Qualified Italian Guides
Places of worship in Italy always represent the highest expressions of art


Foro Italico Roma

The Italian peninsula has been the cradle of many religions. From the ancient pagan temples which are still visible in most of the archaeological sites in Italy, to the famous Catacombs where the first Christians tried to spread the word of God, to the oldest baptistries in Naples and Rome and the thousands of churches scattered along the entire peninsula,
this amizing country is full of mystic places which offer visitors a proper insight into Italy's history, art and architectural styles.
 
Here we present a list of the most representative churches which are worth a visit, including a few which are not so famous but are really amazing.


St. John's Baptistry in Naples


Battistero
The Baptistry dedicated to Saint John, in the Cathedral of Naples, is considered to be the oldest one in the western countries. Its interiors are still decorated with the original mosaics which date back to the early years of the 4th century. The Baptistry is accessible from the Santa Restituta chapel which is encountered as the oldest church in Naples as it was built by order of the same emperor Costantine when he decided to legalize Christianity.







Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome

Basilica San Pietro

Built on the place where the saint was crucified, the magnificent Basilica is one of the most famous churches in the world and the largest one. Many famous artists have contributed to make this building one of the most prestigious: Michelangelo, Bramante, Bernini. Its internal space is an explosion of marble decorations with many of the most glamorous pieces of art.

Among those the famous Piety, the masterpiece made by Michelangelo and the superb Bernini's baldacchino, with its spiral columns which embellish the papal altar.

Marvellous is also the Columnade made by Gianlorenzo Bernini which is in front of the Vatican Basilica and worth a visit are also the Vatican Museums with the paintings gallery, containing works made by Titian, Raphael, Caravaggio, Leonardo and many others. The famous Sistine chapel and Raphael's room are undoubtedly noteworthy.






The Cathedral of Santa Maria in Fiore in Florence

Santa Maria del Fiore

This wonderful edifice is well known all over the world for its huge and marvellous dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi.


Besides the beautiful bronze doors flanked by marble decorations, worth a visit is Giotto's Campanile (bell tower) and the Baptistry.




The church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence

This amazing church is very well known for the early Reneissance works by Masaccio which painted a marvellous fresco representing the Holy Trinity.

The interiors are decorated by different famous artists like Ghirlandaio and Filippino Lippi.



Saint Luis of the French in Rome


San Luigi dei Francesi
This opulent church is a masterpiece full of artworks and canvases made by the most notorious artists. 


Among the most exquisite artworks there is a cycle of paintings by Caravaggio who created his first religious works for this amazing church.
Noteworthy are also the frescoes made by Domenichino and Cavalier d'Arpino and an altarpiece by Guido Reni.


Ravishing  is also the ceiling painted by Charles Joseph Natoire.





Gesł Nuovo Church in Naples

Gesł Nuovo
This particular building, which was originally a villa, is a baroque masterpiece which is richly decorated by canvases, frescoes and marble statues created by the most famous artists like Pietro Bernini and Cosimo Fanzago. The main altar is enriched by decorations with precious stones. The ceiling is decorated by frescoes made by the most notorious artists like Luca Giordano, the Guercino, Paolo De Matteis and Francesco Solimena.  Solimena created a very beautiful fresco above the entrance door while noteworthy is a canvas made Juse de Ribera.





Saint Joseph's Church in Taormina


San Giuseppe

This single nave church with a dome decorated by beautiful frescoes, is located in a wonderful position in the centre of a square overlooking the sea. Its baroque style facade is embellished by a double starecase with a balustrade made in the typical Taormina stones.


Madonna della Rocca's church in Taormina

This beautiful church is placed above Monte Tauro, some 20 minutes walk from the centre of Taormina. It is famous for a shrine carved into the rock, which gives the name to the church.

Saint Agatha in Catania

A beautiful example of the Sicilian Baroque architecture, the Cathedral has also got a few traces of the Norman building which survived a tremendous hearthquake of the 16th century.






Saint Francis of Assisi


AssisiThe churches dedicated to Saint Francis, form a compound which was built on the place where San Francesco decided to be buried. The two churches differ in style but are among the most beautiful in the world.
The architectural style and the decorations of the upper church are Gothic. The internals are embellished by frescoes made by Giotto, Cimabue, and Pietro Cavallini.  The lower edifice is a bit more humble but it is also embellished by beautiful stained glass. The church was frescoed by the famous Cimabue, Pietro Cavallini and Simone Martini and the great Giotto whose works are still admired today by thousand and thousand of tourist from all over the world.

The nearby Monastery was also frescoed by Giotto and it hosts many artworks like tapestries, canvases and rare and splendid miniature paintings like codexes.


Saint Lorenzo's Basilica in Naples


San Lorenzo This complex is a rare example of three different architectural styles, from the Greek-Roman style to the marvellous Gothic style and the late Baroque style. The church hosts a beautiful  funerary tomb made by Tino di Camaino. A marvellous Gothic ambulacre is still decorated with remains of Gothic frescoes of Giotto's scholars. A few mosaics of the 5th century, belonging to the ancient church, are visible under the floor. The nearby famous convent, which gave refugee to both Francesco Petrarca and Giovanni Boccaccio,  has been transformed into an interesting  museum, richly decorated by frescoes of the Reneissance time. 



San Giovanni a Carbonara in Naples



San Giovanni a Carbonara

A Gothic church which hosts one of the most interesting funerary monuments in Naples: the Sepulchre of the Magnanimous king of Naples Ladislao of the Durazzo family.
Among the other masterpieces which embellish this marvellous church there are the Crucifixion by Giorgio Vasari, a beautiful chapel decorated with frescoes dating back to the Reneissance and the two renowned chapels belonging to the Vico family and the Caracciolo del Sole family.
The first is decorated with Renaissance marble statues and relief and it is is hosting the graves of the Vico family, the second is decorated with marvellous Gothich frescoes and it is hosting the Caracciolo family tombs.