If Milan would be defined in one word it would always be ‘discrete’. Milan is full of interesting and historic places, but most of them are hidden. Even people are quiet, they don’t show how crazy they really are.

Maybe the fact that Milano is so foggy is an accurate metaphor for the city’s personnality.

One of the jewels of Milan is my friend Gianni; he thinks its disappointing when people say Milano has no historic places. Most tourists come to Milan to do shopping… which is really sad because there is so much to see. It’s sad also because I don’t like shopping.

By now I could have written a book with all the things he has shown me. Last time he gave me a short tour of what he calls the city center’s secrets.

I will share the first Milanese secret. It’s situated exactly next to the beautiful church Santo Stefano in Brolo. Its name’s comes from the garden that used to be in front of the church, a ‘broletto’, which means small garden. Santo Stefano has an amazing story to tell as well, but this time I’m writing about what’s next to it.

We visited this peculiar church, called La Chiesa San Bernardino alle Ossa, built on an ancient cemetery. Even its façade is atypical because it looks like a classic building.

Piazza di Santo Stefano in Brolo

Piazza di Santo Stefano in Brolo

Facade of San Bernardino

Facade of San Bernardino

Even if I’m catholic and I come from a country full of weird religious traditions, I’m still shocked by this place because inside the church there is an ‘ossario’, a chapel decorated with human skulls and bones.

Apparently, in 1219 an architect decided it would be a good idea to decorate the whole chapel with skulls and bones from the cemetery. Gianni says all of them are martyrs, which is why people put their petitions inside the skulls.

Gianni explained every detail while I was overwhelmed with this view.






View of Duomo, from the piazza

View of Duomo, from the piazza