I came to Monza for the first time for four nights in October 2020. Located about 15 kilometres north-northeast of Milan, it’s the third largest town in Lombardia and the capital of the Province of Monza and Brianza.
My Google map here. See the next post for food and drink.
The most beautiful thing I saw during my short stay was the lovely facade of the Duomo di Monza.
The church is dediated to St. John the Baptist whose statue can be seen in front of the rose window.
Dating from the mid-14th century (making it late Gothic), the facade was constructed using white marble from Candoglia and gray-blue marble from Musso, both in the north of Lombardia. Restoration had just been completed a couple of months earlier so the original shades could be fully appreciated. It’s best seen during the golden hour after sunrise or before sunset when the stones seem to glow in the light.
The chiaroscuro effect of the interior is very striking as well.
The walls and ceiling are decorated with beautiful frescoes.
The most important of which are in the Teodolinda Chapel, but it was closed off when I visited.
The centre of town is quite pleasant to walk around. Another interesting building is the Palazzo dell’Arengario, the former town hall, built in brick in the late 13th century.
Built by Giuseppe Piermarini between 1777 and 1780 in a neoclassical style, it was the private residence of the Habsburgs during the period of Austrian rule.
The grounds also contain the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, which hosts the Formula One Italian Grand Prix.
I understand bicycles can be hired to help visitors get around the park, although this wasn’t possible during the lockdown when I was there. It’s also a good place for a jog or a long walk after work.
Sampling the local cuisine next!