Religious sites in Italy

San Benedetto Church

Dedicated to St. Benedict of Nursia, the church of San Benedetto was built from April 1334, then it was destroyed by 1693 Sicily earthquake. The church and the monastery were rebuilt between 1708 and 1763 and Giovanni Battista Vaccarini was one of the main architects. The church was also damaged by bombing in World War II and later restored by the architect Armand Dillon. Its most famous feature is the Angel"s Stai ...
Founded: 1708-1763 | Location: Catania, 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

Erice Cathedral

Erice Cathedral (Chiesa Madre or Duomo dell"Assunta) was built in the 14th century by King Frederick of Aragon for defensive purposes, because from the bell tower it was possible to monitor the surrounding area and the plains at the foot of Mount Erice.The original forms were in 14th century Gothic style with decorative mosaics and frescoes.In 1856 the church was restored or rather rebuilt, so the mosaics and frescoe ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Erice, 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

Castelsardo Cathedral

Castelsardo Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Anthony the Great. It became the seat of the bishop of Ampurias in 1503. In 1839 the diocese of Ampurias was merged into that of Tempio, and the episcopal seat moved to Tempio Cathedral, when that of Castelsardo became a co-cathedral, as it remains in the present diocese of Tempio-Ampurias. The current building dates from the reconstruction begun in 1597 that lasted until ...
Founded: 1597 | Location: Castelsardo, Italy

Cappella dei Mercanti

The cappella dei Mercanti, Negozianti e Banchieri ('chapel of merchants, shopkeepers, and bankers') is a Catholic chapel in the historic city center of Turin. The chapel, whose construction was authorized during the 16th century, was built at the end of the 1600s and most of the artwork it contains originated in the 1600 and 1700s, in the baroque style. The walls of the chapel present numerous seventeenth-cent ...
Founded: 1692 | Location: Turin, Italy

San Giuliano Church

The church of San Giuliano is one of the oldest places of worship in Erice, dedicated to San Giuliano, martyred in 254 AD. Its construction was commissioned, according to tradition, by the Norman Grand Count Roger in the 11th century, but it has been a place of worship already during the first centuries of Christianity. It was rebuilt between 1612 and 1615, more imposing and with three naves. In 1927 it was closed due to ...
Founded: 1070 | Location: Erice, Italy

Trapani Cathedral

Trapani Cathedral was built by order of Alfonso the Magnanimous in 1421 and was elevated to a parish in the second half of the fifteenth century. In 1844, when the Diocese of Trapani was created, the church was made its episcopal seat. Over the following centuries, the building was modified several times and its current appearance dates from the restoration of the eighteenth century by the architect Giovanni Biagio Ami ...
Founded: 1421 | Location: Trapani, 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

Gallipoli Cathedral

The Gallipoli Cathedral, formally the Co-Cathedral Basilica of Saint Agatha the Virgin, was built in 1629-1696. The church is a minor basilica and the co-cathedral of the Diocese of Nardò-Gallipoli. The Baroque facade of the cathedral was designed by Giuseppe Zimbalo, Francesco Bischetini, and Scipione Lachibari. It is constructed out of carparo stone, sourced from Southern Italy. The church was built with a cruciform f ...
Founded: 1629-1696 | Location: Gallipoli, 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

Sacra di San Michele

The Sacra di San Michele, sometimes known as Saint Michael's Abbey, is a religious complex on Mount Pirchiriano, situated on the south side of the Val di Susa. The abbey, which for much of its history was under Benedictine rule, is now entrusted to the Rosminians. According to some historians, in Roman times a military stronghold existed on the current location of the abbey, commanding the main road leading to Gaul f ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, 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

San Giacomo Monastery

Certosa di San Giacomo is a Carthusian monastery on the island of Capri. Count Giacomo Arcucci, a secretary to Joan I of Naples, established the charterhouse in 1371. He later became a monk himself in 1386. In 1553 the monastery was restored and fortified and a tower was erected which collapsed in the 18th century. There was often conflict between the islanders and the monks, who owned land as well as grazing and h ...
Founded: 1371 | Location: Capri, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Caerleon Roman Amphitheatre

Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.

Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.

Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.