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SANTA MARIA IN STRADA
From Piazza Duomo, along narrow via Rossi, we reach via Italia and, turning left, we find the church of Santa Maria in Strada, which stands in the medieval heart of the town .
The church, founded in the early 14th century by Franciscan Tertiaries, with its elegant façade in terracotta decorations, is an important example of Lombard Gothic architecture. It has a flying fa~ade, continuing above the height of the nave, enhanced at the far end by a Gothic loggia with a handsome marble statue of the Madonna and Child (1420). Nowadays the church interior presents a very different aspect from the original version:  during the 17th a low barrel vault was constructed to replace the existing truss beam ceiling, whilst the Late Baroque decorations are dated 18th century. There are, however, several testimonies of an earlier period: a cross vaulted room at the base of the bell tower is the home of fragments of a fresco cycle dated late 14th century, with an Annunciation and a great Crucifixion of the Lombard School. Moreover, the 14th century cloister annex has recently been restored to its ancient splendor.

ARENGARIO
At the end of via Italia we find piazza Roma, site of the ancient city hall, called Arengario (from the Latin arengarius deriving from the Germanic hari- hring, a meeting-place). The building is practically adjacent to the Duomo, declaring even visually its role as counterweight of civic authority to balance the religious power that in Monza, as elsewhere, marked the period of the Communes. The Arengario was built at the end of the 13th century: its ground floor is an ample portico and, on the first floor, we find a great hall dedicated to meetings and assemblies, with a loggia balcony (known as the "parlera" ) from which the edicts issued by the Commune were announced. On the north side, the bell tower with its Ghibelline crenellations (dovetail) is dated 15th century.
An exhobition space for temporary displays. 

 

 

CITY HALL 
Near the Arengario we find the new town hall, which was begun in the 19205 and was finished in 1932. The construction, which modified the appearance of the ancient Piazza del Mercato, known as Pratum Magnum, was designed by the architect Brusconi.

SAN PIETRO MARTIRE

Our tour continues along via Carlo Alberto, a clearly medieval street. Half way along, on the left, we find Piazza San Pietro Martire, which encloses the church of the same name, another gem of 14th century religious architecture in Monza. The church and its adjacent convent belonged to the Dominican Order; the earliest information we have regarding the complex is in 1369, but the building actually existed from the mid-1300s and was the seat of the Inquisition. The church complex evolves as. a nave and two aisles separated by alternating round pillars, in stone and terracotta; the apse chapel retains some 14th century frescoes of the Lombard School. The church, which has no transept, was carefully restored in order to bring to light its original structure. During the 19th century the façade and the flank facing into the square were subjected to a dubious restoration, which gave the church its current neo-Romanesque appearance. Fortunately the beautiful 15th century cloister is perfectly preserved and is accessed from the left-hand aisle inside the church or the door, outside, with street number 4 .

SANTA MARIA IN CARROBILO
Returning to via Carlo Alberto we continue as far as Piazza Carrobiolo, with its church of the same name. It was probably built over a pagan cemetery and was finished some time around 1260 to host the Order of the Humiliated and when this Order was suppressed in 1571, the church was given to the Barnabites. The belfry (intact since 1240) and the terracotta boundary walls are all that survive of the original medieval construction. The lively and elegant 18th century religious buildings facing the square are also in terracotta. Inside we find that the nave has frescoes by Andrea Porta and by the illusionist painters GiovanBattista and Gerolamo Grandi, a Glory of St Agatha and Glory of Angels (1707- 1709). On the walls there are important paintings by the Lombard School: on the right the Adoration of The Magi , by Moncalvo, a Holy Family and Saints by a pupil of Morazzone, Adoration of The Shepherds by Moncalvo; on the left a Madonna del Latte by Simone Peterzano. The precious sandstone portal depicts st. Paul and is by Buzzi (1731).
Opening hours:   weekdays 7.00 - 11.45 / 4.00pm - 7.15pm; holidays   7.00 - 12.30 / 4.00pm - 7.30pm.

MULINO COLOMBO
The street that is found alongside the Villoresi Cinema- Theatre leads down to via De Amicis and turning left we encounter the 18'" century bridge, called the San Gerardino, and near here there is the Colombo Mill. The mill was operative early in the 18th century and was originally used to grind corn, then became a fulling mill for wool and finally became an olive mill. Inside we find the millstone, the press and other historic devices.
For information +39.039/2304400; Visits: Tuesday and Thursday 9.00 - 12.00.

SAN MAURIZIO
Originally the religious building was dedicated to Santa Margherita and stands on the site of what was the Convent of Virginia De Leyva, the Nun of Monza . The church was built in 1736 to a design attributed to the ,Lombard architect Giovanni Antonio Quadrio. The classical- style façade in terracotta, enlivened by the presence of a marble portal, is a noble example of Late Lombard Baroque. The church is a single aisle, cadenced by six bays and the interior is richly frescoed. The authors of the paintings found in the first three bays are Carlo Innocenzo Carloni and the illusionist painters Carlo Perucchetti and Giuseppe Castelli; the other three bays were decorated by Francesco Antonio Bonacina (1740-42).

PONTE DEI LEONI
If we return to via Vittorio Emanuele and continue in the direction of the Arengario we encounter the Leoni bridge, built in 1842 over the remains of an Ancient Roman Arena bridge (an arch is still visible at one end of the new bridge) when the via Ferdinandea (via Vittorio Emanuele) was inaugurated. The bridge has three arches with granite trusses. At the sides the four marble lions are by the sculptor Tantardini . Past the bridge, on the right, we can see the massive Palace of Justice built in 1931 to a design by the architect Bartesaghi.

TORRE DI VIA LAMBRO
Near the Leoni bridge, at the beginning of narrow via Lambro, we see a 13th century tower, known as that of Theodelinda. This fortified gate, which was located on the high street of the old medieval town, extends to three floors in height and is cadenced by characteristic windows (single, double and triple lancet).

TORRE VISCONTEA
Immediately after the Leoni bridge we take the market lane on the left, coasting the banks of the river Lambro and we cross back over the river down valley and follow via Spalto Piodo until we reach via Azzone Visconti. Here we will see on the right the Visconti Tower, a square-plan structure, which is all that remains of the ancient castle built by Galeazzo Visconti, demolished in 1809. The , tower was built in 1325 and retains the embrasure! for the castle's drawbridge.

STAZIONE FERROVIARIA
Once the tour of the town's historic center is over, we can stroll to the nearby railway station (1884), which preserves untouchec the royal waiting room tha hosted King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoia during their summer sojourns at Villa Reale, from 1884 to the las journey, when the King's body was taken back to Rome on August 8, 1900. The waiting room is decorated in stucco, boiserie and paintings in Late Eclectic style. The ceiling has a tempera by Mose Bianchi, entitled The Genius of The Savoia (1883-84).