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Milan, Italy

Church of Saint Bernardino of the Bones

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Today: 7:30am-12:30pm
This Week
Monday:7:30am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-6:00pm
Tuesday:7:30am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-6:00pm
Wednesday:7:30am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-6:00pm
Thursday:7:30am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-6:00pm
Friday:7:30am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-6:00pm
Cost: Free

Bone-afide Curiosity

You don’t have to be a horror movie fan to appreciate the eerie beauty—and surprising tranquility—of a bone church. Chiesa di San Bernadino alle Ossa is probably the most understated of all the bone churches you can find in Europe, but it is definitely worth your time if you’re near the city center. Just a couple minutes’ walk from Duomo is a small, unremarkable church with an entrance facing a quiet piazza. Once inside, find a small sign “Ossario” pointing to a pair of double doors. At the end of the hallway is a chapel with a surprisingly high ceiling, its walls lined with thousands of bones. The chapel is unique for integrating various religious frescoes with the bones. The ceiling fresco painted by Sebastiano Ricci (1665) is particularly notable for creating a 3D-like effect with its layered corners descending into rows of human skills.

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