• LOCATION 10 | The Mysteries of Milan: From the Duomo to the Royal Palace

    Piazza Santo Stefano

    You've reached Piazza Saint Stefano, or St. Stephen’s square. Stop here and turn with your back the road.

    In front of you is large church, with a smaller church to its left. St. Stephen’s square and St. Stephen's church, that's the one with the large Baroque façade in front of you, is where the turbulent Milanese painter Caravaggio was baptized. It’s also the scene of many a deadly crime. According to legend four early Christians were martyred here by Emperor Valentinian in the 4th century. There’s a plaque just over the threshold and an iron grille over the spot where this is supposed to have taken place.
    Another foul deed took place in the church of Saint Stephen on Boxing Day 1476. The tyrannical Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza was making his way to Mass from his residence at the Castle. He’d had one or two bad vibes that morning, almost a premonition of something terrible that was awaiting him. In truth he’d had made himself terribly unpopular because he was greedy and vain. He made a habit of stealing his friends’ land, their wives, girlfriends and daughters. No sooner had he got through the doorway than one of his patrician friends knelt before him and pretended to greet him. He then stabbed him in the groin and chest and then another two courtiers fell upon the dying duke and made sure he was finished off before making their escape.

    But the place I really wanted to tell you about is the little Bone Chapel inside the smaller church on your left.

    Make your way over to the entrance of the smaller church. I'll meet you there.

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