Milan is preparing to host the 7th World Meeting of Families, to be held on May 30. An event of international scope that will see the gathering of believers from all over the world. To mark this momentous event, Pope Benedict XVI will preside over a number of events organized in honour of the celebrations. www.family2012.com
On the occasion of the Pope’s visit to Milan for the World Meeting of Families, Where suggests a tour of several of the city’s most evocative places of worship
Milan is preparing to welcome His Holiness Benedict XVI and the flow of pilgrims who will gather together for the seventh World Meeting of Families (scheduled to be held from 29 May to 3 June). A moment not only for reflection but also an opportunity to visit Milan’s places of worship. One of the city’s historic reference points is the Duomo, the most important example of Gothic architecture in Italy featuring a triumph of spires, buttresses and marble statues, serving as the perfect backdrop for the numerous events, exhibitions and concerts that are organized here. In addition to a plethora of artistic works, the Cathedral now boasts a stunning new bookshop in the shape of an innovative octagonal structure made entirely from glass. Finally, to experience the Duomo at its most majestic, we suggest a visit to its terraces, accessible by an elevator, from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view over the city topped by the cathedral’s famed golden Madonnina. (M1-M3 Duomo, www.duomomilano.it).
An important monument of early Christian times, the Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio takes its name from the bishop buried here together with the remains of San Gervaso and Protaso. On 7 December, the Milanese honour the memory of its patron saint with a holiday. The Basilica houses precious works of art including the Sacellum of San Vittore in Ciel d’Oro, the carved wooden choir and the mosaic of the apse (M2 Sant’Ambrogio, www.basilicasantambrogio.it).
Not far from Castello Sforzesco you will find the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Belonging to the Dominican order, not only is it a UNESCO world heritage site but, above all, home to Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper”, hosted in the convent’s old refectory.
On 21 May, the Church will host a performance by Associazione Musicale Arteviva of F.J. Haydn’s Harmoniemesse with an exclusive visit to Leonardo’s Last Supper (M1-M2 Cadorna, www.grazieop.it).
Finally, the Navigli area is home to the Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio which houses numerous works of art attributed to Renaissance artists of the calibre of Foppa and Bergognone, together with the relics of the Magi which, according to legend, Sant’Eustorgio brought back from Constantinople. After crossing through the museum, visitors can access the Portinari Chapel, a masterpiece of design in which both the architectural structure and decorations were conceived at the same time. (www.santeustorgio.it).