Religious sites in Italy

Sacro Monte di Belmonte

The Sacred Mountain of Belmonte is a Roman Catholic devotional complex in the comune of Valperga. It is one of the nine Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy, included in UNESCO World Heritage list. It was built in 1712 at the initiative of the Friar Minor Michelangelo da Montiglio. After interruptions, building work on the chapel was resumed in 1759 and in 1825. The complex is located in Canavese and is dedicat ...
Founded: 1712 | Location: Valperga, Italy

San Francesco Church

San Francesco Church was built between 1280 and the early 14th century, on the site a small church of the Minor Friars dedicated to St. Nicholas. The construction was commissioned by the Lodi bishop Bongiovanni Fissiraga. In 1527 it was assigned to the Reformed Franciscan Order of St. Bernardino, who, in 1840, were replaced by the Barnabites. In the first years of their tenure, they carried on a wide restoration program ...
Founded: 1280 | Location: Lodi, Italy

Manfredonia Cathedral

Manfredonia Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Laurence of Siponto, one of the patron saints of the city. The construction of a cathedral, after the transferral here of the seat of the bishops of Siponto, began in 1270 and finished in 1274. The first building was destroyed by the Turks in 1620, and was not rebuilt until 1700, using the ruins of the old Angevin church on the authority of the then bishop, Bartolomeo della Cue ...
Founded: 1270 | Location: Manfredonia, Italy

Ferrania Abbey

Abbey of Ferrania and parish church of Saints Peter and Paul, founded in 1096, is one of the oldest settlements in the area. The structure, located in the hamlet of San Pietro, has preserved the original plant, transforming into homes those which were the convent areas.
Founded: 1096 | Location: Ferrania, Italy

Eremo di San Colombano

Eremo di San Colombano monastery is notable for its location in the side of a mountain. Some natural caves, halfway up the rock wall of the gorge formed by the stream of Leno Vallarsa were certainly used from 753 AD (the date inscribed on the rock) from a Monaco hermit. According to legend, the hermit San Colombano first arrived there and killed the dragon that caused the death of children baptised in the waters of the r ...
Founded: 753 AD | Location: Trambileno, Italy

Lesina Cathedral

Lesina Cathedral (Cattedrale della Santissima Annunziata) is a Roman Catholic church and former cathedral dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. There was a church on this site from c. 600 which served as the cathedral of the former Diocese of Lesina until it was suppressed in favour of the Diocese of Larino in 1567. Rebuilt over the centuries, the building was destroyed by an earthquake in 1630. By the 1650s, ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Lesina, Italy

Pulcherada Abbey

The Church of Saint Mary of Pulcherada, most commonly known as Pulcherada Abbey, began to be built between the 6th and 8th century AD on what used to be a Roman encampment. The first section to be built was the apse, and the main building was completed between 1029 and 1031. The bell tower was built within the next 200 years, and was built to be disproportionally taller than the rest of the building, which suggests it mig ...
Founded: 1029-1031 | Location: Turin, Italy

Muri-Gries Abbey

Muri-Gries abbey, first inhabited by Augustinian monks (1406), was pillaged by insurgent peasants in 1525 and was devastated during the Napoleonic wars. Suppressed in 1807 by the Bavarian government, it was given to the Benedictine priests of Muri (Switzerland) by the Austrian emperor in 1845. The oldest part is represented by the castle built in the twelfth century by the counts Morit-Greifenstein, whose keep has now be ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Bolzano, Italy

Santo Spirito Abbey

The Abbey of the Santo Spirito (Holy Spirit), built by the Norman Count Ruggero and his wife Queen Adelasia in 1092–1098, was consecrated in 1153. It has been greatly altered in subsequent centuries. The original outlines are still identifiable to the rear, where its characteristic massive jutting apses can be seen. These are separated by flat pilasters and connected by a series of small arches. The left-hand entrance h ...
Founded: 1092-1153 | Location: Caltanissetta, Italy

Abbey of Fruttuaria

Abbey of Fruttuaria was founded by Guglielmo da Volpiano. The first stone was laid 23 February 1003, consecrated by Ottobiano, bishop of Ivrea, in the presence of Arduin, marchese d"Ivrea and King of Italy, and his consort Berta. The monastery was completed in 1006-1007 and followed the Benedictine rule as reformed at Cluny. There Arduin retired to die (December 1015). In 1027 a bull of Pope John XIX placed the abbey ...
Founded: 1003 | Location: San Benigno Canavese, Italy

Santa Maria della Roccella

Santa Maria della Roccella, commonly known as Roccelletta, is a ruined basilica which was first mentioned in 1096-1110. It has been built in Byzantine and Cluniac influence.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Catanzaro, Italy

Pieve of Saint Syrus

The Pieve of Saint Syrus was one of the pievi, or isolated churches with baptistries, among which the territory of Val Camonica was divided. The complex, which stands on a ridge overlooking the river Oglio, can be reached via a staircase built in the 1930s. The foundation of the church in its present form probably dates to the end of the 11th century, although a fragment of a Roman inscription on a lancet window suggests ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Capo di Ponte, Italy

St. Proculus Church

The small St Proculus church near Naturno is undoubtedly a historical treasure. It dates back to the 7th century AD and features the probably most ancient frescos of the German speaking area and the most complete early fresco cycle of Tyrol. Furthermore there are some Gothic frescoes from the 14th century. The building itself has been established between 630 and 650 AD. The age of the oldest pre-Carolingian frescoes, how ...
Founded: 630-650 AD | Location: Naturno, Italy

Sacro Monte di Ossuccio

The Sacro Monte di Ossuccio is one of the nine sacri monti ('Sacred Mountains' of Piedmont and Lombardy, series of nine calvaries or groups of chapels and other architectural features ) in the Italian regions of Lombardy and Piedmont, in northern Italy, which were inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 2003. The devotional complex is located on a prealpine crag some 200 metres above the wester ...
Founded: 1635-1710 | Location: Ossuccio, Italy

San Lorenzo Church

San Lorenzo church was designed and built by Bartolino da Novara between 1375 and 1380. Restorations took place in 1840 and again in 1916. The unfinished brick facade contains a central rose window and lateral ogival windows, flanked by buttresses that taper into roof spires. Two exterior 15th-century bas-reliefs are above the entry portal. In the pilaster strips are 19th-century copies of depictions of the Saints Alb ...
Founded: 1375-1380 | Location: Mortara, Italy

Santa Maria Assunta Church

In 831, some Venetian merchants arrived near Cropani on their way back from Alexandria where they had collected the remains of the Evangelist Mark. According to this reconstruction, the ship was caught in a bad storm and wrecked near the beach of Cropani. The inhabitants aided the merchants who, as a sign of recognition, gave them a fragment of the kneecap of the saint’s right knee, kept in the church of Santa Maria Ass ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Cropani, Italy

Castellaneta Cathedral

Castellaneta Cathedral is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. It is the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Castellaneta. The first cathedral on the site was initially dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Bari, and dated at the latest from the Norman occupation of the last decades of the 11th century. In the 14th century, it was replaced with a Romanesque structure with a basilica layout of a central nave and tw ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Castellaneta, Italy

San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi Church

San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi is an ancient church in Palermo. While built by the Norman rulers, the architecture has strong Arabic influences. The builders may have been Fatimid architects. The church in 1119 was attached to a leprosarium, hence the title. The church was dedicated to St John the Baptist. The adjacent hospital no longer exists. The church was initially commissioned in 1071 by Robert Guiscard and Roger I o ...
Founded: 1071 | Location: Palermo, Italy

Maria Weißenstein Monastery

The beginnings of Maria Weißenstein go back to 1553 when Holy Mary appeared to the miner Leonhard Weißensteiner. He built a chapel which soon became a place of pilgrimage. The first Baroque church was built in 1673 and renotaved 1719-1722. The three towers were demolished in the late 1700s when the monastery was dissolved. The reconstruction began in 1800. In August, 1885, the image of the grieving Madonna, which Le ...
Founded: 1553 | Location: Weissenstein, Italy

Sant'Antonio Abate

Church of Saint Anthony Abbot (Chiesa di Sant"Antonio Abate) contains fragments of Frescos on three walls around the chancel by Girolamo Romani in collaboration with Daniele Mori, who also worked with him in Pisogne and Bienno. These frescos of scenes from the 'Book of Daniel' are inspired by the grotesque and anti-classical artististic expression that pervades strongly in Valcamonica.
Founded: 1334 | Location: Breno, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls

The Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls was part of the federal sanctuary of the three Gauls dedicated to the cult of Rome and Augustus celebrated by the 60 Gallic tribes when they gathered at Lugdunum (Lyon). The amphitheatre was built at the foot of the La Croix-Rousse hill at what was then the confluence of the Rhône and Saône.

Excavations have revealed a basement of three elliptical walls linked by cross-walls and a channel surrounding the oval central arena. The arena was slightly sloped, with the building"s south part supported by a now-vanished vault. The arena"s dimensions are 67,6m by 42m. This phase of the amphitheatre housed games which accompanied the imperial cult, with its low capacity (1,800 seats) being enough for delegations from the 60 Gallic tribes.

The amphitheatre was expanded at the start of the 2nd century. Two galleries were added around the old amphitheatre, raising its width from 25 metres to 105 metres and its capacity to about 20,000 seats. In so doing it made it a building open to the whole population of Lugdunum and its environs.