In addition to an extensive shopping programme, Milan offers a wide range of cultural and historical experiences. Thus, just 7 km from the center of Milan, in Parco Agricolo Sud, is the unique beauty of the Cistercian Abbey of Italy. Cistercians (Latin Ordo Cisterciensis, OCist), white monks, Bernardines – Catholic monastic order, which branched out in the XI century from the Benedictine order.
The area surrounding the abbey was once considered an independent commune and was called Ciaravale Milanese, but today the Cistercian complex is part of Milan and is called Ciaravalle. So it is easy to get to the abbey by public transport, using a standard ticket or pass.
The monastery was founded in 1135 as a sign of overcoming the church’s schism over the simultaneous election of two popes and was named after its founder, Bernard Clervossky.
This largest complex is one of the brightest examples of the first Gothic architecture of Italy. Initially, the abbey had a rather modest size, representing several temporary structures. The construction of the church lasted for several centuries. The appearance of the facade today is the result of fruitful work of restorers since the beginning of the 20th century. The church of the abbey has been reconstructed several times. However, the restoration works did not affect its shape in any way – and nowadays it is a Latin cross with three naves.
The most famous architectural landmark of the Chiaravalle monastery complex is the tallest tower built by architect Francesco Pecorari. In the form of a church it appeared not at once, but was attached only at the beginning of the XIV century. An interesting effect is created thanks to the use of two-color bricks on the facade of the tower – red and white.
To date, only the southern side of the monastery has survived from the monastery’s premises. Inside the church of Chiaravalle Abbey consists of eight spans and three limits with Romanesque arches. Gothic arches at the entrance are held on elegant columns with capitals depicting figures of people and animals. Special attention of tourists is usually attracted by the “knotted” column in the monastery’s gallery.
Here you can see the unique frescoes of great masters. The main entrance of the abbey, built in the 16th century, still retains the baroque frescoes that stand out against the background of Cistercian architectural elements.
Undoubtedly, such a picturesque place deserves to be visited by everyone, especially as it is located in the vicinity of Milan. Here you can really plunge into the origins of history, each element of the abbey is special and unique.
And at the end of your cultural program, you can buy locally produced monks’ products (e.g. delicious carrot and almond jam, natural honey, rice cookies and medicinal herbs).
The entrance to the Chiaravalle Monastery is accessible and free, but I advise everyone to take an interesting and informative tour.
(it is recommended to watch the excursion program on the site)
from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 to 12:00 and (also on Sunday) from 15:00 to 17:00
; on Sundays at 16:00 there are free excursions
to the monastery for groups accompanied by a guide, it is possible to get acquainted with the monastery at 9:00, 10:30 and 15:00 by prior reservation; tel. 02.574034.4 – Fax 02.5393534 –
[email protected]Выходной Monday;
tours are conducted in both Italian and foreign languages;
scheduled for the month of October-November
Visit to the Abbey: 5 euro (1 hour
)Visit to the Abbey and the Ancient Mill: 7 euro (1 hour 30 min)
Visit to the Ancient Mill: 3 euro (30 min)
St. Bernard’s Chapel: free to Children
under 8 years of age free of charge Tel
via Sant’Arialdo, 102 Milano
How to get there by public transport:
Bus 77: Departure from Brenta MM3, also stops in Corvetto MM3. Stop right in front of the abbey.
By car: from Milano Porta Romana follow the Corso Lodi to p.le Corvetto, then follow the signs to Chiaravalle.
By train: Take bus 140 from Milano Rogoredo station, drive 2 stops.