Cannaregio    Castello    Dorsoduro    San Marco    San Polo    Santa Croce    Giudecca    The Islands
The List    The Lost Churches    The Scuole
The Veneto: Padua and Verona               NEW: Bologna


Page 2
 

Santa Caterina di Saragozza
Santa Caterina di Strada Maggiore

Santa Cecilia see San Giacomo Maggiore
Santa Cristina
Santa Lucia

Santa Maria degli Angeli
Santa Maria dei Bulgari
Santa Maria dei Servi
Santa Maria del Baraccano
Santa Maria della Carita
Santa Maria della Misericordia
Santa Maria della PietÓ (dei Mendicanti)
Santa Maria della Pioggia
Santa Maria della Visitazione al Ponte della Lame
Santa Maria della Vita
Santa Maria delle Muratelle
Santa Maria di Galliera

Santa Maria e San Valentino della Grada
Santa Maria Labarum Coeli (La Baroncella)
Santa Maria Maddalena
Santa Maria Maggiore

Santi Bartolomeo e Gaetano
Santi Filippo and Giacomo
Santi Giuseppe e Ignazio
Santi Gregorio e Siro
Santi Naborre e Felice
Santi Vitale e Agricola
Santissima Annunziata
Santissima Trinita
Santissimo Salvatore
Santo Spirito
Santo Stefano


 

 Santa Caterina di Saragozza
Via Saragozza


History

A church here dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria dates back to at least the 12th century, and is called di Saragozza because of the street name. It probably began as an Albergati family chapel with the church remaining under their patronage until 1895, when Francesco III Albergati Capacelli Gini, the last of the line, died.
There was major rebuilding in 1443. The main entrance facing Via Santa Caterina was turned towards Via Saragozza and a porch added. Between the 17th and 18th centuries the church acquired relics, including the body of Saint Maurice (still here, in an urn), and a miraculous image of the Virgin. In 1776 the roof was restored at the expense of the patrons of the chapels. In the 18th century the church gave refuge to ex-Jesuits from South America, following their expulsion from Spain and its South American colonies in 1767. Some of them were buried here, including Juan Ignacio Gonzales of Guadalupe, whose image was placed on the altar dedicated to Saint Catherine. The Parish also became the seat of the Brotherhood of the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe and to this day the 12th of December, the anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin to Juan Diego, is celebrated here.

Rebuilt in 1816, still paid for by the Albergati family, and by the parishioners, with reconsecration on 12th October 1817. A new campanile was completed in 1824. In 1863 restoration work was carried out on the fašade. During this work a 16th-century fresco of the PietÓ was found, attributed to Biagio Puppini delle Lamme, now to be found in the first bay on the right.

It is reported that from 1864 a local painter Alessandro Guardassoni replaced all the paintings on all the altars, demanding no payment. Around the same time the marble worker Carlo Vidoni created the high altar, the marble steps of Verona marble, the four altars of the side chapels and two holy water fonts in Carrara marble.

Interior
Aisleless with very grey walls and a paler painted (decoration and scenes) barrel vault. Each side has two shallow central arched bays flanked by two doors on one side and a door and a shallow chapel on the other.
The two left-side nave bays have paintings of Saint Roch and Saint Jerome, the right side the Virgin of Guadalupe and Tobias and the Angel with a Pieta in the low one, the first on the right, mentioned above. These are presumably the 19th-century replacements also mentioned above.

There's a square domed presbytery with a sort-of transept accessed through the east end pair of the aforementioned doors, the left side one also leading to a corridor and the sacristy.

Opening times
Monday
to Saturday  7.30 ľ 11.00 & 5.30 ľ 7.15
Sunday and holidays 8.00 ľ 12.30
 

Santa Caterina di Strada Maggiore
Strada Maggiore

History

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 fašade are 19th century statues by A. Franceschi, G. Putti, L. Roncagli.

Interior
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 left) may be by Simone dei Crocifissi, (but 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.

Campanile
By F. Antolini (1842).

Opening times
7.30 - 12.00 & 5.00 - 7.00




 




 

Santa Cristina
Piazzetta Morandi


History
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.

Interior
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 SalViati.
This latter work, of 1540, was painted by SalViati whilst he was in Venice and shows the Virgin and Child flanked by Saints Christina of Bolsena, John the Baptist, Philip, and Nicholas of Myra. Kneeling before them are Saints Romuald and Lucia Settefonti, the founder of the Camaldolese order and a locally venerated saint also from the order respectively. A preparatory study for the painting is in the Linz Nordico Stadtmuseum.
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.

Campanile
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.

Opening times

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
 

History
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 Ges¨ in Rome. In 1775 the Jesuits were suppressed and the complex was briefly occupied the Barnabites before suppression by Napoleon. Now deconsecrated used as the Great Hall by the University of Bologna.

Interior
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. 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 his chapel in Santa Maria del Baraccano.
The Virgin and Child with Saints Teresa, John the Baptist and Carlo Borromeo by Carlo Cignani, of 1680, from the DaVia chapel here, now in the Pinacoteca.


Opening times
Publicised times are Monday to Friday 8.30 - 1.30 & 2.30 - 5.30 but they seem to bear scant relation to reality.
Santa Maria degli Angeli
Via degli Angeli

History

There had been a small chapel on this site in 1300, dedicated to the Magi, built in imitation the shape of  the manger in Bethlehem and for this reason called Santa Maria del Presepio. Inside was a wooden statue of  the Virgin and Child Blessing which in the early 15th century began performing miracles. The bishop of Bologna at the time, Giovanni di Michele (1412 to 1417) made plans to have it translated to the cathedral of San Pietro, but when the procession reached Via Orfeo the men carrying the statue were blinded and began to stagger. This was taken as a sign that it did not want to be moved and so he bishop then ordered that it be taken back. This episode led to calls on the new bishop Nicol˛ Albergati (1417 to 1443) to make the chapel here into a church. He also installed a lay brotherhood dedicated to the care of needy and abandoned children, named after Santa Maria degli Angeli, which led to the renaming of the church, built in 1474 by Gaspare Nadi. The confraternity was suppressed by Napoleon in 1798 but the church remained open, but closing in the early 1900s. The miracle-working statue of the Virgin was transferred to San Giuseppe e Ignazio up the road. The deconsecrated church is now used by art restorers and called LabOratorio degli Angeli.

The church
The facade of the 15th-century church was restored in Romanesque style in the late 19th century by Eduardo Collamarini. The doorway is attributed to Antonio Formigine, or his studio.

Interior
I doubt that many of these works are still in place - photos of the restorers at work show a large bare space.

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 the Veil 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 Giotto polyptych of c.1333 (see below) was previously in this church, but was first recorded here only in 1732, just decades before it was moved to the Collegio Montalto. It shows  The Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saint Peter, the Archangels Gabriel and Michael, and Saint Paul. In the five predella roundels are John the Baptist, the Virgin, Christ, Saint John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalen.
An Assumption of 1569-70 by Lorenzo Sabatini from the high altar here.


 

 



Santa Maria dei Bulgari

History

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


History
Gothic, begun in 1346, to designs by Friar Andrea da Fenze, with the help of Antonio di Vincenzo, who had worked on the church of San Petronio. Enlarged after 1386 but not finished until 1545. But the fašade remains unfinished.

The wide portico that runs along the side of Santa Maria dei Servi also runs around three more sides of the piazza in front to form a cloister effect and was built to blend over time - one side dates to 1390, the rest to 1855.

Interior
Very dark with only small round clerestory windows. Nine chapels down each side, with narrow aisles, the columns dividing are alternatively round and hexagonal. Not unusually for Bologna brick pillars, arches and vaults contrast with white walls.
The first chapel on the right has a Madonna and Seven Saint Founders of the Servite Order of 1727 by Marcantonio Franceschini with a God the Father by Guido Reni. The fourth south chapel has a painting by Denys Calvaert of a crowded Paradise from 1602. The high altar marble Resurrection of 1561 is the work of Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli, a Servite friar and pupil of Michelangelo. The choir  has Gothic stalls from 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, the Angelelli, to the left of centre, with the c.1280/90 Cimabue MaestÓ (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 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 Servitesĺ 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).
Elsewhere are works by Guercino, Francesco Albani, Giuseppe Crespi and Orazio Samacchini. And an 18th-century figure of the Virgin stabbed by seven swords by Angelo Pi˛.

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


 


 


An 18th-century print by Pio Panfili.
 

Santa Maria del Baraccano
Piazza del Baraccano


History
Named for the baraccano (barbican) in the walls that overlooks the church.
A late 14th century fresco of the Madonna della Pace, attributed to Lippo di Dalmasio, was painted on the wall.
In 1401 Bologna was besieged by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, hoping to overthrow the Bentivoglio. During and inspection of the walls Bente Bentivoglio spotted an old woman praying in front of this Madonna. Suspecting her of being a spy he had her arrested and the image bricked up.  The covering wall collapsed, was rebuilt, and collapsed again. So Bente freed the old woman, a member of the Vinciguerra family and in 1403 built a small chapel around the image. This was enlarged in 1418 as an octagonal chapel, and in 1472 a portico was added, again by the Berntivoglio family. Also in 1472 the miraculous Madonna was touched up by Francesco del Cossa.
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. It is also known as the Madonna of War.
Suppressed by Napoleon on July 27th 1798 but managed to remain open by being declared a sanctuary. Originally attached to a pilgrim hospital that later became a school for needy girls.

The church
Portico built in 1524.  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. The dome was built in 1682 by Agostino Barelli.

Interior
Restored in 1914 to deBaroquify and returned the church to its 16th/17th-century appearance.
 
The late-14th-century fresco of the Madonna della Pace, attributed to Lippo di Dalmasio, was retouched and added to in 1472 by Francesco del Cossa and is now over the high altar. His additions do not exactly blend in seamlessly (see right)
In the Orsi chapel is a Holy Family of Lavinia Fontana and in the Hercolani chapel is The Dispute of Saint Catherine 1551 by her father Prospero Fontana. In the Ghiselli chapel is the Procession of Gregory the Great in Rome in times of plague by Bolognese artist 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.

Opening times
Saturday 11.00 - 13.00
Sunday 10.00 - 12.30


 




 






An 18th-century print by Pio Panfili.
 

Santa Maria della Carita
Via San Felice

History
By the mid 13th century there was a hospital here, which later became an orphanage. A hospital chapel existed by 1378. From 1468 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.

Interior

Greek-cross shaped, but with a long presbytery, dark with netting masking the vaulting (in October 2019) and catching bits of it, presumably. Chapels in the corners.
Much work by baroque painters. The first chapel on the left has an early work by Annibale Carracci, a well-lit panel over a confessional depicting The Crucifixion with the Virgin and Saints Francis, Bernardino John the Baptist and Petronio of 1583 (see right). The painting was originally in the church of San Nicol˛ di San Felice, now a wreck just up the road. The chapel in the corner to the left of the presbytery has an unlit 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 tall and handsome sacristy to the left of the presbytery was also designed by Bergonzoni and has paintings by Gaetano Gandolfi, Jacopo Alessandro Calvi, and sculptures by Giovanni Francesco Bezzi. To the right of the presbytery is a small oval top lit chapel.

Other artists with work here, mostly randomly placed on the counter-fašade, include Giovanni Valesio, Flaminio Torre (A Virgin and Saints), Giovanni Battista Fiorini, Antonio Crespi, Luigi Quaini, and Luigi Crespi.


Opening times
Daily 7.00 - 11.30
& 4.00 - 7.30

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


An 18th-century print by Pio Panfili.
 






 

Santa Maria della Misericordia
piazza di Porta Castiglione

History
Cistercian nuns had been here in 1150, but Olivetan monks from San Michele in Bosco built this church from 1431, before being replaced by Augustinians in 1473 who added the portico and nave chapels.  The portico in front of the facade is 18th century.

Interior
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 Adoration, a copy of the original by Francia, which is now in the Pinacoteca. Francia did much work for this church.
The second chapel on the right has a 1397 Virgin and Child (The Madonna of Consolation) by Lippo di Dalmasio  in a lit box behind an oval window (see right) with a framing structure by Formigine. The window above is a Virgin and Child Enthroned designed by Francesco Francia from 1499. The fifth chapel has a Pentacost by Bartolomeo Cesi and the sixth, the Felicini has another rose window designed by Francesco Francia, this time depicting Saint John the Baptist and an Annunciation by Gaetano Gandolfi.

Lost art
in the Pinacoteca
Lots by Francia: 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 (1490) 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 of 1498. Its predella is in the Brera. A Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints Paul, Francis and the young John the Baptist from the Scappi chapel. In the Cappella Gozzadini was a predella panel showing The Nativity, Infancy and Crucifixion.
A Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine by Giovanni Battista Ramenghi (Bagnacavallo Junior) , from c.1545 and painted for the Scala chapel here
.

Opening times
Monday to Saturday 7.30 - 11.30 & 4. 30 - 8.00
Sunday 8.30-1.00 - 4.00 - 8.00.


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







Santa Maria della PietÓ (dei Mendicanti)
Via San Vitale

History

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

Interior
Tall and boxy, plain and aisleless, with five chapels each side, the middle pair much taller. Bartolomeo Cesi painted 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 chapel and the Ecstasy of Saint Anne in the second (the Zamboni), which was also painted in 1625. Lavinia Fontana's impressive Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes of c.1600 is in the central tall chapel on the left, having replaced Reni's San Giobbe Altarpiece.

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 The Charity of Sant'Eligio by Alessandro Tiarini and an Annunciation by Luigi Valesio.

Lost art
Lots looted by Napoleon. A Calling of Saint Matthew by Ludovico Carracci of c.1607 painted for the chapel of the Compagnia dei Salaroli here. A Madonna and Child in Glory with Saints Al˛ and Petronius from 1614 by Giacomo Cavedoni, commissioned by the Compagnia dei Fabbri.
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 was not returned and is still in Paris, in N˘tre Dame. The Dream of Saint Joseph by by Alessandro Tiarini remains in the Louvre too.

Opening times
Monday to Saturday 7.30 - 11.30 & 4.30 - 6.45
Sunday 7.30 - 12.30



 




Santa Maria della Pioggia
San Bartolomeo di Reno
Via Riva Reno

History
Originally 13th century and known as San Bartolomeo di Reno as the Reno canal (now concreted over) ran next to it. Rebuilt in 1536, and in 1730 by Alfonso Torreggiani. The church was renamed Santa Maria della Pioggia (the Madonna of the Rain) for a miracle-working Madonna, still here, of the Virgin and Child with Seven Heads of Angels, attributed to the 15th-century painter Michele di Matteo, which brought rain after being processed during a draught in 1561. It's said that it was also found intact under the ruins of a palace destroyed by fire and that it  healed a blind man. The building was recently restored and now houses the Pii Istituti Educativi.

Interior
The 19th-century interior is by F.M. Zanotti. A squarish space, beige with gilding, an aiseless nave with three chapels each side and a decorative frescoed vault. Nun's galleries where the clerestory windows should be and, more ornately, either side of the presbytery where the miracle-working Madonna is to be found. There are unlabelled, mostly modern, paintings. There are also a Circumcision (not found by me) and an Adoration of the Shepherds of 1584 by Agostino Carracci. The latter is in the first chapel on the left, and was visibly damaged by bombing. Also a Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Catherine and Lucy by Lorenzo Sabbatini in the first right chapel. The stucco work is by G. Fiorini and there are works by Felice Pasqualini, Francesco Monti and Ercole Graziani
An oratory on the first floor, belonging to the fellowship of San Bartolomeo, reportedly 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 & 4.00 - 6.00
Sunday 10.00 - 12.00
Closed Monday
 

Santa Maria della Visitazione al Ponte della Lame
Via Lame

History
This church, dedicated to the 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 and Saints John the Baptist and Sebastian 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 around 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.

Opening times
Winter: Monday to Saturday 4.30 - 7.00pm (Saturday closes at 7.45 )
Winter: Sunday: 9.00 - 12.30
Summer: Closed July and August
But some sources say it has been deconsecrated and closed and now just rings weird bells.






 

Santa Maria della Vita
Via Clavature

History
The original church was built in 1260 by Riniero Barcaboni Fasani from Perugia, founder of the flagellant ConfraternitÓ dei Battuti Bianchi and dedicated to the Virgin, being called Saint Mary of Life due to the brotherhood's hospital attached to it, which remained 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 dome was added, to a drawing by Antonio Bibiena, by Giuseppe Tubertini in 1787. The facade dates from 1905.

Interior
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. The dome is frescoed by Gaetano Gandolfi. A fresco of the Madonna Enthroned by Simone de'Crociffissi was saved from the 17th-century collapse.
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 (The Compianto) of 1463, by Nicol˛ dellĺArca (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 Ç3 at a tubular plastic cashhdesk to see the Lamentation group, cunningly hidden by a screen.

Opening times





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 of the Battuti and the 17th-century rooms now (still?) house a small museum of religious and scientific items relating to the history of the confraternity. The Oratory itself, designed by Floriano Ambrosini, is early 17th century, very gilt baroque, with an ornately enclosed high altarpiece by Nosadella from 1550 of the Virgin and Child with Saints. Around the altar are three more panels, depicting the life of the Blessed Raniero. And you might notice that some of the plaster putti hold little whips.
At the opposite end is another, later, 15-strong group of terracotta statues - fifteen of them, over-life-size, on a raised sort-of stage, and the work of Alfonso Lombardi from 1519ľ22 (see above) placed here in 1612. 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 and beaten to death by the apostles. (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 dellĺOrio 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.

Opening times 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

History

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, with the campanile built too. More rebuilding in 1749 by the architect Raimondo Compagnini. Deconsecrated in 1805 by the French and put to military use for 50 years. Returned to parish use with the return of papal authority. The 18th-century facade was finally finished by Edoardo Collamarini in 1928. Further rebuilding in 1958. Now used by the Moldovan orthodox community.

Interior
Also the work of Dotti in 1735. A much retouched 'ancient' Virgin and Child fresco which hung on the city/church walls before 1220. The revetment is by Ciro Mario Paris Perroni, born silent. 
The high altarpiece of 1783 by Jacopo Alessandro Calvi. The altar sculpture (circa 1717) by Giuseppe Maria Mazza. Paintings by Giovanni Francesco Gessi, del Cesi, de Pedrini
stuccoes and altar sculpture by Giuseppe Maria Mazza from c.1717, and statues by Domenico Pio.

Santa Maria di Galliera
Via Manzoni


History
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. On the 6th of September 1478 it was said to have cured a man of 'a severe form of the plague'. The wall on which it was painted is preserved in the new building. In 1622 Pope Gregory XV gave the church to the Oratorians of Saint 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 fašade of 1479 to designs attributed to Egidio Montanari, with eroded sculptures by Donato da Cernobbio. The church suffered bomb damage in World War II, with estoration work in 2014.

Interior
Very Baroque, 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 himself. 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 fenced-off 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 Nicol˛ Tribolo, which was 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 Pi˛, 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. Christ Served by Angels by Mastelletta from c.1616. 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

Sunday 9.00 - 13.00
















Santa Maria e San Valentino della Grada
Via Monaldo Calari


History
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

   


History
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.


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



 



Santa Maria Maddalena
Via Zamboni

History

There is said to have been a church here in 1187. Nuns of the order of Santa Caterina di Quarto moved to a convent came 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, with modifications in 1835 by Vicenzo Vannini.

Interior
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. There's an unusual amount of stained glass, in clerestory windows. Mostly 18th century paintings (and some works in painted stucco) by the likes of Gandolfi, Mazza, Cignani and Passerotti. There's a Madonna and Child panel here too, attributed to Lippo di Dalmasio, of course.

Opening times
8.00 - 12.00 & 4.30 - 7.00
August - only on Sundays for Holy Mass.

 

 

 



An 18th-century print by Pio Panfili                                                                                                                                                                               A photo taken during the orti di guerra scheme in 1942.
 

Santa Maria Maggiore
Via Galliera


History
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-fašade 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, the church was already reportedly in a poor and neglected state, but work is ongoing.

Interior
Reportedly has paintings by Francesco Carracci (The Virgin and Saints), Alessandro Tiarini (The Mystery of the Rosary), both in the first chapel, Vicenzo Spisanelli (The Death of Saint Joseph in the fourth chapel), Mauro Gandolfi, Pietro Fancelli, Jacopo Alessandro Calvi, and Alessandro Guardassoni. The chapel of the Holy Sacrament was stuccoed by A G Pio.

The high altar (1749) is attributed to Alfonso Torreggiani.
The presbytery was enlarged at the expense of the Alamandini family c.1573, with an altarpiece of The Circumcision by Giovanni Francesco Bezzi called il Nosadella, completed by Prospero Fontana after Nosadella's death in 1571. The altarpiece which depicts the Virgin and Child with Saints James Minor and Anthony Abbott by Orazio Samacchini (c.1564) was commissioned by the Tanari for their chapel in the right aisle.

Lost art

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. Now exhibited in the Medieval Museum.


Opening times
Only for services
 


Santi Bartolomeo e Gaetano
Strada Maggiore

History
Tradition claims a church was built here in the 5th century by Saint Petronius. But the first written evidence dates to 1288 with a church built by Benedictines and housing a group of nuns. In 1516 the church was demolished to be replaced by a palazzo for prior Giovanni Gozzardini and a  rebuilt church, the work entrusted to Andrea da Formigine in 1516. When Gozzadini was assassinated the following year the work was interrupted - the portico and doorway of this building remain along the south side of the nave. In 1627 the Theatines acquired the building and had the church rebuilt, firstly by Giovan Battista Natali and later by Agostino Barelli, moving the fašade from the square to the Strada Maggiore. The order also commissioned from Marcantonio Franceschini and Luigi Quaini ten lunettes for the portico and renamed the church in 1671 for their just-canonised founder Saint Cajetan, although it's locally usually known as San Bartolomeo.

Interior
Dark-walled, but well-lit by many clerestory windows, with heavy decorative gilding, but it starts well above head height on the Ionic 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 (1653ľ84). The ceiling of the nave has The Vision of San Gaetano by Giacomo Alboresi with decoration by Angelo Michele Colonna and Agostino Mitelli from 1667. The dome fresco is by Giuseppe and Antonio Rolli and depicts The Apotheosis of Saint Gaetano (1691).

No labels for the chapel art, which is mostly 17th and 18th century and not striking. The second altar on the right has Apparition of the Angel to St. Charles Borromeo by Ludovico Carracci from 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 striking swooping angel - the painting is known locally as the Annunciation of the Beautiful 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 from 1632 (see left) twice stolen and recovered. 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.

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
Sunday/holidays: 8.30am-1pm and 3.30pm-7.00pm




The baptistery
Opened on Saturday mornings 9.30 to 12.30 by volunteers from the Touring Club of Italy.
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 (see right).









Santi Giuseppe e Ignazio
Via Castiglione


History

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

Interior
18th-century with modifications in the 19th and enlargement with three new chapels and a new apse in 1930.

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.

Opening times
Weekdays (not in July, August and part of September): 8: 00-12: 00 & 17: 00-19: 30
Weekday and public holidays (from 1 July to 15 September): 7: 30-12: 00
Sunday and Holidays (not in July, August and part of September): 8: 00-12: 30 & 17: 00-18: 30

The church also hosts concerts performed by its resident choir.

 

 

Santi Gregorio e Siro
Via Montegrappa


History
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. Fašade 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 fašade features the arms of the Ghisilieri family from the time of the building.

Interior
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 is The Miracle of Saint Gregory by Denijs Calvart.  There are (unlabelled) paintings by Camillo Procaccini and Lucio Massari, a Saint Lawrence by Jacopo Alessandro Calvi and The Baptism of Christ by Annibale Carracci (1585).



Campanile
A tower amongst the ruins on the site where the church was built from 1532 was converted into the campanile.

Lost art
in the Pinacoteca
A Caravaggesque but crowded Saint William of Aquitaine Receiving the Cowl by Guercino (1620) taken 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 Naborre e Felice




website to book San Zama crypt visits

website to book a tour of three crypts, including San Zama
 
History
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 in the Pinacoteca
A polyptych by the pseudo-Jacopino (see below) from c.1340.


A softly mannerist Virgin and Child with Saints John the Baptist, John the Evangelist, Francis, Clare, Catherine and Mary Magdalene by Giovanni Battista Ramenghi (Bagnacavallo Junior) signed and dated 1563. A Coronation of the Virgin with many, many saints by Orazio Samacchini frm the 1570s.
 
Santi Filippo e Giacomo
Via delle Lame


History
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.

Interior
Small, tall, pale, no aisles, three shallow bays 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.

Opening times
Monday - Friday 7.30 - 11.00 & 16.30 - 19.30
Saturday 9.00 - 11.00 & 16.30 - 19.30
Sunday 9.00 - 11.30




Santi Vitale e Agricola
Via San Vitale

History
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 where the literary circle of the Countess Cornelia Barbara Rossi di San Secondo met. The parish was re-established 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, where legend has a commemorative church built in 340. 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.

Interior
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 late 15th-century church, with a doorway to the street (supposedly the work of  Andrea Marchesi, called il Formigine). This chapel 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 centre, an elliptical copy of a Virgin and Child which was by the Sienese painter Sano di Pietro, the original having been stolen in 1972. To the  left is The Visitation by Bartolomeo Ramenghi (il Bagnacavallo) and on the right The Nativity attributed to Francia.
In the last chapel o
n the right, towards the apse, are stairs down to the atmospheric rough-brick crypt (see below) where you put Ç1 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 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.

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

Opening times
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

History

Built in 1304 by Armenian Basilian 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 remodelled in gothic style and in 1690 the campanile was built. In 1810 church and convent were suppressed and made into a prison. In 1816 the friars returned, only to be evicted again in 1849, and to return in 1850. Suppressed again in 1870, the church became an arms depot. Restored by the army to the friars in 1944 to return to religious use, after the war they briefly moved back in, before giving the complex back again.

In the 16th century porch leading to the entrance there are fifteen lunette frescos of 1619 by Giacomo Lippi, a pupil of Lodovico Carracci, and Paulo Carracci, the younger brother of Ludovico. They are about as ravaged as you'd expect but some are pretty intact (see below).



Interior
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 now in the Pinacoteca
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). A Madonna Enthroned with Saints Paul, Francis and the Young John the Baptist also by Francia, painted for the Scappi chapel here c.1495.
Three by Lorenzo Costa: symmetrical and serious Saint Petronius Enthroned with Saints Francis and Domenic from 1502; a Burial of Christ by him, and his studio, 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.

Opening times
Winter 6.30 - 12.00 & 16.30 - 20.00
Summer 8.30 - 12.00 & 17.00 - 20.00
 







A
n 18th-century print by Pio Panfili
 

Santissima Trinita
Via Santo Stefano

History
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.

Interior
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-fašade 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, has the large Birth of the Virgin (see right) by Lavinia Fontana of c.1590, originally commissioned by the Gheli family for their chapel in the church of San Biagio, suppressed by Napoleon. The Chapel of the Crucifix has a papier-mÔchÚ 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. 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
Sundays: 8.00 - 12.00 and 17.00 - 19.30

Santissimo Salvatore
Via Cesare Battisti

History
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 Saviour.

The Order of the Canons Regular of Santa Maria di Reno were here from the 12th century, and 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 1605ľ23 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 fašade.

Interior
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, bright, no frescoes (on the walls or vaults), 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 1532 Garofalo Saint John the Baptist Saying goodbye to his father. 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 altar 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 Francesco Gessi and Guido Reni himself. Gessi had been a pupil of both Denys Calvaert and Reni but later turned against the latter. 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 Miracle of the Crucifix of Beirut of 1579 by Jacopo Coppi, also called Il Meglio (the Best). On the back wall a The Presentation of Mary at the Temple with Saints Anne, Joachim and Thomas Becket, the latter having studied in Bologna. It's locally nicknamed The Madonna of the English, we are told. 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, which was in the medieval church here, in the English students' chapel.
As was the 14th-century Madonna of Victory by Simone dei Crocifissi, which was over the third altar on the right, and 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. It has previously been attributed to Vitale da Bologna and Lippo di Dalmasio, and there is still some argument.
Guercino is buried in here, his tomb is in the floor in the centre of the nave (see photo below).

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
The huge and bustling Wedding at Cana by Gaetano Gandolfi (1775) from the refectory here, is now above the main staircase in the Pinacoteca. A monumental Assumption by Agostino Carracci (c.1592), previously looted by Napoleon. An unwounded 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, were all on display in the Medieval Museum in 2017.

Opening times
Daily 6.00am - 11.00pm


An 18th-century print.





 



 

Santo Spirito
oratory


History
The terracotta facade from the 15th century, with its five tondi of saints, 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 icon, 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 the ubiquitous 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

History
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 dedicated to the Egyptian goddess Isis around 430 by Bishop Petronius who, following a pilgrimage in the Holy Land, founded the seven churches here symbolising the seven stations Jesus stopped at on his climb. The first written evidence, however, dates to 887, under Charles the Fat. From the the piazza in front you can see 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 fašade, 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 right) (previously known as the church of San Giovanni Battista) is probably of Lombard (8th century) foundation with rebuilding in the 12th. 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 for which the church is named. The frescoed altarpiece is a 14th-century Crucifixion described as 'school of Giovanni da Modena.' The life-size PietÓ group against the left wall is 18th-century and by Angelo Pi˛. There are 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 (in an urn on the altar) 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. The circle of columns are said to come from this original temple. Its present form is 11th century. Centrally planned dodecagon with an ambulatory and women's galleries. 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, Bolognaĺs 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 right) - 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 in a Jewish cemetery and dug up in 392 by Saint Ambrose and where later translated to the crypt in The Crocifisso church here on March 3rd 1019 by Abbot Martino, who was responsible for the building of said crypt. 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 Pontius Pilate tried Jesus. In the middle is a stoup called Pilateĺs Bowl, which had the reputation being the bowl in which Pilate washed his hands. From the 8th century, it has an obscure inscription relating to the Lombard kings Luitprand and Ilprand, who are said to have donated it. 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 fašade of the wide and shallow Martyrium, (also known as the Church of the Trinity). Dating to the 13th century it may have been the east end of the 4th century church, or the later Lombard one. It was 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 the workshop of 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 of 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 Nicol˛ 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.

Lost art in the Pinacoteca
The Miracle of Saint Bonaventura by Gessi, a collaborator with Guido Reni.

The church in art
The Tomb of the Saints Vitale and Agricola in the Underground Church of Santo Stefano (see right) 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 fašade of
Santi Vitale e Agricola which have since been removed.








 



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

      

































 


A PietÓ 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.




Lost
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 Coronation of the Virgin polyptych of around 1380 by Giovanni da Bologna, now in the Pinacoteca.
San Pietro Martire

History
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 the 10th of  July 1613. On August 16th 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 Ludovico Carracci of 1595 from the high altar here. A Resurrection of Christ by Bartolomeo Passerotti from 1575.


  Sant'Ignazio

History
The Jesuit novitiate and church of Sant'Ignazio was built between 1727 and 1735 to designs by Alfonso Torreggiani.
Following the Napoleonic suppression of the religious orders the Accademia di Belle Arti, formerly the Accademia Clementina, began collecting the art from the suppressed churches, so that their need for more spaces led, in 1803, to their moving from the Palazzo Poggi to this nearby complex of Sant'Ignazio. It is now the Pinacoteca Nazionale.
The ceiling of the main staircase to the exhibition halls has a fresco of the Glory of Saint Ignatius by the Jesuit painter Giuseppe Barbieri, this being the site of the former convent church.


 

Santa Margherita
Lost art
in the Pinacoteca.
The Giusti chapel here had Parmigianino's Virgin and Child with Saints Margaret, Jerome, and Petronius of c.1529. The Death of Saint Benedict by Domenico Maria Canutti, here before 1671 when Malvasia saw it under the portico here.


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.

 

  Sant'Ambrogio
Demolished to make way for San Petronio, the area of the Curia Sancti Ambroxii where the commune of Bologne sat first. Our hotel?

Sant'Agnese
Lost art
The Martyrdom of Saint Agnes by Domenichino, admired by Ruskin

Sant'Apollonia di Mazzaratta
 
Santi Girolamo ed Eustachio
Santi Girolamo and Eustachio, called Badia delle Acque, stood in front of the church of the SS. Annunziata. The church and the convent was initially the seat of Jesuit monks, who had it from Nicol˛ Albergati, the Bishop of Bologna, and were here from from 1379 to 1668, when the order was abolished. The friars were said to have made excellent perfumed waters. The complex then passed to the Olivetan monks of San Michele in Bosco until the Napoleonic suppression of 1797. This church, designed by Girolamo Rainaldi and built from 1628-46, was destroyed in a fire of 1859. What remained was sold to private individuals and turned into housing. Today only the 15th century cloister remains (see below), with a central well in the inner courtyard of 5-21 in Via San Mamolo. Traces can also still be found just outside Porta San Mamolo, at the beginning of the road on the right, at the intersection with Viale Aldini.

Lost art
The Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints John the Baptist, Jerome, Francis, George, Sebastian and Eustace and Two Devotees (Pala del Tirocinio) (see  below right), the
 damaged high altarpiece from 1504/05 by Amico Aspertini is today in the Pinacoteca Nazionale.

 







Home

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