Milan Sant’Ambrogio – old and influential.

This post on Milan Sant’Ambrogio is an excerpt from the book “Milan” by Enrico Massetti. – The independent, unbiased, and accurate guide to the city.

Milan Sant'Ambrogio
Sant’Ambrogio – Photo © Silvia Massetti

The Basilica of Milan Sant’Ambrogio is one of the oldest and most influential churches in Milan. Its origins date from the years of the Roman Empire in Lombardy. Saint Ambrose consecrated five Romanesque churches.

The Church of Sant’Ambrogio is an excellent example of the Romanesque-Lombard churches. The Saint founded it between 379 and 386 as a basilica dedicated to Christian martyrs. Himself is buried here in 397.

The exterior of the church consists of an atrium, called Ansperto’s Atrium, with porches on three sides. The façade integrates the fourth side. Architectonic fragments from the original construction are underneath the porch.

The two bell-towers flanking the façade, Campanile dei Monaci, and Campanile dei Canonici are worthwhile mentioning.

Milan Sant'Ambrogio Altare d’Oro
Altare d’Oro – Photo ©
Milan Sant’Ambrogio Altare d’Oro – Golden Altar

In the interior of the Basilica, one of the most exciting works is the famous Altare d’Oro, a masterpiece of Carolingian gold craftsmanship dating back to 836.

You can also admire the Tempio della Vittoria outside the atrium. The Piazza takes its name after the Saint. The Tempio is an imposing octagonal marble building honoring the soldiers killed during the First World War.

Milan Sant’Ambrogio Reference material.

Address: Piazza Sant’Ambrogio, 15, 20123 Milano MI, Italy.

The official website,, has info on Mass time, Chorus activities, and a virtual tour. Searching Google for “Milan Sant’Ambrogio” gets you a very long list of nearby hotels and B&Bs promoting their business.

End of the excerpt, you can buy the book “Milan

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