• LOCATION 31 | The Mysteries of Milan: From the Duomo to the Royal Palace

    Corner Via S. Tecla

    Turn left here.

    When the busy via Larga was undergoing its brutal modernization in the 1950s the diggers uncovered the remains of a massive port that the Romans had reclaimed from boggy marshland. They also discovered a long port quayside more than two metres wide dating back to Emperor Hadrian’s day in the 2nd century AD. This feat of ancient hydraulic engineering was designed so that it descended towards the port and was sandwiched in between the port and the ancient Roman walls which ran along this road.

    Straight ahead you should see a curious, conical shaped mediaeval bell-tower. That's where you're headed next.

    It was the first public clock in the city and it belonged to a small church called Saint Gothard in the Court built in 1336. This was the private chapel of Duke Azzone Visconti, who found his resting place there at just 37 years of age. Although small it must have been far more magnificent then because we know that he summoned some of the finest architects and artists from Tuscany to Milan to embellish the city and rebuild its destroyed walls. One of the artist was Giotto who established a school here. One of his pupils painted a crucifixion scene here but alas it’s very badly damaged.

    Cross over to the bell tower. I'll meet you in front of it.

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The Mysteries of Milan: From the Duomo to the Royal Palace