The second most important church after the Duomo, and a unique artistic testament to the early Christian and medieval eras. This is the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio, located in the same-name square. Built between 379 and 386 A.D. at the behest of the bishop of Milan, Ambrogio, who later became the patron saint of the city, it was restored and enlarged several times over the centuries. The Basilica is fronted by a large four-sided portico, offering a clear view of the large hut-shaped façade and its two bell towers. Located on the left side of the four-sided portico, you’ll find the so-called “Devil’s Column”.
According to legend, during a struggle with Sant’Ambrogio, the devil ended up with his horns stuck in the column. If you look closely, you can actually see the indent of two holes. On your wanderings through its interior, you’ll come across the iconic Gold Altar, a masterpiece of the Carolingian era, created between 824 and 859. The altar has a wooden base layered with sheets of gold and silver, precious stones and enamels. It was built to signify the presence of the remains of St. Ambrose, St. Gervasus and St. Protasus, which are located beneath the altar and still visible through a small window in the crypt.In 2005, archaeological research resulted in the discovery of ninety tombs of martyrs, dating back to the 4th and 5th centuries A.D.
If you speak Italian, you will enjoy this attraction at its best.
Tickets: Free admission.
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-12pm and 2.30-6pm, Sun 3-5pm
If you are planning to visit this location on one of the following dates, we recommend you to check the availability: 1, 6 January, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, 25 April, 1 May, 2 June, 15 August, 1 November, 8, 25, 26 and 31 December.