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Santa Caterina di Strada Maggiore
Strada Maggiore


A Benedictine monastery and church called Santa Maria del Torlione may have been here as early as 1144 until 1458. A monastery of Vallombrosan nuns founded by Barbara Orsi in 1522 opened their church in 1605, which suppressed in 1796 and the church closed in 1805 but reopened 20 years later. Complex used by charity helping the poor. The original church is now the sacristy.

The portico was added by P. Fiorini in 1612 and restored in 1832 by E. Gasparini. On the façade are 19th century statues by A. Franceschi, G. Putti, L. Roncagli.

Dark, big and aisleless, with four chapels each side, all well illuminated. Mostly 18th century paintings by Alessandro Calvi (an unusual Saint Joseph and Child in the last chapel on the right), A. Dardani, and U. Gandolfi. The 19th-century presbytery is by A. Guardassoni and GB Baldi.

Also a late 14th century Crucifixion detached fresco panel in the second chapel on the left (see right) may be by Simone dei Crocifissi, (even the church's information panel says Maniera di). It has been here since 1962, coming from the Palazzo Magione of the Knights Templar. A Guardian Angel with Saints Sofia & Simon and Tobias(?) by Francesco Gessi, restored in 2009, is in the last chapel on left.

By F. Antolini (1842).



Santa Cristina
Piazzetta Morandi

The original church dates to 1247 when Camaldolese nuns founded the convent of Santa Cristina della Fondazza. The current church dates to rebuilding of 1602 by Giulio della Torre, a pupil of Domenico Tibaldi. Suppressed by Napoleon, after Italian unification the church became a military warehouse when the complex became a barracks. After restoration, in 2007 the church reopened for use as a concert venue and is also the headquarters of the Schola Gregoriana Benedetto XVI, which teaches Gregorian chant.

The convent complex has since 2004 housed the Department of Visual Arts of the University of Bologna. It has a late-15th-century cloister and is also home to a women's centre and the Biblioteca Italiana delle Donna, the leading women's library in Italy. Fragments of frescoes remain, including a
Crucifixion attributed to 'the school of' Lorenzo Costa in the refectory, which is now a lecture hall.

Four chapels each side of an aisleless nave. Many 16th and 17th century Bolognese paintings, including The Adoration of the Shepherds by Giacomo Raibolini,  The Ascension by Ludovico Carracci (over the high altar) (see left), a Visitation by Lucio Massari and a Sacred Conversation by Francesco de' Rossi (Salviati). Statues of Saints by Giuseppe Mazza, Giovanni Tedeschi and Guido Reni. The latter's two works - Saints Peter and Paul - being said to be the only sculptures by the painter.

Lost art 
Six panels of 1329 showing An Angel and Two Saints, The Martyrdom of Saint Christine, The Vision of Saint Romuald, Saint Gregory in his Studio, The Death of the Virgin and An Angel and Saints Luke and Paul by the Pseudo-Jacopino, are in the Pinacoteca.

Baroque (1692) with a spire attributed to Bibiena. The original copper statue of Santa Cristina was damaged by lightning and later replaced by Carlo Francesco Dotti by a ball and a cross.

The church is open to the public only for concerts. Guided tours can be arranged by appointment.

Part of the Genus Bononiae - Museums in the City cultural itinerary/walk, it's just that you can't actually get inside!

Santa Lucia
via Castiglione
A church is said to have been here since 432, named by San Petronio himself. It was ruined in the Hungarian invasion of 903 and rebuilt in 1208 by the Order of Canons Lateran who remained here until 1418. In the 16th century the church and the convent passed to the Jesuits, who rebuilt the church. From 1623 the interior was reworked by Girolamo Rainaldi inspired by the design of the mother church of the Jesuits, the Gesù in Rome. In 1775 the Jesuits were suppressed and the complex was briefly occupied the Barnabites before suppression by Napoleon. Now used as a lecture hall by the University of Bologna.

Has a chapel dedicated to St Louis Gonzaga with an altar (1763) designed by Alfonso Torreggiani.

Lost art
The Crucifixion with the Women at the Bottom of the Cross from the early 1580s, by Prospero & Lavinia Fontana, painted for this church, is now in Sant'Antonio Abate. Its subject supposedly reflects the eager support and money given to the Jesuits by wealthy Bolognese women, particularly widows. But the painting was for the Balzani chapel here, and the figure at the left edge may be Paolo Emilio Balzani, who may have commissioned the painting.

Three paintings by Lorenzo Sabbatini, a Circumcision, Saints Domenic and Petronius and the high altarpiece, believed to be the Virgin and Child with Saints Agatha and Lucy, now also in Sant'Antonio Abate. Along with Saint Vincent by Orazio Sammachini and two Madonnas by Denis Calvert.

The Procession of Saint Gregory the Great by Federico Zuccaro came here after it was rejected by Paolo Ghiselli for Santa Maria del Baraccano.

Madonna and Child with Saints Teresa, John and Carlo Borromeo 1680 by Carlo Cignani, now in the Pinacoteca



Santa Maria degli Angeli
via degli Angeli


Built in 1474 by Gaspare Nadi on the site of a small chapel dedicated to the Magi. The facade was restored in 1900. The doorway is attributed to Antonio Formigine, or his studio

The church has a square plan and a ribbed vault. On the right wall is a painting by Alessandro Tiarini, a pupil of Prospero Fontana and Guido Reni, of The Flight into Egypt which came from the church of San Tomaso which was demolished in 1849.

Madonna with theVeil a terracotta bas-relief of the Virgin and Child, a 15th century work in the Florentine style. On the left wall, the  Holy Family, a Bishop Saint and Saint John might be a copy from Pellegrino Tibaldi.

The altar frontal attributed to the school of Francia - at the centre of the painting is inserted the Madonna of Divine Love by the Sienese painter Sano di Pietro (1406- 1481). The small oval panel was stolen in 1972, in its place is now a copy.

To either side are two large frescoes. On the right The Birth of Jesus attributed to Giacomo Francia ; on the left the fresco is the Visitation by Bartolomeo Ramenghi called Bagnacavallo (1484-1542). The two frescoes have been very damaged by damp and poor restoration in the past. They were removed some years ago for restoration.

Lost art
in the Pinacoteca
The polyptych of c.1330 (see below) by Giotto was previously in this church, but was first recorded here only in 1732. It shows  The Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saint Peter, the Archangels Gabriel and Michael, and Saint Paul. An Assumption of 1569-70 by Lorenzo Sabatini from the high altar here.


Santa Maria dei Bulgari


The chapel within the Archiginassio, the university building which also houses the anatomical theatre and library. The chapel has fragments of frescoes by Bartolomeo Cesi 1594 and an Annunciation by Denis Calvert 1582. Rarely open.

Santa Maria dei Servi
Strada Maggiore

Gothic, begun in 1346, enlarged after 1386 but not finished until 1545. The architect was Antonio di Vincenzo, who had worked on the Church of San Petronio.

The wide portico that runs along the side of Santa Maria dei Servi, runs around three more sides of the piazza in front to form a cloister effect, built to blend from the late 14th century to the mid-19th.

Very dark with only small round clerestory windows. Nine chapels down each side, with narrow aisles, the columns dividing are alternatively round and hexagonal. Brick of course, with brick arches and vaults.
The first chapel on the right has a Madonna and Seven Saints by Franceschini. The fourth south chapel has a painting by Denys Calvaert of a crowded Paradise from 1602. The high altar of 1561 is the work of Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli and the choir  has Gothic stalls (1450, completed in 1617). Outside the door to the sacristy are fragments of frescoes by Vitale da Bologna.
In the ambulatory, on the wall to the right, is a gold-ground polyptych by Lippo di Dalmasio and a sweet high relief terracotta of the Virgin Enthroned with Saints Lawrence and Eustace of 1503 by Vincenzo Onofri. Above are fragments of 1355 frescoes by Vitale da Bologna.
Here is the chapel, to the left of centre, with the c.1280/90 Cimabue Maestà (or The Madonna of the Servi). No documentary sources, or even traditions, link it to Cimabue, the attribution only dates to 1885, but was thought more likely after restoration in 1937. Some even say that it's a collaboration with Duccio, who may have been his pupil. It's not possible to get close enough to form an opinion but, although not in the best condition, having suffered rough cleaning and candle burns, it has a certain something. Its history is also very vague, but works by Cimabue being so rare might tempt you to give it the benefit of the doubt. It was presumably painted for the Servites’ earlier church in Borgo San Petronio, as Santa Maria dei Servi wouldn't have been built when it was likely painted, c. 1287. The fresco in here on the right wall is the Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Cosmas and Damian by Lippo da Dalmasio (see below).

Lost art
A polyptych with The Pieta by Michele di Matteo from 1462, now in the Pinacoteca. The 1599 Consecration of the Virgin, one of the last altarpieces Lavinia Fontana painted for Bologna, was painted for the Gnetti chapel here. It's now in Marseilles.
The tomb slab of Antonio da Cazzano from the middle of the 15th century is in the Medieval Museum.

Opening times
Monday 7.30 - 12.30; Tuesday - Sunday 7.30. - 12.30. & 4.00  - 7.00

The Touring Club Italiano Aperto per Voi scheme provides access to the Chapel of the Maesta on Saturdays from 9.30 to 12.30.

The church in art
Portico dei Servi in Strada Maggiore (1836) (see right) and a church interior (1830) (see below) both by Antonio Basoli



Santa Maria del Baraccano
Piazza del Baraccano

Named for the baraccano (barbican) in the walls that overlooks the church.
A late 14th century Madonna della Pace, attributed to Lippo di Dalmasio, was painted on the wall. In 1401 a small chapel was built around the image. It was enlarged in 1418 as an octagonal chapel, and in 1472 a portico was added, by the Berntivoglio family.

In 1512, during the siege of Bologna by the troops of Pope Julius II, a Spanish commander exploded a mine against the wall here. The explosion blew up the chapel, so that the two armies faced each other through the hole, but the hole miraculously healed itself, with the image of the Madonna unharmed, so increasing local devotion and the image's election as protector of the city.

Originally attached to a pilgrim hospital that later became a school for needy girls.

Portico built mid 16th c The tympanum with statues of the patron saints of Bologna - San Petronio, San Domenico, San Procolo and San Francesco attributed to Sperandio Savelli.
In the centre of the tympanum, in a niche,  is a terracotta statue of the Virgin by Alfonso Lombardi.

In 1682 the dome was built by Agostino Barelli.

Suppressed by Napoleon on July 27th 1798 but managed to remain open by being declared a sanctuary.

Restored in 1914 to return to its 16th/17th century appearance and deBaroquified.

A late 14th century Madonna della Pace, attributed to Lippo di Dalmasio. The fresco was repainted in 1472 by Francesco del Cossa now on the high altar. 

In the Orsi chapel is a Holy Family of Lavinia Fontana, in the Hercolani chapel the Dispute of Saint Catherine 1551 by her father Prospero Fontana; in the Ghiselli chapel the Procession of Gregory the Great in Rome in times of plague by the Bolognese Cesare Aretusi, commissioned after a work on the same subject painted by the Roman Federico Zuccaro was rejected on the grounds of its inappropriate style. The latter ended up in the Jesuit church of Santa Lucia.

Saturday 11.00 / 13.00 - 17.30 / 19.30
holidays 10.00 / 12.30

Santa Maria della Carita
via San Felice

By the mid 13th century there was a hospital here, which later became an orphanage. A hospital chapel existed by 1378. From the 15th century the church and convent here were run by Franciscans. The present church dates from a rebuilding of 1583, to designs by Pietro Fiorini. It was enlarged, with four large chapels added, in 1680 to designs by Giovanni Battista Bergonzoni, a Franciscan theologian.

Much work by baroque painters. The first chapel on the left has an early work by Annibale Carracci, an altarpiece depicting the Crucifixion of 1583. The painting was originally in the church of San Nicolò di San Felice. The third chapel on the left has a Holy Family with Saint Anthony of Padua (1680) by Felice Cignani. The first chapel on the right has a Visitation by Il Galanino. In the third chapel on the right is a Vision of Saint Elizabeth (1685) by Marc Antonio Franceschini.

The sacristy was also designed by Bergonzoni and has paintings by Gaetano Gandolfi, Jacopo Alessandro Calvi, and sculptures by Giovanni Francesco Bezzi.

Other artists with work here include Giovanni Valesio, Flaminio Torre (Virgin and Saints), Giovanni Battista Fiorini, Antonio Crespi, Luigi Quaini, and Luigi Crespi.

Opening times
Daily 7.00 - 11.30 & 4.00 - 7.30


Santa Maria della Misericordia
piazza di Porta Castiglione

Cistercians had been here from the 12th century, but the Olivetans built this church from 1431, which has been much altered. The portico in front of the facade is 18th century.

A nave with two aisles, very dark and label-free, with brick columns topped by carved stone capitals and fresco decorated arches and vaulting. Five chapels each side, small and shallow on left, tall and deep on the right, then the transept and a wide shallow apse with a high altarpiece on the back wall of The Nativity.

The second chapel on the right has a 1397 Madonna and Child by Lippo di Dalmasio  in a lit box behind an oval framing window (see right). The upper rose window in here is a Madonna and Child designed by Francesco Francia 1499. The fifth chapel has a Pentacost by Bartolomeo Cesi and the sixth has another rose window designed by Francesco Francia, this time depicting Saint John the Baptist.

Lost art
Five by Francia in the Pinacoteca now: a crowded square Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints John the Baptist, Monica, Augustine, Francis, Procolo, and Sebastian, with a Felicini donor and a musical angel and a smaller Pieta with two angels, both painted for the Felicini chapel here; a Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Augustine, George, John the Baptist, Stephen and an angel, painted for the Manzuoli chapel here; a long and narrow Vision of Saint Augustine painted for the Zambeccari chapel here; and an Adoration with Saints Joseph, Augustine, Francis and two angels with Anton Galeazzo and Alessandro Bentivoglio.
A Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine by Il Bagnacavallo Junior, from c.1545 and painted for the Scala chapel here, is in the Pinacoteca.

The church when it had a canal (the canaletta di Savana) in front of it, c.1910

Santa Maria della Pietà (dei Mendicanti)
via San Vitale


Built in 1601 for the, very popular, confraternity of the same name, who cared for poor orphans.  This orphanage was established on  January 20, 1567, when orphans from San Gregorio outside Porta S. Vitale were moved here. In 1598 some  houses were bought to be demolished to make way for the church, for which work begun on June 30th 1600. The vault paintings by B. Belli date to 1667, the portico to 1691.

Tall and boxy, plain and aisleless, with five chapels each side, the middle pair much taller.
BartolomeoBartolomeo Cesiipainted thepainted the 1625 Crucifixion with Saints John the Evangelist, Anthony of Padua, Nicholas of Tolentino and Francis in the first chapel on the left (the Lini chapelandand the Sant'Annaain Ecstasyin Ecstasy in in the second (the Zamboni), also painted in 1625. LaviniaaFontana's impressiveFontana's impressive The Feeding of the Five Thousand of c.1600 is in the central tall chapel on the left.

The first chapel on the right has a 1570 Saint Ursula by Bartolomeo Passerotti, Ercole Graziani painted the Death of San Francis in the middle chapel on the right, from the suppressed church of Sant'Ignazio. In the last chapel on the right is Sant'Eligio by Alessandro Tiarini and an Annunciation by Luigi Valesio.

Lost artLost art
A Calling of Saint Matthew by Lodovico Carraci of c.1607/1609 painted for the chapel of the Compagnia dei Salaroli here. A Madonna and Child in Glory with Saints Alo and Petronius from 1614 by Giacomo Cavedoni. The famous huge high altarpiece, The Pieta with Saints Petronius, Francis, Dominic, Proculus and Charles Borromeo (the Pala dei Mendicanti) (see right) by Guido Reni was commissioned by the Bologna Senate and installed on the high altar here on the 13th of November 1616. It was looted by Napoleon in 1796, as were the other two works just mentioned, but all three were returned and are now in the Pinacoteca. A copy of the Reni altarpiece by Clemente Alberi was put in the church. Reni also painted the San Giobbe Altarpiece for the third chapel on the left in this church, but it is still in Paris in Nôtre Dame.

Opening times

7.30 - 11.30 & 4.30 - 6.45
Festivo 7.30 - 12.30


Santa Maria della Pioggia
San Bartolomeo di Reno
via Riva Reno

Originally 13th century and known as San Bartolomeo di Reno as the Reno canal next to it. Rebuilt in 1536, and in 1730 by Alfonso Torreggiani.

At some time renamed Santa Maria della Pioggia for a miracle-working Madonna, still here, of the Virgin Mary and Child with seven heads of angels, attributed to the 15th century painter Michele di Matteo. It various miracles include being found intact under the ruins of a palace destroyed by fire, healing a blind man, and having helped Bologna survive a drought in the 16th century by causing rain to fall after it was processed.

Recently restored and now housing the Pii Istituti Educativi (Charitable Educational Institutions).

19th century interior by F.M. Zanotti. An aiseless nave with three chapels each side and a frescoed vault. Has a Circumcision and an Adoration of the Shepherds 1584 by Agostino Carracci. The latter, in the first chapel on the left, was damaged by bombing. Also a Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Catherine and Lucy by Lorenzo Sabbatini. Stucco work by G. Fiorini and works by Felice Pasqualini, Francesco Monti and E. Graziani

An oratory on the first floor, belonging to the fellowship of San Bartolomeo, has an 18th century staircase, a Landscape with Saint Bartholomew by Ludovico Mattioli, 16th century paintings and an odd clay sculpture of Saint Bartholomew by Alfonso Lombardi.

Opening times
Tuesday - Saturday 9.15 - 12.00 and 4.00 - 6.00
Sunday and holidays 10.00 - 12.00
Closed Monday


Santa Maria della Visitazione al Ponte della Lame
via Lame

This church, the dedication of which is to visit of the Virgin to Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, dates back to the plague of 1527. A much-venerated image of the Virgin in a tabernacle on the nearby bridge, the Ponte della Lame, was believed to have kept the worst of the plague at bay and so a church was built to house it, managed initially by the Confraternita dei Devoti and later, from 1764, by the Confraternita dei Poveri di San Rocco.

The church in art
Antonio Basoli Canale and Chiesa delle Lame (see below). The Church of St. Mary of the Visitation is in the distance to the left, at the end of the (possibly imaginary) canal.


Santa Maria della Vita

The original church was founded by the Confraternità dei Battuti (flagellants) at the end of the 13th century and dedicated to the Virgin, being called Saint Mary of Life due to the hospital attached to it, founded in 1260 and the city's main hospital up to the 18th century. Enlarged between 1454 and 1502, the church was rebuilt by G.B.Bergonzoni in 1692 after the ceiling collapsed in 1686.. The tall cupola was added, to a drawing by Antonio Bibiena, by Giuseppe Tubertini in 1787. The facade dates from 1905.

A noisy city-centre open-door space, centrally-planned and elliptical inside, quite pale and light and sparse with the gilding. Deepish chapels in the corners with wider spaces on the north and south sides, both blocked by metal racks of 'inspirational' modern art in 2018. Two chapels flank the big marble high altar, on which is a fresco from the second half of the 14th century of the Madonna della Vita. The right hand chapel has the famous terracotta sculpture group of the Lamentation over the Dead Christ of 1463, by Niccolò dell’Arca (see below) contemporary with the church's enlargement. It consists of seven life-size figures which were originally polychrome and since the earthquake in 2012 have been protected by scaffolding. You now have to pay at a tubular plastic cashhdesk to see the desk to see the Lamentation group, cunningly hidden by a screen.

The Oratory

Access by staircase to the left of the church, or on the left through the church. (You can buy a joint ticket in the church).  This was the meeting place of the confraternity and the 17th-century rooms now (still?) house a small museum of religious and scientific items. The Oratory itself is early 17th century very gilt baroque and contains another, later, group of terracotta statues - fifteen of them, over-life-size, on a raised sort-of stage, and the work of Alfonso Lombardi from 1519–22 (see above).  It depicts the apocryphal episode of the Funeral of the Virgin, at which, a Jewish high priest attempted to overturn the bier but was thrown to the ground by an angel. (This being the moment just before the priest is thrown to the ground with his detached hands still attached to the bier, as depicted in the odd painting in San Giacomo dell’Orio in Venice.) After this one Lombardi completed another terracotta tableau, portraying the moment between the Deposition and Burial of Christ, for the Duomo. The oratory/sanctuary used to have rows of seating facing the tableaux but now has exhibition boards (in 2018 dealing with the city's water works) to above head height, which tended to diffuse the focus and impact. Also here you'll find a high altarpiece by Nosadella and three more panels, all featuring the Blessed Raniero.

The Oratory/Sanctuary
Tuesday to Sunday 10.00am - 7.00pm
Closed Mondays.

Part of the Genus Bononiae - Museums in the City cultural itinerary/walk.

Santa Maria delle Muratelle
via Saragozza


Named for being sited by the city walls. Building and road works have caused many demolitions and rebuildings - in 1455, 1630 (for the opening of via Urbana and 1680, when it was almost completely rebuilt, to plans by Carlo Francesco Dotti. More rebuilding in 1749 by the architect Raimondo Compagnini. Deconsecrated in the 19th century and put to military use for 50 years. The current facade is the work of Edoardo Collamarini (1928). Further rebuilding in 1958.

by Carlo Francesco Dotti in 1735.

A much retouched 'ancient' Madonna and Child which hung on the city walls before 1220 The front, which guards it, is due to Ciro Mario Paris Perroni, born silent. 

paintings by Gessi, del Cesi, by Jacopo Alessandro Calvi, de Pedrini
stuccoes and statues by Mazza, by Domenico Pio, by Pietro Martino Bagutti, etc.


Santa Maria di Galliera
via Manzoni

The first mention of a church here is in a document of 1304 when some friars from Piacenza set up an oratory dedicated to the Holy Spirit here. They were replaced by a charitable order called the Compagnia dei Poveri Vergognosi (Confraternity of the Shameful Poor). The current church was built between 1479 and 1492 to plans by Zilio di Battista to better house a miraculous image of the Virgin, attributed to the school of Lippo di Dalmasio, the wall on which it was painted being preserved in the new building. In 1622 Pope Gregory XV gave the church to the Oratorians of San Filippo Neri who are still here. They undertook drastic baroque rebuilding of the interior, to plans by Giuseppe Antonio Torri, in 1684 leaving only the sandstone façade of 1479 to designs attributed to Egidio Montanari, with eroded sculptures by Donato da Cernobbio. The church suffered bomb damage in World War II. Restoration work in 2014

Aisleless and grey, with some gilt detailing. Three shallow fenced chapels each side, except the first on the left which is deeper and dedicated to San Filippo Neri. Mostly 17th and 18th century art. Fleshy 18th century frescoes by Giuseppe Marchesi, mostly depicting episodes from the life of San Filippo Neri, are on the nave ceiling, in the apse semi-dome and on the ceiling of said  San Filippo Neri chapel, which also has an altarpiece of The Ecstasy of San Filippo Neri by Guercino, completed in 1662.
The second left chapel has Francesco Albani's The Holy Family, the third has an Incredulity of St Thomas by Teresa Muratori.
In the presbytery is the miraculous Madonna and Child of 1330, remodeled by Franceschini. It was moved here from the San Filippo Neri chapel (first left) in 1597, displacing a sculpted Ascension by the Florentine Nicolò Tribolo, moved to San Petronio. The high altar of c.1750 was designed by Francesco Galli, called Bibiena.
In the second right chapel is a Virgin & Child with Saint Anthony of Padua by Girolamo Donnini and in the third a Madonna and Child with Saints Anne, Francis and Francis of Sales and ten putti by Franceschini, who did the frescoes too.
The sacristy, to the left off the nave, (not visited) reportedly has paintings by Giovan Andrea and Elisabetta Sirani, Cesare Gennari and Albani.
The interior also has sculptures by Giuseppe Mazza (the stucco angels on the high altar), Angelo Piò, and Silvestro Giannotti.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
A detached and damaged fresco fragment of the Madonna and Child by Amico Aspertini from c. 1510/15. The pair of Annunciation panels (1588) by Annibale Carracci from the sacristy here, were looted by Napoleon but where returned to the Pinacoteca. Saint Andrew Corsini by Guido Reni of c.1636. Two small oval panels - Saint John the Baptist and Saint Joseph by Guercino 1644 from the sacristy here.

Opening times
7.30 - 12.00
13.15 - 14.00
16.00 - 19.00

festivi 9.00 - 13.00

Santa Maria e San Valentino della Grada
via Monaldo Calari

The current church was built by enlarging an oratory built by the Confraternita di Sant'Antonio da Padova from 22nd May 1632, to designs by Antonio de' Paolucci (known as il Levanti) on the site of a hospital and cemetery, following the plague epidemic of 1630, in order to house and venerate an image of the Virgin which had been on the old city wall above the canal arch. The church houses a relic, the head, of the priest and martyr San Valentino.

Its name derives from the metal grille (
grada) (see right) under a 14th century tower, lowered to block an arch through which the major Reno Canal entered the city centre, which was used to foil enemies and smugglers entering the city walls.

Paintings by A. Catalani, P. Fancelli, G. Caponeri

Opening times
Weekdays 17.00 - 19.00
Weekends 9.00 - 12.00

Santa Maria Labarum Coeli
(La Baroncella)
via de' Fusari


Built in 1780, on the site of churches dating back to the 13th century, to designs by Angelo Venturolli. Called La Baroncella as a corruption of Labarum Coeli.

Used by the Eritrean  Orthodox community
since 2006.

Has an altarpiece of The Immaculate Conception by Gaetano Gandolfi and stucco reliefs by Giacomo Rossi

Santa Maria Maddalena
Via Zamboni

There is said to have been a church here by 1274. Nuns of Santa Caterina di Quarto moved to a convent here in 1291, leaving in 1668.  A late 16th century replacement church  was itself demolished and the church completely rebuilt 1761-63 to designs by Alfonso Torreggiani, carried out by Raimondo Compagnini, who designed the portico, and there were modifications in 1835 by Vicenzo Vannini.

Small, dark, grey with gilding, and all surfaces decorated, with three, small-large-small, chapels each side of the nave.  The painted panels in the ceiling arches correspond with the  chapel widths. There's a 19th century presbytery in a crossing of sorts with an organ loft and gallery over the arms, a dome and a shallow apse with a painted semi dome. Ceiling frescos date from 1905 and are by Domenico Ferri The high altarpiece is a striking Conversion of Saint Mary Magdalene by Francesco Cavazzoni, signed and dated 1580. Unusual amount of stained glass in clerestory windows. Mostly 18th century paintings (and some works in painted stucco) by the likes of Gandolfi, Mazza, and Passerotti. There's a Madonna and Child panel here attributed to Lippo di Dalmasio too, of course.

Opening times
winter 8.00 - 12.00 & 4.30 - 7.00
summer (month of August) only on Sundays during Holy Mass.


A photo taken during the orti di guerra scheme in 1942

Santa Maria Maggiore
via Galliera

Legend has a church here in the 5th century, rebuilt, with the addition of a campanile, and reconsecrated in 1187.
The Basilica was in the care of Benedictine nuns until July 31, 1243 when they where suppressed by Ottaviano Ubaldini, then administrator of the Diocese and a cardinal, who is mentioned by Dante Alighieri in the Divine Comedy. The church was enlarged in 1464, with the help of the Bentivoglio, involving an extension by two bays and the addition of a coffered ceiling and a new facade. The current church dates to rebuilding by Paolo Canali in 1665, which replaced the coffered ceiling with a vaulted one and involved the rebuilding of the facade portico with a first floor accommodation used as a rectory. The Bolognese Pope Benedetto XIV Lambertini, as stated on a tombstone of 1752 on the counter-façade paid for a new roof, the extending the main chapel greater, with a new marble high altar designed by Alfonso Torreggiani.
Closed since the 2012 earthquake but work is ongoing.
A Stone Cross dated 1143, making it the oldest of the Bolognese roadside crosses, was discovered during work on the pavement of the porch of the church in 2013. Exhibited in the Medieval Museum.

Paintings by Orazio Samacchini, Prospero Fontana, Francesco Carracci,Alessandro Tiarini, Vicenzo Spisanelli, Mauro Gandolfi, Pietro Fancelli, Jacopo Alessandro Calvi, and Alessandro Guardassoni. The chapel of the Holy Sacrament stuccoed by A G Pio. The high altar (1749) is attributed to Alfonso Torreggiani.
The major chapel was enlarged at the expense of the Alamandini family around 1573, with an altarpiece of the Circumcision , the last work of Giovanni Francesco Bezzi called il Nosadella,  completed by Prospero Fontana after Bezzi's death in  1571. The altarpiece by Orazio Samacchini (c.1564 ca.), which depicts the Madonna and Child, Saints James Minor and Anthony Abott, commissioned by the Tanari for their chapel in the right aisle.

Santi Giuseppe e Ignazio


Built 1636-39 by Francesco Martini, with a facade of 1840 by L. Rizzoli and a campanile of 1830 by F. Santini.

18th century with modifications in the 19th.

Paintings include Saint Joseph in Glory by Alessandro Tiarini, Lavinia Fontana's godson and the pupil of her father Prospero. and one by Giuseppe Varotti.





Santi Gregorio e Siro
via Montegrappa

Built between 1533 and 1535 by Tibaldo Tibaldi and Giovanni Antonio da Milan for the canons of San Giorgio in Alga. This church was consecrated in 1579. The canons were abolished the church passed to the Camiliiani in 1670. Façade and vaults rebuilt by Angelo Venturoli in 1780 following damage by an earthquake. In 1798 when the convent was suppressed the church passed to the parish.

The façade features the arms of the Ghisilieri family from the time of the building. Their palazzo's tower being then used as the church's campanile.

Aisleless, baroque and very decorated, in a flat trompe-painted way, with four shallow altars each side. Trompe l'oeil architectural barrel vaulted ceiling of the 19th century by Guardassoni (the figures) and Samoggia (the decorative elements). There are eight gold-backed full-length portraits of Apostles in the 'arches' (see below) by Masetti and a pair each on the back and front walls by Guardassoni. A deepish presbytery with a trompe coffered semidome at the apse end. A clean and modern boxy chapel left of presbytery. The high altarpiece depicts Pope... ? There are (unlabelled) paintings by Camillo Procaccini, Lucio Massari, Calvart, Calvi and Carracci. The last chapel on the left has a bright Baptism and the grave of the Bolognese physician and biologist Marcello Mapighi.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
A Caravaggesque but crowded Saint William of Aquitaine Receiving the Cowl  by Guercino 1620, from the Locatelli chapel here.

Opening times
Monday - Saturday: 8.00 - 12.00 & 5.00 - 7.00
Sunday 9.30 - 12.30 & 5.00 - 7.15


Board 29th P1060916

Santi Bartolomeo e Gaetano
Strada Maggiore

Initially belonging to the Benedictines and housing a group of nuns in the 13th century, in 1516 the church was demolished to be replaced by the Palazzo Priorale begun by Andrea da Formigine in 1517, The portico and doorway of this building remain along the south side of the nave. In the late 17th century the Theatines acquired the building and had the church rebuilt, by G. Battista Natali and Agostino Barelli, and renamed it for their founder San Gaetano Thiene.

Dark-walled, but well-lit by many clerestory windows, with heavy decorative gilding, but it starts well above head height on the columns, which rest on buff bases and grey plinths like in several other churches in Bologna. A nave with two aisles, four chapels each side of nave with domes in the aisles outside each. And all painted in trompe l'oeil, mostly the work of Giovanni Battista Natali (1653–84). The ceiling of the nave has The Vision of San Gaetano by Angelo M Colonna and Giacomo Alboresi 1667.

No labels for the chapel art, which is mostly 17th and 18th century and not striking. The second altar on the right has San Carlo Borromeo at the Sepulchre in Varallo by Ludovico Carracci 1614, but it is also not labelled, or striking. The fourth chapel on the right has a larger than the rest, and impressive, Annunciation by Francesco Albani (1632) with a very whooshing angel. In the chapel in the left transept, set into the upper part of the altar, there's a small and serene tondo of The Madonna and Sleeping Child by Guido Reni 1632 (see right). The presbytery has a grand buff marble altar screen and is flanked by two chapels in one of which the Bolognese mystic Prudenziana Zagnoni is buried.

The baptistery
The Madonna delle Grazie, a small church built by the Malvezzi family (see print below right) was demolished in 1871. Rebuilt in 1703 by Ercole Pepoli and renovated to designs by Antonio Laghi in 1726, it had been built right up against the (more leaning) Garisenda Tower, with a venerated 14th century fresco by Lippo di Dalmasio attached to the wall of the tower. Upon the demolition, which also knocked down a cobblers and a bat shop, this fresco was transferred to the baptistery of Santi Bartolomeo e Gaetano which was an oratory (16th century) until conversion to a baptistery in 1920. In here is also a Three Maries at the Sepulchre by Guiseppe Varotti.
The Baptistery is opened on Saturday mornings from 9.30 to 12.30 by volunteers from the Touring Club of Italy.

Lost art

The early 15th century tomb of Geremia Angelelli, now in the Medieval Museum

Opening times

Weekdays: 7am-12.30pm and 3.30pm-7.00pm
 holidays: 8.30am-1pm and 3.30pm-7.00pm

Santi Naborre e Felice


The crypt of San Zama here is believed to have been part of Bologna's first cathedral as the remains of the first bishops of Bologna, starting with Zama himself, were buried here until the 8th/9th century (except for San Petronio who is buried in Santo Stefano). It's more likely that is was one of the first Christian cemeteries was here, and where the bishops of Bologna were buried because of the ban (until the fifth century) on burying the dead within the city walls. Faustiniano, the bishop after St Zama, built a larger church here and renamed it Santi Naborre and Felice, after two 4th century Berber Milanese martyrs.

After 1000 Benedictine monks rebuilt the church here in Romanesque style, building the crypt, a monastery and, during the 14th century, the bell tower and the sacristy.

In the 15th century the monastery got mixed up in conflict between the Bolognese aristocrats and the papacy, which resulted in abandonment by the Benedictines and the consequent ruin of the complex. After a century of decline the pope gave the complex to Clarissan nuns.

The crypt is the only surviving Romanesque part of the complex. The layout of the crypt today is the result of work carried out by the Clarissans. who decided to separate it from the building above. Supporting pilasters were inserted into the columns, dividing the crypt into three naves, which all end in semicircular apses.

Lost art
A polyptych by the pseudo-Jacopino (see below) from c.1340, is in the Pinacoteca.

website to book San Zama crypt visits

website to book a tour of three crypts, including San Zama

Santi Filippo and Giacomo
via delle Lame

Built in a baroque style in 1641 by Francesco Martini. Part of a complex housing Capuchin nuns until 1802. Serious bomb damage in 1944 and rebuilt in the 1950s by architect Luigi Vignali.

Small, tall, pale, no aisles, three shallow chapels each side separated by fluted semi-Corinthians as usual. Domed crossing

Works remain by GF Gessi, Alessandro Tiarini, B. Passarotti, G. Cavedoni, V. Spisanelli and other 17th-century artists.

Santi Vitale e Agricola
via San Vitale

A church here was rebuilt by Benedictine nuns during the late 16th century, with work finishing, and consecration, in 1641.  The atmospheric crypt which remains dates to the original building of the 11th century, and was used by the nuns. Suppressed by Napoleon, the complex was sold and partially demolished, with the rest being converted into a palazzo, with the crypt used as a grotto. The literary circle of the Countess Cornelia Barbara Rossi di San Secondo met here. The parish was reestablished in 1824 and church was restored, with the facade added in 1872/3 and the crypt rediscovered in 1890 and reopened two years later.

The dedication is to the two saints, Vitalis and Agricola, slave and master respectively, who were martyred in 304 under Diocletian in Bologna's Roman amphitheatre which is thought to have been in this area, or even precisely on this site. Saint Ambrose discovered their bodies in 392, in a nearby Jewish cemetery, and had them exhumed and reburied here. In 1019 they were moved to the crypt of Santo Stefano, in 1060 they were transferred to the Duomo's crypt, in 1578, they were divided between Santo Stefano and the Duomo. So now the crypt of Santo Stefano has two urns - one contains the skull of Agricola with a few bones, the other has a few bits of S. Vitalis, but most are in an urn in the Duomo. Their saint's day is November 4th.

Rather dark - an aisleless nave with four arched spaces on the right, but only the middle two are chapels. The first is the entrance to the sacristy, the forth has the stairs down to the crypt. On the left the third and fourth bays are a chapel and a storage space. The high altarpiece is the Martyrdom of Saints Vitale and Agricola by Luigi Busi from 1876 .

The chapel of Santa Maria degli Angeli, through two arches off the left of the nave, was a small laet 15th-century church, with a doorway to the street (supposedly the work of  Andrea Marchesi, called il Formigine). This church was the work of Gaspare Nadi and was amalgamated into this church during the 16th century rebuilding. On the right wall is The Flight in Egypt by Alessandro Tiarini. The altarpiece has, in the center, an eliptical copy of the Madonna of Divine Love which was by Sano di Pietro, the original having been stolen in 1972. To the  left is The Visitation by Bartholomew Ramenghi and on the right The Nativity by Giacomo Francia.

On the right of the church, towards the apse, are stairs down to the atmospheric rough-brick crypt (see below) where you put €1 in the slot for the lights before tripping downstairs. The crypt, a nave and two aisles ending in apses, contains the saints' remaining remains, after Ambrose had their bodies reburied here he spread their cult by giving out some bits of them to Rouen and Florence. There are bits of old buried wall down there too.

Lost art
Polyptych panels of 1476 by Francesco Pelosio, now in the Pinacoteca.

The base is 14th century, the middle Gothic style and the top, with a spire of 1670, matches the current church.

Monday to Saturday: 8.00 - 12.00 & 3.30 - 7.30
Sunday and holidays: 9.00 - 12.00 & 4.30 - 8.00







Santissima Annunziata
via San Mamolo

Built in 1304 by Armenian Basilian/Byzantine monks, passing in 1475 to the Observant Franciscans who rebuilt. Used as a lazaretto during the plague of 1630. During the 17th century the interior was remodeled and in 1690 the campanile was built. Restored in 1944 to religious use following nearly 70 years of use by the military.

In the 16th century porch leadingf to the entrance there are fifteen lunette frescos by G. Lippi and P. Carracci (?&?) (1619). About as ravaged as you'd expect but with some intact (see below).

A nave with two aisles and a dome of 1488. Brick columns, singles alternating with clusters of four, and brick thin-ribbed vaulting. No side chapels or altars. In the apse there's a frescoed semi-dome of trompe l'oeil architecture and The Glory of San Francesco by Angelo Bigari and Davide Zanotti from end of 18th century, with stucco sculptures of the prophets Isiah and Geremia by Giacomo Rossi (1792).  An Annunciation altarpiece by Francesco Albani. Eleven Franciscan saints in the windows down the right side - so lots of brown glass. Unlit detached fresco of The Adoration of the Magi 1524 on the wall of the left aisle is by Biagio Pupini. Nearby altarpieces are one copy and two more modern paintings.

Lost art
Formerly the high altarpiece here, an Annunciate Virgin with Saints John the Evangelist, Francis, Bernardino, and George and a separate  God the Father panel, of 1500 by Francia (see right) is now in the Pinacoteca. A Madonna Enthroned with Saints Paul, Francis and the Young John the Baptist by Francia, painted for the Scappi chapel here, also now in the Pinacoteca.
Three by Lorenzo Costa, now in the Pinacoteca: Saint Petronius Enthroned with Saints Francis and Domenic from 1502; a Burial of Christ by him(?) from around the same time, and a Marriage of the Virgin with Saints Joseph and Anna and Franciscan brothers - the last one painted for the Gessi chapel here.

Santissima Trinita
via Santo Stefano

When nuns of the Gesuati Order had outgrown their previous convent (whose church had been consecrated in 1480) they bought up land here, between 1634 and 1648, and the first stone was laid in 1662. The plans for this new church were the work of Bolognese architect Francesco Martini. Delays and interruption to the work led to it not being consecrated until 21st June 1750. The Napoloeonic suppressions of 1797 resulted in much to-ing and fro-ing of monks, nuns and parish jurisdiction between this complex, the Augustinian monks of San Biagio and the nuns of San Pietro Martire, before parish of SS Trinita was properly established in 1806.
The portico on the facade is 19th century and was designed by Enrico Brunetti Rodati.

A single nave with flanking rows of side chapels, covered in late 19th-century painted decoration by Giovan Battista Baldi and his son Carlo.
The counter-façade has a large painting by Alessandro Guardassoni of  The Transport of Christ to the tomb (c. 1855) as dictated by the will of the artist.

Left side
Lots of 19th century works, but the Chapel of the Birth of the Virgin has, above the altar, a large Birth of the Virgin (see left) by Lavinia Fontana of c.1590, originally commissioned by the Gheli family for their chapel in the church of San Biagio. The Chapel of the Crucifix has a papier-mâché crucifix from the 12th century.
The sanctuary and apse is also dominated by works and building work of the 19th century.
On the
right side, in the Chapel of San Biagio, over the altar, is a much-repainted wooden statue of the saint, of uncertain date, which also came from the church of San Biagio, suppressed by Napoleon. The Chapel of St. Jerome has, above the altar, a Madonna and Child in Glory with Saints Donnino, Francis, Jerome and Apollonia (1607), by Giovanni Battista Gennari da Cento.

Opening times
weekdays: 8.00 to 10.00 and 17.00 (Saturday 16.00) - 19.30
holidays: 8.00 - 12.00 and 17.00 - 19.30

Santissimo Salvatore
via Cesare Battisti

The original church here is said to have been established by the 8th century, by a group of Greek monks fleeing  from the east due to iconoclastic persecution who settled here and founded a church dedicated to the Savior.

The Order of the Canons Regular of S. Maria di Reno were here from the 12th century, who rebuilt in 1474 to designs by Gaspare Nadi.. The church became popular with English university students and a chapel was added dedicated to Thomas Becket, who had studied law in Bologna.  

The current church dates to a total rebuilding of 1605–23 by father Giovanni Ambrogio Magenta, a Barnabite and the architect Tommaso Martelli. The convent was suppressed in 1866. The rectors of the church remain the Canonici Regolari Lateranensi.

Three copper statues by Orazio Provaglia top the façade.

Some churches seem big as you enter, and some big churches loom huge, like this one, which does so in an almost Palladian way. Pale stone, baroque and aisleless but with large Corinthian columns protruding from the huge clusters of pillars between the three chapels each side of the the nave - a pair of tall protruding chapels either side of an enormous flat one. Each of the small chapels has a pair of statues in flanking niches and fresco panels on the arches above depicting one of the four doctors of the church by Cavedoni. The central chapels have two pairs of flanking statues in niches, all are of saints and prophets and are by Giovanni Tedeschi .

The first chapel on the left has a Garofolo Saint Zachariah and Saint John with Saint Anne and Other Saints Standing, looking a lot like a Raphael. The left central chapel has a night-time Ascension by Carlo Bononi. The last chapel on the left has a fine Crucifixion by Francucci Innocenzo (Innocenzo da Imola) which was admired by Malvasia and Vasari.

The left transept has a striking Holy Family by Alessandro Tiarini, a pupil of Prospero Fontana and Guido Reni. This painting is said to have been attributed to Reni even during Tiarini's lifetime, who was not displeased. Behind the altar is a 1620 painting of The Redeemer by Guido Reni himself. The grand presbytery with a very decorated marble altar has a marble balustrade extending far into the transept and dark wooden choir stalls in the apse.

The right transept is the centre of interest here. It has an odd Crucifixion di Beirut of 1579 by Jacopo Coppi , also called Jacopo del Meglio. On the back wall a Virgin at the Temple with Thomas Becket. (The latter having studied in Bologna.) In the left wall is a Leonardo-ish dark and asymmetrical Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine by Girolamo da Carpi over a sweet and unusual 1353 polyptych of the Coronation of the Virgin by Vitale da Bologna, behind glass and set into the wall.

The 14th century Madonna of Victory by Simone dei Crocifissi, which was over the third altar on the right, is now made much of - free-standing in a glitzy surround to the right front of the presbytery. Until the middle of the 18th century it was in the church of the Madonna del Monte.

Guercino is buried in here, his tomb is in the floor in the centre of the nave.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
The huge and bustling Wedding at Cana by Gaetano Gandolfi (1775) from the convent here, is now above the main staircase in the Pinacoteca. A monumental Assumption by Agostino Carracci (c.1592), previously looted by Napoleon. Saint Sebastian by Guido Reni c.1640 from the sacristy here.

Two late 16th century illuminated psalters, an early 16th century psalter, and an early 16th century antiphonary, the latter the work of Giovanni Battista Cavallotto, all on display in the Medieval Museum in 2017.

Opening times
6.00am - 11.00pm



Santo Spirito

The terracotta facade from the 15th century has been attributed to Vincenzo Onofri or to Sperandio of Mantua. Built from 1481 to 1497 for Celestine monks from the nearby monastery of San Giovanni Battista to house a Marian image, the oratory transferred to the Compagnia dello Spirito Santo in 1497 and was suppressed in 1798. It suffered much, losing its high altarpiece, a work of 1567 by Giovanni Battista Ramenghi. Much-needed restoration (see pre-restoration photo right) was carried out 1892/93 by Alfonso Rubbiani, during which the original polychrome was recovered. During later renovation in 1965 the remains of a Roman floor were found under the presbytery.

From Guarda che luna by
Giovanni Mattioli & Vanna Vinci

Santo Stefano
via Santo Stefano

The Santo Stefano Complex, dedicated to Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr, is
also known as the Seven Churches (Sette Chiese). Legend says it was built on the site of a temple of Isia around 431 by Bishop Petronius who, following a pilgrimage in the Holy Land, founded a number of buildings to represent the sites of the Passion. The first written evidence actually dates to 887, under Charles the Fat. From the the piazza in front you can see all three churches (see photo right). On the left is Santi Vitale e Agricola, the oldest church in Bologna, then San Sepolcro in the centre, behind the tree, and finally the Crocifisso, the last and largest, with a 13th-century pulpit on its façade, now inaccessible due to the demolition of of an internal gallery. The Crocifisso's doorway serves as the entrance to the complex, except when there's a service taking place inside. To the right, past the trees, is the later Celestine Benedictine convent, established here in 1493 by Pope Julius II. The monks fell victim of the Napoleonic suppression of 1797. Attempts to lure monks back were unsuccessful, until the Olivetans moved in in 1941, and they remain here.


The churches
The Crocifisso (see above) (previously known as the church of San Giovanni Battista) is probably of Lombard (8th century) foundation. Restoration in the past century has attempted to return the church to its medieval appearance. There is a painted Crucifix by Simone dei Crocifissi (c. 1380) hanging in the arch to the presbytery and the life-size Pietà group against the left wall is 18th century by Angelo Piò. Some 16th and 17th century panels.

The crypt under the very raised presbytery was built in 1019 to house the relics of Vitale and Agricola and was originally entered from the Cortile di Pilato. The salvaged columns include one, the second from the entrance on the right, without a capital,  that Petronius is said to have brought from the Holy Land and which is the same height as Jesus. There is the statutory Lippo di Dalmasio detached fresco fragment of the Madonna and Child down here too.

To the left of the steps down to the crypt is the door to Santo Sepolcro (see right). Maybe as old as the 5th century, and possibly once the site of a Roman temple dedicated to Isis, built over a handy spring.  Its present form is 11th century. Centrally planned dodecagon with an ambulatory and women's galleries. Some of the columns and capitals are Roman salvage. The structure in the centre is a 12th-14th-century copy of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. It is now embellished with a Romanesque pulpit with interesting reliefs. The stairs and altar are 19th century. Behind a grill is the tomb of Saint Petronius, Bologna’s patron saint. His remains, discovered in 1141, were kept here but were, in 2000, transferred to San Petronio in Piazza Maggiore, which already had his head.

The door opposite the one from the Crocifisso leads into Santi Vitale e Agricola (see above) - bare and Romanesque and maybe 5th century, but likely built in the 11th century over a church dedicated to Saint Peter. Massive brick column clusters alternate with stone columns and capitals, many of the latter from Roman buildings. The apse and flanking apsidal chapels have slim alabaster windows. The altars in the apsidal chapels are 8th or 9th century and were sarcophagi containing the relics of Saints Vitalis (left) and Agricola (right) who were martyred in Bologna under the emperor Diocletian. These remains were discovered and dug up in 392 by Saint Ambrose and where translated to the crypt in The Crocifisso here on March 3rd 1019 by Abbot Martino. There's a detached fresco panel in the rear right bay of The Virgin and Saints.

Returning to Santo Sepulcro, doors lead into the 12th century Cortile di Pilato, so named to commemorate the place where Jesus was condemned. In the middle is a stoup called Pilate’s Bowl. From the 8th century, it has an obscure inscription relating to the Lombard kings Liutprand and Ilprand. Two small chapels and one large one with a worn 14th century fresco open off the loggias down each side of the courtyard, plus one that's closed. On a pillar in a little window to the left of one chapel is a cockerel, sculpted in the 14th century. Opposite the rather special patterned brickwork on the back wall of San Sepolcro is the façade of the wide and shallow Martyrium, (also known as the Church of the Trinity) rebuilt in 1911 and again faced with lovely patterned brickwork. This chapel, restored in 1924, has a line of columns with good capitals down the centre and a fine old pavement and is believed to have been originally built over a walled Christian cemetery. Also here is a group of five stout wooden statues of the Adoration of the Magi, in a glass case, painted by Simone dei Crocifissi (c.1370) and a damaged stone statue of Saint Peter seated. Plus some sweet little detached fresco fragment panels.

Through the right hand door from the Martyrium is the Benedictine cloister, the lower part dating from the 11th century and the upper from the 12th. It is said that Dante spent so much time sitting here that the odd figures in the capitals inspired descriptions of the damned in The Inferno. There's a good view of the Romanesque campanile too. Occasionally the door along the colonnade opposite the entrance to the shop will be open allowing access to the garden to the south of the Crocifisso church, but it's pretty uninteresting.
Off this cloister is the shop and a small and dusty Museum with five rooms and some nice panels and detached frescoes, as well as reliquaries
In the first room there are scrappily arranged and labelled panels, a good number by Simone dei Crocefissi, a small Pieta by Lippo di Dalmasio, a fine big detached fresco panel of the 15th century of Saint Petronio Enthroned with Scenes from the Lives of Saints Petronio and Stephen by Michele di Matteo, commissioned by the senator Nicolò Sanuti for this church. The same artist painted a now dispersed altarpiece for this church around the time of Pope Eugenius IV's sojourn in Bologna in 1436-8. It reflects, in its choice of subjects, that pope's desire to unite the Western and Eastern churches. Small rooms of ecclesiastical silver follow. The last room is the Capella della Benda, which has an unusual large and Byzantine-looking 13th century detached fresco panel of The Massacre of the Innocents by Berlinghiero da Lucca, according to the label sellotaped to the wall.

The church in art
The Tomb of the Saints Vitale and Agricola in the Underground Church of Santo Stefano (see below) from 1830 by Antonio Basoli.

Opening times
Daily: Winter 9.15  - 6.00 Summer: 9.15  - 7.15


An old postcard showing a tabernacle and statue on the façade of
Santi Vitale e Agricola which have since been removed.

A Pietà group by Raffaele Faccioli in San Sepulcro installed during a restoration
back to the medieval in 1870. Now dismantled with only a fresco
fragment remaining in the museum.

Frescoes by Filippo Pedrini and Giuseppe Terzi in San Sepulcro demolished
with the restoration of 1880 by Giovanni Gozzadini and Raffaele Faccioli.

San Giorgio
Lost art in the Pinacoteca
An Annunciation (1584) with a very young-looking Virgin, and a Miracle of the Pool by Lodovico Carracci (c.1595). A Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints John the Evangelist and Catherine and the young John the Baptist by Annibale Carracci 1593 from the Landini chapel here. A Baptism of Christ by Francesco Albani c.1620/1624 from the Cingari and Fabri chapel here.

  San Marco
Lost art
A large and sweet polyptych of around 1380 by Giovanni da Bologna, now in the Pinacoteca
San Pietro Martire

Augustinian church and convent built in 1290 passing in 1474 to Dominican nuns. In 1595 a new church and  campanile by Andrea Ambrosini was begun, and was consecrated on 10 July 1613. On August 16 1808 the church was closed.

Lost art
in the Pinacoteca
A polyptych by Michele di Matteo from 1462. The Visitation with Saints Joseph and Zaccaria (c.1550) (see right) by Jacopo Tintoretto. A Transfiguration by Lodovico Carracci of 1595 from the high altar here.

  Santa Margherita
The Giusti chaple here had Parmigianino's Madonna and Child with Saints Margaret, Jerome, and Petronius of  c.1529, now in the Pinacoteca.

Santa Maria delle Rodini

Had a Lorenzo Costa altarpiece, a Presentation at theTemple, formerly in the Berlin Kaiser-Friedrich Museum, destroyed in the Friedrichshain Flakturm fires of 1945, except for the pilaster panels now in Atlanta's High Museum of Art.
Demolished to make way for San Petronio, the area of the Curia Sancti Ambroxii where the commune of Bologne sat first. Our hotel?

Sant'Apollonia di Mazzaratta


Cannaregio :: Castello :: Dorsoduro :: Giudecca :: San Marco :: San Polo :: Santa Croce :: The Islands :: Demolished