Religious sites in Italy

Basilica of San Simpliciano

The Basilica of San Simpliciano is the second oldest church in the form of a Latin cross, first erected by Saint Ambrose. It is dedicated to Saint Simplician, bishop of Milan. The site of the present church was occupied in the 3rd century AD by a pagan cemetery. There St. Ambrose began the construction of the Basilica Virginum ('Basilica of the Virgins'), which was finished by his successor Simplicianus ...
Founded: 3th century AD | Location: Milan, Italy

Sacro Monte di Varese

The Sacro Monte di Varese (literally ‘Sacred Mount of Varese’) is one of the nine sacri monti in the Italian regions of Lombardy and Piedmont which were inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. It has an altitude of 807 metres above sea-level. The Sacro Monte of Varese is located a few kilometers from the city and nestled in the regional park Campo dei Fiori. It consists of the Holy Road an ...
Founded: 1604 | Location: Varese, Italy

La Magione

The Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, commonly known La Magione, is a Norman church of Palermo. It was completed in 1191 and is the last church built in the capital of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily during the period of the Hauteville dynasty. Its foundation is linked to the Chancellor of the Kingdom, Matthew of Ajello. Initially attributed to the Cistercians, during the period of the Hohenstaufen dynasty the church became ...
Founded: 1191 | Location: Palermo, Italy

Enna Cathedral

The Duomo (Cathedral) of Enna, a notable example of religious architecture in Sicily, was built in the 14th century by queen Eleonora, Frederick III"s wife. It was renovated and remodeled after the fire of 1446. The great Baroque facade, in yellow tufa-stone, is surmounted by a massive campanile with finely shaped decorative elements. The portal on the right side is from the 16th century, while the other is from the ...
Founded: 1446 | Location: Enna, 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

Brindisi Cathedral

The Cathedral Church, also known as St. John"s the Baptist Church, was originally built between 1098 and 1132. It has been almost entirely rebuilt, following the original design, after the earthquake in 1743. Inside one can admire a polychrome mosaic from 1178 and a crown in wood from 1594. Here Ruggiero, son of Tancredi, was crowned King of Sicily in the year 1191, and in the year 1225 celebrations were held for th ...
Founded: 1743 | Location: Brindisi, Italy

Saint Andrea Church

Saint Andrea church overlooks over the older part of Torbole. It was first mentioned in a document dated 1175. In 1183 the Pope Lucius III assigned it, together with the surrounding olive grove, to the Cistercian Abbey of Saint Lorenzo in Trento. In 1497 some of the properties of the Church were given for the support of a priest who would look after of the Torbole Community. In 1741 the curate of Torbole has been founded ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Nago-torbole, Italy

Santa Maria del Carmine Church

Santa Maria del Carmine is considered amongst the best examples of Lombard Gothic architecture. It was begun in 1374 by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, on a project attributed to Bernardo da Venezia. The construction followed a slow pace, and was restarted in 1432, being finished in 1461. Exterior The church has an imposing façade commanding the square with the same name; the slender forms betray a residual Rom ...
Founded: 1374-1461 | Location: Pavia, Italy

Troia Cathedral

Troia Cathedral is a masterpiece of Apulian Romanesque architecture and is particularly noted for the rose window and the bronze doors of the west front. Formerly the seat of the Bishops of Troia, it is now a co-cathedral in the diocese of Lucera-Troia. A Byzantine church formerly stood on the site, apparently constructed largely from the remains of Roman buildings. Work on a new cathedral began in the last quarter of th ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Troia, Italy

Tropea Cathedral

The Tropea cathedral was built by the Normans in the 12th century. A longitudinal development, with three naves in Norman style, the structure was built entirely in tuff and pale yellow lava stone. During the 17th century, the building was transformed into the baroque style and elongated 12 meters. Suffered many damages because of the many earthquakes and had numerous restorations. The interior houses the icon of the sain ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Tropea, Italy

San Lorenzo Church

Under the Aosta old parish church, archaeological diggings brought to light the early Christian cruciform basilica, indicated as Concilium Sanctorum, the Assembly of Saints because it was built on the tombs of some of the early martyrs who were buried in the Roman cemetery area which in itself was built on a protohistoric funeral settlement.  Inside you can see parts of the liturgical structures, the relic platform wi ...
Founded: 5th century AD | Location: Aosta, Italy

San Michele Maggiore Church

The Basilica of San Michele Maggiore is one of the most striking example of Lombard-Romanesque style. It dates from the 11th and 12th centuries. A first church devoted to St. Michael Archangel was built on the location of the Lombard Palace chapel (to this period belongs the lower section of the bell tower), but it was destroyed by a fire in 1004. The current construction was begun in the late 11th century (crypt, choir ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Pavia, Italy

Molfetta Cathedral

Molfetta Cathedral is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and Saint Ignatius Loyola. Originally a Jesuit church, it became the seat of the bishops of Molfetta in the late 18th century. Since 1986 it has been the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Molfetta-Ruvo-Giovinazzo-Terlizzi. The present cathedral was built by the Jesuits during the 17th century and dedicated to their founder, Saint Ignatius Loyo ...
Founded: 1610-1744 | Location: Molfetta, Italy

Santa Maria di Canepanova Church

Santa Maria di Canepanova is a Renaissance style Roman Catholic church located in central Pavia, region of Lombardy, Italy. Although in the past the design was popularly attributed to Bramante, the church was designed by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo. Church was built from 1500 to 1507 by Amadeo, who had previously built the tambour of the Milan Cathedral and had been invited by Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, brother of Duke Lud ...
Founded: 1500-1507 | Location: Pavia, Italy

Nardò Cathedral

Nardò Cathedral has been since 1986 the episcopal seat of the diocese of Nardò-Gallipoli. The present cathedral probably stands on the site of a Byzantine church. In 1080, a church was built here by the conquering Normans, which was elevated to the status of a cathedral in the early 15th century. The building has undergone a number of refurbishments. The present façade dates to 1710–1725. The interior contains both ...
Founded: 1080 | Location: Nardò, Italy

San Michele al Pozzo Bianco

San Michele al Pozzo Bianco is a church in the upper town of Bergamo, on a small piazza of the same name, near Porta Sant’Agostino. The church is now in a corner next to the frescoed house of the vicar, entered by a large rounded arch. Founded in the 8th century, it was rebuilt many times over the centuries. The present facade is from the early 20th century. Much of the interior was rebuilt in the 15th century, and cov ...
Founded: 8th century AD | Location: Bergamo, 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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Château d'Olhain

The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.

The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.

The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.

During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.