Route 3

Counter-Reformation and Baroque

The Counter-Reformation period had a deep cultural impact on the city, due to the activities of bishops associated with the teachings of St. Charles Borromeo, in particular Carlo Bascapè, a former collaborator of Borromeo in Milan and bishop of Novara from 1593 to 1615.

Through his unceasing efforts of promotion and control, the post-Tridentine building models were widely adopted in the city and the diocese, while in the churches, significant iconographic testaments were left by the greatest masters of 17th-century Lombardy: examples include the Buona Morte and Angelo Custode chapels in San Gaudenzio and the interiors of the churches of San Pietro al Rosario and San Marco.

The city was home to noble families, closely linked to the government of Milan, who built lavish homes, including Palazzo Cabrino, Palazzo Bellini, Palazzo Natta and Palazzo Cacciapiatti Fossati, which are now institutional buildings.