Milan – Sant’Eustorgio and the Basilicas Park

This is an excerpt from the book “Milan and the lakes – Lake Como and Lake Maggiore

Sant'Eustorgio
Sant’Eustorgio

The Basilica of Sant’Eustorgio is located within the Basilicas Park city park. It was for many years an important stop for pilgrims on their journey to Rome or to the Holy Land, because it was the site of the tomb of the Three Magi or Three Kings.

Probably founded in the 4th century, its name refers to Eustorgius I, the bishop of Milan to whom is attributed the translation of the supposed relics of the Magi to the city from Constantinople in 344.

The main altar and the dome
The main altar and the dome
The main altar
The main altar

The high altar is an imposing marble polyptych of the early 15th century, while a similar work is in the right transept, next to the Early Christian sarcophagus of the Magi.

The Cappella Portinari
The Cappella Portinari
The Cappella Portinari - detail
The Cappella Portinari – detail

Behind the apse is the most striking feature of the church, the Portinari Chapel (1462–1468), one of the most celebrated examples of Renaissance art in Lombardy. It has frescoes by Vincenzo Foppa and a marble sepulchre by Giovanni di Balduccio, a 14th-century pupil of Giovanni Pisano. The Chapel also houses an important Dominican monument, the Ark (tomb) of Saint Peter of Verona, which is replete with marble bass-relief images by the sculptor, Giovanni di Balduccio.

Relics of the Three Wise Men
Relics of the Three Wise Men

In the 12th century, when Milan was sacked by Frederick Barbarossa, the relics of the Magi were appropriated and subsequently taken to Cologne. It was only in 1903/4 that fragments of the bones and garments were sent back to Sant’Eustorgio’s. Nowadays they are in the Three Kings altar nearby the empty Three Kings sarcophagus. Still today, in memory of the Three Kings, the bell tower is surmounted by a star instead of the traditional cross.

The back of the church
The back of the church

From the back of Sant’Eustorgio starts the Basilics Park, that extends several hundred meters to the Basilic of San Lorenzo

Park of the basilicas
Park of the basilicas

The Park is a free Wi-Fi zone, and is frequented by local children with their parents.

San Lorenzo from the Park
San Lorenzo from the Park

The basilica of San Lorenzo was built between the late fourth and early fifth centuries. The exact date is uncertain, as are the name of who commissioned it and the circumstances of its foundation. Some sources attribute the buiding to the years (355–372), others give the date of the foundation of the church to a later period, between 390 and 402.

Roman columns at San Lorenzo
Roman columns at San Lorenzo

The square facing the basilica features the so-called “Colonne di San Lorenzo” (Columns of St. Lawrence), one of the few remains of the Roman “Mediolanum”, dating from the 3rd century AD and probably belonging to the large baths built by the emperor Maximian. They were carried in the current place when the basilica construction was finished.

Where to stay in Milan

There are hotels, apartments, B&Bs and guesthouses available, check it out and make a reservation here.

William Dellorusso
Lombardia in Cucina: The Flavours of Lombardy

Milan-style risotto, pizzoccheri Valtellinesi, and pumpkin tortelli to start; casoeula, Milan-style cutlets, frogs stewed in tomato to follow, and to send, a slice of sbrisolona cake or panettone.
Lombardy surprises with the richness of its culinary traditions and natural ingredients, which modernity has barely affected.
"Milano in Cucina" captures this kaleidoscope of flavours, with contributions from some of the most celebrated chefs on the culinary scene, who pay homage to their territory, and whose skill is able to present a modern vision in keeping with the region's progressive spirit.

The Italian Academy of Cuisine
La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy

Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

Milano in Cucina: The Flavours of Milan
The famous Risotto Alla Milanese gets its golden hue from the precious spice saffron. Legend has it that the dish came about when a Milanese painter decided to gild the risotto served at his wedding banquet with a harmless gold-colored dye. In Milan, they traditionally serve Risotto Alla Milanese with ossobuco (braised veal shank).
Traditionally made with raisins and candied citron, or with a creamy cream filling, the light, fluffy brioche-like bread called panettone may be tall or short, covered with chocolate or flavored with various liquors, but it’s always a symbol of the Christmas season.
With its hallmark domed shape, panettone graced Christmas tables in Milan since at least the 15th-century. Common knowledge claims its invention is from Milan. It is the most famous Christmas Lombardia food.

The Pax side of the Moon featuring Cesareo
Lombardia (Dicon tutti che sei mia) Quarantine Version - feat. Cesareo (Quarantine Version)

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