the zodiac signs.   ARCHITECTURE The side of the tower facing Piazza della Loggia has an astronomical quadrant and a tympanum painted by Gian Giacomo Lamberti in 1547, while the second side, which overlooks Via Beccaria, has a gilded quadrant of an unknown author. On the upper part of the tower, there are two rods and a bronze bell, and two copper automata installed in 1581, depicting two men with a hammer, known in the Brescian dialect as the Màcc de le ure (Crazy of the hours). In 1595, a long portico in white Botticino marble was built by the architect Piero Maria Bagnadore at the base of the tower. Passing under the tower through a passage created in Read more [...]

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    Piazza della Loggia

    Piazza della Loggia is a rectangular square in Brescia, enclosed by a series of buildings from the Venetian period, among which stands the Palazzo della Loggia, the seat of the city’s Municipal Council.   SHORT HISTORY Piazza della Loggia was designed during the Renaissance, and its construction began at the end of the 15th century. The square became the beating heart of the city, both for its position and for the presence of the Loggia, a palace built between 1489 and 1574. On May 28, 1974, a bombing took place in the square during an anti-fascist demonstration, killing 8 people and wounding 102.   ARCHITECTURE The square is surrounded by 16th-century buildings in Venetian style, quite modest in appearance, but with a strong visual impact. Opposite to the Loggia, on the eastern side of the square, we can find the arcades, also in Renaissance style, surmounted by the Clock Tower, named for the presence of an ancient clock added in 1546. On the southern side of the square, there is the old Monte di Pietà building, erected between 1484 and 1489, which has a small Venetian loggia divided into two arches in the lower part, and the main facade adorned Read more [...]

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    Church of Sant’Andrea

    The Church of Sant’Andrea is a church in Bergamo, located in Via Porta Dipinta 39, in the upper part of the city, known as Città Alta.   SHORT HISTORY In the State Archive of Bergamo, there is a notarial deed dated back to 785, which certifies the existence of a proto-Christian basilica on this place, called Basilica Sancti Andreae. Due to the damage caused by the construction of the Venetian Walls between 1561 and 1588, the old basilica obtained compensation of 300 scudi from the Venetian Republic, thanks to which it was renovated and reconsecrated in 1592. A subsequent reconstruction of the church dates back to 1689, with the laying of the foundation stone on June 23 by Bishop Daniele Giustiniani. In 1805, by a decree of Napoleon Bonaparte, the adjacent parish of San Michele al Pozzo Bianco was suppressed and its territory was annexed to the parish of Sant’Andrea. The ancient church was thus too small for this new territory and for a rather large population, and in in 1829 the architect Giacomo Romilli was commissioned to plan its complete renovation. Giacomo Romilli’s project included a neoclassical building, with a facade marked by pilasters and a tympanum, a small Read more [...]

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    Church of Sant’Agostino

    The Church of Sant’Agostino is a beautiful church in Bergamo, located near the eastern walls of the Città Alta and the homonymous gate of the city. Since 2015, the church houses the Aula Magna of the University of Bergamo.   SHORT HISTORY The Church of Sant’Agostino was built starting with 1290, on the site of a pre-existing church dedicated to Saints Philip and James. The new church was dedicated to Saints Philip, James and Augustine, and was consecrated on February 11, 1347, by the bishop Bernardo Bernardi. In the early 15th century, the church and the adjacent monastery were in a serious state of decay, and the complex was completely abandoned in 1441. Around the middle of the 15th century, the friar Giovanni da Novara obtained permission to sell some properties of the church, and used the money thus obtained to repair some of the buildings of the monastic complex. During the 15th century, seven chapels were built on each side of the church, for important families of Bergamo, who, in turn, donated the funds needed to repair the buildings. Jacopo Filippo Foresti was the friar responsible for the reconstruction of the church, with the contributions obtained from the families. Read more [...]

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    Palazzo della Ragione

    Palazzo della Ragione is a palace in Bergamo, located in the upper part of the city, Città Alta. The palace stands across the Piazza Vecchia from the Palazzo Nuovo, bordering also the Piazza del Duomo to the north.   SHORT HISTORY The palace was built at the end of the 12th century, more precisely between 1183 and 1198, making it the oldest town hall in Italy. The building maintained its role as a political center even after the end of the communal era, when, with the arrival of the Republic of Venice in the first half of the 15th century, it was used as the palace of justice, hence the name della Ragione (of reason). The palace, which was already in a bad shape at the beginning of the 16th century, suffered serious damage in 1513, after a fire. Its reconstruction began in 1538 under the direction of the architect Pietro Isabello, and was completed in 1554. The works on the exterior were started in March 1539, and the Lion of St. Mark was placed on the facade in April of the same year. Subsequently, the southern wall was restored. The rebuilding of the loggia on the ground floor began Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Medolago Albani

    Palazzo Medolago Albani is a beautiful palace located in the ancient part of Bergamo, Città Alta, on Viale delle Mura, near Porta San Giacomo.   SHORT HISTORY The palace, a beautiful example of Neoclassical architecture, was built by the architect Simone Cantoni in 1770. In 1841, the palace was bought by Count Giacomo Medolago Albani, an ancestor of the current owners. Over time, the palace underwent many transformations, becoming one of the most important buildings of the city and home to one of the most notable historical and cultural events of the time. The visits of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria with his wife Elizabeth of Bavaria and the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II are evidenced by the commemorative stone slabs placed at the entrance to the building.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The palace is an admirable example of an aristocratic building of the late 18th century. The facade, on two floors, with 8 semi-columns, is surmounted by a fake balcony with a decoration in the middle and four statues depicting the Architecture, Sculpture, Painting and Poetry, works of the sculptor Antonio Gelpi. Between the two floors, we can find five medallions of Carrara marble depicting scenes inspired Read more [...]

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    Porta San Giacomo

    Porta San Giacomo (Saint James Gate) is one of the four Venetian gates of the Città Alta, the ancient part of Bergamo. The gate represents the southern entrance to the old city, and due to its elevated position, it can be seen from afar.   SHORT HISTORY The construction of the Venetian walls (Mura Venete) surrounding the Città Alta began in 1561, as part of a defensive system meant to protect the western territories of the Venetian Republic from Milan, which, after the peace treaty signed in 1559 at Cateau-Cambrésis, became a Spanish province. The Venetian walls have four gates: Porta San Lorenzo, Porta Sant’Agostino, Porta Sant’Alessandro and Porta San Giacomo. The gates were named, except for the Porta Sant’Agostino, after neighbouring churches. Porta San Giacomo was built in 1593, replacing a wooden structure dating back to the middle of the 16th century. The gate was completed with a fresco depicting the winged lion of Saint Mark by Gian Paolo Cavagna. The masonry bridge leading to the gate was built in 1780, and renovated at the end of the 19th century, to enlarge the access area to the Medolago Alabani palace, located nearby. The two small arches of the gate Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria Immacolata delle Grazie

    The Church of Santa Maria Immacolata delle Grazie is a beautiful church in Bergamo, located on Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, near the Porta Nuova.   SHORT HISTORY Saint Bernardino of Siena came to Bergamo in 1419 for the second time to quell the feuds that divided the Guelph and Ghibelline families of the city. Pietro Ondei, influenced by his preaching, gave the saint a piece of land to build a church and a convent for the Franciscan friars. The church was founded on April 27, 1422, by the bishop Francesco Aregazzi. The project of urban reorganization of the city from the 19th century included the construction of a large avenue – Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII, which connected the railway station to Porta Sant’Agostino, one of the entrances to the upper part of the city, Bergamo Alta. For this reason, the monastic order was suppressed in 1810, the church was demolished in 1856 and then rebuilt a little further from the original place. The ancient church was dedicated to the Madonna delle Grazie, but with the dogmatic proclamation of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 1854, the bishop of Bergamo, Pietro Luigi Speranza, renamed the church to Santa Maria Immacolata delle Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Nuovo

    Palazzo Nuovo is a beautiful palace in Bergamo, located in the upper part of the city, Città Alta, on the northern side of the Piazza Vecchia, across the square from the Palazzo della Ragione. The palace currently houses the Angelo Mai Civic Library, one of the most important historic preservation institutions in Italy, with over 677,000 volumes, 2,200 incunabula and 16,800 manuscripts.   SHORT HISTORY Palazzo Nuovo, as it was called in contrast to the Palazzo Vecchio (Palazzo della Ragione), was built by the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi to house the city’s town hall. The construction of the palace began in the early 17th century, and was definitively completed only in 1958 with the placing of six statues, works of the sculptor Tobia Vescovi, on the facade overlooking the Piazza Vecchia. The access loggia, which lightens the facade, was designed by the architect Andrea Ceresola, who was also responsible for the reconstruction of the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa. The white marble facade was built in 1928 by the architect Ernesto Pirovano, who took into account the initial project of Scamozzi. The Angelo Mai Civic Library, which was initially housed in the Palazzo della Ragione, was transferred in 1928 to the Palazzo Read more [...]

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    Piazza Vecchia

    Piazza Vecchia (Old Square) is a beautiful square in Bergamo, located on the upper part of the city, known as the Città Alta. For many centuries, the square was the fulcrum of the political and civil power of Bergamo, and today is a favorite meeting place for locals.   SHORT HISTORY Piazza Vecchia was built on the place of the ancient Roman forum of the city. Beginning with the 11th century, numerous dwellings were built on the square. In the 13th century, the reclamation of the area began, and the dwellings were demolished. The square became the city center only in the Middle Ages, more precisely in the 12th century, with the construction of the Palazzo della Ragione, the seat of the Municipality. The buildings surrounding the square were built starting with the 15th century.   ARCHITECTURE To the north of the square, we can find the Palazzo Nuovo, which houses the Angelo Mai Library. The palace was built to a design by the architect Vincenzo Scamozzi starting with the early 17th century and was completed only in 1958, with the placing of the last ornamental works on the facade. In the western part of the square, there is the Read more [...]

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    Church of Saints Bartholomew and Stephen

    The Church of Saints Bartholomew and Stephen is a beautiful church in Bergamo, located in the modern part of the city, known as Città Bassa, along the famous Sentierone, one of the most important avenues of the town.   SHORT HISTORY A former church dedicated to Saint Stephen was demolished on November 11, 1561, for the construction of the Venetian walls which surrounds the Città Alta. From the numerous friars who lived in the convent, only eight remained as guests in the Church of San Bernardino. On August 14, 1572, the friars moved to the small Church of San Bartolomeo, given to them by the Pope Pius V. The Church of Saint Bartholomew was rebuilt in the first half of the 17th century, more precisely between 1603 and 1642, on a project by the architect Anton Maria Caneva of Como. The church was consecrated on January 19, 1782, by the bishop of Bergamo, Giovanni Paolo Dolfin.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The church has a simple structure, but at the same time elegant and grandiose, measuring 60 meters in lenght and 14 meters in width, without the chapels. The facade, completed at the end of the 19th century by the architect Read more [...]

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    Church of San Fedele

    The Church of San Fedele is a church located in the heart of Milan, between Palazzo Marino and the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery. The church was built in the 16th century by the will of the archbishop Carlo Borromeo, to house the Society of Jesus, and is dedicated to Saint Fidelis of Como.   SHORT HISTORY An ancient church located on this place and dedicated to St. Fidelis of Como is mentioned in a bull of Pope Eugene III of 1147. In 1567, the structure was entrusted to the Jesuits, shortly after their arrival in Milan. The Jesuits started some restoration and enlargement works. In 1569, the archbishop Carlo Borromeo entrusted the construction of a new church to the architect Pellegrino Tibaldi, who completed the building in 1579. The consecration of the church took place in the same year. After the suppression of the Jesuit Order in 1773, the church was entrusted to the priests from the nearby Church of Santa Maria alla Scala. After the demolition of Santa Maria alla Scala in 1776 to make room for the Teatro alla Scala, the Church of San Fedele took the title of Santa Maria alla Scala in San Fedele, and was Read more [...]

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    Casa Manzoni

    Casa Manzoni is a palace located in Via Gerolamo Morone, in Milan, famous for beeing the home of the writer Alessandro Manzoni from 1814 to his death. Alessandro Manzoni was an Italian writer, poet and playwright, who is considered one of the greatest Italian novelists of all time for his famous novel The Betrothed, the cornerstone of the Italian literature.   SHORT HISTORY In 1813, three years after Alessandro Manzoni returned to Milan, together with his wife Enrichetta Blondel and his mother Giulia Beccaria, after a five-year experience in Paris, he bought a new house in Via Morone. Manzoni moved to his new home a few months later, starting a series of modernization works, including the reconstruction of the facade oriented towards the Piazza Belgioioso. The current appearance of the facade is owed to the architect Andrea Boni, who, in 1864, at the request of Manzoni, rebuilt the palace in Neo-Renaissance style. The facade, inspired by the Lombard Renaissance architecture, is composed of elaborate terracotta decorations. Above all, the portal and the balcony stand out. Until a few years ago, the Lombard Historical Society and the National Center of Manzoni Studies were housed in the building, on the ground floor. Read more [...]

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    Palazzo Reale di Milano

    Palazzo Reale di Milano (Royal Palace of Milan), formerly Palazzo del Broletto Vecchio, was for many centuries the seat of the government of Milan and a royal residence until 1919, when it was acquired by the state, becoming a venue for exhibitions and events. Originally designed with a system of two courtyards, then partially demolished to make room for the Duomo, the palace is located to the right of the facade of the Cathedral of Milan, opposite to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.   SHORT HISTORY A former palace that stood on the same area in the late Middle Ages, the Broletto Vecchio, also called Brolo di Sant’Ambrogio, was the first documented seat of the Municipality of Milan. The palace, built before the 10th century, ended this function in 1251, when the municipal office was moved to the Palazzo della Ragione. Broletto Vecchio was then demolished, and in its place was built the Palazzo Reale, known at first as the Palazzo del Broletto Vecchio, recalling the name of the pre-existing building. Palazzo Reale became a political center during the lords of the Torriani, Visconti and Sforza families, taking later the role of Palazzo Ducale, the seat of the Duchy of Read more [...]

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    Piazza del Duomo

    Piazza del Duomo is the main square of Milan, and its true commercial center for over seven centuries. The square is the vital center of the city, the meeting point of the Milanese to celebrate important events and, together with the adjacent Cathedral of Milan, a desired destination for tourists from all over the world.   SHORT HISTORY The birth of the square can be traced back to Azzone Visconti, Lord of Milan from 1329 until his death, who, in order to create a useful space for mercantile activities, created the Arengo Square between the Churches of Santa Maria Maggiore and Santa Tecla. Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the first Duke of Milan, further enlarged the square, ordering the demolition of the bishop’s house in 1385 and the Baptistery of San Giovanni alle Fonti in 1387. In 1458, with the blessing of Pope Pius II, Francesco Sforza, the fourth Duke of Milan, obtained permission to demolish the Basilica of Santa Tecla to create a large square worthy of the Duomo, which, at that time, was under construction. In 1548, the architect Vincenzo Seregni created a new project for the Piazza del Duomo, but due to lack of funds, the only work that Read more [...]

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    Arco della Pace

    Arco della Pace is a triumphal arch in Milan, a neoclassical monument located between the beginning of Corso Sempione and the northern edge of the Sempione Park. The arch, inaugurated on 10 September 1838 during a ceremony attended by the newly crowned emperor Ferdinand I of Austria, is dedicated to the peace established between the European nations at the Vienna Congress of 1815.   SHORT HISTORY The first arch was built in January 1806, on the design of Luigi Cagnola, to celebrate the arrival in Milan of the newlyweds Eugène de Beauharnais, Viceroy of Italy, and Princess Augusta of Bavaria. The arch was raised on Corso di Porta Orientale, now Corso Venezia, and was built from canvas, plastic and timber. Given the success of the arch among foreign visitors, the council of Milan, the municipality of the time, decreed on 8 February that a new marble arch will be erected in a more appropriate place. The new work, designed also by Cagnola to celebrate the French victory in the Battle of Jena, was built starting with the autumn of 1807. The works were directed by Cagnola himself and supervised by Domenico Moglia, Nicola Pirovano, Francesco Peverelli and Bai Gio Battista, Read more [...]