Beatricedi tendaOn July 23rd 2010 took place in Abbiategrasso the treasure hunt entitled "Murder at the Castle": dozens of participants walked through the centre roads, following the clues provided, among churches, votive images, buildings and shops. If you have not taken part in it, you can have a walk in the centre in any day of the year, following the sad story of Beatrice,  wife of the Milan Duke, Filippo Maria Visconti, who was beheaded in Abbiategrasso for adultery in 1418.

 

Leave from the Castle, a precious example of fortified Visconti architecture, one of the oldest in the province, which still shows fragments of frescoes, pointed arches, rooms with fireplaces and balconies. Inside there is the Town Library, around in the park you will find the Garibaldi statue, the War Memorial and, in the ditch, was Beatrice's dress, which marked the end of the path. 

 

Continue on St. Mary Old street: there you will find an ancient place of worship certainly visited by the Duchess, now deconsecrated, which keeps frescoes of the sixteenth century and the signs of medieval past in spite of the eighteenth century restorations; behind the church, as well as the small square, you will see the façade of the ancient Orsini House of Rome, along Teotti Street: small ogival windows make you understand the building importance that preserves inside a nice arcade and important Renaissance graphite decorations.

 

At the end of Teotti Street is the imposing Golgi Institute, the ancient Pia House of Incurables and before St. Clara's Convent: the large building, which among cloisters and corridors is still in use, preserves the neoclassical structure by Leopoldo Pollack, the architect of Real Villa in Milan, and of the nineteenth century by Giuseppe Balzaretto, an important eclectic architect. From here continue on St. Martino Course and you'll arrive in Italy Course where you will find ancient arcades and some devotional images painted on  houses walls. 

 

The imaginary route of Beatrice is in fact marked by images of pain and pity: a relief of the suffering Christ on the house door in Solferino Street, the Crucifix of St. Mary New, a famous church which shows the arcade attributed to Bramante, then the fresco of the Madonna and the Saints Bernardin and Dominic in XX Settembre Course and, finally, on the way back, the ancient fresco of the scourged Christ in  Castle Square. In the centre, meanwhile, the Town Bell marked the noblewoman's last hours.

 

An amusing and carefree way to learn about an ancient city, rich in monuments and memories but still not known enough: an experience that, thanks to its success deserves to be repeated.

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