This church stands on Via Torino close to the Piazza del Duomo. The original building was erected at the time of Archishop Ansperto (10th century). Of this, only the chapel (Cappella della Piete) remains. The chapel has a polylobate floorpian inspired by similar Middle Eastern edifices (probably Armenian).
This is the only one of its kind in Northern Italy. Construction started anew in 1478; Donato Bramante directed the work in 1480. He left the mark of his genius in the way he made the most of the little space that was available. An illusion of depth was created by the perspective of the arches and the lacunar ceiling in a false apse.
The façade, started by Amadeo in 1486 using Bramante’s drawings, was remodeled in Renaissance style during the 19th century. The Baptistry by Bramante is particularly lovely – octagonal, with a dome. The belltower (10th-12th centuries) might be considered the prototype of all subsequent Lombard Romanesque belltowers.
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