The Abbey of Viboldone was founded in 1176 and completed in 1348 by the Humiliati, an order of monks, nuns and lay people who worked in the abbey producing wool cloths and cultivated the nearby fields with innovative techniques.
After the suppression of the Humiliati by Pope Pius V (1571), the abbey went to the Olivetan Benedictines, who were forced to leave the abbey in 1773, when Lombardy fell in Austrian hands. After several years of abandonment, the abbey is currently home to the Community of Madre Margherita Marchi (Benedictine nuns) since 1941.
The façade (finished in 1348) is hut-shaped, with mullioned windows and visible brickwork with white stone decorations, and divided into three sectors by two semi-columns. The entrance portal is in white marble, and is surmounted by a lunette with marble sculptures of the 'Madonna with Child between the Saints Ambrose and John of Meda'. At its sides, two Gothic niches houses statues of the Sts. Peter and Paul. The door is in dark wood, and dates to the 14th century.
The bell tower has an appearance similar to that of the façade, with frames in cotto and small arcades at the bases of the double and triple mullioned windows. The latter are surmounted by small circular windows.
The interior is rather sober, with few decorations, aside from the extensive fresco decoration of the Giottesque school. It has a rectangular hall plan, with a nave and two aisles with five spans each (the first ones in Romanesque style, while the remaining ones are Gothic with cotto columns and high cross vaults). The arches are ogival.
The fresco decoration includes the Madonna in Maestà with Saints and the large Universal Judgement with, in the middle, Jesus and at his left the Damned, overlook by Satan. Other frescoes, depicting Renaissance musical instruments, are housed in the Music Hall, located in a building annexed to the church.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.