Wonder  }  Location

San Pietro in Gessate

The giant of Lombard art

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Where is


Via Filippo Corridoni, 12, 20122 Milano MI, Italia (118m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

It is a fifteenth-century Lombard still tied to local tradition that greets us on the restoration facade, poised between Romanesque and late Gothic. Its forms are regular, and so they continue on the sides of the church. Here, the pace quickens, punctuated by the side chapels visible on the left side, giving us a foretaste of the treasures we will find inside. Past the portal, however, it is clear how only part of the church and its frescoes survived the bombings of World War II, and we can only imagine it richly frescoed throughout.

Why it is special

Zenale, Butinone, Montorfano, Solari, Briosco... The names of 15th-century Lombard art are all gathered in San Pietro in Gessate, making it an intimate church, but one with sumptuous memories, the temple of the great Milanese families who wanted to be buried and remembered here.

Not to be missed

Among the chapels that remain, one must visit the Grifi Chapel to immerse oneself in the stories of St. Ambrose's life. Commissioned by Ambrogio Grifi, a counselor at the Sforza court, the scenes on the walls were frescoed by Bernardino Zenale and Bernardino Butinone, while the prothonotary's tomb was created by sculptor Benedetto Briosco.

A bit of history

The earliest evidence of a church "in Glaxiate" dates back to the 13th century, with the presence of a monastery of the confraternity of the Umiliati; but the construction of the present church dates back to the 1560s, at the behest of the Portinari family and perhaps designed by Guiniforte Solari. The structure suffered several damages during the bombings of 1943 and was rebuilt after the war.


The cloister of the monastery of San Pietro in Gessate has today found a new vocation. Far from meditative silence, it resounds with the voices of the students of the Liceo Scientifico Leonardo Da Vinci, to which it has been incorporated, and is visible from outside passing through Via Corridoni.

san-pietro-gessateAltarpiece and frescoes on the life of St. Anthony Abbot - Ph: Carlo Dell'Orto (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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Fiamma Bozzolo

Small church but rich in history, a small jewel of 15th-century Lombard art.


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