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Exploring Milan’s Spiritual Heritage in the Countryside: Abbeys and Monastic Treasures

Milan, with its rich history deeply intertwined with Catholicism, unveils a lesser-explored facet beyond its urban allure. Since the Middle Ages, various monastic orders have flourished, resisting the passage of time. Today, they populate not only the city but also the tranquil hinterland, adorned with canals, fountains, and vast rice fields.

A Rural Pilgrimage: The Southern Area of Milan and its Abbey. 

The journey through Milan’s spiritual heritage takes us along the country roads of the southern region and its province. This picturesque route follows the Navigli, winds through the Ticino Park, and meanders into the South Agricultural Park.

Chiaravalle Abbey: A Spiritual Oasis in Rogoredo

Nestled within the South Agricultural Park in Rogoredo, the Chiaravalle Abbey stands as a testament to centuries of devotion. Founded in the 12th century by Bernardo da Chiaravalle, a Cistercian monk and theologian, the abbey began as a center for prayer before transforming into a flourishing farm. Its red-brick structure, shaped as a Latin cross, houses the magnificent Pecorari bell tower and a seventeenth-century portico.

Step inside to discover a trove of artistry with frescoes by Bernardino Luini and Flemish artists adorning the interiors. The monks, still residing within, share their craftsmanship through products such as Aloe honey, jams, sweets, and aromatic herbs.

Venture beyond Milan’s cityscape to explore these hidden gems, where spirituality, art, and nature converge in harmonious splendor.

Viboldone Abbey in San Giuliano Milanese: A Haven of Art and Devotion

In the hamlet of San Giuliano Milanese, the red-bricked Abbey of Viboldone emerges as a timeless masterpiece. Completed in 1348 by the Umiliati order, the lay monks dedicated to prayer and work, the abbey is now home to a community of Benedictine nuns focused on restoring ancient codes and books. The church, consecrated to St. Peter, houses remarkable frescoes influenced by Giotto, making it a captivating example of fourteenth-century art in northern Italy.

A Green Retreat: Santa Maria in Calvenzano, Mirasole, and Morimondo Abbeys

For those seeking a serene escape, the Basilica of Santa Maria in Calvenzano, the Abbey of Mirasole, and the Abbey of Morimondo beckon. These abbeys offer a peaceful refuge, surrounded by lush greenery, providing an excellent opportunity to delve into history away from the bustling city.

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