All Churches

Italy has many churches, and all of them are beautiful and full of spectacular works of art. The main church of the city is referred as Il Duomo, but you will find churches that are named Basilica, Chiesa or Cattedrale, depending on their size and importance.

Some of the most beautiful churches in Italy are the Basilica di San Marco and the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, the Cathedral of the Nativity of Saint Mary and the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Orvieto and the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore in Verona.

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    Cathedral of the Nativity of Saint Mary

    The Cathedral of the Nativity of Saint Mary, better known as Duomo di Milano, is the largest church in Italy, and the fourth largest in the world. The Cathedral, which took almost six hundred years to complete, is the most important tourist attraction in Milan and the most famous symbol of the city.   SHORT HISTORY Once, on the site where the Duomo stands today, there was the ancient Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Basilica of Santa Tecla. After the collapse of the bell tower of the cathedral, the Archbishop Antonio de’ Saluzzi, supported by the population, proposed in 1386 the building of a new and larger cathedral. To make room for the new church, both churches were demolished. In January 1387, the foundations of the pylons were laid. The chief architect was Simone d’Orsenigo, who, in 1388, began the perimeter walls. Between 1389 and 1390, the French Nicolas de Bonaventure was commissioned to design the windows. In 1393, the first capital of the pillars was sculpted by Giovannino de’ Grassi, who was the main architect of the work until his death, in 1398. In 1400, Filippino degli Orgi took his place, who focused on the construction of Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Marco

    Basilica of San Marco (Saint Mark’s Basilica) is the Cathedral of Venice, located in the beautiful Piazza San Marco, in the sestiere (district) of San Marco.   SHORT HISTORY A first church dedicated to Saint Mark was built in 828 by Doge Giustiniano Partecipazio next to the Doge’s Palace, to house the relics of the Saint stolen, according to tradition, from Alexandria, Egypt, by two Venetian merchants. This church replaced the previous Palatine chapel dedicated to the Byzantine Saint Theodore, built in correspondence with the current Piazzetta dei Leoncini, north of the current Basilica di San Marco. The church, consecrated in 832, was destroyed by fire during the revolt of 976 against Doge Candiano IV, and was rebuilt in 978 by Doge Pietro I Orseolo. The current Basilica dates back to 1063, and was begun by Doge Domenico Contarini and continued by Domenico Selvo and Vitale Falier. The consecration of the Basilica took place in 1094. The golden mosaic decoration of the interior was completed at the end of the 12th century, while the narthex (atrium) which surrounds the entire western arm of the church was built in the first half of the 13th century. Also in the 13th century, Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua

    The Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua is the most important Catholic church in Padua and one of the largest in the world. The church, dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, is visited every year by over 6.5 million pilgrims, making it one of the most revered shrines in the Christian world. Saint Anthony of Padua was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He was born and raised in Lisbon, and died in Padua on June 13, 1231. He was one of the most quickly canonized saints in church history.   SHORT HISTORY In the Middle Ages, this place was located in a peripheral area of the city of Padua. Here, there was the small Church of Santa Maria Mater Domini, where Saint Anthony stayed for over a year between 1229 and 1231. When Saint Anthony died on June 13, 1231, his body was transfered to this small church and buried there, following his desire. Soon, many miraculous phenomena were recorded around his grave and pilgrims began to arrive first from the nearby districts and then from beyond the Alps. The canonical process took place in the Cathedral of Spoleto on May 30, 1232, where Pope Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio

    Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio is a beautiful church in Milan, located in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio. One of the oldest churches in the city, it is traditionally considered the second most important church in Milan, after the Duomo.   SHORT HISTORY A first church was built on this place between 379 and 386, at the behest of the bishop of Milan, Ambrogio, in an area where Christians martyrs of the Roman persecutions were buried. For this, it was dedicated to the martyrs and called Basilica Martyrum. Ambrogio wanted to place here all the relics of the holy martyrs Vittore, Nabore, Felice, Vitale, Valeria, Gervasio and Protasio. In 397, he was also buried here, and the church was later renamed in his honor. In the 9th century, the bishop Angilbert II added a large apse to the church, preceded by a room with a barrel vault, under which the liturgical functions took place. In the same period, the apse was decorated with a large mosaic, the Redeemer enthroned between the martyrs Protasio and Gervasio, with the archangels Michael and Gabriel above. The basilica received its current shape between 1088 and 1099, when, at the behest of Bishop Anselmo III da Rho, it was radically Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore

    Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore is a magnificent church in Verona, dedicated to Saint Zeno, an early Christian Bishop of the city. One of the Romanesque masterpieces in Italy, the church develops on three levels, and the current structure dates back to the 11th century.   SHORT HISTORY It is believed that Saint Zeno of Verona died between the years 372 and 380, and tradition has it that he was buried near the place where the basilica rises today. A first church was built in his honor above his tomb, and by 589, the structure was already restored and enlarged. At the beginning of the 9th century, Pepin of Italy, King of the Lombards, decided to build a larger and more beautiful church, and that the body of the old one to be transformed into a crypt. The consecration of the new building took place on December 8, 806, while on May 21 of the following year, the body of Saint Zeno was moved to the crypt. It seems that the church suffered considerable damage during the Hungarian invasions that took place between 899 and 933, and the city decided to rebuilt it. The reconstruction was commissioned by Bishop Raterio, Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of Sant’Alessandro

    The Cathedral of Sant’Alessandro is the Cathedral of Bergamo, dedicated to Saint Alexander, the patron saint of the city. The Cathedral is located in the historical center of the city – Città Alta, in the small but beautiful Piazza del Duomo, near Palazzo della Ragione and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.   SHORT HISTORY In the 8th century, a church in Romanesque style was built here, on the site of a paleochristian place of worship dating back to the 5th century. The church was dedicated to San Vincenzo (Saint Vincent of Saragossa). Around the middle of the 15th century, the bishop Giovanni Barozzi decided to build a larger church, entrusting the project to the Florentine architect Filarete. On May 3, 1459, the first stone was laid, and in 1467 the first chapel on the left side was completed and dedicated to Saint Catherine and Saint Jerome. However, after a couple of years, the works suffered an abrupt interruption due to the death of Filarete and to the simultaneous election of bishop Barozzi as Patriarch of Venice. In 1561, the Church of Sant’Alessandro in Colonna was demolished for the construction of the Venetian Walls. The relics of the saint were Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of San Nicolò

    The Cathedral of San Nicolò, dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra, is the beautiful Baroque cathedral of Noto, located at the top of a wide staircase, on the northern part of Piazza del Municipio (Town Hall Square).   SHORT HISTORY The construction of the church began in 1694, one year after the terrible earthquake of Val di Noto, which completely destroyed the ancient Noto, located about 8 kilometers north of the current city. The church was completed in 1703, and it was opened for worship in a solemn ceremony. In the second half of the 18th century, the original unfinished facade of the church, built by Rosario Gagliardi, was remodeled by the architect Vincenzo Sinatra, and completed at the end of the 18th century. In the 19th century, a new dome was built to replace the previous one, deteriorated by the earthquakes from the 18th century, giving the cathedral its current appearance. After the earthquake of December 13, 1990, the church suffered some structural damage, but no restoration measures were taken. On the evening of March 13, 1996, due to a serious defect of the pillars of the central nave, the first of the right-hand pylons that supported the dome Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of the Madonna della Bruna

    The Cathedral of the Madonna della Bruna and Sant’Eustachio is the Cathedral of Matera, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the patron saint of the city, and to the Christian martyr Saint Eustace. The church is located on the highest point of the old city, between the two Sassi, the ancient districts of Matera.   SHORT HISTORY The cathedral was built between 1230 and 1270, on the area of an ancient Benedictine monastery from the 11th century dedicated to Saint Eustace. Originally, the church was dedicated to Santa Maria di Matera and, later, to Santa Maria della Bruna, also protector of the city. Starting with 1627, the Cathedral of Matera was dedicated both to the Madonna della Bruna and to Saint Eustace. The interior underwent considerable transformations starting with 1627, when the stuccos and decorations were added. In 1719, the ceiling was covered by a false wooden ceiling, decorated in the 19th century with three beautiful paintings by the Calabrian artist Battista Santoro. In 1776, the stuccos were covered with a gold leaf. Since 2003, the church was affected by important restoration works. In 2006, the church received a series of consolidation and restoration interventions, mainly on the medieval trusses and Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of Sant’Agata

    The Cathedral of Sant’Agata is the Cathedral of Catania, dedicated to the martyr Saint Agatha, located in the main square of the city, Piazza del Duomo.   SHORT HISTORY The church had a tumultuous history, being repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt after the earthquakes occurred in the area. A first church was built around 1086 on the ruins of the Achilliane Baths dating back to Roman times. On February 4, 1169, an earthquake completely destroyed the ceiling of the church, killing many people gathered in the Cathedral. In 1194, under the reign of Henry VI, a fire caused considerable damage to the structure. In 1693, the terrible earthquake of Val di Noto destroyed the Cathedral almost completely, leaving only the apse and the facade. The bell tower was also put to the ground. The reconstruction of the church was made during the 18th century. The current building is the work of the architect Girolamo Palazzotto, who is responsible for the interior, while Giovanni Battista Vaccarini designed the facade, which was built between 1734 and 1761. In 1857, the bell tower was completed, and the current layout of the churchyard was built in the 19th century.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Petronio

    With 132 meters in length and 60 meters wide, the Basilica of San Petronio is the sixth largest church in Europe, despite being largely unfinished. Although is not the cathedral of Bologna, a title that belongs to the nearby Cathedral of San Pietro, it can be considered the main church of the city.   SHORT HISTORY In the 14th century, the Bolognese aristocracy revived the cult of San Petronio, bishop of Bologna during the 5th century, and planned to build a church dedicated to him. On June 7, 1390, the first stone was laid in a solemn procession. The project was given to the architect Antonio di Vicenzo, who consulted on the design of the church with the father Andrea Manfredi. At the beginning of the 15th century, di Vicenzo died, and the Papal Legate Baldassarre Cossa, an enemy of the Municipality of Bologna, took advantage of the architect’s death to sell the material gathered for the construction of the church. In 1507, the architect Arduino Arriguzzi was comissioned to continue the work. Arriguzzi was sent to Florence to see and study the dome built by Brunelleschi for the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. On April 30, 1514, the Read more [...]

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    Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola

    The Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell’Isola is a beautiful small church standing on the homonymous rock, in Tropea. The church and its rock, once an island, is one of the most iconic images of the Calabrian city.   SHORT HISTORY The rock on which the church stands today was probably inhabited around the 7th century by Greek hermit monks. These, isolating themselves from the world, devoted themselves to a contemplative and ascetic life. Built before the 9th century, the church belonged, at first, to the Basilian monks. In the 11th century, after the arrival of the Normans, it was passed on to the Benedictines, who still own it today. As a parenthesis, Tropea, like all of Calabria, was under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of Byzantium and, therefore, under the Greek rite, until the arrival of the Normans, in the 11th century, who imposed the latinization of the population. Robert Guiscard, the Norman duke, made the transition from the Greek to the Latin rite around 1060. Around the year 1066, the Church of Santa Maria dell’Isola and some surrounding territories were donated by the Normans to the Abbot of Montecassino, Desiderio, who later became Pope Victor III. Over the centuries, due to Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

    The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Orvieto is one of the most beautiful churches in Italy and the world and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.   SHORT HISTORY The building of the Orvieto Cathedral was started in 1290 by the will of Pope Nicholas IV. The church was designed, probably, by Arnolfo di Cambio, but it is not known for sure. At the beginning, the project was entrusted to Fra Bevignate from Perugia, and later, before the end of the 13th century, to Giovanni di Ugguccione, who introduced the first Gothic forms. At the beginning of the 14th century, the Sienese sculptor and architect Lorenzo Maitani assumed the role of the master builder, changing the design of the church into something similar with the Cathedral of Siena. At the Maitani’s death, in 1330, the works were far from over. The role of master builder was obtained by various architects, who succeeded each other over the years, often for short periods. The Chapel of the Corporal was built between 1350 and 1356, and the Chapel of San Brizio was built between 1408 and 1444. The works of the facade continued over the years, and were completed in the second half Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of San Martino

    The Cathedral of San Martino is the Cathedral of Lucca, located in the homonymous square, in the historical center of the city. According to tradition, the Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, was founded by San Frediano in the 6th century, then rebuilt by Anselmo da Baggio, Bishop of the city, in 1060, and finally remodeled in its current form in the 12th and 13th centuries.   SHORT HISTORY In the 8th century, the Church of San Martino received the title of Cathedral from the Church of San Giovanni and Santa Reparata, located nearby. The Cathedral was completely rebuilt starting with 1060, and solemnly consecrated in 1070 by Anselmo da Baggio, who, at the time of the consecration, was Pope Alexander II, but also kept the title of Bishop of Lucca. In 1204, Guido Bigarelli of Como began the work on the facade. In 1372, two years after the liberation from the Pisan domination, the apse of the church and the wall of the transept were completed in Gothic style. The works were finished around 1390.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The main facade of the church was begun in 1204 by Guido Bigarelli of Como. The facade consists of Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

    The Cathedral of Siena, dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, is located in the historical center of the city, in Piazza del Duomo. A great exemple of Romanesque-Gothic architecture, the Cathedral of Siena is one of the most beautiful churches in Italy.   SHORT HISTORY It seems that the current Cathedral of Siena replaced a first church dedicated to Saint Mary, built around the 9th century, which in turn replaced an ancient temple dedicated to Minerva. The first documented information about the building of the Cathedral dates back to 1226, when the first costs and contracts related to the construction were recorded. Probably, the works began some time before that, because the consecration tooked place, according to the tradition, on November 18, 1179. Between 1238 and 1285, the church was administered by the monks of San Galgano. From 1284 to 1297, Giovanni Pisano was responsible for the construction of the lower part of the facade, completed between 1299 and 1317 by Camaino di Crescentino, father of the sculptor Tino di Camaino. The bell-tower, at a height of 77 meters, was finished in 1313. The works were completed in 1370.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

    Located in the famous Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), between the Baptistery of San Giovanni and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, or Duomo di Pisa, is a masterpiece of the Romanesque style, representing the tangible proof of the prestige and wealth achieved by the Maritime Republic of Pisa at its height.   SHORT HISTORY The construction of the Pisa Cathedral was started in 1064 by the architect Buscheto, at the same time with the reconstruction of the Basilica of Saint Mark, in Venice, as part of the race between the two maritime republics to create the most beautiful and sumptuous place of worship. The Cathedral was consecrated with great pomp on September 26th, 1118, by Pope Gelasius II. In the first half of the 12th century, the Cathedral was enlarged under the direction of architect Rainaldo. He designed a new facade, built by the sculptors Guglielmo and Biduino. The work was completed in 1180, as documented by the date on the bronze knockers made by Bonanno Pisano for the main door. Following the disastrous fire of 1595, the roof of the church was redone and the three bronze doors on the facade were Read more [...]

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    Scrovegni Chapel

    The Scrovegni Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni), dedicated to St. Mary of the Charity, commissioned by Enrico degli Scrovegni and frescoed between 1303 and 1305 by the painter and architect Giotto di Bondone, is one of the most important masterpieces of Western art. Since 2006, the Scrovegni Chapel has been nominated to become the second UNESCO World Heritage Site in Padua, the first being the 16th century botanical garden.   SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 14th century, Enrico Scrovegni, a rich Paduan banker, had bought a land in Padua, in an ancient Roman area, to build a sumptuous palace and a chapel that will be used as a family mausoleum. For painting the chapel, he comissioned the Florentine Giotto, who started the work in 1303 and finished it before March 25th, 1305, when the chapel was consecrated. Giotto painted the entire inner surface of the oratory with a unitary iconography, helped by a team of about forty employees. Palazzo Scrovegni was demolished in 1827 to obtain precious materials and make room for two condominiums, and the chapel was officially acquired by the Municipality of Padua. Immediately after the purchase, the condominiums were demolished and the chapel was restored. In Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

    The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, commonly known as the Duomo of Florence, is one of the most famous churches in Italy and the world. When it was completed, in the 15th century, it was the largest church in the world, while today is the third in Europe, after Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the Cathedral of the Nativity of Saint Mary in Milan.   SHORT HISTORY In 1294, the government of Florence ordered the construction of a new cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore (Saint Mary of the Flower), on the site of the city’s second cathedral dedicated to Santa Reparata. In 1296, the architect Arnolfo di Cambio was comissioned to design the cathedral, but he died only a few years later. In 1334, Giotto di Bondone was appointed as the architect of the cathedral, and he started the building of the bell-tower. Three years later, Giotto died. Starting with 1337, the construction was supervised by Andrea Pisano, until 1348, when the Black Death halted the works. Francesco Talenti, who took Pisano’s place in 1349, altered Arnolfo’s design, and completed the bell-tower in 1359. After 1366, Giovanni di Lapo Ghini joined him. In 1420, Filippo Brunelleschi Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi

    The Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi is the mother church of Roman Catholic Franciscan Order, an important place of pilgrimage, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Here, Saint Francis, one of the most venerated religious figures of the Catholic Church, is buried.   SHORT HISTORY The Basilica of Saint Francis is composed, actually, from two churches. The Lower Church was built between 1228 and 1230, only 4 years after the saint’s death, and the Upper Church was built between 1230 and 1253. The Sacro Convento friary, with its imposing walls supported by 53 arches and powerful buttresses, was built between the 12th and the 15th century with stone from the near Mount Subasio. An important part of the friary was built under the reign of Pope Sixtus IV, a Franciscan, near the end of the 15th century. A crypt was dug in 1818, for the tomb of Saint Francis. Now, the remains of the saint are kept in a stone urn in the Lower Church.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE You can enter the Lower Church through a wonderful portico with two arches and three rose windows. Inside, you can find invaluable paintings by Giotto (the Chapel of Mary Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Santa Croce

    Basilica di Santa Croce (Basilica of the Holy Cross) is a beautiful Franciscan church located in Piazza di Santa Croce, in Florence. The church is the burial place of Michelangelo Buonarroti, one of the greatest sculptors of all time. Besides Michelangelo, inside the church are buried many famous people, including the scientist Galileo Galilei, the politician and philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli, the writer Vittorio Alfieri, the poet Ugo Foscolo and the composer Gioachino Rossini. Due to this fact, the Basilica of Santa Croce is also known as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell’Itale Glorie).   SHORT HISTORY According to legend, in 1211, Saint Francis of Assisi arrived in Florence. On a little island created by the Arno River, there was a chapel dedicated to the Holy Cross, which was donated to Saint Francis, and from which the current church borrowed the name. The building of the church started in 1294, after a project elaborated probably by Arnolfo di Cambio, one of the most important architects of that time. During its construction, many great artists worked here, such as Giotto di Bondone, Taddeo and Agnolo Gaddi, Maso di Banco, Giovanni da Milano, Filippo Brunelleschi and Michelozzo. Due to floods and Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano

    The Basilica of the Most Holy Savior and of the Saints John the Baptist and Evangelist in the Lateran, commonly called Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano, is the mother church of all the Catholic churches in Rome and the entire world. It is the highest ranking of the four papal major basilicas, receiving the title of archbasilica.   SHORT HISTORY Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano was consecrated in 324 by Pope Sylvester I, and dedicated to the Most Holy Savior. In the ninth century, Pope Sergio III dedicated it to St. John the Baptist, while in the twelfth century, Pope Lucio II dedicated it to St. John the Evangelist. At the end of the 13th century, great works were undertaken under Bonifacio VIII, with the frescoes by Giotto and by Cimabue, today lost. In the 14th century, with the shift of papal power from Rome to Avignon, the church will be abandoned, and after the return of the papacy to Rome, due to the poor condition of the Basilica, the popes will prefer the Vatican. In the 18th century, the facade of the Basilica was finally completed with the new prospect of Alessandro Galilei. On the occasion of Read more [...]

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    Pantheon

    With a history of nearly 2000 years, the Pantheon is the best preserved roman building in the world. Once a Roman temple, the Pantheon is now a catholic church, and one of the main attractions in Rome.   SHORT HISTORY Although the inscription on the frontispiece shows that it was built by Marcus Agrippa, the Roman consul, Agrippa’s pantheon was built in fact during the reign of Augustus, between 27 and 25 BC, and it burned in the year 80 AD. The façade was the only part to be saved, that was later used to rebuild the new pantheon. The temple was rebuilt by the Emperor Domitian, but it was burnt again in 110 AD. Today’s building was built between the years 118 and 125 AD, during the reign of Hadrian. In 609, Pope Bonifacio IV converted the Pantheon into a Christian church and consecrated it to St. Mary and the Martyrs. Two kings of Italy are buried in the Pantheon – Vittorio Emanuele II and Umberto I, as well as the painters Raphael and Annibale Carracci, the composer Arcangelo Corelli, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi.   ARCHITECTURE At 43 meters wide and 43 meters high, the Pantheon’s dome is Read more [...]

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    Church of San Martino

    The Church of San Martino (Chiesa del Divo Martino) is a church in Romanesque style, dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, in Portofino.   SHORT HISTORY The church was probably built during the 12th century, around the same time the Church of San Giorgio was erected. The structure is mentioned in a document of 1130, with the decision of Pope Innocent II to cede the property to the monks of the nearby Abbey of San Fruttuoso, and again in 1164, where the same privileges were confirmed by Pope Alexander III. The consecration of the church took place on June 10, 1548, and on March 8, 1550, the ownership of the religious building passed to the Prince Andrea Doria and his heirs, through a papal bull of Pope Julius III. During the 19th century, the Church of San Martino was renovated and expanded, and took its current shape.   ART Inside, there are several pictorial and sculptural works, such as the wooden group depicting the Deposition of Christ by the Genoese sculptor Anton Maria Maragliano, the canvas of the Madonna del Rosario by an unknown painter, an Annunciation of the 18th century, and a painting depicting the Saints Rocco, Sebastiano and Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Santo Stefano

    The Basilica of Santo Stefano, also known as the Seven Churches (Sette Chiese), is a complex of religious buildings in Bologna, located in the homonymous square.   SHORT HISTORY Around the year 100 AD, a pagan temple dedicated to Isis was built on this site. In 393, Ambrosio, the bishop of Milan, discovered the tombs of the first Christian martyrs of Bologna, Vitale and Agricola, and a small chapel was built near the temple of Isis to preserve their remains. The church is known today as the Church of the Saints Vitale and Agricola. In the 5th century, Petronius, the bishop of Bologna, converted the temple of Isis into a baptistery. Around the year 450, he was buried here. Now, the structure is known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Basilica del Sepolcro). In 727, Liutprand, king of the Lombards, invaded the city and built, to the right of the Holy Sepulcher, a prominent basilica, naming it after San Giovanni Battista (Saint John the Baptist). Later, the religious building became the Church of the Holy Crucifix (Chiesa del Crocifisso). The complex was devastated during the invasion of the Hungarians at the beginning of the 10th century, and was largely Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Domenico

    The Basilica of San Domenico is an important church in Bologna, located in the homonymous square. The church houses the remains of San Domenico (Saint Dominic), founder of the Dominican Order, who died in 1221 in the adjacent convent.   SHORT HISTORY Saint Dominic arrived in Bologna in January 1218, and settled in the convent of the Church of Santa Maria della Purificazione, located outside the city walls. In 1219, the saint moved to the Convent of San Nicolò delle Vigne, where the current basilica stands. Saint Dominic died on August 6, 1221. In 1233, his remains were placed in a cypress chest, enclosed in a simple marble sarcophagus, and placed behind the altar of a side chapel of the right aisle. The following year, San Domenico was canonized by Pope Gregory IX. In 1267, his remains were placed in a monument known as the Ark of Saint Dominic (Arca di San Domenico). Starting with 1228, the old church of San Nicolò delle Vigne was enlarged, with the demolition of the apse and the extension of the nave. The construction works of the new basilica were completed in 1240, with the building of the sober Romanesque facade. The basilica was Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Francesco

    The Basilica of San Francesco is a Romanesque church in Siena, located in the homonymous square. Dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi, the church is officiated by the Order of Friars Minor Conventual.   SHORT HISTORY The Franciscans arrived in Siena shortly after the death of Saint Francis in 1226. Between 1228 and 1255, a first church was erected on this site. The current church was built between 1326 and 1475 in Gothic style, enlarging the pre-existing church. In 1655, a fire damaged the church, leaving it in ruins for over two centuries. Between 1763 and 1765, the current bell tower was built, based on a project by Paolo Posi. In 1855, following the suppression of religious orders carried out by Napoleon, the convent became the property of the Archdiocese of Siena, which made it the seat of the Archiepiscopal Seminary. The church was restored in Neo-Gothic style at the end of the 19th century. The works were entrusted to Giuseppe Partini for the interior, and to Vittorio Mariani and Gaetano Ceccarelli for the exterior. In 1968, the ancient Convent adjacent to the Basilica was purchased by the University of Siena, where the Department of Economics, Politics and Statistics is Read more [...]

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    Church of Santo Spirito

    The Church of Santo Spirito is a church in Ferrara, located in the western part of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY The works for the construction of the Church of the Holy Spirit began in 1519. On the death of Duke Alfonso I d’Este, in 1534, the works were interrupted, but the structure was largely completed. In 1570, the church was heavily damaged by the disastrous earthquake that struck the city. Immediately after the earthquake, it was decided to renovate the church and the adjacent convent. The works were completed only in 1630, and the church was consecrated in 1656 by Cardinal Carlo Pio. The convent and the church experienced their period of greatest prestige during the end of the 17th century and throughout the 18th century. Between 1796 and 1799, the French troops of Napoleon Bonaparte settled in the convent. In 1810, all the friars were expelled and the convent was placed at the disposal of the army. On that occasion, many documents were lost. The convent was reopened in 1816. In 1830, the ceiling of the church collapsed, destroying all the decorations and paintings of the vaults. With the royal decree of June 7, Read more [...]

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    Church of San Francesco

    The Church of San Francesco is a church dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi, located in the homonymous square, in the western part of the historical center of Ferrara.   SHORT HISTORY The Church of San Francesco was built in 1494 on a pre-existing building belonging to the Franciscans, which was used until the beginning of the 15th century as a mausoleum for the Este family. The church is considered one of the best creations of the architect Biagio Rossetti. Following the 2012 earthquake, the interior, with the exception of a transept and an adjacent chapel, was for a long time unusable and closed to the public. Currently, the central nave and the right aisle can be visited, while the left aisle is only partially accesible.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade has typically Renaissance lines, with the volutes, inspired by Leon Battista Alberti, and the marble pilasters that stand out on the terracotta walls. The interior of the church, with three naves, has a Latin cross plan and eight chapels on each side. In the first chapel on the left, there is a remarkable fresco of the Arrest of Jesus by Benvenuto Tisi, better known as Garofalo. In the Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Domenico

    The Basilica of San Domenico, also known as Basilica Cateriniana, is a Gothic church in Siena, located in Piazza San Domenico. The church contains the head-relic of Saint Catherine of Siena, placed in a splendid Renaissance chapel.   SHORT HISTORY The Dominicans arrived in Siena in 1220, a year before the death of their founder, Dominic de Guzmán. In 1225, they received a piece of land on the Camporegio Hill, and built a church there between 1226 and 1265. In the 14th century, the complex was enlarged in Gothic style, and took its current appearance. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the church underwent numerous alterations in Baroque style, such as the reconstruction of the side altars. After the earthquake of 1798, the bell tower, already in ruins, was truncated to its present level, and equipped with the current crenellated crowning. The last intervention dates back to 1941, when the Baroque decorations were removed, the ancient Gothic forms were partially restored, and the stained glass windows with the Stories of Saint Catherine by Bruno Cassinari were added.   ARCHITECTURE The basilica has a simple but massive appearance, typical of the mendicant orders. Suggestive is the view of the rear side Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore

    Basilica of San Lorenzo Maggiore is one of the oldest churches in Milan, and together with the Columns of San Lorenzo, located a few meters away, is considered an important Roman monumental complex. The church is dedicated to Saint Lawrence, one of the seven deacons of Rome, who was martyred in 258 during the persecution of the Christians by the Roman Emperor Valerian.   SHORT HISTORY The church dates back to a period between the end of the 3rd century and the beginning of the 5th century, and was built on the remains of a temple dedicated to Hercules by the Emperor Maximian. The church was damaged by fire in 1071 and 1072, its dome collapsed in 1103, and it was destroyed again by fire in 1124. The church was then rebuilt in Romanesque style, maintaining the original internal layout. During the Middle Ages, the basilica remained a symbol of the Roman heritage of Milan, and a privileged burial place for the city’s bishops. In 1573, the dome of the church collapsed once again during a liturgical celebration. Given the importance of the building, Cardinal Carlo Borromeo comissioned the architect Martino Bassi to rebuilt the dome according to the tastes Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie

    The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is a church in Milan, located in the square of the same name. The church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for housing Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, which is located in the refectory of the convent.   SHORT HISTORY In 1460, the Congregation of Dominicans in Milan received a piece of land from Count Gaspare Vimercati. On this land, there was a small chapel dedicated to Santa Maria delle Grazie (Holy Mary of Grace), where the Dominicans decided to built a new church. On September 10, 1463, the first stone was laid, and the work began under the supervision of the architect Guiniforte Solari. Thanks to the patronage of the Vimercati, the convent was completed in 1469. Simultaneously with the construction of the convent, the building of the church began. The project was for a basilica with 3 naves, with ogival vaults and a gabled facade. Terracotta was used for the walls, while granite was used for the columns and capitals. In 1492, the new Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, also known as il Moro (the Moor), decided to rebuilt the cloister and the apse of the church. The apse is Read more [...]

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    Church of San Francesco d’Assisi all’Immacolata

    The Church of San Francesco d’Assisi all’Immacolata is a beautiful church in Noto, located about 180 meters from the Cathedral of San Nicolò and the Ducezio Palace. Along with the adjacent Convent of the Friars Minor Capuchin, the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi to the Immaculate is considered one of the most important religious buildings in Noto.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built between 1704 and 1745, after a design by the architects Vincenzo Sinatra and Rosario Gagliardi.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The harmonious facade of the church, with two orders, stands at the end of an imposing staircase with three ramps. The magnificent portal of the church is flanked by two Baroque columns, with two niches on each side and a smaller one above. On the second order, we can find a beautiful stained glass window. The interior, with a single nave, is rich in paintings and funerary monuments dedicated to members of noble families of Noto. As you enter the church, you can see on your left, inside the vault of the Blessed Inocents (Santi Innocenti), a painting entitled the Massacre of the Innocents, made by Antonino Vizzini in 1706. The vault of B. Andrea Conti Read more [...]

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    Church of Santissimo Crocifisso

    The Church of Santissimo Crocifisso is a church located on the northern part of Noto, in Piazza Mazzini. The Church of the Holy Cross is the largest religious building in the city, after the Cathedral of San Nicolò.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built in 1715 by the architect Rosario Gagliardi, after a church with the same dedication from the ancient city of Noto (Noto Antica), located on Mount Alveria, was destroyed by the earthquake of 1693.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade, with two incomplete orders, opens onto the large Mazzini Square, preceded by a wide staircase. On each side of the central portal, finely carved in limestone, two Roman lions were placed until 1984, when were transferred inside the church to preserve them from the atmospheric agents. The church has a Latin cross plan with three naves, surmounted by an imposing dome. The interior is very bright due to the large windows of the central nave. The wooden reliquary cross located in the apse was carved in 1746 by Vincenzo Rotondo, after a design by Gagliardi. On each side of the cross are two oval-shaped canvases depicting the Madonna Addolorata (Our Lady of Sorrows) and San Giovanni. Read more [...]

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    Church of Sant’Agostino

    The Church of Sant’Agostino is a beautiful church in Bergamo, located near the eastern walls of Città Alta and the homonymous gate of the city. Since 2015, the church houses the Aula Magna of the University of Bergamo.   SHORT HISTORY The Church of Sant’Agostino was built starting with 1290, on the site of a pre-existing church dedicated to Saints Philip and James. The new church was dedicated to Saints Philip, James and Augustine, and was consecrated on February 11, 1347, by the bishop Bernardo Bernardi. In the early 15th century, the church and the adjacent monastery were in a serious state of decay, and the complex was completely abandoned in 1441. Around the middle of the 15th century, the friar Giovanni da Novara obtained permission to sell some properties of the church, and used the money thus obtained to repair some of the buildings of the monastic complex. During the 15th century, seven chapels were built on each side of the church, for important families of Bergamo, who, in turn, donated the funds needed to repair the buildings. Jacopo Filippo Foresti was the friar responsible for the reconstruction of the church, with the contributions obtained from the families. The Read more [...]

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    Church of Saints Bartholomew and Stephen

    The Church of Saints Bartholomew and Stephen is a beautiful church in Bergamo, located in the modern part of the city, known as Città Bassa, along the famous Sentierone, one of the most important avenues of the town.   SHORT HISTORY A former church dedicated to Saint Stephen was demolished on November 11, 1561, for the construction of the Venetian walls which surrounds the Città Alta. From the numerous friars who lived in the convent, only eight remained as guests in the Church of San Bernardino. On August 14, 1572, the friars moved to the small Church of San Bartolomeo, given to them by the Pope Pius V. The Church of Saint Bartholomew was rebuilt in the first half of the 17th century, more precisely between 1603 and 1642, on a project by the architect Anton Maria Caneva of Como. The church was consecrated on January 19, 1782, by the bishop of Bergamo, Giovanni Paolo Dolfin.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The church has a simple structure, but at the same time elegant and grandiose, measuring 60 meters in lenght and 14 meters in width, without the chapels. The facade, completed at the end of the 19th century by the architect Read more [...]

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    Baptistery of Bergamo

    The Baptistery of Bergamo is a structure intended for the baptismal rite, located in Piazza del Duomo, in front of the Cathedral of Sant’Alessandro, in the ancient part of Bergamo, Città Alta.   SHORT HISTORY In 1340, the sculptor Giovanni da Campione was commissioned to build a baptistery inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. In 1449, the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore was entrusted to the Congregation of the Greater Mercy (Congregazione della Misericordia Maggiore), removing it from the jurisdiction of the bishop, and the baptistery became inaccessible. In 1660, the baptistery was dismantled and moved to the nearby courtyard of the rectory. The baptismal font was placed on the counter-facade of the basilica, where it remained until 1691, when it was moved to the second chapel on the left dedicated to Saint John. Only in 1897, the final arrangement of the baptistery was decided, with an architectural reinterpretation by Virginio Muzio, and in 1900 the structure was completed and placed in Piazza del Duomo, in front of the Cathedral of Bergamo.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The baptistery, enclosed by a 19th-century gate, has an octagonal plan. Above the 17th-century dark marble base, there are the 14th-century columns in Read more [...]

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    Church of San Lorenzo

    The Church of San Lorenzo is a church in Venice, located in the Castello district (sestiere), overlooking Campo San Lorenzo. Together with the Chapel of San Sebastiano, the church was part of the Benedictine monastery of the same name.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built starting with 809, at the behest of Doge Agnello Partecipazio. In 1007, the Chapel of San Sebastiano was built next to San Lorenzo by the future Doge Ottone Orseolo. The church and the chapel were badly damaged in the disastrous fire of 1105. In 1592, the rebuilding of the Church of San Lorenzo began, on a project by Simone Sorella. The church was completed in 1602 and rededicated in 1617. The facade remained unfinished. The Chapel of San Sebastiano was also rebuilt between 1629 and 1632, with other interventions in 1748. On April 25, 1810, after the suppression of all religious orders, the nuns left the monastery, all the assets passed into the hands of the state, and the religious complex was closed. In 1821, the church passed under municipal administration, and in 1853 it was restored. In 1875, San Lorenzo was transformed into a hospital, in 1946 it became an infirmary for the Read more [...]

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    Sanctuary of the Madonna of Monte Berico

    The Sanctuary of the Madonna of Monte Berico is a church in Vicenza, located in an elevated position on the top of the Monte Berico Hill, overlooking the city. The sanctuary is actually composed of two churches: the first, in Gothic style, from the 15th century, and the second, in Baroque style, from the second half of the 17th century.   SHORT HISTORY According to tradition, the construction of the first church is connected to two apparitions of the Madonna, which a woman from Sovizzo named Vincenza Pasini witnessed in 1426 and 1428. In these apparitions, the Madonna asked for the construction of a church dedicated to her. At first, the Municipality of Vicenza built in only three months a modest rectangular room. The administration of the church was initially entrusted to the Order of Santa Brigida, but in 1435 the friars were removed, and were replaced by the Servants of Mary. Towards the middle of the 15th century, the Servites completed the convent, with the erection of the cloister, the guesthouse, the infirmary and the bell-tower. Near the end of the century, the church was enlarged towards the east, the old choir was replaced, the sacristy and the main Read more [...]

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    Church of San Vincenzo

    The Church of San Vincenzo is a beautiful church in Vicenza, located in Piazza dei Signori, in front of the Palladian Basilica. The church is dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, the patron saint of the city.   SHORT HISTORY After the Christian martyr Vincent of Saragossa was killed in 304 during the persecution of Christians under Diocletian, his cult spread rapidly throughout Europe, reaching Vicenza in the first centuries of our Era. In the second half of the 14th century, during the Scaligeri domination of the city, the cult of San Vincenzo was revived. The construction of a church dedicated to him was begun in 1385 and completed in 1387. During the 15th century, the church was rebuilt and its facade was oriented towards Piazza dei Signori. In 1486, a Monte di Pietà office was created in Vicenza by the Catholic Church, which established a pawnshop in the Church of San Vincenzo. Ten years later, the Monte di Pietà building collapsed and, in 1499, work began on a new building adjacent to the church, with the simultaneous renovation of the church itself. During the 16th century, the works were completed with the construction of the two wings of the Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria in Foro

    The Church of Santa Maria in Foro is a church in Vicenza, located in Piazza Biade, a small square adjacent to Piazza dei Signori. The church is also called dei Servi, due to the fact that it was built by the Order of Friar Servants of Mary.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built starting with 1404, the year in which Vicenza passed under the domination of the Republic of Venice. At the beginning of the 15th century, the Servite Order arrived in Vicenza and entrusted the construction of the church to the architect Giampietro Cirmisone, who completed the works in 1425. Some decorations were added between 1432 and 1435. The Servants of Mary lived in the adjacent convent until 1788, when the order was suppressed. Afterwards, the Municipality of Vicenza took care of the church until 1797, when the building became a military warehouse for the troops of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1810, the parish of the Church of San Michele was transferred here, and the Church of Santa Maria in Foro was again open for worship.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The plain facade of the church is embellished by nine statues, two of which are attributed to the sculptor Read more [...]

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    Church of San Rocco

    The Church of San Rocco is a Renaissance church in Vicenza, located in Contrà Mure San Rocco, in the western part of the historical center of the city.   SHORT HISTORY The construction of the church began in 1485, on the site of an ancient oratory dedicated to San Rocco (Saint Roch). The adjoining monastery was built around the same time, where a community of Canons Regular of San Giorgio in Alga was established in 1486. Around 1530, the church was extended towards the east and a new facade was built. In December 1670, the Carmelites of San Zaccaria of Venice replaced the Canons Regular of San Giorgio in Alga, and remained there until 1806, when, after the French returned to Vicenza, were relocated to the Convent of San Domenico. In 1810, the religious complex was suppressed by the Napoleonic decrees, and all the assets were confiscated by the Municipality. Later, the monastery was transformed into an orphanage, and remained so until the end of the 1980s. Today, in addition to religious functions, the church hosts concerts by the polyphonic Choir of the Schola San Rocco.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church dates back to 1530, when the building Read more [...]

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    Oratory of Santa Maria Assunta

    The Oratory of Santa Maria Assunta is a Catholic place of worship in Riomaggiore, located in Via Santuario.   SHORT HISTORY The oratory, the seat of the Confraternity of the Disciplinanti dell’Assunta, was built during the 16th century.   ART The oratory preserves a wooden statue of the Madonna delle Catene (Madonna of the Chains), in memory of the inhabitants who, over the centuries, suffered raids and kidnappings in the Saracen raids, and a tempera triptych depicting the Madonna with Child and Saints John the Baptist and Dominic.   HOW TO GET THERE The Oratory of Santa Maria Assunta is located about 800 meters away from the Riomaggiore railway station. The closest bus stop is Riomaggiore Park, located about 70 meters away, on the local bus line.

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    Church of San Salvatore Al Monte

    The Church of San Salvatore al Monte is a Catholic church in Florence, located on the hill known as Monte delle Croci, not far from the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte.   SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 15th century, on this site was a Franciscan chapel. The chapel was enlarged in the first half of the century, and the works were completed around 1442. In the last decades of the 15th century, the church was renovated by the architect Simone del Pollaiolo, also known as Il Cronaca, by the will of the rich merchant Castello Quaratesi. The renovation started in 1499, and was completed in 1504. During the Siege of 1529, the church was badly damaged, and throughout the 16th century was left in a state of neglect. In 1665, the friars definitively left San Salvatore al Monte. In 1875, Piazzale Michelangelo was built nearby.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church, very simple and framed by the typical Tuscan cypresses, has plastered surfaces interrupted only by the portal and the gable windows. Inside, the church has a single nave with five chapels on each side, marked by a double order of stone pilasters in Read more [...]

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    Basilica of Santo Spirito

    The Basilica di Santo Spirito (Basilica of the Holy Spirit) is a Renaissance-style church in Florence, located in the Oltrarno district, in Piazza Santo Spirito.   SHORT HISTORY In 1250, Spinello Accolti and Omodeo di Guido donated to the Augustinian friar Aldobrandino a house and two vineyards in the Oltrarno area for the construction of a church, which was originally dedicated, in 1252, to the Virgin Mary, to the Holy Spirit and to all the Saints. In 1269, a community of Augustinian friars settled permanently in Florence, and began on this site the construction of a church dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Starting with 1397, the Municipality provided funds for the construction of a new basilica, but the work began only in 1434, when the project was entrusted to Filippo Brunelleschi. After the death of Brunelleschi in 1446, the construction site passed into the hands of his three disciples, Antonio Manetti, Giovanni da Gaiole and Salvi d’Andrea. In 1471, a serious fire destroyed many works of art in the church. Salvi d’Andrea built the dome between 1479 and 1481, and the internal facade between 1483 and 1487. Consecrated in 1481, the basilica was completed in 1487. Giuliano da Sangallo’s sacristy Read more [...]

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    Basilica of San Lorenzo

    The Basilica of San Lorenzo is a beautiful church in Florence, located in the historical center of the city, in Piazza di San Lorenzo.   SHORT HISTORY According to tradition, the church was built during the 4th century outside the walls of the ancient city. In 393, it was consecrated to the martyr Lawrence, in the presence of Saint Ambrose and Saint Zenobius. For the next 300 years, San Lorenzo was the Cathedral of Florence, before giving up the status to the Church of Santa Reparata, where the remains of San Zanobi, the first bishop of Florence, were solemnly transferred. In 1059, the church was enlarged and rededicated, on the initiative of the bishop Gherardo di Borgogna, when he became pope under the name of Niccolò II. In 1418, the abbot Matteo Dolfini obtained permission to demolish some houses to enlarge the transept of the church. Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici, a wealthy banker, financed the construction and named Filippo Brunelleschi to direct the works. The sacristy was finished in 1428, but then the works were stopped. After 1441, Cosimo de’ Medici, Giovanni’s son, assumed the entire burden of the construction, and the direction of the works passed to Michelozzo, Read more [...]

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    Church of San Fedele

    The Church of San Fedele is a church located in the heart of Milan, between Palazzo Marino and the Vittorio Emanuele II Gallery. The church was built in the 16th century by the will of the archbishop Carlo Borromeo, to house the Society of Jesus, and is dedicated to Saint Fidelis of Como.   SHORT HISTORY An ancient church located on this site and dedicated to Saint Fidelis of Como is mentioned in a bull of Pope Eugene III of 1147. In 1567, the structure was entrusted to the Jesuits, shortly after their arrival in Milan. The Jesuits started some restoration and enlargement works. In 1569, the archbishop Carlo Borromeo entrusted the construction of a new church to the architect Pellegrino Tibaldi, who completed the building in 1579. The consecration of the church took place in the same year. After the suppression of the Jesuit Order in 1773, the church was entrusted to the priests from the nearby Church of Santa Maria alla Scala. After the demolition of Santa Maria alla Scala in 1776 to make room for Teatro alla Scala, the Church of San Fedele took the title of Santa Maria alla Scala in San Fedele, and was enriched Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria Inviolata

    The Church of Santa Maria Inviolata is a Baroque church in Riva del Garda, located in Largo Guglielmo Marconi. The church is the most important architectural monument in Riva del Garda, and one of the most beautiful churches in Trentino.   SHORT HISTORY The church was desired by Gianangelo Gaudenzio Madruzzo, governor of Riva and Arco, and by his wife, Alfonsina Gonzaga. The construction began in 1603 after a design by Pier Maria Bagnadore. The church was consecrated in 1636, and the works were completed in 1639. A few years after the construction of the church, a convent was built nearby, where the monks belonging to the Order of the Poor Hermits of San Girolamo lived. After the death of her husband, Alfonsina Gonzaga oversaw the completion of the decoration of the church and the construction of the convent.   ARCHITECTURE The Church of Santa Maria Inviolata has a square-plan and an octagonal upper part, with a slightly detached bell-tower. The entire structure is austere and dominated by rectilinear geometric lines. The church has three classical portals with architraves, with columns placed to support the triangular pediments, each surmounted by a circular window. In the upper part, there are eight Read more [...]

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    Church of San Francesco Saverio

    The Church of San Francesco Saverio is a Baroque church in Trento, located in Via Roma, about 300 meters away from Piazza del Duomo and the Cathedral of San Vigilio.   SHORT HISTORY The church was built by the Society of Jesus (Compagnia di Gesù) between 1708 and 1711. The structure incorporated previous buildings, such as Palazzo delle Costede, of which the remains are still visible on the left side of the main facade, and a medieval tower. After the suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773, the church was left in a state of neglect, until the French troops of Napoleon Bonaparte transformed it into a powder magazine. The church underwent a first restoration in 1895, long after the rehabilitation of the order. The work was commissioned to Hans Rabensteiner.   ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade is characterised by a large arched window, on the sides of which, separated by two orders of pilasters in red marble, are the statues of the Jesuit Saints Francis Borgia (bottom left), Francis Regis (top left), Aloysius Gonzaga (top right), Ignatius of Loyola (bottom right) and Saint Francis Xavier (on the main portal’s tympanum). The church has a rectangular plan with a Read more [...]

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    Cathedral of San Vigilio

    The Cathedral of San Vigilio is the Cathedral of Trento, located in Piazza del Duomo, adjacent to Palazzo Pretorio. The church is dedicated to Saint Vigilius, the first bishop of Trento and the patron saint of the town.   SHORT HISTORY The Cathedral was built over the remains of a 4th-century Christian Basilica dedicated to San Vigilio, where the Saint was buried at the beginning of the 5th century. In the 11th century, the prince-bishop Uldaric II began the rebuilding of the Cathedral, completed at the beginning of the 12th century by the bishop Altemanno. At the beginning of the 13th century, the bishop Federico Vanga decided to completely rebuild the Cathedral in Romanesque style, and commissioned the master builder Adamo d’Arogno with the construction of the church. The construction began in 1212, but the works were stopped in 1218, on Vanga’s death. In 1236, Adamo d’Arogno died, and the works were continued by his son, Enrico di Fono d’Arogno. Between 1305 and 1307, Egidio da Campione directed the works by creating the southern side of the Cathedral and the lower part of the bell towers. In 1321, Egidio’s son, Bonino da Campione, built the rose window on the main Read more [...]

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    Church of Santa Maria Maggiore

    The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore is a church in Trento, located about 200 meters away from Piazza del Duomo and the Cathedral of San Vigilio.   SHORT HISTORY A first church was built on this site in the second half of the 5th century. The church remained in use until the 11th century, when the need for a new church appeared. The new church, smaller than the previous one, was characterised by a semicircular apse. For the construction of the church, the old one was demolished and reused as bulding material. After 1290, a third church was erected in place of the previous one, this time characterized by only two naves ending in as many symmetrical apses. In 1520, by the will of the cardinal Bernardo Clesio, one of the most important historical figures on a political and religious level of the 16th century, the current church was finally started, on a project by the architect Antonio Medaglia. On December 12, 1545, the church hosted the first solemn procession of the Council of Trent. Between 1899 and 1901, the church was restored, and the Renaissance facade was modified. After extensive archaeological excavations and restorations, the church was reopened to Read more [...]

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    Church of the Madonna della Fontana

    The Church of the Madonna della Fontana is a church in Malcesine, located in Via Gardesana, about 1 kilometer away from Castello Scaligero. The church is called della Fontana (of the Fountain), because of a spring located nearby.   SHORT HISTORY In 1532, a small oratory dedicated to the Virgin was built on this site by the Municipality of Malcesine. At the beginning of the 17th century, the need for a larger church appeared. The new church was completed and opened for worship in 1626. On July 25, 1797, the French of Napoleon Bonaparte closed the church, removed the registers and confiscated all the assets. In a state of neglect, the church was used as a warehouse during the First and the Second World War. After it was restored in 1959, the church was reopened for worship, and today is used only on specific holydays.   ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church is plain, covered with yellow plaster. In the lower part of the facade, delimited from the upper one by a stone strip, there is a beautiful Baroque portal, surmounted by a tympanum and a coat of arms, flanked on the sides by two rectangular windows. In the upper Read more [...]