The Crypt

Placed under the Church of San Sepolcro in the homonymous square, the oldest church in Milan reopens to the public after 50 years. Retrace the ancient history of the city and those who made it great.  Come and live unique emotions for Hearts and Minds.

Opening Hours

We wanted to give to the city the opportunity to visit the Crypt of Leonardo and the Roman Forum every day thus allowing all visitors the chance to discover this unmissable place. Admission and tickets from piazza San Sepolcro, on the right side of the Church.

Monday: 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm. From Tuesday to Friday: 2.00 pm to 8.00 pm and the Roman Forum: 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm. Saturday and Sunday: 12.00 pm to 8.00 pm and the Roman Forum: 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm  


Only a small part of the great works of restoration of the crypt has been brought to completion. € 2,000,000 are needed in order to bring back to full splendor this place. For this reason has been fixed a ticket of 10 € thanks to which we are sure that with the support of the thousands of visitors who will leave their name in history, we can achieve this target.

scansione libro per cripta

mappa di leonardo

The Map of Leonardo

Leonardo da Vinci was fascinated by the beauty of the Crypt and, in tracing his bird’s eye view map of Milan, took as a center the Temple of San Sepolcro. Today is exposed here an ancient book of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana with the map of Leonardo


The Church was established in 1030 when Mr.Rozzone, a Milanese coins maker, erected on the remains of the ancient Roman forum a church that Archbishop Ariberto of Intimiano solemnly consecrated to the Holy Trinity. Its long history overlaps with that of the Crusades: after the reconquest of Jerusalem, Archbishop of Milan Anselm IV changed the dedication in “the Holy Sepulchre Church”, in memory of this extraordinary event, on July 15 1100. Indeed, from the time of its foundation, in the underground part of the church there was an exact copy of the tomb of Christ, made by a Campionese master of the early fourteenth century. According to tradition, it contains the land taken by the Crusaders from Jerusalem and other relics from the holy places.

Place of great sanctity, the crypt was chosen by St. Charles Borromeo as a personal place of prayer, where he went every Wednesday and Friday afternoon. He often spent entire nights in what he called “the training ground” of the Holy Spirit, in adoration of the tomb of Christ. For this reason, after his canonization, a polychrome terracotta statue of St. Charles was placed in front of the sarcophagus. In one of the niches, there is a large palm in painted copper, symbol of wisdom, originally conceived as a fountain and commissioned by Cardinal Federico Borromeo.

San Sepolcro is also a place of devotion to Mary Magdalene, who first, according to the Evangelist John, discovered the empty tomb and received the apparition of the Risen One on Easter morning. In a fresco of the left transept, now discoloured, she is depicted on the right of the triumphant Christ, with the body veiled with her long hair; while on the left we see a crowned woman, perhaps the Empress St. Helen, mother of Constantine, who found on the Mount Calvary the true cross of the Lord. The crypt also allows visitors to get in touch with one of the oldest testimonies of the city’s history. The flooring in fact, made up of large slabs of white ‘Verona stone’, comes from the pavement of the ancient Roman forum of the fourth century, the main square of the Roman civitas and centre of the major civil and religious activities.

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