Church of San Maurizio and Santa Margherita

The ancient convent of St. Margaret, founded by the Humiliati in the 13th century, partly owes its fame to the renowned affair of the Nun of Monza, celebrated in Manzoni’s historical novel, The Bethroted. Marianna De Leyva was the heiress of the noble family who held the feud of Monza; when she was only 16, she became nun with the name of Sister Virginia in the convent whose walls bear witness to her dramatic relationship with Gian Paolo Osio (Manzoni’s Egidio), ended in 1608 with Osio’s death and Sister Virginia’s imprisonment.
The actual church was built in 1736; the terracotta façade is brightened up by the marble portal while the interior, with its unique nave layout, was richly decorated a few years later with frescoes by Carlo Innocenzo Carloni, an internationally well-known artist for its works in Austria, Germany and Czech Republic, author on these walls and in the nearby Duomo of a pictorial cycle of gentle refinement. Since the end of the 19th century the church has also taken the name of the nearby church of St. Maurice, demolished to enlarge Via Vittorio Emanuele II.