Abbiategrasso, Basilica of Santa Maria Nuova
Alongside the Castle, the original late Medieval burgus of Abbiategrasso had extended into the area between Via Santa Maria, Via Angelo Teotti, Piazza V Giornate and Corso San Martino: what is now the Santa Maria quarter. Between Via Borsani and Via Confalonieri there is the most important historical-artistic construction in Abbiategrasso, the Basilica of Santa Maria Nuova, founded in1365 thanks to the Beata Vergine School. The irregular four-sided portico decorated with terracotta statues and busts in front of the basilica, making it all the more striking, probably dates back to the early 15th century. Even more remarkable is the pronaos, attached to the façade to protect a fresco of Our Lady brought here at the end of the 1500’s because it was miraculous. The design of the pronaos had been attributed to Donato Bramante. However, it is actually a work produced between 1595 and 1602 by the Roman architect Tolomeo Rinaldi. Most of the pictorial ecoration was carried out in the 1800’s by Giovanni Valtorta. However, there are also 15th century frescoes, graffiti and an imposing late-Mannerist altar in the first chapel on the left, paintings by the Fiammenghini and, in particular, the large altarpiece showing Our Lady handing the priest’s girdle to St. Francis at the end of the left aisle.