M1 (red line) - M3 (yellow line) Duomo
Open Monday-Friday 7.30am-12noon/3pm-6.30pm; Saturday 3.30pm-7pm; Sunday 9.30am-12noon/3.30pm-7pm
Just a few steps from the Duomo, overlooking Via Torino, the small church of Santa Maria presso San Satiro is an architectural jewel worth a stop. Almost invisible among the palaces and shops, you can admire a masterpiece by Donato Bramante, who worked on the construction of the small church in the late 15th century. At that time, Ludovico Il Moro, head of the Duchy of Milan, commissioned Bramante to arrange the church by incorporating the ancient sacellum of San Satiro. The oldest core of the complex, in fact, dated back to the 9th century at the behest of Ansperto, Bishop of Milan. A suggestive hypothesis suggests, among other things, the presence of Leonardo da Vinci in the restoration works of the sacellum.
The church has an unusual cross-shaped plan, which lacks an upper arm, which could not be built due to lack of space. The problem was solved by Bramante with a fake painted stucco choir that can still be admired today. To slowly discover this game of perspective, one must walk through the church from the back and, as one proceeds towards the altar, move to one of the two side aisles, up to a few centimetres from the back. You will be surprised to discover that what appears to be a space of a few metres has only a depth of 90 centimetres.