Founded in the 12th century, the Chiaravalle abbey is one of the most splendid examples of Cistercian architecture in Northern Italy. The monastic complex, which in addition to the Church possessed the agricultural lands on whose cultivation the subsistence depended, gave the way to the reclamation of the territories of this area, giving a notable contribution to the residential, economic and agricultural developments of the Lower Milanese in the following centuries.
The church, visible from a great distance thanks to its monumental tower, the so-called Ciribiciaccola, is one of the first examples of Gothic architecture in Italy. Of the original construction, wanted by San Bernardo da Chiaravalle, some significant testimonies remain, although the abbey was remodeled in the following centuries: the construction of the cloister dates back to the 13th century, while the large lantern and the refectory were built in the following century. Great changes also occurred in the Renaissance period, when the construction of the large cloister was entrusted to Donato Bramante and Giovan Antonio Amedeo, while the interior decoration was also modernized, entrusting it, among others, to Bernardino Luini and, later, to the Fiammenghini. Most of the complex was dismantled in the Austrian and Napoleonic era, the furnishings sold, the heritage dismembered and dispersed. Later the cloister of Bramante was demolished to make way for the newly formed Milan-Genoa railway line.
Despite the destructions, the complex is still able to arouse great emotion: the interior of the abbey preserves the famous Madonna della Buonanotte by Luini, as well as some interesting passages from a 14th century fresco cycle of the Giotto school, among the most refined of the Milan area. The sacristy and the thirteenth-century cloister can still be visited, as well as the chapter where you can admire graffiti depicting views of Milan attributed to Bramante.
- Offer to the Abbey
- Guide with regular professional licence.
What’s not included
- Transportation to reach the meeting point
- Food and drink unless otherwise specified
- Tips (optional)
- Personal extras
DepartureVia Sant'Arialdo, 102 - Milano
Meeting 15 minutes before the start of the guided tour in front of the Abbey