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Bologna Off The Beaten Path: 33 reviews and 68 photos
Chiesa di San Donato
This small church in Via Zamboni 10, dedicated to San Donato, doesn't have any particular architectonical value but it is invaluable for the poor of Bologna. The Sunday Mass for the most poor and needy is celebrated in this church regularly. At the end of the celebration many of those who came stop for a breakfast and receive a small sum of money. The mass serve and help share the friars who succeeded Father Marella, a legendary Bolognese benefactor.
Legend has it considered the birth of the church of San Donato to the period of Lombard occupation, but far more likely it was founded in the 13th century. The church was rebuilt in 1454, when after being pulled down by Marchione Manzoli because obstructed the vision of his nearby family palace. The church was reconstructed and moved away of its original place in respect of the roadway. Finally it was amended in 1751 when Francesco Orlandi painted the entire front facade of the church.
Chiesa dei Padri Filippini
The oratory of San Filippo Neri, in via Manzoni 5, was consecrated in 1733 by Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, archbishop of Bologna and future Pope Benedetto XIV. It was built thanks to the generous contributions of Count Niccolo Aldrovandi, next to the church of Santa Maria di Galliera, where Filippini order already resided.
The church was project of Alfonso Torreggiani, who gace it the shape of an splendid example of Baroque Bolognese. Then the interior was decorated by sculptures of Angelo Pio, from the altarpiece by Francesco Monti, and frescoes by Ludovico Carracci.
Oratory was suppressed in 1798 during Napoleon rule but returned in function from 1816 until 1866, when it was again suppressed by the newly unified government. Occupied by the military, it was reopened in 1907. Almost completely destroyed by bombing in 1944, after decades in a state of complete abandonment , was sold to private owners, to be purchased in 1997 by the city bank. The restoration of the property has been taken up and completed only in recent years, more than fifty years since bombing.
The Sanctuary of Corpus Domini of Santa Caterina is guarded by the Clarisse nuns. The Sanctuary was founded in 1456 where Caterina de' Vigri, as Clarisse nun, practiced her spirit of prayer and penance. The abbess was canonized in 1712. Each year, from March 8 to 16, the city of Bologna pays solemn honors of Santa Caterina di Bologna, the patron saint of the monastery.
The church and the sanctuary of Corpus Domini was built between 1477 and 1480 by Nicolo Marchionne di Firenze and Francesco Fucci di Dozza and renovated by Giani Giacomo Monti in 1687. The facade of the church is from the 15th century and retains the bricked ornate portal of Sperandi di Mantova. The interior is Baroque: there is stil part of the decoration of Franceschini (17th c.), including his masterpiece "Il transito di San Giuseppe", and some valuable paintings by Carracci and Mazza. The Holy Chapel was built in 1680, to host the incorrupt body in a sitting position, of Santa Caterina di Bologna (1413-1463).
Corpus Domini is placed in the city centre, in via Tagliapietre 19, which is paralel to via D'Azeglio, and is open every day from 9 to 12 and from 15 to 19 hours.
Collegio di Spagna
Collegio di Spagna (Spanish College) or stronghold, was built in 1364 at the wish of cardinal Albornoz. It is beautifully ornate palace which used to be the residence of a noble Spanish students during their styding at Bologna. The entire college is surrounded by a crenellated wall abd it really look alike to a stronghold. Decorations on the front facade were made by Andrea da Formigine, as well as the very attractive doorway from 1.525.
Inside the walls there is a magnificent cloister with double columns onto which faces the Gothic church of St. Clement. In the interior of a church is polyptych by Marco Zoppo from the 15th century, and in the sacresty you can see frescoes by Lippo di Dalmasio and G.M Crespi. Some further frescoes can be seen under the loggia, attributed to Annibale Carracci.
I wanted to see the two beautiful courtyards and the chapel of San Clemente, situated inside the College, but unfortunatelly the whole palace was closed by the time of my visit.
Chiesa di Santa Maria della Visitazione
The sanctuary of Santa Maria della Visitazione, also called Del Ponte della Lame was a church dedicated to Mary's visit to Elisabeth. The church was originally facing the water of chanel Reno which has been cluttered between the 19th and20th century.
During the plague of 1527 the population invoked an image of the Madonna painted in a tabernacle on the bridge of Lame. At the end of the epidemic, the local society expanded the width of the bridge to build the oratory where the miraculous image was then transferred. The oratory was entrusted to the brotherhood of Dei Poveri di San Rocco. In 1942 the church and the oratory was declared to be a Marian Shrine.
The Oratory is located in via Lame 50
SS. Vitale e Agricola
The tradition says that in this place arose Roman amphitheatre of Bononia, where they carried out the executions and gladiatorial games. The religious building built in the early Christian era was one of the first underground churches. The Archbishop of Milano, Sant'Ambrogio, was the first to celebrate the memory of the two martyrs, Vitale and Agricola, who were martyred around 305, during rule of Emperor Diocletianus.
The church of San Vitale e Agricola was erected on a site of the ancient church of San Vitale "in arena", from which reminded only a crypt dating from the 11th century. Todayit is one of the most important and most hidden monuments of Bologna.
The church was reconstructed in the 15th century by the Benedictine monks and then again completely renewed extensively in the 18th century, as it is its today appearence. Besides exceptional ancient crypt, the interior contains many valuable artworks.
Basilica di San Paolo Maggiore
Basilica di San Paolo Maggiore was erased in 1606-1611, according to the will of the Regular Clergies of San Paolo Barnabites. The church was built on the design of the brother of order, who was architect, Ambrogio Mazzanta. In 1636 the construction was embellished with a graceful facade, made by Ercole Fichi.
During my last visit, when this picture was taken, the basilica was closed for the public visitors due to some restoration works, but I have seen its magnificent interiors in one of my previous visits. Belive me, San Paolo Maggiore has the most beautiful interiors of all churches in Bologna. As soon as one enters inside become hypnotized by the stunning ceilling of the church. This splendid pictorial decoration was made by Antonio and Giuseppe Rolli. Don't miss their frescoes at Casa Isolani! The altar shines of beauty, same as a ceilling, adorned by precious paintings by Giuseppe Crespi, called Lo Spagnolo, and Lodovico Carraci, probably the most prominent of all painters from the famous Bolognese school.
The front facade features four statues, scupled by various artists, while the spacious interior is a single nave.
The basilica San Paolo Maggiore is located in via Carbonesi18.
San Proloco Martire
San Proloco was the first christian martyr of Bologna and this church is preserving his tomb. The church was built in the early 11th century on a site of previous sacral object from the 4th century. In between the 14th and the 15th century the church was reconstructed in a Gothic style which is visible only at its front facade. The interiors have been reconstructed in the 15th century by architects Antonio Morandi and Domenico Tibaldi.
Another Italian pride, this Masserati from the mid of the last century.
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