The Chiaravalle Abbey is located in the Milan suburb of the same name and is one of the first Gothic buildings in Italy. Its most striking feature is the tower called Ciribiciaccola. The abbey was built in the 12th century.
Chiaravalle Abbey Milan
The address of the Abbazia di Chiaravalle is Via Sant’Arialdo, 102 Chiaravalle Milanese, 20139 Milano (tel. +39 ). Bus: 77, 140. Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 09:00 to 12:00 and 14:30 to 17:30. On Sundays the abbey is open only in the afternoon.
Every Sunday at 16.00 there is a free guided tour of the abbey.
History and description
The Abbazia di Chiaravalle was built in ht year 1134 and is located in the eponymous borough of Milan. The founders were some French monks of the Cistercian order who had arrived in Italy from the Abbey of Citeaux.
The abbey has a 9 metre high tower. Brick and Candoglia marble (the same type of stone used for the roof of Milan Cathedral) were used as building materials.
Under the pointed roof there are an oculus and a bifora. The entrance gate is decorated with reliefs.
What to see
The large fresco in the presbytery was painted by the brothers Giovan Battista and Giovan Mauro della Rovere towards the end of the 16th century and has the dedication of the church as its theme.
The second chapel in the right transept is called the Cappella della Passione. Here you can see frescoes depicting the life of Christ as well as, on the altar, a copy of Donato Bramante’s “Christ on the Column.” The original was moved to the Pinacotecca di Brera after the end of World War 1.
The staircase in the right transept leads to the dormitory of the monks. At the top of these stairs one can view Bernardino Luini’s “Madonna of the Good Night”.
The choir is divided into two rows and a total of 48 bays. These are separated from each other by angelic figures. On the back wall of these boxes are wood carvings with scenes from the life of San Bernardo, made by Carlo Garavaglia (1645)
The cloister, with Gothic arches supported by columns. The capitals are decorated with images of people and animals.