LogoLogo

Monza, Province of Monza and Brianza, Lombardy Region

Monza lies on the Lambro river, a tributary of the Po, just 8 miles north-northeast of Milan; it is the third largest city in Lombardy and an important economical, industrial and administrative centre. The city has a lively textile industry and publishing trade, and also international fame from the Autodromo Nazionale Monza racing circuit, home to the Italian Grand Prix, the Scuderia Ferrari team, and previously the Alfa Romeo team.

Info

  • Population: about 121,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 20052
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 039
  • Patron Saint: St. Giovanni Battista, celebrated on 24 June; San Gerardo dei Tintori, celebrated on 6 June.
Follow Italy Heritage on Facebook
Provinces of Lombardy

Administrative divisions

Monza is divided into five circoscrizioni, each including a number of the traditional quarters.
the Circoscrizioni of Monza
  • Circoscrizione 1: Centro, San Gerardo, Libertà;
  • Circoscrizione 2: Cederna, Sant'Albino, Regina Pacis, San Donato;
  • Circoscrizione 3: San Rocco, Sant'Alessandro, Casignolo;
  • Circoscrizione 4: San Giuseppe, Triante, San Fruttuoso;
  • Circoscrizione 5: San Biagio, Cazzaniga.

History

Monza (Modicia) was a minor Roman settlement, selected by the Lombard king Theodoric, for his capital, and its first important associations are with Theodelinda, the Lombard queen. In the Middle Ages, the commune of Monza was sometimes independent, sometimes subject to Milan and the Visconti.

In the course of its history Monza stood thirty-two sieges, but the Porta d'Agrate is the only vestige of its walls and fortifications. Nearby is the nunnery in which the nun of Monza (from Manzoni's novel The Betrothed - I Promessi Sposi) was enclosed.

What to see

  • The church of Santa Maria in Istrada, with a rich terra-cotta facade of 1393
  • The Broletto or Arengario, the 14th-century palace of the civic commune, raised on an arcade of pointed arches, with a tall square tower terminating in a sharp central cone.
  • Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista with Theodelinda's centrally-planned Greek-cross oraculum ("chapel of prayer") of about 595, which was enlarged in the late 13th century by enclosing the former atrium within the building. The black and-white marble facade was erected in the mid-14th century by Matteo da Campione. The belltower was added in 1606 on a design by Pellegrino Tibaldi. In the frescoed Chapel of Theodelinda is the Iron Crown of Lombardy, supposed to contain one of the nails used at the Crucifixion. The treasury also contains the crown, fan and gold comb of Theodelinda, and a golden hen with seven chickens, representing Lombardy and the historical seven provinces (there are 12 today). Inside there is a fine relief by Matteo da Campione representing a royal Lombard coronation, and some 15th-century frescoes with scenes from the life of Theodelinda.
  • The royal palace Villa Reale originally built by Piermarini in 1777 for the archduke Ferdinand of Austria, along the banks of the Lambro, surrounded by the largest enclosed park in Europe.

Where to stay