Sacred Mysteries in the city centre

San Bernardino alle Ossa
San Bernardino alle Ossa
The centre of Milan boasts several masterpieces of religious architecture: enigmatic venues and guardians of long-forgotten stories.

In via Torino – street number 17/19 – visitors can discover the marvels of Renaissance perspective inside the small church of Saint Mary near Saint Satyrus, designed by Bramante. Occupying only one meter in depth, an illusion tricks people to believe the central nave continues behind the altar, and only by getting closer you can see it’s actually a painted wall!


Piazza Missori is home to the fascinating Romanic crypt of San Giovanni in Conca (literally “Saint John in the Hollow”), a church dating back to early Christian times later demolished in the mid-20th century. Its ruins include the only extant example of a Romanesque crypt in Milan.


Just a stone’s throw away is the ossuary chapel of San Bernardino alle Ossa in via Verziere 2, dating back to the 17th-18th century and completely covered by bones and skeletons arranged to form large crucifixes and imposing geometric designs. All the bones have been arranged in the niches, along the cornice, around the pillars, in the door friezes … a decorative motif in which the macabre merges properly with the grace of the Rococo style.


Not many cities can boast such peculiar churches!