The Istorical City of Monza is home to a host of unique attractions and is an ideal base to explore the Brianza area. It is both industrial and residential and its population is approximately 122,000. Evidence of its origin dates back to Celtic days. However its historic importance evolved during Longobard times wheen Queen Teodolinda convertede the population to Catholicism.
The main monument of the town is the splendid Cathedral, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, patron saint of Monza. This beautiful example of Gothic church, which stands in the homonymous square, was built in the 14th century on the site of the previous baptistery ordered by Queen Teodolinda at the end of the 6th century. The facede of the church, made in green and white marble, was extended and finished by Matteo da Campione (+1396). On the left side of the Basilica is the Bell Tower, 80 metres high, which was erected in 1606 by the architect Ecole Turati. The interior of the Cathedral was transformed into a pure Baroque style during the 17th and 18th centuries. The magnificent rose glass window, made by the Bertini brothers in 1890, can be fully admired against the light. In the central nave, on the left side, the Chancel by Matteo da Campione is one of the oldest part of the church. The altar, superb piece of jewellery decorated by Borghino del Pozzo in the 14th century, bears the scenes of the life of St. John the Baptist on a silver gilt plate, which is one metre high and over two metres wide. On the left side of the presbytery is the so-called Chapel of Queen Teodolinda, frescoed by the Zavattari, distinguished artists belonging to the pictorial current called flowery or international Gothic style (1444). The "Golden Legende" of Teodolinda is represented in a sequence of scenes of rare taste, from her arrival to Italy as the wife of Autari, king of the Longobards, followed by the welcome she received in Verona, then the death and the funerals of Autari and finally her wedding with Agilulfo, new king of the Longobards. However the masterpiece of the frescoes is that representing the miracles - Teodolinda's vision and the preparation for building the Cathedral, then consecrated in 595 AD. The superb procession of the Emperor Constant II, after his coming to Italy to wage war upon the Longobards, closes the sequence.
The Iron Crown (Corona Ferrea) is kept in the same Chapel. An ancient tradition tells that one of the spikes of Christ's Cross, found by St. Helena and given to his son, the Emperor Constantine, was inserted into the Crown. For centuries the Iron Crown was used to crown kings of Italy illustrious people such as Charlemagne, Otto I, Berengario I, Conrad II, Conrad III, Frederick Redbeard, Henry IV, Charles IV, Charles V, Napoleon and Ferdinand of Hapsburg. The historic and artistic value are both very great. It is made of six golden segments joined together and decorated with big precious stones set in the form of crosses and flowers on a big iron ring - the Holy Spike of Christ's Cross.
From the cloister, in Baroque style, on the church left, one enters the Museum of the Treasure. The Treasure is the richest collection of barbarian antiques dating back to the period between the 4th and the 9th century and other objects of the following periods. Particulary worth considering are the Diptych of Stilicone (5th century), consisting of two ivory plaques and the Evangelarium of Teodolinda, in gold with several cameos. But the most popular and but peculiar piece of the whole treasure are the so-called "Golden Hen" with its seven chicks, probably an object of ritual meaning, the Cross of Agilulfo (6th century) and the reliquary of the "Tooth of St. John" (8th century). But also worth seeing are the ancient early Christian dress-materials, the refined silver and the precious ivories of the 14th century, the marvellous collection of Lombard silverware (16th - 19th century), and finally the nine tapestries of the 16th century showing episodes of the life of St. John the Baptist.
The City Centre and the "Villa Reale"
As you enter the city centre you will see the Arengario
, the ancinet Town Hall built in 1293. On the southern side you can see a massive balcony (called the "parlera") used for the speeches to the people.
Back to the 14th century dates the church of Santa Maria in Strada
. Its richa facade, in Gothic-Lombard style, is made in red baked clay. On the front, particularly worth seeing school, of the Virgin Mary and the Child.
The Royal Villa (Villa Reale), one of the most important neo-classical buildings in Italy, was commissioned by the archduke of Austria, Ferdinand. The Villa was built between 1776 and 1780 on the project of the architecht F. Piermarini, the same who designed the Teatro alla Scala of Milan.
The elegant avenue, which starts from the main entrance of the Villa, derives its name from Cesare Battisti. It was designed by the Viceroy of Napoleon, Eugenie de Beauharnais, who used the Villa as his favourite summer residence. The ground floor apartments which enclose the Main Hall, the rooms of Umberto I, king of Italy, and of his wife, margherita di Savoia, the enchanting chapel and the small theatre are worthy of mention. All around the Villa you can admire the well kept lawns and the small pond populated by swans and wildfowl.
Attractive trees and shrubs abound and visitors can relax here in picturesque surroundings. The Conservatory is joined to the Villa by the Rotonda, a round shaped room decorated in 1789 by Andrea Appiani with delightful stuccoes and frescoes representing the fable of Eros and Psyche.
Particularly worth visiting is the conservatory in spring and early summer to admire the splendid rose garden. Created in 1806 by Eugenie de Beauharnais, the Park covers an area of 800 ha, most of which consisting of woods and meadows. Only a small part is under cultivation. The Park is a delightful place to explore. Paths and trails through the woods and by the river Lambro offer glimpses of the many animals and birds which make the park their home. Green meadows and shady trees provide a wonderful picnicking area in summer, but it is also open to the public for riding and walking at any time of the year. The famous racing track, built in 1922 on the initiative of the "Automobile Club of Milan", is situated in the northern area of the park and it is open all year round. The motorcar and motorcylces races held here are world famous. Among these worth mentioning are the Italian F1 Grand Prix, the Italian Motorbike Championship and the World Superbike Championship.
Naviglio - ripa Ticinese - 3rd Sunday
via Bergamo - 2nd Sunday
piazza Angelini - 3rd Sunday
corso matteotti - 1st Sunday
p.za della Vittoria - 1st Sunday
corp.za Garibaldi - last Sunday
p.za Sordello - 3rd Sunday
centro storico - 3rd Sunday
p.za del Comune - 2nd Sunday
p.za Malvezzi - 1st Sunday
p.za Vittoria - 2nd Sunday
p.za Garibaldi - 3rd Sunday
Exhibitions & Museums
Castello Sforzesco, MILAN
Tel: +39 - 0286454638
Poldi Pezzoli Museum
via Manzoni 12, MILAN
Tel: +39 - 02796334
Open daily: 9.30/12.30 a.m. - 2.30/6.30 p.m.
Brera Art Gallery
Via Brera 28, MILAN
Tel: +39 - 02722631
Tel. +39 - 02323404
Tel. +39 - 02322086
|Race Track's Calendar|
Via Monte S. Primo, 1
Tel. +39 - 039.2715.480
Via Olimpia, 3
Tel. +39 - 039.39431
Fedeli999 Factory Store
Via Carnia, 18
Tel. +39 - 039.200.6903
Via Matteucci, 19
Tel. +39 - 039.60681
Strada provinciale, 2 ang. Via I Maggio
Tel. +39 - 039.6046.308
Canali Company Store
Via Pellico, 3
Tel. +39 - 0362.970.912