Two weeks to Italy by Rail            29th May - 12th June 2014

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Day 6 - Tuesday 3rd June 2014

Today we wanted to explore the St Ambrogio area of Milan where there are very early historical buildings, etc, including Roman period.  We first visited the Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio. This was a dual church with Canons and Monks and each faction built their own Campanile Tower.  It is a fairly plain building externally with impressive cloisters formed from Roman period columns.  The church was started in 394AD by St Ambrogio and had several makeovers over the centuries.

Basilica                                            St Ambrogio                                           St Ambrogio                    St Ambrogio     

Sant'Ambrogio cloisters    External showing twin campanile towers        Roman period columns        Artist's impression

 St Ambrogio                                                                    St Ambrogio                                                      St Ambrogio

Ciborum (cover over the golden altar    Pulpit made from Roman period sarcophogus        Crypt with relics of saints on display

Afterwards, we went in search of the Milan Roman Trail, which included an amphitheatre, a circus, some late Roman period columns and an imperial palace.  Milan was a very important Roman city, the capital of the Empire for a short period;  Little remains of the Roman past now.

Roman Milan      Roman Milan       Roman Milan      Roman Milan       Roman Milan

Plan of Roman Milan    Remains of Amphitheatre    Colonna di S Lorenzo    Colonna di S Lorenzo

         Roman Milan          Roman Milan                   Roman Milan     Roman Milan         Roman Milan

2 views of remains of Circus wall                                 Information panels about Circus        Information panel.

Part of the Circus structure can be seen in The Archaeological Museum grounds;  they are covered by scaffoldings and plastic sheeting during repair works. It was impossible to get a photographic records, either my own or from the bookshop.

Roman Milan                         Roman Milan

Imperial Palace remainsd   Plan of Imperial Palace   

At the end of the Roman walk we found ourselves by the entrance to Castello Sforzesco so we went in, not to visit the museum or collections but to walk through the Castello and into the Parco Sempione beyond. We walked as far as the Arco delle Pace - a triumphal arch in the Roman manner and commissioned by Napoleon. He died before it was finished and later the Austrians made it a peace monument. 

Castello Sforzesco      Castello Sforzesco      Castello Sforzesco        Castello Sforzesco        Arco della Pace

3 Views of parts of the Castello,  2 views of the Castello at one and the Arco della Pace at the end of the Parco Semplione