Located a few miles north of the town of Pavia, this awe-inspiring Carthusian monastery was originally commissioned in 1396 as a mausoleum for Milan’s ruling Visconti family. After their dynastic downfall, the Sforza family took over, refurbishing per their exorbitant tastes. The highly intricate Renaissance façade is the swan song of master 15th-century architect Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, who also worked on the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo. The monastery contains the ornate tomb (but not the bodies) of Ludovico del Moro and his wife, Beatrice, who together shaped the Milanese Renaissance. A tour takes in the peaceful cloisters, monks’ cells, and refectory, but the highlight is the decorative church, its swaths of frescoes, the pietra dura altar, and the massive mausoleum of Gian Galeazzo Visconti.