San Vincenzo in Prato

Basilica of Saint Vincent in Prato
(Basilica Prepositurale di San Vincenzo in Prato)

Façade of the church.
Basic information
Location Milan, Italy
Geographic coordinates Coordinates: 45°27′28″N 9°10′26″E / 45.457665°N 9.173869°E / 45.457665; 9.173869
Affiliation Roman Catholic
Province Milan
Year consecrated 900
Ecclesiastical or organizational status National monument
Status Active
Website Sito ufficiale della Parrocchia
Architectural description
Architectural type Church
Architectural style Palaeo-Christian

The basilica of San Vincenzo in Prato is a church in Milan, northern Italy. It is the only one in city which has entirely maintained its original Palaeo-Christian appearance.


The first church was founded by the Lombard king Desiderius in 770, who dedicated it to the Virgin Mary. Later it was entitled to St. Vincent, when the latter's relics were found in an urn in the crypt, together with those of St. Quirinus and St. Nicomedes (859) and St. Abundius. The name in Prato derives from its location in the "pratum" (in the field) area owned by bishop Odelpertus.

In 806 a Benedictine convent was added to the church; in the late years of the same century and in the early 10th century the church, in dismaying conditions, was rebuilt, but with similar appearance. The octagonal baptistery on the exterior, on the left, was built by architect Paolo Mezzanotte in year 1932, and includes a column-shaped font called Pietra santa (the Saint Stone) coming from the ancient church of S. Nazaro in Pietra Santa, which was demolished in year 1889 during the construction of the new Via Dante.[1] The convent was suppressed in 1520 and in 1598 the church was restored and turned into a parish.


The basilica measures c. 40 x 20 m, and is in brickwork. The interior is on a nave and two aisles with wooden spans ceiling. The columns are from different ages. The elevated choir ends with a large apse. Under the presbytery is the crypt, which has also a nave and two aisles divided by ten small columns with sculpted capitals.

San Vincenzo lies on the founding of a Roman temple or oratory built along the way to Vigevano probably dedicated to Juppiter, which was located within a Roman necropolis (of which some remains are visible in the external left walls of the church).


  1. Monastero di S. Vincenzo in Prato frin Lombardia Beni Culturali, pdf document
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