A few kilometers from Milan, in the heart of the Ticino Park, the Abbey of Morimondo welcomes all those who love the countryside and appreciate timeless peasant life.
The abbey is one of the best preserved examples of medieval religious architecture in all of Europe. The church was founded in 1134 by a group of French Cistercian abbots, and for six hundred years between ups and downs it managed to be the center of an important not only religious but also economic nucleus.
The “grangia” (a Frenchism that indicates the “granary”, where the wheat and more generally the fruits of field crops are kept) of Morimondo, as well as that of Chiaravalle, Bereguardo and other places scattered along the course of the Ticino, can be considered the ancestor of the Lombard farmhouses, within which the breeding and cultivation techniques that have made the Po Valley one of the largest and most important agricultural realities in Italy were perfected.
Therefore, there is certainly more than one good reason to take a walk in Morimondo! Here are the top 5 good reasons
1 – The Abbey of Morimondo is a splendid example of Gothic architecture in a Lombard way
From the outside, it is striking because of its size: it is a very large and very high church, the high walls are supported by powerful buttresses that mark its entire length.
Once inside, the impression of grandeur is made even greater by the pointed cross vaults and the presence of pointed and round arches that project the central nave upwards. Lombard Romanesque architecture had made great use of bricks to erect its most precious monuments (first of all the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio in Milan, a cornerstone of all the other and future Lombard churches in those years), but now from beyond the Alps other fashions and other inspirations arrive, and here is that new and ancient elements are mixed, under the hands of good architects and skilled craftsmen.
The gabled façade is softened by blind arches that run along the upper perimeter to frame a group of biforas, blind windows and painted ceramic basins that suggest a work that has been altered over time. The whole is, however, elegant and refined.
2 – Visiting the abbey, you get a taste of the monastic life of the past
In addition to the church, thanks to guided tours you can visit the cloister, the chapter house, the working rooms of the monks, the founders’ room, the loggia, the refectory, the dormitory.
In this way you can get a complete idea of what the life of the lay monks must have been like, from morning to evening, engaged in work and prayer.
3 – Morimondo Abbey always organizes something special
The hard-working spirit continues to distinguish the place, which in fact does not stop offering workshops, concerts, activities and gastronomic events. Today as in the past, it is a crossroads of pilgrimages, people who come and go, in search of authentic and genuine experiences.
4 – Around the Abbey of Morimondo there are paths suitable for everyone with springs and fountains
The flat land used for agricultural crops is crossed by small paths that families can travel safely, listening to the sounds of nature and dwelling on human activities. Here you can see in particular the “risorgive”, that is to say the springs of water that flow underground but at a certain point they have to “risorgere”( to rise), that is to go up again, because they find some dams of impermeable rock. When these warm waters rise, they can cause bubbles and create particular microclimates. Man has learned to exploit these springs by creating fountains, or rather “artificial” fountains that collect water from the springs and distribute it in the fields through the canals. In this way, they are able to produce the “marcite” which are nothing more than meadows that exploit the warm water of the springs and in this way they are able to grow even in the winter months, allowing the production of hay for farm animals. The water meadows are a useful expedient used to reclaim land that otherwise would be swampy and unusable, and provide the opportunity to make a winter walk interesting when the trees are bare.
5 – Morimondo Abbey is a place of spirituality and prayer
Far from the hustle and bustle of the city, reachable also by bicycle through cycle paths and on foot through pedestrian paths, Morimondo will please those who love contemplation and relaxation, and find relief in taking refuge in a sacred place where to pray and meditate.