Religious sites in Italy

Sant'Orso Church

Sant"Orso had originally a single hall, delimited by a semicircular apse. It was entirely rebuilt during the 9th century, during the Carolingian age. Later, bishop Anselm of Aosta further renovated the church, introducing a basilica plan with three naves with wooden trusses. These were replaced by Gothic cross vaults in the 15th century. The church has a nave and two aisles divided by quadrangular pillars. T ...
Founded: 9th century | Location: Aosta, Italy

San Giovanni Church

Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista has existed since 1339, but during the centuries it has gone through many changes and enlargements. It is characterized by a double façade with walls, of a severe light and shade intensity that culminates with an ample and splendid dame. The church was built in a panoramic position of particular beauty, that still allows the admiration of the valley and the coast up to Mount Cofano. Today ...
Founded: 1339 | Location: Erice, Italy

Cittadella Duomo

Cittadella Duomo is a church constructed between 1774 and 1826, with two main contributing architects: Domenico Cerato and Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi who created the Neoclassical façade. Carlo Barera completed the work in 1913. The nave altarpieces include works by Leandro Bassano, Lattanzio Querena, Sebastiano Santi, and Michele Fanoli. In the Sacristy, is a Supper at Emmaus by Jacopo da Ponte, once found in the town&qu ...
Founded: 1774-1826 | Location: Cittadella, Italy

Church tower of Lake Resia

The symbol of Val Venosta is quite fascinating and rather like a fable. A solitary church steeple emerges half out of the clear waters of the 6 km long Resia Lake, against the majestic background of the wild Vallelunga Valley. However, the story behind this postcard-like image is far less idyllic and the romantic 14th Century church bears testimony to the irresponsible decision of the State to locate a dam there after the ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Curon Venosta, Italy

San Pietro in Mavino

In 765 AD Cuninomodo, a member of the nobility, was ordered by the King Desiderio and Queen Ansa to donate his property to Sirmione’s basilicas and the Brescian monastery San Salvatore to expiate his guilt for a murder committed in Pavia’s royal palace. This is the period when San Pietro in Mavinas church was build (the name probably comes from the Latin “ad summa vineas” meaning place with the win ...
Founded: 1320 | Location: Sirmione, Italy

Santa Caterina a Formiello

Santa Caterina a Formiello is located at the extreme eastern end of the old historic center of the city, on Via Carbonara and Piazza Enrico de Nicola. Construction of the church began about 1510, designed by the Florentine Antonio della Cava, and completed in 1593. The church was one of the first domes in Naples, and was dedicated to the virgin and martyred Saint of Alexandria. It was attached to an ancient convent ori ...
Founded: 1510 | Location: Naples, Italy

Santa Marta Church

A church at the site of current Santa Marta was present by the 13th century, originally dedicated to St Calimero. In 1386, it housed the flagellant Confraternity of the Disciplini of St Marta, who added a hospice and rededicated the church. The church has been refurbished over the centuries. The facade dates to 1720–1730. The interior ceiling has a late 17th-century fresco, depicting the Glory of St Martha, by Giovanni ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Lecco, Italy

Madonna de Tirano

Catholic shrine of the Madonna di Tirano is a major tourist attraction in Tirano. The shrine is dedicated to the appearance of the Blessed Mother to Mario Degli Omodei on September 29, 1504, an event religious pilgrims credit with ending a pestilence. The church construction begun in 1505 and was consecrated in 1528.
Founded: 1505 | Location: Tirano, Italy

San Giovanni a Porta Latina

San Giovanni a Porta Latina (Italian: 'Saint John Before the Latin Gate') is a Basilica church near the Aurelian Wall. According to Tertullian, in year 92, St John the Evangelist survived martyrdom at Rome under the Emperor Domitian by being immersed in a vat of boiling oil, from which he emerged unharmed. He was later exiled to island of Patmos. This event was traditionally said to have occurred at the Latin Ga ...
Founded: 492 AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Saint Agatha Church

The Church of St. Agatha at College with its poly-chromatic marble was built between 1600 and 1610, in late-Renaissance style, on the site of a previous church, which had also been dedicated to St. Agatha. The façade was created by Natale Masuccio, and is decorated with frameworks on a light coloured background. It has a Greek cross plant, with splendid Baroque decorations including frescoes by Luigi Borremans (18th cent ...
Founded: 1600-1610 | Location: Caltanissetta, 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

San Sebastiano fuori le mura

San Sebastiano fuori le mura (Saint Sebastian outside the walls) was built originally in the first half of the 4th century. The basilica is dedicated to St. Sebastian, a popular Roman martyr of the 3rd century. 'Fuori le mura' refers to the fact that the church is built outside the Aurelian Walls, and is used to differentiate the basilica from the church of San Sebastiano al Palatino on the Palatine Hill. The c ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Rome, Italy

Abbey of Santa Giustina

The Abbey of Santa Giustina is attached to the basilica which was built in the 520s AD by the Prefect Opilius to house the remains of St. Justina of Padua and of other Christian martyrs of the city. By the 10th century the community has been under the Rule of St. Benedict. At that point the monastic community undertook renovations of the basilica. In 1110 the abbey was sacked by the troops of the future Holy Roman Empe ...
Founded: 520 AD | Location: Padua, Italy

Morimondo Abbey

Morimondo Abbey was founded in 1134 when a group of monks arrived from the mother house of Morimond in France. The monks settled in Coronate (now a frazione of Morimondo) and later chose the location for their monastery in Morimondo, about a mile away. Soon after its foundation the abbey acquired patrons and postulants from all social classes and the community of the monks had a rapid growth in the number of vocation ...
Founded: 1134 | Location: Morimondo, Italy

Sacrario di Cristo Re

Sacrario di Cristo Re overlooks Messina from a hill that once was the site of a Roman acropolis and later a Norman castle dedicated to Richard the Lionheart. The neo-baroque structure was built in 1937 as a memorial to WWI casualties. It contains the bodies of about 1,000 soldiers. Next to the church is this 130 ton bronze bell. It was cast from melted down enemy cannons and it sits on a tower from the ruins of the Roccag ...
Founded: 1937 | Location: Messina, 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

Santi Apostoli Church

Santi Apostoli is a Baroque-style church in Naples. Legend holds that a church at the site was built atop a Temple of Mercury by Emperor Constantine. Restored by the Caracciolo Family, it was ceded in 1570 to the Theatine Order. By 1590, the adjacent cloister and monastery was designed by Francesco Grimaldi. In the early 17th century was reconstructed by Giacomo Conforti. In 1638, the work was continued by Bartol ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Naples, Italy

San Lorenzo Church

Abbazia di San Lorenzo was built by Benedictine monks between 1166 and 1183. In 1778 it was turned into a prison and during the 19th a hospital and finally a military warehouse. The convent and cloister were then demolished in the Fascist era and during the Second World War the bell tower and the church suffered considerable damage.
Founded: 1166-1183 | Location: Trento, Italy

Ragusa Cathedral

Ragusa Cathedral is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. The present church dates from the early 18th century. It has been the seat of the Bishops of Ragusa since the establishment of the diocese in 1950. A church of San Giovanni Battista stood before the 1693 Sicily earthquake in the west of the old town of Ragusa (Ragusa Ibla) under the walls of a medieval castle, where there now stands the church of St. Agnes. Se ...
Founded: 1694 | Location: Ragusa, Italy

Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta

In 1332 the inhabitants of quarter of San Vito moved near the castle of the Counts of Modica, and for this reason a new mother church was built in the same place where the present one is located and it is dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption. This church opened to worship in 1402, was built in a Catalan-Gothic style with a nave and two side aisles and had a wooden ceiling and side chapels not aligned. It was enlarged a ...
Founded: | Location: Alcamo, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Derbent Fortress

Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.

Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.

A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.

The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.

The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.

In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.

In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.