The Church of San Vittore, built under the abbess Maria Cleofe Carcano, was started in 1520 and consecrated in 1536. Still a consecrated place, it is one of the best expressions of the late Lombard Renaissance, embellished by the Baroque façade added in 1730.
The structure and many of the decorations recall the still existing Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore in Milan
The church, entirely frescoed, was divided in two parts, the internal one for consecrated nuns, and the external one, intended for the faithful.
The dominant presence is the school of Bernardino Luini, a pictorial school that probably worked under the direct guidance of the master. The side walls are divided into chapels frescoed and enriched with altars, pilasters, cornices, friezes, sails and veils, all richly decorated with multiple motifs and subjects creating the “grottesche”, a decoration typical of Italian Renaissance.
The vault is richly frescoed with arabesques and symbols of the Passion of Jesus. No less valuable is the high altar, both for its artistic and religious significance. The urn under the altar in fact preserves the remains of Saints Aimo and Vermondo, founders of the monastery at the beginning of ninth century, while above the tabernacle dominates the large altarpiece by Giovan Battista Crespi, called Cerano, and on the sides of the altarpiece the frescoes attributed to Giulio and Antonio Campi. On the left wall the first chapel houses the so-called “Mortorio”, a precious wooden group with life-size statues, depicting the Deposition of Christ.
After the monastery’s suppression in 1798, the internal church was transformed into a granary and divided into two parts by a partition, later hosting downstairs the “Limonera“, a greenhouse for lemon trees during winter.
Remarkable are the frescoes in the Sala del Coro (Chorus Hall) on the upper floor, among them The blessing Christ in typical leonardesque pose as Salvator Mundi.