Map of Douzillac for Ambrose’s remains still lie in the church’s crypt, but there’s nothing left of the original church in which his most famous convert, St Augustine, first heard him preach. 81 1 ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE MILAN Romanesque basilicas, is, however, one of the city’s loveliest, reached through a colonnaded quadrangle with column capitals carved with rearing horses, contorted dragons and an assortment of bizarre predators. Inside, to the left of the nave, a freestanding Byzantine pillar is topped with a magic bronze serpent, flicked into a loop and symbolizing Aaron’s rod an ancient tradition held that on the Day of Judgement it would crawl back to the Valley of Jesophat. Look, too, at the pulpit, a superb piece of Romanesque carving decorated with reliefs of wild animals and the occasional human, most of whom are intent upon devouring one another. There are older relics further down the nave, notably the ciborium, reliefed with the figures of saints Gervasius and Protasius martyred Roman soldiers whose clothed bodies flank that of St Ambrose in the crypt. A nineteenth-century autopsy revealed that they had been killed by having their throats cut. Similar investigations into St Ambrose’s remains restored the reputation of the anonymous fifth-century artist responsible for the mosaic portrait of the saint in the Cappella di San Vittorio in Ciel d’Oro (to the right of the sacristy). Until then it was assumed that Ambrose owed his crooked face to a slip of the artist’s hand, but the examination of his skull revealed an abnormally deep-set tooth, suggesting that his face would indeed have been slightly deformed. ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE MILAN BY PLANE Milan has two main airports Malpensa and Linate with regular connections to domestic as well as major European and international destinations. Map of Douzillac 2016.
Map of Douzillac Photo Gallery