While it remains one of the little known edifices of Milan, Loggia degli Osii is one of the oldest structures of the city. It is located in Piazza dei Mercanti, the center of the medieval Milan. Just like plenty other historical Milanese buildings, Loggia degli Osii was built by order of the Viscontis (in this case, Matteo I Visconti). Matteo I commissioned Scoto da San Gimignano to design the edifice in order to provide the city of Milan with an adequate headquarters for its legal and notary faces. The construction dates back to 1321.
The loggia remains, even today, a symbol of the medieval style of making justice in Milan (from the loggia’s parlera – a sort of balcony – the judges would announce their sentences and resolutions). The eagle capturing its a prey, a figure which decorates the parlera, is, in fact, a symbol of justice, calling forth the times when the Milanese judges made public their verdicts.
Besides the eye catching arcades of the loggia, also worthy of attention are the statues which overtop it. These are the works of sundry masters of Italian sculpture originated in Campione d’Italia and Tuscany, including Ugo and Giovanni da Campione.
What must be mentioned is the 17th and the 18th centuries bought substantial modifications to the loggia. Fortunately, the restoration works carried out in the early 20th century stripped the structure from its later additions (which, at the time, gave the building an eclectic look), bringing back its original contour and appearance. A very peculiar feature of the loggia refers to the black and white marble patterns which adorn the columns and the arcades, which is less typical of the Milanese Gothic, being deemed an influence of the Gothic style cultivated in Genoa in the Middle Ages.
The San Lorenzo Columns border the square in front of the Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore. It is also located close to Parco delle Basiliche.
The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie of Milan is where Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper was painted. The church was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Villa Reale Gardens are located across the Public Gardens of Milan. They were laid out in an elegant English style and are home to Villa Reale.