Sant'Ambrogio

Entering the Medieval Town

Via Edmondo de Amicis defines the upper boundary of the Navigli area, in Milan. It is 1,5 Km far from Darsena and equally distant from Duomo. During the Medieval Age, this road flanked the walls of Milan and, in two different places connected the entrance gates to the city centre (Porta Ticinese and Pusterla di Sant’Ambrogio).

Pusterla di Sant’Ambrogio, despite being the minor entrance, is the most fascinating to me. Built during the XII century, the Spanish turned it into a prison in the 16th century. Gino Chierici restored the tower in 1939, rebuilding it after few ruins were left.

Today, the Posterla di Sant’Ambrogio represents a pleasant anticipation of what is to be found after it (i.e. Basilica di Sant’Ambrogio) and, with its historical charm, makes you wonder about the peasants, merchants, priests, knights and lords that used to cross this gate, during the medieval age.

In 1385, at Pusterla di Sant’Ambrogio, Gian Galeazzo Visconti (ruler of Milan) ambushed its uncle Bernabò, who was treathening its alliance with the French, and arrested him. Later he ordered the uncle to be imprisoned in the countryside (in the castle of Trezzo) and be poisoned. The sad history of Bernabè still echoes in the austhere and grave look of this building.

If you try to imagine how it looked like eight hundred years ago it will blow your mind!

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