Cathedrals in Italy

Torcello Cathedral

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is a basilica church on the island of Torcello. It is a notable example of Venetian-Byzantine architecture, one of the most ancient religious edifices in the Veneto, and containing the earliest mosaics in the area of Venice. According to an ancient inscription, it was founded by the exarch Isaac of Ravenna in 639, when Torcello was still a rival to the young nearby settlement at Venic ...
Founded: 639 AD | Location: Venice, Italy

Albenga Cathedral

Albenga Cathedral  is the seat of the Diocese of Albenga-Imperia. A church has occupied the site since the turn of the 4th to the 5th century, but the present structure is medieval, built in about 1100, with a major rebuilding in the second half of the 12th century, and another in 1582. A restoration project in the 1970s largely returned the building to the medieval structure. The campanile was rebuilt in its present f ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Albenga, Italy

Treviso Cathedral

Treviso Cathedral originates from the 6th century and stands in an area where during the Ancient Roman period there were a temple, a theatre and possibly some baths. In the 11th-12th centuries the church was remodelled in Romanesque style. In 1768 it was demolished and rebuilt in Neoclassical style, only the crypt remaining from the previous edifice. The current façade dates from 1836. Treviso Cathedral was involved in t ...
Founded: 1768 | Location: Treviso, Italy

Chiavari Cathedral

Chiavari Cathedral was built in 1610-1613 and it was given to Carmelites. The latest appearance dates from the 19th and early 20th century.
Founded: 1610-1613 | Location: Chiavari, Italy

Monza Cathedral

Monza Cathedral (Duomo di Monza) is not in fact a cathedral, as Monza has always been part of the Diocese of Milan, but is in the charge of an archpriest who has the right to certain episcopal vestments including the mitre and the ring. The basilica, which would in essence have been complete by 603, is believed to have been commissioned towards the end of the sixth century by the Lombard Queen of Italy, Theode ...
Founded: 1300 | Location: Monza, Italy

Pavia Cathedral

Pavia Cathedral is the largest in the city and seat of the Diocese of Pavia. The construction was begun in the 15th century on the site of two pre-existing Romanesque, 'twin' cathedrals (Santo Stefano and Santa Maria del Popolo). The marble facing of the exterior was never completed. Until recently, next to the cathedral stood the Civic Tower (Torre Civica), known in 1330 and enlarged in 1583. It collapsed o ...
Founded: 1488 | Location: Pavia, Italy

Udine Cathedral

The construction of Udine cathedral began in 1236 by will of Berthold, patriarch of Aquileia, on a Latin cross-shaped plan with three aisles and side-chapels. The style should follow that of the contemporary Franciscan churches. The church was consecrated in 1335 as Santa Maria Maggiore. In 1348 an earthquake damaged the building, which was restored starting from 1368. In this occasion, the larger previous rose window of ...
Founded: 1236 | Location: Udine, Italy

Savona Cathedral

The original cathedral of Savona on the Priamar hill was destroyed by Genovese army in 1528. The Franciscan monastery was converted as a new Cathedral in 1559 by Pope Paul IV. The current appearance dates from 1605.
Founded: 1559 | Location: Savona, Italy

Lodi Cathedral

Lodi Cathedral is one of the largest churches in northern Italy. The cathedral was founded in 1158, the day on which Lodi was refounded after its destruction by the Milanese troops in 1111. The first phase of construction ended in 1163. The crypt was inaugurated with the translation of the relics of Saint Bassianus on 4 November 1163, in the presence of emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. The second phase was carr ...
Founded: 1158 | Location: Lodi, Italy

Padua Cathedral

Padua Cathedral is the third structure built on the same site. The first one was erected after the Edict of Milan in 313 and destroyed by an earthquake on 3 January 1117. It was rebuilt in Romanesque style: the appearance of the medieval church can be seen in the frescoes by Giusto de' Menabuoi in the adjoining baptistery. The design of the existing cathedral is sometimes attributed to Michelangelo, but in fact it was th ...
Founded: 1551 | Location: Padua, Italy

San Pietro di Castello

The present Basilica of San Pietro di Castello building dates from the 16th century, but a church has stood on the site since at least the 7th century. From 1451 to 1807, it was the city's cathedral church, though hardly playing the usual dominant role of a cathedral, as it was overshadowed by the 'state church' of San Marco, and inconveniently located. During its history the church has undergone a number of alterations ...
Founded: 7th century | Location: Venice, Italy

Vicenza Cathedral

Vicenza Cathedral construction was begun in 1482, to plans by Lorenzo of Bologna, and completed in the 1560s. The cupola was planned by Andrea Palladio and probably the north doorway also. Only the original façade survived the bombing of World War II; the rest of the present building has been reconstructed. The belltower has five bells in the chord of Eb, the oldest one was cast in the 17th century.
Founded: 1482-1560 | Location: Vicenza, Italy

Sarzana Cathedral

Sarzana Cathedral was built on the site of the former pieve of San Basilio and was under construction from 1204 to 1474, when the upper part of the west front was completed by Leonardo Riccomanni of Pietrasanta. In 1735 three statues of popes were added to the top of the façade: Saint Eutychianus in the centre between Pope Sergius IV and Pope Nicholas V. The church is in a Romanesque-Gothic style. It has a west front of ...
Founded: 1204-1474 | Location: Sarzana, Italy

Pozzuoli Cathedral

ThevPozzuoli Cathedral site probably originated as part of the town"s capitolium of the Greek or Samnite era, radically rebuilt in the Republican and Augustan eras. Between the end of the 5th and the start of the 6th century the inhabitants of the town decided to rededicate the temple as a church to Proculus of Pozzuoli. In 1538 it suffered major damage as Tripergole subsided and Monte Nuovo was formed. Bishop ...
Founded: 1538 | Location: Pozzuoli, Italy

Belluno Cathedral

Belluno Cathedral (Duomo di Belluno) stands on the site of a palaeo-Christian church. A subsequent church dedicated to Saint Martin and built in around in 850 is documented. The present building was built between 1517 and 1624, to plans by the architect Tullio Lombardo, in the style of the Renaissance. The cupola was completed only in 1756. The campanile dates from the 18th century and is by Filippo Juvarra. The unfinish ...
Founded: 1517-1624 | Location: Belluno, Italy

Aosta Cathedral

Aosta Cathedral was originally built in the 4th century. In the 11th century the Palaeo-Christian structure was replaced by a new one, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Baptist. The architecture of the cathedral was modified during the 15th and 16th century. The present façade, in Neoclassical style, was built between 1846 and 1848. The structures remaining from the Romanesque per ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Aosta, Italy

Crema Cathedral

The first cathedral in Crema was destroyed by Frederick Barbarossa in 1160. A new building was begun in 1185, but construction was halted in 1212, not to begin again until 1284 but in Gothic style. The church was finished in 1340, with the addition in 1385 of a lengthened apse and a crypt. The façade is in typical Lombard Gothic style, with a single portal surmounted, in the lunette, by sculptures of the Madonna and ...
Founded: 1185 | Location: Crema, Italy

Thiene Cathedral

Thiene Cathedral replaced a previous church of the Assumption which apparently dated from before 1166. Construction was completed by 1314. It was rebuilt in 1625, and was substantially altered in the late 18th century by architect Ottone Calderari. The dome was not added till the 1930s. The nave ceiling is decorated with 15 paintings by Baroque Venetian painters, including Giulio Carpioni and Giovanni Battista Pittoni. N ...
Founded: 1314 | Location: Thiene, Italy

Brugnato Cathedral

According to some sources, supported by finds in the foundations, the first religious building on the site of Brugnato Cathedral was constructed in the 7th century over a palaeochristian necropolis, the church of a monastery dependent on Bobbio Abbey, founded by and dedicated to Saint Columbanus. It was rebuilt in the 11th-12th centuries, passed to a resident community of Benedictine monks, and became in 1133 the seat of ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Brugnato, Italy

Adria Cathedral

Adria Cathedral (Duomo di Adria) replaced the much older former cathedral nearby, dedicated to Saint John, which continues in use as a parish church. The new cathedral, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, was built in the early 19th century over a 14th-century church. When works were undertaken in 1830 to investigate the stability of the foundations, a Byzantine crypt and frescoes were discovered. The cathedral also con ...
Founded: 1830 | Location: Adria, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kromeriz Castle and Gardens

Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).

It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.

After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.

UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.

Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.