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Vimodrone (Milano): Church of Santa Maria Nova al Pilastrello

Foto Church of Santa Maria Nova al Pilastrello
Foto Church of Santa Maria Nova al Pilastrello
Foto Church of Santa Maria Nova al Pilastrello
Foto Church of Santa Maria Nova al Pilastrello
Foto Church of Santa Maria Nova al Pilastrello
Show an other place around Milan worth a visit:
Places  of artistic value around Milan (Italy): Church of Santa Maria Nova al PilastrelloAn other small great treasure of art that would deserve much greater fame is the Church of Santa Maria Nova al Pilastrello in Vimodrone. Placed next to the cemetery of the town, it was built in 1524 to incorporate a pre-existing fifteenth century chapel dedicated to the Madonna, the chapel that is still visible outside the church to the left of the entrance. The reference to the pillar refers to the fact that the chapel was built in correspondence with the Roman cippus, still present in front of the entrance of the chapel, which indicated the distance of 6 miles from Milan.
The frescoes inside the chapel are attributed to the Bergognone and Luini schools.
The adjective Novo in the name of the church derives instead from the fact that it was built to replace an even older church, then demolished in the time of Carlo Borromeo.

Externally the church is very simple, in exposed brick, apart from the plastered facade, and devoid of special decorations. The bell tower and the sacristy date back to the mid-1700s.

Internally, the church has a single nave, with a large semi-circular apse on the bottom almost as wide as the entire nave. Both walls are divided into small chapels, in fact small semicircular apses. Five on each side, on the left one is occupied by a door, while on the right one houses the sarcophagus of the engineer Brioschi and of his wife, buried in the church in gratitude for having funded the restoration of the church in 1915.
The light comes from circular windows placed above the walls, inside lunettes. The façade includes an additional oculus above the door (occupied by a stained glass window of 1969 with a Madonna and Child by the Vimodrone artist G. Facchetti), plus another rectangular window.

While the ceiling is gray and decorated only with those that are perhaps sinopias of frescoes that were never completed, the apse and the walls are completely decorated with splendid frescos from the schools of Bernardino Luini, of the Bergognone and of the Lombard school of Gaudenzio Ferrari.

The arch that frames the apse is occupied in the upper part by a fresco of the Annunciation. The right base sees the presence of a Madonna with Child, while the decoration of the left side has been lost. In the apsidal basin there is a Madonna surrounded by angels. In the lunettes beneath it there are probably depictions of doctors of the Church. On the wall of the apse, on the other hand, there is a Nativity in the center (Fig. 5) while on the sides there are characters that could be the apostles. The style of the latter is almost Leonardesque.

Among the frescoes in the lateral chapels, the crucifixion in the third chapel on the left, which is characterized by strong colors, deserves to be mentioned (Fig. 4). In the lunette there is a Godfather dressed in a way that reminds a little bit Giuseppe Garibaldi and on the sides four saints, among them San Sebastiano, San Rocco and San Cristoforo.
Very beautiful and characterized by more delicate and less contrasted colors also the Escape in Egypt in the fourth chapel on the right.
It should be noted that on the left side four of the five chapels contain no particular scenes, but only decorations.

Much of the information on this page comes from the site Vimodronese diary.

The church is usually open from September to June on Saturday and Sunday from 4 to 6 pm.
Recently, it has enjoyed extensive restoration works, but others still would be necessary.

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SPexSS11, 1, 20090 Vimodrone MI