Religious sites in Italy

Padua Cathedral

Padua Cathedral is the third structure built on the same site. The first one was erected after the Edict of Milan in 313 and destroyed by an earthquake on 3 January 1117. It was rebuilt in Romanesque style: the appearance of the medieval church can be seen in the frescoes by Giusto de' Menabuoi in the adjoining baptistery. The design of the existing cathedral is sometimes attributed to Michelangelo, but in fact it was th ...
Founded: 1551 | Location: Padua, Italy

Collegiate Church of St Mary Magdalene

The Collegiate Church of St Mary Magdalene was founded in 1274 on the ruins of a medieval fortress on the initiative of Atrani. Over time the church has undergone considerable restoration. In 1570, near collapse, funds were raised by special taxes on wheat and export of manufactured goods to restore the church. The building underwent a second operation almost a century later, in 1669. On that occasion it also repaired ...
Founded: 1274 | Location: Atrani, Italy

St. Nicholas' Church

The Church of St. Nicholas was first mentioned in 1220 and was expanded over time in the 14th century before taking its final shape in the year 1465. The architectural style is mainly Gothic. The church consists of three naves. It has well-preserved stain glass windows, and a large rose window over a pointed arched portal, a number of wooden sculptures of saints and paintings that date from different periods. Of particul ...
Founded: 1465 | Location: Meran, Italy

San Pietro di Castello

The present Basilica of San Pietro di Castello building dates from the 16th century, but a church has stood on the site since at least the 7th century. From 1451 to 1807, it was the city's cathedral church, though hardly playing the usual dominant role of a cathedral, as it was overshadowed by the 'state church' of San Marco, and inconveniently located. During its history the church has undergone a number of alterations ...
Founded: 7th century | Location: Venice, 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

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

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

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 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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Montparnasse Cemetery

Montparnasse Cemetery was created from three farms in 1824. Cemeteries had been banned from Paris since the closure, owing to health concerns, of the Cimetière des Innocents in 1786. Several new cemeteries outside the precincts of the capital replaced all the internal Parisian ones in the early 19th century: Montmartre Cemetery in the north, Père Lachaise Cemetery in the east, and Montparnasse Cemetery in the south. At the heart of the city, and today sitting in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, is Passy Cemetery.

Montparnasse cemetery is the burial place of many of France's intellectual and artistic elite as well as publishers and others who promoted the works of authors and artists. There are also many graves of foreigners who have made France their home, as well as monuments to police and firefighters killed in the line of duty in the city of Paris.

The cemetery is divided by Rue Émile Richard. The small section is usually referred to as the small cemetery (petit cimetière) and the large section as the big cemetery (grand cimetière).

Although Baudelaire is buried in this cemetery (division 6), there is also a cenotaph to him (between division 26 and 27). Because of the many notable people buried there, it is a highly popular tourist attraction.