Have you ever wondered what hidden treasures lie behind Milan’s great monuments and palaces? With its rich history and majestic architecture, Milan holds many surprises. We often stop at the most famous wonders, such as Milan Cathedral, forgetting those gems, hidden just a few steps away, waiting to be discovered.
Beyond the Duomo, the surprising Church of San Gottardo in Milan
Strolling through Piazza del Duomo, one is left speechless by the grandeur of Milan Cathedral, which dominates the surrounding space. Immediately to its right, the Palazzo Reale, the scene of numerous exhibitions and the destination of thousands of visitors every year, catches the eye. All this beauty, however, does not allow us to appreciate the surroundings.
The place where the Palazzo Reale now stands was once home to the Broletto vecchio, residence of the Torriani family and later of Matteo Visconti. Azzone Visconti rebuilt it in 1336, endowing it with two gardens. One of these gardens was removed some time later to make room for the Duomo, while the other became the present inner courtyard of the Palazzo Reale. Just behind this historic palace stands the bell tower of the Church of San Gottardo in Milan, also known as the Church of San Gottardo in Corte.
SAN GOTTARDO IN CORTE: A HIDDEN GEM
History tells us that the construction of the church began at the hands of the Torriani family, starting from a small temple. Later, Azzone Visconti, with the help of the architect Pecorari and the painter Giotto, completed this magnificent church.
The interior of the church has one nave, preceded by a vestibule supported by Ionic columns, where one can admire a fresco of the Giotto school, which once stood at the base of the bell tower.
One of the most striking elements of the Church of San Gottardo in Milan is the bell tower, with its characteristic colour contrast of red brick and marble. At the top, the Archangel St Michael watches over the area, as if to invite visitors to Piazza del Duomo to turn their gaze towards this hidden gem.
The Church of San Gottardo in Milan is a reminder that Milan holds incredible secrets in addition to its most famous monuments. When visiting the city, it is essential to take a moment to see Milan in its entirety and discover these hidden gems that tell Milan’s history and culture in a unique way.