Religious sites in Italy

Basilica of San Zeno

The Basilica di San Zeno name rests partly on its architecture and partly upon the tradition that its crypt was the place of the marriage of Shakespeare"s Romeo and Juliet. It stands adjacent to a Benedictine abbey, both dedicated to St Zeno of Verona. St. Zeno died in 380. According to legend, at a site above his tomb along the Via Gallica, the first small church was erected by Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostr ...
Founded: 9th century | Location: Verona, Italy

Santi Apostoli Church

Santi Apostoli, with the adjacent Romanesque chapel of the Sante Teuteria e Tosca, is an ancient Roman Catholic church in front of a piazza off Corso Cavour. A church at this site of the Chiesetta was consecrated in 751 on an earlier fifth-century structure, but reconstructed in the 12th-century. Reconstruction of this and Santi Apostoli were pursued across the centuries including major ones in the 18th and 20th-centuries ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Verona, Italy

San Vittore al Corpo

The church and monastery of San Vittore al Corpo was built by the Olivetan order in the early 16th century. The site once had a 4th-century basilica and mausoleum that once held the burials of the emperors Gratian and Valentinian III. The basilica was enlarged in the 8th century to house the relics of the saints Vittore and Satiro. A Benedictine monastery soon was attached to the church. In 1507, the monastery was ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Milan, Italy

San Giorgio Church

San Giorgio Church at the site is documented since 775. In 1218, Franciscan friars erected a nearby monastery and were in possession of the church. But by 1254, they had moved to the convent and church of San Francesco. By 1429, this parish church was in a dilapidated state, and a major restoration, including present facade occurred in 1639. An inventory of works in 1826 noted to right of nave an oil painting depicting a ...
Founded: 8th century AD | Location: Brescia, Italy

Basilica of Saints John and Paul

The Basilica of Saints John and Paul on the Caelian Hill was built in 398 AD over the home of two Roman soldiers, John and Paul, martyred under the emperor Julian in 362. The church was thus called the Titulus Pammachii and is recorded as such in the acts of the synod held by Pope Symmachus in 499. The church was damaged during the sack by Alaric I (410) and because of an earthquake (442), restored by Pope Paschal I (824) ...
Founded: 398 AD | Location: Rome, Italy

San Giovanni degli Eremiti

The San Giovanni degli Eremiti church dates back to the 6th century. After the establishment of the Norman domination of southern Italy, it was returned to the Christians by Roger II of Sicily who, around 1136, entrusted it to the Benedictine monks of Saint William of Vercelli. The church was extensively modified during the following centuries. A restoration held around 1880 attempted to restore its original medieval app ...
Founded: 12 | Location: Palermo, Italy

Basilica di San Fedele

The Basilica of San Fedele in Como is located in the city center and is dedicated to Saint Fidelis martyr. It derives from an earlier Christian church, dating from the seventh century, dedicated to Euphemia. The present church dates from 1120, the building is Romanesque and not just the original three naves irregular grafted onto a central plant, also irregular due to the smaller size compared to the two main apse of the ...
Founded: 1120 | Location: Como, Italy

Santa Maria della Pietà Church

The Church of Saint Mary of Pity (Chiesa di Santa Maria della Pietà) is a Baroque church localted in the quarter of the Kalsa, within the historic centre of Palermo. In 1495 the noble Francesco Abatellis, captain at the service of King Ferdinand II of Aragon, in the absence of heirs, staged the construction of a Benedictine monastery under the name of Santa Maria della Pietà. In 1526 the monastery was founded, but ...
Founded: 1678 | Location: Palermo, Italy

Santa Maria della Catena

Santa Maria della Catena church was built in 1490-1520 and designed by Matteo Carnilivari. The name derives from the presence, on one of the walls, of a chain (catena) which closed the Cala port. The work mixes late Renaissance style and Gothic-Catalan style, the latter especially visible in the three-part arcaded loggia located at the top of a staircase (added in 1845). The interior is also late Gothic, and includes ...
Founded: 1490-1520 | Location: Palermo, Italy

Santi Quattro Coronati

Santi Quattro Coronati is an ancient basilica in Rome. The church dates back to the 4th (or 5th) century, and is devoted to four anonymous saints and martyrs. The complex of the basilica with its two courtyards, the fortified Cardinal Palace with the Saint Silvester Chapel, and the monastery with its cosmatesque cloister is built in a silent and green part of Rome, between the Colosseum and San Giovanni in Laterano. Trad ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Rome, Italy

San Marco Church

According to tradition, the church was dedicated to St. Mark, patron of Venice, after the help given by that city in the war against Frederick Barbarossa in the 12th century. However, the first mention of the church dates from 1254 when the Augustinians built a Gothic style edifice with a nave and two aisles re-using pre-existing constructions. The structure was heavily modified in the Baroque style during the ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Milan, Italy

Sant'Ignazio all'Olivella

The Church of Saint Ignatius is located in the ancient neighbourhood of the Olivella, within the historic centre of Palermo. The church belongs to the Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri and was built starting in 1598. It is located near the former house of the congregation, now Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas, and the Saint Catherine Oratory. It is believed that during 12th century Saint ...
Founded: 1598 | Location: Palermo, Italy

I Gesuiti Church

The church of Santa Maria Assunta, known as I Gesuiti was built in 1715-1728 by Jesuits. Saint Ignatius of Loyola visited the city of Venice for the first time in 1523 to embark on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. He returned to I Gesuiti in 1535 with a group of friends, who already called themselves the Society of Jesus (members of which are referred to as Jesuits - Gesuiti in Italian), and here they were ordained as priests. ...
Founded: 1715-1728 | Location: Venice, Italy

Shrine of the Virgin of the Rosary of Pompei

Bartolo Longo started restoring a The Pontifical Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary church in disrepair in October 1873. In 1875, Longo obtained a painting of Our Lady of the Rosary from a convent in Naples and raised funds to restore the image so as to locate it in the church. Miracles began to be reported and pilgrims began flocking in droves to the church. Three hundred people of the area pledged a penny a m ...
Founded: 1891 | Location: Pompei, Italy

Basilica di Santo Stefano Maggiore

Basilica di Santo Stefano Maggiore was established in the 5th century. Originally dedicated to both Saint Zechariah and Saint Stephen, it was later dedicated to Saint Stephen only. Throughout its history, has undergone several reconstructions, expansion and restoration. The original church building was built around the year 417 on the initiative of the future bishop Martinianus. It was destroyed by fire in 1070 and i ...
Founded: 1075 | Location: Milan, Italy

San Giovanni del Toro

Consecrated in the 11th century, the San Giovanni del Toro church was restored in 1715 after damage caused by an earthquake, and it was restored again in the 1990s. The church is named for John the Apostle and for 'Il Toro', the former name of the old aristocratic quarter in which it was built. It is especially noted for its pulpit, dating from around the 13th century. The pulpit is notable for its mosaics, ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Ravello, Italy

Santissimo Salvatore Church

The Church of Most Holy Saviour (Santissimo Salvatore) was built starting in 1682 in the area of an ancient female Basilian monastery founded by Robert Guiscard in 1072. The building was designed by the architect Paolo Amato, but also Giacomo Amato and Angelo Italia were involved in the construction. It was said that Constance, Queen of Sicily (1154-1198) had been confined to the church as a nun since childho ...
Founded: 1682 | Location: Palermo, Italy

Santa Maria di Castello

Santa Maria di Castello is a church and religious complex located in the Castello hill of the city, where in the Middle Ages a bishop"s fortified castle existed. The church is flanked by the large Tower of the Embriaci. The church, in Romanesque style, was erected before 900 AD. It houses many artworks commissioned by the main noble families of Genoa, by artists such as Francesco Maria Schiaffino, Lorenzo Fas ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Genoa, Italy

Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta

Aquileia, one of the largest and wealthiest cities of the Early Roman Empire, was destroyed by Attila in the mid-5th century. The patriarchal basilica, an outstanding building with an exceptional mosaic pavement, played a key role in the evangelization of a large region of central Europe. The architectural development of the Basilica of Aquileia, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the saints Hermagora and Fortunatus, start ...
Founded: c. 313 AD | Location: Aquileia, 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

Narikala Castle

Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church. Newly built in 1996–1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of 'prescribed cross' type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing scenes both from the Bible and history of Georgia.

The fortress was established in the 4th century and it was a Persian citadel. It was considerably expanded by the Umayyads in the 7th century and later, by king David the Builder (1089–1125). Most of extant fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827, parts of the fortress were damaged by an earthquake and demolished.