At the entrance – at the centre of the cloister – you will see the remains of the city exposed, from columns capitals to sarcophagi to bas-reliefs. Where do all these objects come from? Go in and find it out!
Once inside, you will find a very clear model of the old Mediolanum with even scale models of Basilicas, Baths, Theatre, Amphitheatre, Circus and the ancient Walls! In the first hall let yourself be surprised by the busts of famous people, precious coins, jewels, pottery and – at the bottom of the room – a huge bust surrounded by floor tiles hanging on the walls. They belonged to Mediolanum Baths!
Have you ever been to the Baths? Alas, just few remains here – such as flooring parts… While in the area where they were built (Largo Corsia dei Servi) you can find just red-brick walls parts… These Baths were named Herculean Baths because Massimiano emperor (did you see him? How scary!) identified with the brawny mythological figure to give strength and power to his own image…
To date, going to the baths means relax in hot or cold water bathtubs, take a sauna, a Turkish bath and even have a massage done… Yet for Romans, besides being a place to relax, baths were much more: a meeting place to talk about politics and work… Just like in a bar or in a square, yet naked and wearing just a towel!
Now go to the courtyard, a lovely garden preserving the ancient Mediolanum foundation and surrounded by a collection of engravings. Take your time to observe what you are interested in the most and enjoy the silence and the magical atmosphere.
You can visit all the other museum halls to see treasures and finds from other civilization, but if you came to know how Milan looked like at the Roman times, just cross the wooden small bridge and you will find to be inside the Circus! It wasn’t a big top like the ones we are used to see… It was a long, narrow area all surrounded by tiers from where spectators could enjoy horse and biga races, sports and games.
The bell tower you can see (now part of the main monastery) was one of the circus towers from where one could see the whole complex. The tower on your right, on the contrary, probably belonged to the city walls. According to experts and archaeologists, next to the Circus there was Massimiano Imperial palace: as all the other Emperors, he liked to live an easy life, without a long way to walk to go and see the circus games.
Now you know much more about Milan at Roman times and where the main monuments dedicated to the magnificence of the imperial city – found below the ground – were.
Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9am till 5.30pm (last entrance at 5pm)
Closed on Mondays, January 1st, May 1st, August 15th, December 25th
Full fare € 2
Half fare € 1
Yearly full fare € 10
Yearly half fare € 5
How to get there:
tram line 16 – 27
bus line 50 – 58 – 94
tube line M1 Cairoli/Cadorna – M2 Cadorna
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