Chiaravalle Abbey

Abbey in Milan

Milano - Abbazia Di Chiaravalle
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Bramfab

Chiaravalle Abbey, situated on the outskirts of Milan, is a captivating structure that forms part of the Cistercian monastic complex. The abbey’s history dates back to the early 12th century when it was built, combining elements of both French Gothic and Lombard Romanesque architectural styles. In 1221, the abbey was consecrated to the Virgin Mary.

During the year 1798, Napoleon abolished the Cistercian Order, and the monks were compelled to vacate the abbey, leading to a gradual decline in its condition. However, in the 1950s, the abbey underwent restoration and was returned to the Cistercians, who have since maintained it beautifully.

Although the interior of the abbey is sparsely decorated to avoid distracting the monks from their prayers, it still features impressive fresco paintings that depict the history of the Cistercian Order and its family tree, many of which are well-preserved.

Visitors can access a simple yet charming cloister from the interior of the church, offering views of the abbey’s two church towers. The taller bell tower, adorned with numerous windows, played a role in marking the working hours of the monks and peasants through the ringing of its bells.

The Chiaravalle Abbey appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Milan!

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Visiting Chiaravalle Abbey


Tuesday to Saturday: from 9 am until 12 pm (noon) and from 3 pm until 5 pm

Sunday: from 3 pm until 5 pm.



Address: Chiaravalle Abbey, Via Sant'Arialdo, Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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