San Sepolcro Church (Chiesa di San Sepolcro)
Built in 1030, San Sepolcro Church (Chiesa di San Sepolcro) was originally designed in the Romanesque style, though Baroque additions were made in the 17th century. Most visitors come to visit the church’s crypt, known as the Crypt of Leonardo after da Vinci, who appreciated the crypt so much that he placed it at the center of a map of Milan.
The crypt of San Sepolcro Church was closed to the public for decades before reopening in 2016. Today visitors from all over the world come to view its 11th-century frescoes and religious relics and to see what so fascinated Italian genius Leonardo da Vinci.
Most people visit the historical church, which has been renovated more than a few times over the years, and crypt independently. The Milano Card includes discounted entry to the church and crypt as well as other city highlights, such as the nearby Ambrosian Library (Pinacoteca Ambrosiana) and the Museum of Scala Theater (Museo Teatrale alla Scala).
Things to Know Before You Go
San Sepolcro Church is a must-visit for history lovers.
Audio guides are included in the price of admission to the church and crypt.
The church is wheelchair accessible but the crypt is not.
Note that da Vinci is not interred at the Crypt of Leonardo.
How to Get There
San Sepolcro Church is located Milan’s historic city center, just a short walk from the Duomo. To get there by public transit, take the M1 or M3 metro line or tram 2, 3, 12, 14, or 16 to the Duomo stop. Some visitors complain that the church is difficult to find, so look for it behind the Ambrosian Library.
When to Get There
San Sepolcro is the only church in the city to open exclusively in the evening, weekdays from 5pm to 9pm and weekends from 3pm to 10pm. The church and crypt are rarely crowded, so there’s no bad time to visit.
Holy Relics of San Sepolcro
San Sepolcro Church holds a number of religious relics. In the center of the nave is a 14th-century sarcophagus said to contain a lock of Mary Magdalene’s hair and earth brought back from Jerusalem by crusaders. The crypt features the stone floor from the 4th-century Roman forum that occupied this site before the church, numerous medieval graves, and a detailed replica of Christ’s tomb surrounded by beautifully painted frescoes.
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- Ambrosiana Museum and Library (Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana)
- Codex Atlanticus
- Church of Santa Maria at San Satiro (Chiesa di Santa Maria presso San Satiro)
- Piazza Mercanti
- Museo del Novecento
- Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
- Royal Palace of Milan (Palazzo Reale di Milano)
- Leonardo3 Museum
- Fidenza Village
- Milan Duomo
- La Scala Opera House (Teatro alla Scala)
- Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore (Chiesa di San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore)
- Columns of San Lorenzo (Colonne di San Lorenzo)
- Piazza Fontana
- Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco)