St Ambrose was Bishop of Milan in the 4th-century – in the period after the Edict of Milan of AD 313 when Christianity was becoming the accepted religion of the Roman empire. He was so highly esteemed that adjective 'Ambrosian' became another word for Milanese.
The Biblioteca Ambrosiana was built in 1609 for Cardinal Federico Borromeo. Its celebrated picture gallery contains works by a host of Renaissance stars of Italy and beyond, including a Madonna and Child by Botticelli, and one of Leonardo da Vinci's rare paintings, 'Portrait of a Musician', as well as Raphael's cartoon (preparatory drawings) for his painting 'The School of Athens' in the Vatican.
The Library also has a collection of priceless books and manuscripts, more than 30,000 in all, including one of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks, containing a thousand pages of drawings.