Churches to visit in Milan, Italy

piazza di duomo Milano centro, Milan Italy
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Milan has many faces. Fashion, business, finance, arts, and really dominating, however, there’s spirituality as well. Probably the biggest surprise the city caused, is to realize how many beautiful churches are in Milan! Beautiful, grotesque, mysterious, and colorful. The peaceful simplicity combined with beautiful art. If there’s one thing I really love in traveling, to get surprised. Visiting churches is always part of my trips, and since I live near Milan, I’ve got to visit quite a few of them. Here comes the list of 10 Catholic churches in Milan, Italy!

While there are many, I have gathered just 10of my favorite churches in Milan, that I’d like to share more about. These are really worth a Milan bucket list because there’s much to see. From the famous church in Milan with skulls to the giant cathedral of Milan, you can find many different ones, from different centuries.

Catholic Churches in Milan – 10 of the most famous churches in Milan

#1 Duomo di Milano

piazza del duomo milano italy

Location: Piazza del Duomo, Milano

When you’re visiting Milan, the duomo should be always on top of your bucket list! The immense cathedral is Milan’s most famous, most beautiful attraction, and also one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in the world.

The constructions of Duomo di Milano began in the 14th century, and it took nearly 6 centuries to be completed. Otherwise known as Milan Cathedral is the 2nd largest church in Europe. It’s also the 5th largest church on the planet.

Regarding the structure, the plan consists of a nave with 4 side-aisles. The cathedral is about 45 meters tall, and the structure is held by 40 immense pillars. If you’re looking from the right angle, it looks like a forest of columns.

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The rose windows are the other highlight of the cathedral, why it’s really great to visit from inside and have a close look.

You can also visit the rooftop of the cathedral. It’s really worth doing, as it’s like a forest of beautiful pinnacles and spiles, not to mention the view. There are about 3,400 statues, 135 gargoyles, and 700 figures that decorate the duomo!

Visitors are allowed to enter just on the right side of the cathedral. There are different pass combinations you can take, for the cathedral and the rooftop. Have a look below on the most popular ones!

#2 Basilica San Lorenzo Maggiore

Basilica San Lorenzo Maggiore milan italy

Location: Corso di Porta Ticinese, nr 35, Milano

Basilica San Lorenzo Maggiore is one of the oldest churches in Milan. It was built during the Roman Empire between the 4th and the 5th centuries. Later it was re-built subsequently along the centuries due to numerous disasters that the cathedral survived. First there was a fire, followed by an earthquake. In the 16th century, the dome of the church collapsed, which required re-building as well.

The structure and architecture of the basilica in the 16th century was studied by many artist and architects, such as Bramante, and Leonardo da Vinci as well. As in WW2 Milan was bombarded, the affected buildings weren’t rebuilt, so the park at the Basilica San Lorenzo was created in their place.

It’s really worth going inside as well. A beautiful piece, that must be seen when you’re visiting Milan!

If you’re looking to visit the cappella, that’s €1,50. There’s a combined ticket with Museo Diocesano, Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio, and Cappella Portinari for €12.00.

#3 San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore milan italy

Location: Corso Magenta, nr 13, Milano

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is a real hidden gem in Milan! When you’re walking by it outside, you’d never even think what beauties it’s hiding inside!

The monastery originally was attached to a very important female convent of the Benedictines. Some parts of the building are from the Roman times, but the construction of this actual monastery started in 1503, and it has been completed in 15 years. The edifice is divided in two parts, first being for the faithful, and the backside for the nuns. It was absolutely prohibited, to cross that dividing wall. Now when you’re visiting, you’re allowed to go around and see the back.

San Maurizio is now used by Archeological Museom of Milan.

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore milan italy

The most important side you’ll have to see in the church, are indeed, the frescoes. Dating back to the 16th century, both parts of the nave, the front side and the hall of the nuns are covered with frescoes. These are reprezenting San Maurizio’s life, as well as decorative works, which completely cover the walls.

San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore can be visited from Tueday to Monday in the morning hours between 9-12, and in the afternoon between 2-5 pm. Entrance is free to visit the inside of this church in Milan.

#4 San Bernardino alle Ossa

San Bernardino alle Ossa Milan Italy

Location: Piazza Santo Stefano, Milano

One of the most unique places to see in Milan! San Bernardino alle Ossa is really one of a kind, and it’s a church in Milan you shouldn’t skip.

The chapel of San Bernardino is a really, really unique one, and it’s not something you’ll find too often anywhere. San Bernardino alle Ossa was first built in the 13th century and rebuilt after a fire destroyed it in the 18th century.

A remarkable piece of the Baroque and Rococo style! The church in Milan is known for its ossuary and famous skull chapel. The chapel is on the right-hand side as soon as you enter the church, at the end of a small corridor.

San Bernardino alle Ossa

At the beginnings of its history, the ossuary was built in 1210, to collect the bones from a nearby hospital’s graveyard. Later the church was attached to it.

The tall chapel is covered all around with thousands of human skulls and bones from the ossuary and other nearby cemeteries from the 17th century. The ceilings are covered with breathtaking frescoes by Sebastiano Ricci.

This chapel is an unforgettable experience, an important piece of the things not to miss in Milan!


Continuing the list of churches to visit in Milan, Italy:

#5 Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio

Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio

#6 Santa Maria San Satiro

Santa Maria San Satiro

#7 Santa Maria delle Grazie

Santa Maria delle Grazie

#8 Certosa di Garegnano

Certosa di Garegnano

#9 Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio

Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio

#10 Santa Maria delle Grazie al Naviglio

Santa Maria delle Grazie al Naviglio

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Churches to visit in Milan, Italy

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