Cathedrals in Italy

Ostuni Cathedral

Ostuni Cathedral  was originally a church practising Orthodox rites prior to the year 1000. In 1228-1229, the present Romanesque church was erected by Frederick II of Swabia. The earthquake of 1456, strongly felt in Brindisi, damaged it. During 1469-1495 it was again rebuilt in a Gothic style. The façade acquired its elegant rose window in the 15th century. The church once had four such windows. One of the portals is d ...
Founded: 1228 | Location: Ostuni, Italy

Vigevano Cathedral

The initial structure on the site of Vigevano Cathedral was built before the year 1000 and is referred to in documents of as early as 963 and 967. The current structure was commissioned by Duke Francesco II Sforza in c. 1530 and is dedicated to Saint Ambrose. Construction on the cathedral, designed by Antonio da Lonate (c. 1456–1541), began in 1532 but was not completed until 1612. The edifice of the cathedral was comp ...
Founded: 1532-1612 | Location: Vigevano, Italy

Alghero Cathedral

Alghero was designated as a diocesan seat in 1503 but construction work on the cathedral did not begin until 1567. It was inaugurated in 1593 but was not finished. After several restorations it was consecrated in 1730. The church was originally in Catalan-Gothic style, as can be seen in the five chapels and ambulatory of the presbytery, which also includes the octagonal base of the bell tower. The nave and the two ai ...
Founded: 1567 | Location: Alghero, Italy

Cremona Cathedral

Cremona Cathedral bell tower is the famous Torrazzo, symbol of the city and tallest pre-modern tower in Italy. Also adjoining is the baptistery, another important medieval monument. Originally built in Romanesque style, the cathedral has been restored and extended several times, with Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. Construction began in 1107, but the works were damaged and halted after an earthquake in 1117. ...
Founded: 1107 | Location: Cremona, Italy

Messina Cathedral

Messina Cathedral dates back to the 12th century, but it was thoroughly restored between 1919-1920 due to the earthquake that had caused serious damage in 1908. During the Second World War when the Allied dropped bombs on the city, a fire destroyed part of the cathedral which was rebuilt in 1943. The apsidal area has its original Norman structure and the three outstandingly decorated portals of the façade built followin ...
Founded: 1197 | Location: Messina, Italy

Mantua Cathedral

Mantua Cathedral (Duomo di Mantova) is the seat of the Bishop of Mantua. An initial structure probably existed on the site in the Early Christian era, which was followed by a building destroyed by a fire in 894. The current church was rebuilt in 1395–1401 with the addition of side chapels and a Gothic west front, which can still be seen in a sketch by Domenico Morone (preserved in the Palazzo Ducale of Mant ...
Founded: 1395-1401 | Location: Mantua, Italy

Bolzano Cathedral

Cathedral of the Diocese of Bolzano conceals the vestiges of an early Christian, a late Medieval and a Romanesque basilica (1180). After one century the site has opened into a new imposing construction, completed around 1420, synthesizing, over a few decades, the intervention of Lombard mastery with the Gothic style of the Suevian mastery. The bell tower, with an open fretwork spire in sandstone, which stands 65m tall, wa ...
Founded: 1180 | Location: Bolzano, Italy

Bari Cathedral

Bari Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Sabinus, a bishop of Canosa, whose relics were brought here in the 9th century. It is senior to, though less famous than, Apuila"s Basilica of St Nicholas. The present building was constructed between the late 12th and late 13th centuries, mostly in the last thirty years of the 12th century, and was built on the site of the ruins of the Imperial Byzantine cathedral destroyed in 1 ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bari, Italy

Verona Cathedral

Verona Cathedral was erected after two Palaeo-Christian churches on the same site had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1117. Built in Romanesque style, the cathedral was consecrated on September 13, 1187. The structure was later modified by several renovation interventions, although the plan has remained unchanged. The façade is divided into three parts, with a pediment and a two storied projecting porch or prot ...
Founded: 1187 | Location: Verona, Italy

Brixen Cathedral

The bishop"s residence has been located in Brixen since the sixth century. Between 960 and 990 AD, Brixen supplanted nearby Säben as the episcopal see, and has retained its status since that time. Brixen Cathedral is the highest-ranking church in South Tyrol, and historically one of the most interesting. Today, the cathedral thus reflects almost all architectural styles from the Early Romanesque. The original Otton ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Brixen, Italy

Brescia New Cathedral

Construction of the Brescia New Cathedral, Duomo Nuovo, was begun in 1604 at the site where the paleo-Christian 5th-6th century basilica of San Pietro de Dom was located. The original commission was given to Andrea Palladio, but the commission was subsequently granted to the architect Giovanni Battista Lantana. He was aided by Pietro Maria Bagnadore. Work was interrupted during a season of plague around 1630. Work s ...
Founded: 1604 | Location: Brescia, Italy

Trieste Cathedral

Trieste Cathedral (Basilica cattedrale di San Giusto Martire), dedicated to Saint Justus, is the seat of the Bishop of Trieste. The first religious edifice on the site was built in the 6th century, using part of the existing structure. Perhaps the entrance to a monument, this was commonly known as the Capitoline Temple, as a pyramidal altar with the symbols of the Capitoline Triad (Jupiter, Juno and Minerva) had been foun ...
Founded: 1320 | Location: Trieste, Italy

Brescia Old Cathedral

The Duomo Vecchio or Old Cathedral (also called La Rotonda because of its round layout) is a rustic circular Romanesque co-cathedral standing next to the Duomo Nuovo (New Cathedral) of Brescia. It is one of the most important examples of Romanesque round church in Italy. While some claims for an earlier construction exist, the earliest documents state the cathedral was built in the 11th century on the site of ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Brescia, Italy

Sorrento Cathedral

Sorrento Cathedral, dedicated to Saints Philip and James, was first built around the 11th century and was rebuilt in the 15th century in Romanesque style. The cathedral bell tower has three storeys, and is decorated with a clock. The base of the bell tower dates to the time of the Roman Empire. The façade dates from 1924. The main doors are of the 11th century from Constantinople. The interior, on a Latin cro ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Sorrento, Italy

Trani Cathedral

Trani Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to Saint Nicholas the Pilgrim in Trani, Apulia, south-eastern Italy. Formerly the seat of the archbishop of Trani, it is now that of the archbishop of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie. Construction began in 1099, over the earlier church of Santa Maria della Scala, which went back to the 4th century. The new church was intended to house the relics of Saint Nicholas the Pilgri ...
Founded: 1143 | Location: Trani, Italy

Erice Cathedral

Erice Cathedral (Chiesa Madre or Duomo dell"Assunta) was built in the 14th century by King Frederick of Aragon for defensive purposes, because from the bell tower it was possible to monitor the surrounding area and the plains at the foot of Mount Erice.The original forms were in 14th century Gothic style with decorative mosaics and frescoes.In 1856 the church was restored or rather rebuilt, so the mosaics and frescoe ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Erice, Italy

Castelsardo Cathedral

Castelsardo Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Anthony the Great. It became the seat of the bishop of Ampurias in 1503. In 1839 the diocese of Ampurias was merged into that of Tempio, and the episcopal seat moved to Tempio Cathedral, when that of Castelsardo became a co-cathedral, as it remains in the present diocese of Tempio-Ampurias. The current building dates from the reconstruction begun in 1597 that lasted until ...
Founded: 1597 | Location: Castelsardo, Italy

Trapani Cathedral

Trapani Cathedral was built by order of Alfonso the Magnanimous in 1421 and was elevated to a parish in the second half of the fifteenth century. In 1844, when the Diocese of Trapani was created, the church was made its episcopal seat. Over the following centuries, the building was modified several times and its current appearance dates from the restoration of the eighteenth century by the architect Giovanni Biagio Ami ...
Founded: 1421 | Location: Trapani, Italy

Gallipoli Cathedral

The Gallipoli Cathedral, formally the Co-Cathedral Basilica of Saint Agatha the Virgin, was built in 1629-1696. The church is a minor basilica and the co-cathedral of the Diocese of Nardò-Gallipoli. The Baroque facade of the cathedral was designed by Giuseppe Zimbalo, Francesco Bischetini, and Scipione Lachibari. It is constructed out of carparo stone, sourced from Southern Italy. The church was built with a cruciform f ...
Founded: 1629-1696 | Location: Gallipoli, 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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Caerleon Roman Amphitheatre

Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.

Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.

Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.