• Art & Culture

Treasure Hunt in the Monza Area of Brianza

From Palazzo Arese Borromeo in Cesano Maderno with its splendid parkland to the small neoclassical masterpiece of the Rotonda in the Tregasio district of Triuggio. Discover 10 treasures in the Monza area of Brianza with us!

PALAZZO ARESE BORROMEO, CESANO MADERNO
The quite plain, almost austere facade make you unprepared for the feast of frescoes inside. A loggia with slender columns in the centre of the main courtyard. All surrounded by Italian-style gardens with its rectangular system of avenues, statues and fountains. A detail you can’t miss? “Galarietta fatta a Mosaicho”, the small gallery of mosaics and one of the most important parts of the Nymphaeum, richly decorated with frescoes and floral and geometric mosaics made using white and black river pebbles, with the mosaic of the crowned coat of arms of the Arese family standing out from the rest. 
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SAN VITTORE CHURCH, MEDA
The Sistine Chapel of Brianza. Which is what this splendid church is known as. It stands next to the beautiful Villa Antona Traversi in Piazza Vittorio Veneto, Meda. The interior of the 16th century San Vittore Meda is completely frescoed with magnificent works by fine renaissance artists. A must-see? The busts by Bernardo Luini.
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BASILICA OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, AGLIATE, CARATE BRIANZA
A true gem of Romanesque architecture Agliate, a hamlet of Carate Brianza in the heart of the valley of the Lambro River. Inside, you can admire the remains of a cycle of paintings dating back to the 10th century. The Basilica dei Santi Pietro e Paolo is one the most complete Romanesque buildings in Lombardy and bears an uncanny likeness to the basilica of Sant'Ambrogio in Milan! Did you know that the stones used for the facade come from the nearby river? There is also a Romanesque-style Baptistery alongside the Basilica.
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BERTINI HYDROELECTRIC PLANT, CORNATE D'ADDA
Once Europe’s largest and most powerful plant in the world second only to the hydroelectric plant of Niagara Falls, the Bertini hydroelectric plant - built in order to electrify the tramways in Milan - opened in 1898 on the right bank of the Adda River, in Cornate. It is still operational and has a museum that is open to visitors, who can also book a guided tour of the plant.
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LA ROTONDA IN THE TREGASIO DISTRICT OF TRIUGGIO
Built in 1842, this oratory has been a national monument since 1912. As one of the most interesting examples of neoclassical art in Brianza, this Rotonda, which is right next to the basilica of Santi Martiri Gervaso e Protaso in the Tregasio district of Triuggio is dedicated to Saints Gervasius and Protasius and is a must-see in the Monza area of Brianza. It stands 15 metres high and its facade is formed of a small pronaos held up by six caryatids. Inside it has four frescoes attributed to Raffaele Casnedi.

VILLA BAGATTI VALSECCHI, VAREDO
A long, tree-lined avenue where you can stroll between poplars and lindens, ending at the villa and its gardens with a large fountain in the centre. The main courtyard with its porticoes on the right facing the villa. This is topped with a loggia made from the columns recovered from the bell tower of the 15th-century cloister of San Erasmo in Milan. Built by the architects Fausto and Giuseppe Bagatti Valsecchi in 1878, nowadays the villa hosts events, exhibitions and concerts. Villa Bagatti Valsecchi in Varedo is a pearl worth exploring.
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VILLA CUSANI TITTONI TRAVERSI, DESIO
A splendid ‘villa of delight’ (Villa di Delizia) as these mainly summer residences were called, this was designed by Piermarini and is surrounded by a lovely English-style garden designed by Antonio Villoresi. Villa Cusani Tittoni Traversi dates back two centuries and you can discover all of its historical worth in guided tours of the villa. The villa is also home to the Scalvini Museum, a permanent exhibition of works that the Milanese sculptor Giuseppe Scalvini donated to the city of Desio. 

 PEREGALLO MILL, BRIOSCO
Along the Lambro river watercourse, Peregallo a hamlet of Briosco used to be full of mills that supplied clients from all over the valley. Now, only one remains and it has been recently restored. This mill dates back to the 15th century and you can book a tour with an organised group. Our promise? A real blast from the past. 

FORMER CONVENT AND CHURCH OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, BRUGORA, BESANA IN BRIANZA
An 11th-century Benedictine convent (now a nursing home), around which life has always rotated in the Montesiro section of the hamlet of Brugora, Besana in Brianza. A public church is annexed to the former convent. An important example of Romanesque Brianza, it also features a recently rediscovered, 16th-century painting of the Last Supper on the high altar.  Some rare Roman-era sculptures can be seen on the facade.
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BORROMEO HUNTING LODGE, ORENO, VIMERCATE
One of the most precious testimonies of profane art in 15th century Lombardy. You can admire a truly fine cycle of 15th-century, Gothic style frescoes, including bear and falcon-hunting scenes that cover all four walls on the first floor of this hunting lodge from the Middle Ages, which stands next to Villa Borromeo, in the hamlet of Oreno, Vimercate. A must-see gem! 

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Photo SAN VITTORE CHURCH, MEDA Valentina Caiola.

 

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Ph: ORATORIO SAN VITTORE, MEDA Valentina Caiola.
 

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