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visiting time : approximately 90 minutes
€ 180 up to 5 people and € 240 for 6 to 10 people



Personalized visits for small groups

Saint Ambrose, bishop of Milan in the 4th century, founded this Basilica of San Simpliciano outside the city walls, at a location notorious for prostitution. For this reason, Ambrose dedicated the church to virgins, and named it Basilica Virginum. The enormous ashlars’ blocks in the lower parts of the walls are original late 4th century, when, after Ambrose’s death, the construction was finished by his successor Saint Simplician, who is buried here. During the following times, the Basilica and its monastery had several expansions and restorations. Some roof tiles bearing the mark of Lombard king Agilulf show that repairs were made in the years 590-615 A.D. In the 9th century the Cluniac Benedictines took possession of the nearby monastery. Much of the actual brickwork (not all) can be dated to rebuilding in the 12th century, in the Romanesque style, when the original walls were preserved to a height of 22 meters. In 1508, behind the altar, a fine fresco of the Coronation of the Virgin was painted by the Renaissance artist Bergognone.  The facade is influenced by a restoration of the 1800s. The three portals are divided by semi-columns which had to support a large atrium which doesn’t exist anymore.

Grande Chiostro

In 1517, the monastery was entrusted to the Benedictines of Montecassino and they started great innovations. In particular, in 1560, they projected the must-see Grande Chiostro (Great Cloister, today the seat of the Theological Faculty) (Prenotazioni per visite allo 02863181) formed by a series of coupled columns of the Doric order with a fake upper loggia. The monks remained here until 1798, when the convent was secularized and for a some years turned into barracks.

More details

The Basilica is remarkable above all for the wonderful atmosphere of peace produced by an interior that has remained much the same for 1700 years or so. There are two lovely organs with frescoed decorations, often played for baroque music concerts.

Further recommended itinerary

The Brera Palace and the District

Strolling along typical Milanese streets, it is possible to discover the Brera District and pay a visit to the Brera Palace, which hosts one of the finest galleries for Medieval and Renaissance Italian art. On show, extraordinary paintings by Raffaello, Piero della Francesca, Mantegna, Rubens, Hayez. Inside the same palace The National Braidense Library, The Botanic Garden, The Astronomical Observatory are all worth a visit.


  • Duration of this additional itinerary = 3 hours approx
  • Cost for a total of 4 hours of visit: € 460 up to 5 people; 500 € for 6 to 10 people

What’s included

  • a tour description by an expert

What’s not included

  • tickets entrance
  • Transport to reach the meeting point.
  • Foods and beverages unless otherwise specified.
  • Tips (optional).
  • Personal extras

Meeting point


piazza san simpliciano
Meeting 15 minutes before the entrance time to San Simpliciano , in Piazza San Simpliciano near the left entrance door

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Cancellation Policy

  • Cancel up to 72 hours in advance for a full refund
  • 50% refund between 72 and 24 hours before the start of the visit
  • No refund within 24 hours before the start of the visit.

It is possible to organize private and customized guided tours, in different languages ( for information and prices please contact us)

Info and booking


Via S.Antonio, 5 MILANO Italy

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