10 Most beautiful Churches in Italy

In every country of Italy, even the smallest one and lost in the mountains or on the cliffs, there is a church, large or small. This is because in the past the villages, towns or cities, formed and clustered around these places of worship, that marked the passing of time thanks to the bells and the liturgies celebrated in them. But let’s get to the point of this article, I will not dwell on the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, or the Basilica of San Marco in Venice, or the Duomo of Milan or even of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence (better known as the Duomo of Florence ), because you know that they are beautiful and they are the most famous. Show instead asked remotest valleys in Northern Italy or Southern Italy, or churches that maybe not everybody knows. So here is the list of the 10 most beautiful churches of Italy.

1) Church of Santissima Annunziata (Vico Equense- Naples)

It was the cathedral of the diocese of Vico Equense until 1818, year of the suppression of the diocese in question. Built in the early fourteenth century, on a clifftop overlooking the sea, so as to give a very suggestive landscape. The interior sound in a rare example of Gothic architecture, present on the Sorrento coast, while the facade is in Baroque style, rebuilt in the eighteenth century. The interior of the cathedral is divided into three naves and paintings by Giuseppe Bonito, Jacopo Cestaro and Francesco Palumbo and the funerary urn of Gaetano Filangieri.


2) Basilica of Sant’Antonio (Padua)

This Basilica is known as “The Saint” and is the most important religious center of the city, visited by thousands of pilgrims; It was begun in 1232 to guard the tomb of the Franciscan friar Antonio, built where since 1110 there was a church dedicated to Mary in the Basilica later incorporated as the Chapel of the Black Madonna. In 1229 it is next to the church a monastery, probably founded by St. Anthony himself. The large building in its complex structure presents a fusion of styles: Romanesque elements in the facade bell, Gothic plant in the ambulatory – with seven chapels – in the eight Byzantine domes covered with lead and Moorish bell towers in the two tall, slim. They were called the most talented artists to decorate it, from Giotto, who apparently worked for the Chapter of the Friars, in the cloister of the same name; Mantegna, who depicted the saints Antonio and Bernardino of Siena (now in the Museo Antoniano and replaced inside the church, a copy of Nicola Locoff). The three bronze doors were designed by the architect Camillo Boito (1895). The interior has a Latin cross and three aisles, coming together in a semicircle behind the apse, where nine radial chapels open, is a concentration of masterpieces such as the tombs of doctors, warriors, priests and scholars. A Michele Sanmicheli, was responsible for the monument to Cardinal Pietro Bembo and the one in honor of the noble Venetian Contarini Alessandro.


3) Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo di Orvieto – Orvieto – Terni)

It is the main place of worship of Orvieto, in the province of Terni, the mother church of the Diocese of Orvieto-Todi and masterpiece of Gothic architecture in central Italy, so much so that in January of 1889, Pope Leo XIII, has elevated to the dignity of minor basilica. The construction of the church was begun in 1290 by Pope Niccolò IV, in order to give place to the worthy corporal of the miracle of Bolsena. Designed in Romanesque style by an unknown artist (possibly by Arnolfo di Cambio), under the direction of various artists and master builders who succeeded one another in time and which have given the features and beautiful Gothic. The Cathedral is always entitled to the Virgin Mary, and has five bells renaissance in the key of E flat.


4) Church of Santa Vittoria (Monteleone Sabino – Rieti)

It is the burial place of Santa Vittoria and reveals a long and complex architectural evolution over time. Built on a former place of worship, always linked to the saint, and dating from the twelfth century, has in its structure the reuse of marble fragments of marble slabs, columns and other architectural elements. Medieval era, the bell tower was added to the bottom of the right aisle; Inside the church can be traced numerous pictorial evidence that sharing the phases of construction and reconstruction of the building, as they date back to different eras.


5) Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie (Milan)

It is a basilica and a shrine belonging to the Dominican Order and headed to the parish of San Vittore al Corpo. The architecture of the grandstand, built between 1492 and 1493, at the behest of the Duke of Milan, Ludovico il Moro as a mausoleum for his family, it is one of the highest achievements of the Renaissance in Northern Italy. It was the second Italian site to be classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, along with the fresco of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, which is in the refectory of the convent.


6) Sactuary of madonna delle Lacrime (Bellano – Lecce)

It stands on a rooftop in the town of Bellano (in the hamlet of Lezzeno). It has an elegant facade of Baroque style, but a baroque simple and straightforward; decorative elements in fact are few: there are two stone statues, representing St. Peter and St. Paul. On the right side of the church stands the bell tower, which was originally lower; in the current size it has a height of 31,60 meters. The interior has a nave of a Greek cross, and is richly decorated with marbles (prevails the black marble of Varenna), stucco and paintings made in subsequent periods to the building. The high altar is dedicated to the Virgin and is dominated by a niche with the miraculous image of Our Lady of Tears, then there is also the cycle of frescoes painted in the twentieth century, to Giovanni Garavaglia, Luigi Morgari. Outside it is surrounded by a large open area which is accessed by two staircases, where the north is enriched by seven tabernacles with modern mosaics (1968). The part of the square in front of the shrine is paved in porphyry, while that is left behind in the meadow with trees. From here, you reach the chapel of the miracle was built in 1888. Inside there is the primitive tabernacle with a reproduction of the round plaster now placed above the altar of the sanctuary. Above the main entrance you can read this inscription: “Here in the Tears of Mary thought the sky to the earth; in repentance and prayer the ground think of the sky. ”


7) Metropolitan Cathedral of Nativity of Maria Santissima (Duomo of Syracuse – Syracuse)

The cathedral of Syracuse, the city’s cathedral, located on the elevated part of Siracusa, incorporating what was the sacred temple in Doric style (the most important of the ancient polis of Syracuse), dedicated to Athena (Minerva) and then converted to church, with the advent of Christianity. The cathedral is dedicated to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and is considered the most important church in the city of Syracuse, entered even become part of the property protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. His style is mainly outside the Baroque and Rococo, while inside it alternates parts dating back to the Sicilians, as belonging to the temple and greek parts dating back to medieval times, built by the Byzantines to the seventeenth century and thus leave it up to the present day . Its internal structure is composed of several naves and chapels, which have a classic style and decorated, also typically baroque. Its interior contains statues, relics and remains of saints, martyrs and noble Syracusan, its furnishings have seen a succession of artists from all over Italy and abroad and is a symbol of the religiosity of Syracuse, as the cathedral through the various historical and cultural city.


8) Basilica of Santa Maria of Angels and Martyrs (Rome)

This basilica from the outside, to be precise from the Republic Square, it might seem ugly and dilapidated, but it would be wrong impression. The facade is actually ancient and very different from those we are used to, but worth joining. To Pio IV should be awarded the concession to build a church within the Baths of Diocletian and was commissioned the great Michelangelo,  stenderne to the project. He had the inspired idea to leave intact the structures of the Roman Baths and rectangular classroom, to create the apse, the design plan was to use the “natatio” (or outdoor pool with cold water). Michelangelo’s death, the work had not yet been completed but were continued by his pupil, Jacopo Del Duca, who found a way to give its opinion on the shape of the church to be included within the tepidarium of the Baths. He dedicated seven chapels angels on one side and seven chapels of the martyrs from the opposite side, thus creating a church nave with side chapels. The project was never realized, as well as had been thought, the original idea was respected, but in any case limited to reduce spending and in order to respect the particularity of the Roman environment. This is the church which hosts the official ceremonies of the Italian state and its interior is a monumental organ made by the organ Bartolomeo Formentelli, craftsman of Verona and a sundial – conceived by Pope Clemente XI, who commissioned Francesco Bianchini the Jubilee of 1700 – placed on the floor.


9) Church of San Floriano (Egna-Bolsano)

The church of San Floriano was attached to a major hospice for pilgrims and travelers, located along the Via Claudia Augusta and across the river Adige. The oldest walls and the first historical mention dates back to the twelfth century. The Romanesque structure, remain as artistic evidence outside the apse and fragments of frescoes inside, while the present appearance is the result of alterations occurred in the Baroque period and during the first major restoration of the years 1954-1957.


10) Basilica of Santa Maria of Angels (Santa Maria of Angels-Assisi)

This basilica overlooking the valley below Assisi and is situated in the hamlet of the same name. It was built between 1569 and 1679, designed by Galeazzo Alessi and with speeches by Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, by Pope St. Pio V, in order to keep the chapels of the Porziuncola, the Transit and the Rose Garden and other places made holy by the memory of St. Francis of Assisi. The initial project was characterized by a strict structural simplicity, conformity to the ideal of Franciscan poverty; unfortunately, however, the strong earthquakes that shook Umbria in 1832, caused serious damage to the basilica and at the end of a long and complex restoration, it was reopened for worship on September 8, 1840. The facade, inspired by the Roman Baroque , was altered radically on a project of Cesare Bazzani, with the intent to confer a monumentality worthy of the importance of the Sanctuary was opened on 8 June 1930 and at its summit placed an imposing statue of the Virgin in gilded bronze, the work of sculptor Guglielmo Colasanti. The original construction of Alessi, remained the dome and apse. The Portiuncula and the Rose Garden (the latter for a famous episode in the life of the Saint of Assisi), in the church, are the destination of many of the faithful on a pilgrimage and make suggestive atmosphere of this basilica with an impressive appearance.


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