Basilica of Santa Eufemia

Piazza Sant'Eufemia, 8. (Open Map)


The church of Saint Eufemia dominates the small piazza that is named after it. The deceptively modern structure conceals an ancient history.
It was probably founded between 472 and 475 by the bishop Saint Senatore of Settala who had donated the building ground and who, following the bishop Saint Abbondio, participated in and presided over the Council of Calcedonia and brought a relic of the saint back to Milan. The basilica is now dedicated to the saint and his remains are kept there. The church has undergone numerous restorations and reshuffles. In the XV century the restoration work of Enrico Terzaghi (between 1869 and 1870) gave a new style to the structure.The current façade is made of terracotta and stone from Vicenza, substituting the fake Romanesque-gothic style. In the forefront there is a portico with three arches with mosaics that emulate the detached frescoes by Luigi Cavenaghi.
The remains of the ancient structure, like frescoes and paintings, are carefully conserved inside.
The frescoes on the triumphal arch are the work of Luigi Cavenaghi and the murals in the apse are by Agostino Caironi.Worth noting amongst the works shown in the interior of the side chapels are the sixteenth century works: “Lo Sposalizio di Santa Caterina” (Wedding of Saint Catherine) pertaining to the Leonardo school which probably can be attributed to Marco Oggiono and “La Pentecoste” (Pentecost) by Simone Peterzano.The church is a national monument.The church has always been considered a place equipped with excellent acoustics and for this reason, in the ’50s, its spaces were used to record the lyrical works of Maria Callas: “I puritani”, “Cavalleria rusticana” and “La sonnambula” (The Puritans, The Sleepwalker and The Rustic Cavalry).